WARNING: The following contains details about critical plot points in The Life of Captain Marvel #1 by Margaret Stohl and Carlos Pacheco, on sale now.
Carol Danvers, otherwise known as Captain Marvel, has changed a great deal since her debut in 1968, but there are a few constants about her story. Perhaps the most well-known constant is the origin of her superhero powers. A friend and colleague to the superhero Mar-Vell, Carol was caught in the blast from a Kree device and her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell’s. The blast caused Carol to become a Kree-Human hybrid, and she was gifted staggering cosmic powers as a result. She took up the moniker of Ms. Marvel for a time before fully embracing the title of Captain Marvel. Since then, she has become a pivotal player in the Marvel Universe. It's the story everyone knows. Right? Perhaps not.
The Life of Captain Marvel #1 by Margaret Stohl and Carlos Pacheco delves once more into Carol’s backstory, and at first it appears the issue will focus on Carol alone, narrowing in on her complicated familial relations rather than her ongoing role as one of Marvel’s resident superhero bruisers. But the last few pages in the issue make an abrupt about-face and reveal something unexpected: Her superpowers and her family are far more intertwined than she could have ever imagined. As it turns out, Carol’s father, Joseph Danvers, very likely had some connection to the Kree, possibly before his daughter gained her superpowers.
The issue starts off with Captain Marvel suffering from a panic attack in the heat of battle. Carol’s affliction is the result of it being Father’s Day, which dredges up some unsavory memories about her dad, who, it turns out, was an abusive jerk to her and her brothers. Carol’s ruminations inevitably draw her back to her hometown, where her mother and surviving brother, Joe, live. One thing leads to another and Carol’s brother is left crippled and noncommunicative by a drunk driving accident.
While helping her brother get situated, Carol stumbles upon a shoebox containing a love letter someone apparently never got around to sending. The letter is signed “Joseph,” which leads her to believe it was penned by her father. That’s salacious enough, but it’s hardly the strangest thing in the shoebox. Beside the letter is an odd piece of tech that Carol tries to open -- in typical Captain Marvel fashion -- by bludgeoning it with a hammer. That’s when things get weird.