With Avengers: Infinity War ending on a dark note, Captain Marvel is the ray of hope we have for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Carol Danvers is new to the MCU, she has been a superhero in Marvel comics since the '70s. In her history, she’s gone by many names -- Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird -- and it’s taken her a while to accept the moniker Captain Marvel. The constant with all of these different names that she has gone by is the sheer amount of power she has; power that the Avengers in the MCU desperately need to defeat Thanos.
It’s a little hard to describe Captain Marvel’s powers, but the easiest way is to say it revolves around energy. She can absorb energy and shoot energy blasts. On top of this, she can fly, she’s insanely durable, and she has super strength -- it’s hard to defeat her in a fight. However, comic writers have certainly thrown some interesting tests her way to see how powerful she is. She has had a bout with addiction in her past as Ms. Marvel, but Captain Marvel is always ready to take on challenges head-on. In all of her identities, and with all of the darkness in her past, Carol Danvers has had a lot of overpowered moments. In fact, she has had so many OP moments that we can focus solely on her feats of strength as Captain Marvel. Here at CBR, we’ve ranked Captain Marvel’s 21 most OP feats of strength.
21 FIGHTS OUTNUMBERED WITH POWER DAMPENING CUFFS ON
After Captain Marvel loses her memories, she decides it’s her best interest to be the Avengers’ representative in space. She hangs out in space for a while but decides to come back to Earth for a visit at Christmas time.
Of course, even though it’s the most wonderful time of the year, Carol gets into some trouble. Grace Valentine and June Covington find her at the hospital where she’s visiting her friend, and they stick power-dampening cuffs on her. When Carol comes to, she fights off the two sans powers. Ultimately, she holds her own, but she also gets some special help from Santa himself!
20 SURVIVES AVALANCHE FALLING ON TOP OF HER
Carol is so powerful that when something goes amiss with her powers, there could be huge consequences. This is one of the premises of Margaret Stohl’s 2017 run of The Mighty Captain Marvel. To find more answers about why her powers are going haywire, Carol visits a Stark Industries lab in the Antarctic.
The problem is she and Tony are on the outs at the moment, and she triggers a perimeter breach, causing an avalanche. Carol gets buried with a lot of snow, nearly knocking her unconscious. Though she blasts herself out of there, we know that’s not the end of her problems.
19 FIGHTS OFF TWO SHARKS
It sounds like the premise of a summer blockbuster, but Captain Marvel does fight two sharks at once. This happens in the 2012 DeConnick run of Captain Marvel. Ships keep disappearing in the Gulf of Mexico, so Carol dons some scuba gear to see what’s going on.
As she begins to realize that she’s in a graveyard of military ships dating back to the '40s, Carol gets attacked by not one, but two sharks. One of them is a real jerk and steals her oxygen tank. So, as one does, she grabs one shark by the tail and hurls it at the other shark. Unfortunately, this was not recorded for Shark Week.
18 DEADLIFTS A TRAIN
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s 2012 Captain Marvel run had impossible things happening to Carol, like a train’s tunnel disappearing -- not collapsing, disappearing. Civilians on the street call Captain Marvel to the scene to save the F train’s passengers from being crushed.
Captain Marvel hoists the train on her back when she realizes she’s also on top of a sinkhole. With her tenuous medical condition, Carol isn’t as strong as she usually is. She charges herself up with the electricity from the train track and deadlifts the train, saving the day once again.
17 FIGHTS A DINOSAUR
In issue #9 of DeConnick’s 2012 Captain Marvel run, Carol has a long to-do list. She needs to take her cat Chewie to the vet, have coffee with her friend Jessica Drew, have lunch with Wendy -- and that’s just the morning. She was not expecting to have to fight crime that day, especially dinosaurs.
A good reason to be late for coffee is dinosaurs appearing in the city, and like a good sport, Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, joins her in the fight. While the dinosaurs are not explained for a while, Carol does have more pressing concerns. She can’t worry about prehistoric beasts when the doctors tell her she can’t fly anymore.
16 FIGHTS GIANT SNOW MONSTER
It’s hard to get scientific help as an Avenger when you’re not on good terms with Tony Stark. Though his artificial intelligence version of himself (Tony Artificial Intelligence, or TAI for short) recognizes her, all the security protocols go off when Carol lands in the Antarctic lab.
One of these security protocols is a giant snow monster. It’s basically like that scene in Frozen when Elsa creates the snow monster to keep everyone away from her. Carol has to use her energy blasts to take down this ice monster, which is a task since she just got herself out of an avalanche.
