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When Did Captain Mar-Vell's Hair Change From White to Blond?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Recently, I wrote about why Captain Mar-Vell, the Kree hero who was known as Captain Marvel in the 1960s and 1970s, changed his costume. That led to a question on Twitter from reader Ste Pearson, about why Mar-Vell's hair color changed.

It's funny, looking back at Captain Marvel's development as a character, there were just SO many red flags when Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Frank Giacoia introduced the character in Marvel Suepr-Heroes #12 in 1967...

First off, the mostly white and green color scheme was always a strange one for a superhero. As you might have noticed over the years, there aren't a ton of superheroes with predominantly green costumes. It doesn't translate well. There's a reason why it is often a color used for villains rather than heroes.

Secondly, he was the Kree equivalent of a typical Marvel superhero, age-wise, so he was around 30 years old (in the equivalent in Kree terms) and yet they gave him white hair! Yes, he's supposed to be an alien, so they wanted to distinguish him, but that was probably not the best idea because, of course, when you got a guy running around with white hair, he's going to read as older than he actually is.

However, for whatever reason, the white hair survived a really long time, even when he got his new costume, the white hair stuck around...

Even when Jim Starlin famously took over the character (only eight issues after the famous Roy Thomas/Gil Kane revamp, but those eight issues took about three years to come out, with the book briefly canceled twice in the middle of all of that), the hair remained white...

It's actually really interesting to look at those early Starlin stories in that sense, because the blond version of Captain Marvel is so associated with Jim Starlin and yet it actually took until his FIFTH issue on the series, well after he had already introduced the Thanos storyline into the book, that the blond hair came about.

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