With a simple snap of his fingers, Thanos proved he is the greatest threat the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever encountered. In a gut-punch of a finale, some of the MCU's best and brightest disappeared into dust, leaving the survivors with burning questions and a burning desire for revenge. But, as it stands, it appears that the remaining MCU heroes might not be enough to take down the Mad Titan. Thankfully, Nick Fury is a forward thinker: as Infinity War came to a close, the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader sent out a distress call to Captain Marvel. But will one hero be enough to turn the tide against Thanos? Well, if you were to look to the comics for an idea of what to expect from Carol Danvers, the answer is simple: Thanos should be very, very afraid of the coming of Captain Marvel.
With super strength, near-invulnerability, and the ability to absorb and project energy, Captain Marvel is poised to bring a level of power to the MCU that hasn't been seen yet. But powers alone aren't going to be enough to put Thanos down; no, to defeat the Mad Titan, the MCU needs a new caliber of hero. So while fans eagerly await Marvel's debut in the MCU, join CBR as we take a look back at everything that makes Captain Marvel a true force to be reckoned with. These are 15 reasons Thanos should fear Captain Marvel.
15 "THE MOST POWERFUL SUPERHERO IN THE MCU"
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen plenty of heroes pop up over the last 10 years: heroes outfitted in bleeding edge tech, heroes that control thunder itself, and even characters that can, in fact, do whatever a spider can. These are legendary heroes imbued with wild powers that they are ready to use in the battle against evil, no matter the odds. What we're saying here is that these characters ain't exactly push-overs. But despite these impressive credentials, Kevin Feige, mastermind of the MCU, says the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never seen a hero as powerful as Captain Marvel.
Feige, the architect of the MCU and grand Poobah of Marvel Studios, is the end-all, be-all when it comes to the goings-on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so his word tends to carry a lot of weight among fans. In an interview with Variety about Captain Marvel, Feige stated "You're going to get the most powerful superhero we've ever introduced...," immediately garnering interest from Marvel's loyally devoted fans. As statements from Feige are the closest thing the MCU has to Gospel, fans are gearing up for a Captain Marvel that brings levels of power never before seen to Marvel's movie-verse. With power levels that high, Carol Danvers seems poised to give Thanos a run for his money.
14 LEADER OF THE AVENGERS
The Avengers have been called "Earth's Mightiest Heroes," and it's easy to understand why. This is a team composed of the best and brightest heroes in the universe, all united under a single banner to fight for what's right. The team has seen some of the biggest names in Marvel grace its roster, ranging from heavy hitters such as Captain America to more street-level characters such as Moon Knight and Rage. With a roster that nears the hundreds, one of the team's mightiest members might be Carol Danvers. Since joining the team in the late '70s, Captain Marvel (then going by Ms. Marvel) has proven herself to be one of the Avenger's strongest recruits. And this mighty Marvel was given a chance to shine by leading an Avengers team of her very own.
In the wake of the superhero Civil War, two teams bearing the Avengers name came to be: the unlicensed New Avengers, and the government-sanctioned Mighty Avengers. With the superhero community in disarray, Captain Marvel (then Ms. Marvel) was selected to lead the Mighty Avengers, leading members such as Iron Man, Sentry, and Ares into battle against all manner of world-threatening foes. Leading to Avengers is no easy task, and requires a level head, a strong disposition, and a willingness to fight until the end. These qualities made Captain Marvel the perfect leader of the Mighty Avengers, and a serious threat to Thanos.
13 WITH ONE ARM BEHIND HER BACK
When you step into battle, you need to bring everything you have. You can't expect to walk away with a win if you come into battle hampered or hindered, and the same goes for battles of the super powered variety. If you're a costumed do-gooder looking to take a mustache-twirling baddie down, you need to be thoroughly prepared for a knock-down, drag-out fight. So it goes without saying that you'd want all of your limbs at your disposal in a super-fight. Apparently, Captain Marvel didn't get this memo, as she not only went into battle with a broken freakin' arm, but she managed to walk away victorious.
In an arc spanning Ms. Marvel #3-5, Carol Danvers is nursing a broken arm and preparing for an interview about her life in super heroics, which is suddenly crashed by Sir Warren Traveler, a time-traveling sorcerer from an alternate-reality and all-around wiener. With Traveler gunning for Danvers and Danvers down a limb, she proceeds to blast, punch, and throw cats at the sorcerer, eventually causing the villain to flee and lick his wounds. Thanks to a mix of tactics and resourcefulness, Captain Marvel managed to take down a Dr. Strange-caliber sorcerer baddie, all with only one arm. That's the kind of impressive victory that would give even Thanos pause.
