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The History of Captain Marvel’s Costumes

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The History of Captain Marvel’s Costumes

With the release of the first photo of Brie Larson in costume in the upcoming Captain Marvel film (it was a candid set photo, so we don’t know for sure what the context of the costume will be), it made us think about the many different looks (and identities) of Carol Danvers (and Captain Marvel) in Marvel Comics history. So let’s take a look at the evolution of Carol’s looks over the years to put any costume she ends up with in the film in the proper context.

RELATED: Avengers 4 Set Photos Reveal Larson in ‘A’ Captain Marvel Uniform

Hoenstly, Carol Danvers did not exactly have the most impressive debut. She showed up in the second appearance of the Mar-Vell version of Captain Marvel, in 1967’s Marvel Super-Heroes #13, as the head of security for the military base that Mar-Vell worked at under his secret identity of Walter Lawson…

For a head of security, it’s probably not great that she doesn’t know that one of her main scientist’s identity has been taken over by an alien who is secretly here to evaluate whether Earth should be invaded by the Kree. To be fair, she at least did object to a civilian scientist being there period.

From that same issue, here’s the original costume that the alien, Captain Mar-Vell, used on Earth. It is literally just his Kree military outfit, adapted to serve as a superhero costume as he can’t keep himself from helping humans while he is here on Earth (even though he knows he might have to attack humans later on if the Kree empire decides to invade)…

Eventually, Mar-Vell grows sick of the Kree Empire and decides that no matter what, he will stand with Earth. By this time, of course, Carol has figured out that Captain Marvel might not be here for good reasons, but she can’t prove her suspicions. Meanwhile, Mar-Vell gets banished to the Negative Zone as a punishment by the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane used this opportunity to dramatically alter the Captain Marvel comic book series. Now, Mar-Vell has these powerful Nega Bands that, when clicked together, switch places between Mar-Vell and Rick Jones (with one of them stuck in the Negative Zone while the other is doing their thing on Earth). Kane came up with a new costume for Captain Marvel, a much brighter and snazzier look…

Thomas wrapped up some of the outstanding Kree invasion plots the next issue by having Mar-Vell take on Yon-Rogg, his villainous former comrade. Yon-Rogg built a machine called the Psyche-Magnitron and it explodes with Carol Danvers present…

While there were no hints at the time in that 1969 story, seven years later we learn that, oh yeah, by the way, Carol gained powers in that explosion! You see, the Psyche-Magnitron exploding ended up sort of merging Mar-Vell’s alien physiology with Carol, giving her the same Kree powers as Mar-Vell. So she debuted as her own superhero in 1976’s Ms. Marvel #1! The great John Romita adapted Mar-Vell’s Kane-designed costume into a female version of the costume…

As you can see, however, the costume had some major issues, specifically the fact that the odd cut of her top would never work as any sort of practical outfit, as it would clearly always open up whenever she moved (Dave Cockrum complained about the costume to Marvel editorial by drawing what he thought would happen in real life with that costume – it was very much an X-rated drawing).

Marvel went with Cockrum’s idea and he introduced a new design of the costume that essentially only changed one aspect of the costume – giving her a full top….

Cockrum, however, was far from finished with Carol’s costume…

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