15 AMBUSHED THANOS
The "Civil War II" event pits Tony Stark against another Avenger in Captain Marvel. There’s an Inhuman named Ulysses who can “see” future attacks, and Captain Marvel believes that preemptive actions using these visions are the responsible thing to do. Tony, meanwhile, believes it’s flawed and dangerous.
Using one of these visions, Captain Marvel and some other heroes she recruits for this mission ambush Thanos. While he is captured -- which is an impressive feat considering what happened in Avengers: Infinity War -- it does come at a price. Rhodey is slain, and Tony blames Carol for it.
14 TAKES DOWN GIANT MECHANICAL SPACE EYEBALL
Captain Marvel accidentally time travels back to 1943 and lands right in the midst of World War II. She finds herself in the company of the Banshee Squadron, a group of women fighters trying to keep the Japanese forces at bay in Peru.
Like her own presence, other things are out of place for the time period, such as a giant space eyeball. Called a Prowler by the girls, the machine is powerful. It knocks Captain Marvel on her butt with one of its blasts. Not to be stopped, she flies into the face of it and holds an energy field around it, using its own energy to make it explode.
13 TRAVELS 240,000 MILES IN SPACE IN LITTLE TIME
In issue #1 of Margaret Stohl’s The Mighty Captain Marvel run, there is an attack on an alien refugee camp. Someone is taking Kree children, which makes Carol incensed since Kree DNA is how she has her powers.
A shapeshifter tries to take a little Kree girl, but Captain Marvel fights it. Instead of the pod with the Kree girl traveling to wherever the shapeshifter wanted, Captain Marvel steals the pod and flies it through space to the Alpha Flight station. Now, normally, we know space travel can take awhile. But Carol makes this 240,000-mile journey in no time at all. Like she says herself, the speed of Carol is “crazy fast.”
12 BUSTS THROUGH A CHITAURI LEVIATHAN
Captain America is a HYDRA agent and betrays the world, leaving Captain Marvel and those on the Alpha Flight space station alone in fighting the Chitauri forces in space. Their onslaught is relentless, and Captain Marvel gets knocked out.
The only way to save everyone is to knock out the shield that traitor Captain America put around the Earth. Though she has the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ultimates, it still doesn’t seem like enough. However, Carol dubs the day “C-Day” for the Carol Corps, and she symbolically busts through a Leviathan before telling the Corps the rest of her plan.
11 TAKES ON HAFFENSYE FLEET
In DeConnick’s 2014 Captain Marvel run, Carol runs into some of the Haffensye, who are space mercenaries. Their client is willing to pay a lot of money for Captain Marvel’s demise, and she is heavily outnumbered.
After throwing Chewie into her box (always secure the pets first!), Carol goes outside her ship to fight off the fleet. She destroys one of their ships with her energy blasts and is looking to blast the others when the Guardians of the Galaxy show up for the assist. While she had the situation under control, it is a cool way for these characters to meet.
10 BLASTED TONY STARK’S ARMOR OFF OF HIM
Civil War II had Tony Stark and Carol Danvers fighting over the responsibility of heroes to protect or change the future. With the visions that Ulysses, an Inhuman, has of the future, Carol believes that it’s the responsibility of heroes to act on those visions for prevention of catastrophes.
However, Tony points out multiple times that visions are just one version of the future, and it’s unethical to incarcerate someone for something they might do. All of this comes to head with Carol and Tony physically fighting each other. Carol hits him with an energy blast so powerful that Iron Man’s armor is removed from his body.
9 BLOWS A FUSE IN SPACE STATION
While doing some standard repairs on the Alpha Flight space station, Carol and her crew work and have a good time by singing MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” Her new Kree friend, who calls herself Bean, is inside the station munching on jelly beans. This is the girl who Carol rescued from a shape-shifting bounty hunter who’s kidnapping Kree children.
While outside, Carol taps the last panel, and her powers go out of control and blow a fuse. While the crew hypothesizes that it could have been an electrical surge, they’re all pretty sure their Captain just broke a 150 billion dollar space station. Whoops.
8 IS THE SOLE PROTECTOR OF PLANET TORFA
Torfa is a planet of refugees who had to leave their homeworld and were relocated by the Spartax to Torfa. Torfa is slowly poisoning them, but they refuse to leave another planet, despite Emperor J’son’s orders to leave.