12 TYRANNOSAURUS REKT
Ah, comic books. Only in comic books could readers thrill to stories of nail-biting action, come back next month for a tale of heartstring-pulling drama, and then come back the month after that to see our hero fight nazi mole men riding robo-chimps. What we're saying is that comics come from a medium that allows for a variety of stories, many of which revolve around superheroes fighting ridiculous creatures. As a result, plenty of Marvel heroes over the years have had run-ins with the dinosaurs that inhabit the Savage Land, leading to plenty of wacky dinosaur/superhero fights. But Carol Danvers ain't scared of no dinosaur; in fact, in one memorable run-in with a pack of dinos, Captain Marvel dropped a T-Rex with authority.
In Captain Marvel v7 #9, Danvers is enjoying a standard day in New York City, only to find herself having to contend with two Tyrannosaurus Rexes popping up smack dab in the middle of the city. With barely a second thought, Marvel ditches her recently acquired coffee, hands off her cat to a kindly cabbie, rears back, and delivers a mighty punch right in the kisser to one of the animals, dropping the T-Rex like a sack of potatoes. Sure, there are some powerful heroes in the MCU, but "drop a T-Rex in one punch" strong? That level of power could definitely give the Mad Titan a run for his money.
11 THE SPEED OF SOUND
Way back in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Earth's Mightiest Heroes briefly enlisted the help of the sardonic speedster Quicksilver. Using his fleet feet, Quicksilver managed to save the lives of countless civilians, only to ultimately perish in battle. Since Quicksilver ate it, the MCU hasn't seen too many speedy heroes; sure, Iron Man's armor can move, and Black Panther is no slouch in the agility department, but the MCU is sorely lacking in super-fast heroes. Captain Marvel's appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to put an end to that.
In addition to super strength, super endurance, and super durability, Captain Marvel possesses the ability of flight. While Danvers primarily uses her flight powers to lend aerial support in battles and to generally get around, Danvers can most certainly put the pedal to the metal and push her flight skills to absurd levels. According to Danvers, the hero has been clocked at flying six times faster than the speed of sound, and this wasn't even at her top level. In one memorable instance, Marvel managed to fly from New York to the outer atmosphere of Earth in only 118 seconds! Sure, Thanos might have brute strength, but there's no way the big purple guy could beat Marvel in a battle of speed.
10 UNMATCHED POWER
The history of Captain Marvel is a somewhat confusing one; originally going by the name "Ms. Marvel," Danvers would lose her original power set to the X-Man Rogue, and would subsequently be kidnapped and experimented on by the alien race known as the Brood. She then developed a new energy-based power set, taking the name Binary, but would lose most of these powers while regaining her original ones. She subsequently took the name Warbird before finally, eventually picking up the Captain Marvel mantle. Thanks to this odd period as Binary, Marvel would incorporate energy absorbing and projection powers into her already impressive power repertoire, but the energy projections she uses now are a pale comparison of the sheer power she wielded as Binary.
As Binary, Danvers could tap into the power of a "white hole," a cosmic phenomenon that is essentially the reverse of a black hole. With this power, Binary could output staggering levels of energy, and proved to be a force to be reckoned with on a cosmic level. In one memorable encounter, Binary was attacked by an alien fleet. Absorbing the energy of their attacks, Binary emitted a powerful blast from her body, wiping out the entire armada. While we don't know what level of energy powers the MCU incarnation of Captain Marvel will wield, it could potentially be strong enough to take on Thanos and his army single-handedly.
9 KILL OR BE KILLED
In comics, there tend to be two kinds of super-powered champions: heroes and anti-heroes. For an anti-hero, killing is not off the table, and, in fact, can often be a normal part of the job. But for a hero, killing should be an absolute last case scenario. After all, for these heroes, killing only serves to put them on the same level as the villains they fight. Thus, a hero must carefully consider when a situation calls for death, and many heroes would prefer to explore all possible options before resorting to something as final as death. Captain Marvel once had to make this call, and she decided that killing the Master Of The World was her only option.
The goofily named Master Of The World is a caveman-turned-alien experiment that primarily uses his genius-level intellect to screw with Alpha Flight. During the Kang Dynasty storyline, the Avengers discover that the Master possesses the only weapon that could be used to defeat the time-traveling Kang and his forces. Refusing to aid the Avengers, Danvers (then going by Warbird) briefly clashes with the Master and ultimately kills him, seeing no other solution. Danvers was wracked with guilt over the Master's death, but it just goes to show: Captain Marvel is willing to do whatever it takes to save the day, even putting Thanos six feet under.
