Carol Danvers Was Once a Split Personality Superhero!

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Today, we look at the short-lived plot point when Carol Danvers first became a superhero where she did not even realize that she WAS a superhero!

When Gerry Conway came up with his idea for who Ms. Marvel was going to be (initially, all Conway had to work with was the name of the series being Ms. Marvel), he thought that he had to go further than just having the star of the book be Carol Danvers (from the Captain Marvel series) and having her be a feminist superhero. No, he wanted one more major twist for the character.

When we first see Ms. Marvel in action (in Ms. Marvel #1 by Conway, John Buscema and Joe Sinnott, with enough input from Carla Conway that Gerry Conway made a point to give her a special credit in the issue), we soon realize that this is all news footage being watched by Carol Danvers and J. Jonah Jameson as she works out a deal to become the head of Jameson's new Woman magazine...

The first instinct is to assume that this is something like Peter Parker's scam with J. Jonah Jameson, where Peter takes photographs of Spider-Man to sell to Jameson while secretly being Spider-Man himself. So it sure seems like Carol Danvers is secretly Ms. Marvel and she is working with Jameson to do an expose on herself.

However, that soon appears to be NOT the case. You see, we see Carol Danvers interrupt a talk with Mary Jane Watson (who was looking for tips from Carol to help MJ pursue a new career in news photography) to go to her bedroom to pass out...

We then see Ms. Marvel in action (she actually hadn't technically come up with a name just yet)...

And when she saves Jameson from the Scorpion, she pointedly notes that she has never met Jameson...

Yup, you guessed it, Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel is a split personality with her superhero self coming out when Carol is asleep! She doesn't know that she is secretly Ms. Marvel!

I suppose this was sort of Conway's way of doing a sort of twist on the classic Captain Marvel routine, where Billy Batson switches bodies with Captain Marvel (or the Marvel variation on that theme, where Rick Jones swaps places in the Negative Zone with Captain Mar-Vell). Here, Carol effectively switches bodies with, well, herself, when she transforms into Ms. Marvel without the knowledge of her other self!

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