Captain Marvel discovers that the reason the Torfans are sick is because of vibranium, a valuable resource that the Spartax now want to exploit. When the Spartax move to attack Torfa, Captain Marvel flies just outside the planet to literally stand between them and the planet. Once again, it is Carol against a fleet of spaceships, which is unfair… for them.
7 WITHSTANDS THE SATORI
The Alpha Flight space station finds an abandoned alien ship with the Hala star on it, so of course, Carol investigates. In doing so, another ship surfaces and fires upon Alpha Flight. It’s the Satori, who hate the Kree. Because Carol wears the Hala star, they believe they are fighting their old enemy.
To get the Satori to stop their attack, Carol gives herself up to them. They don’t seem interested in discourse and start to use force to interrogate her. We’ve never seen anyone be able to persecute Carol because of her powers. However, the Satori have figured out how to persecute the Kree, whose DNA gives Carol her powers. Though personalized specifically for her, Carol withstands the ordeal and gets rescued by her crew.
6 PUNCHES MASSIVE ASTEROIDS
When you possess super strength, regular workouts simply don’t work. Captain Marvel jokes about punching asteroids as a workout, but we actually do see her knock some asteroids out in Fazekas and Butters’ 2016 run of Captain Marvel. In fact, punching asteroids is how we’re introduced to Carol in issue #1 of this run.
Carol has just gotten to the Alpha Flight Space Station and has to adjust to dealing with the bureaucracy of leadership. She attends a meeting about waste management, which she nearly falls asleep during when she’s informed of an emergency. A massive asteroid is on course to Alpha Flight. Carol leaps at the opportunity to punch something big. With the help of the crew, the space station is safe.
5 STOOD BETWEEN CHITAURI AND EARTH’S SHIELD
In a “Secret Empire” tie-in, Captain Marvel and the Alpha Flight crew are stranded at Alpha Flight with the Chitauri forces endlessly beating down on them. Captain America was a sleeper agent for HYDRA and put a shield around the Earth, leaving Alpha Flight as Earth’s only means of defense from the Chitauri invasion.
In addition to worrying about the new cadets, Carol has to worry about how to stave off the Chitauri. As expected, Carol goes out to fight the Chitauri head on. She and her crew -- with the help of the Guardians, Hyperion, and the Ultimates -- fight and eventually come up with a plan to take down the shield to end these attacks once and for all.
4 SURVIVES HLA ENERGY EXPLOSION
Carol rescues a Kree girl, whom Carol dubs “Bean,” from abduction in Margaret Stohl’s The Mighty Captain Marvel run. Bean has markers in her DNA that affect Carol’s Kree DNA. When Bean is taken again, Carol follows Bean’s HLA signatures to a base where she finds Dr. Eve and all the abducted Kree children who are being used as superweapons.
Bean specifically is the energy catalyst, and when Carol tries to rescue her and the other kids, Bean explodes. This HLA energy explosion is off the charts, but Carol is too despondent about losing Bean to realize she survived something so massive.
3 ABSORBS MONICA RAMBEAU TO FIGHT GIANT ROBOT
Carol and Monica Rambeau have some issues to work out before they fight a giant robot. Monica is a bit salty that Carol didn’t talk to her before taking the Captain Marvel name, which Monica has also gone by. Though they work out their differences, they don’t have much time to catch up because a giant robot made of sunken vessels appears.
Monica’s powers are not conducive to the sea, so they join forces, literally. Carol goes into Monica’s body to heighten her blast power. It’s a pretty cool move -- with their powers combined, they took down the robot monster.
2 DESTROYS THE BUILDERS’ SHIPS
Characters in the Marvel Universe worry about the Builders as a race because they’re very old and very powerful. They are often associated with Thanos, which also lends to their reputation. In an "Infinity" tie-in event, Carol has lost her memories but has no time to deal with this because she has to fight the Builders.
Carol gets close to a singularity, and her Binary powers briefly return. Binary powers take Carol’s already impressive powers to the next level. She destroys a lot of ships with these powers. While the Binary powers are shortlived, they sure made for some awesome visuals.
1 GETS BLASTED BY HER OWN ENERGY
Captain Marvel’s powers are so great that her greatest opponent is likely herself. In this case, Tony Stark is able to use his technology to make Captain Marvel’s powers work against her.
This happens during the "Civil War II" event where Captain Marvel and Iron Man first fight over principles and then literally physically fight each other. With Carol’s powers being so overwhelming, Stark uses what he knows best: technology. He figures out how to turn Carol’s energy blasts against herself, which does work … for the short-term. Carol is still able to fight back, and we don’t like it when our favorites fight.