8 SHAKE IT OFF
Sure, being super strong is great and all, but it's not worth much if you can't take it as well as you dish it out. After all, if you crumple at the first punch, you're not going to be a very useful hero. Thus, what a hero can endure is a vital aspect of a hero, and Captain Marvel isn't exempt. Luckily, as Captain Marvel is nigh-invulnerable, she is more than capable of taking some serious hits without going down for the count. But just what kind of damage is Marvel able to take? Well, a classic issue of Ms. Marvel proved that it takes a lot to take down this hero.
Back when Captain Marvel was going by Ms. Marvel, Danvers regularly clashed with a D-Grade hero called the Destructor. While Destructor may not be a household name, he did possess a highly advanced suit, which featured a helmet with a built in energy cannon that fired an incredibly powerful beam. This beam was so strong, in fact, that it could pierce the hull of a Kree battleship, said to be one of the sturdiest classes of ships in the galaxy. Despite this power, Marvel managed to take not one, but TWO shots from the Destructor's energy cannon, and continued to fight. Yes, Danvers managed to shrug off a hit that could destroy a full-blown spaceship, and she still managed to win the fight. As a result, when Captain Marvel and Thanos finally throw down, we reckon it's going to the Mad Titan a lot to even make a dent.
7 PUNCHING THROUGH IRON, MAN
Captain Marvel is no chump when it comes to strength. While there are plenty of Marvel heroes that jockey for the title of "strongest in the world," Carol Danvers more than gives these heroes a run for their money. In fact, Danvers is so strong, she regularly holds back in fights, lest she lose herself in battle and end up punching a hole clean through her opponent. But what happens when Marvel decides to take the gloves off and really go all out? In one memorable encounter with Iron Man, the heroes of the Marvel universe found out.
During the events of Civil War II, Carol Danvers and Tony Stark found themselves diametrically opposed, drawing battle lines over a new Inhuman who could seemingly see into the future. As the feud escalated, Danvers and Stark eventually found themselves gearing up to battle each other. In preparation, Stark donned his Iron Man Model 54 armor, designed specifically to go toe-to-toe with Captain Marvel. But this fancy new suit ultimately wasn't enough, as Danvers delivered such a mighty blow in the ensuing fight that it actually knocked Stark clean out of his armor. Yes, Iron Man, who has withstood punches from the likes of Hulk and Thor, was hit so hard by Captain Marvel that he was physically punched through the back of his armor. That's an impressive level of strength that would leave even Thanos quaking in his space boots.
6 HIT LIKE A GIRL
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are plenty of heroes that can claim to hit very, very hard. After all, when you've got characters souped up with super soldier serum and giant green rage monsters running around, it's safe to say that the MCU hero roster is packing some pretty heavy hitters. So hitting bad guys really hard is certainly not a new super power for the MCU. But Captain Marvel? This is a character that hits really, really hard, and she has the science to prove it.
Gifted with a myriad of super powers, it might be Captain Marvel's super strength that has come to be one of her most defining characteristics. As a result, when you need someone to punch the hell out of something, you call Carol. But just how hard can Captain Marvel hit? Leave it to comics to give a quantifiable answer to that question: in tests conducted by Hank Pym, it was found that Danvers can hit with the equivalent force of 92 tons. What's more, she can take a hit just as strong! That's equivalent to being hit by a space shuttle with an elephant strapped to the front of it! Pym even theorized that this wasn't even Marvel's limit, meaning that when Carol comes gunning for Thanos, he is going to get hit like he's never been hit before.
5 ONE HELL OF A BREAK OUT
As we have established, Captain Marvel is strong. But that's not to say that Carol Danvers is the strongest Marvel hero currently operating; far from it, in fact. Characters such as Vulcan and Odin have been proven to possess far greater physical strength, and even fellow Avengers such as Sentry have been established to dwarf Captain Marvel in strength. But it isn't always about being the strongest; sometimes, it's about using the strength you have properly. This is exactly what Danvers managed to do, giving Captain Marvel a bragging right that few Marvel heroes can claim.
In Ms. Marvel vol 2 #44, Danvers finds herself captured by Norman Osborne and his Dark Avengers. Wanting to ensure Danvers can't escape, Norman has the hero locked into a chair constructed of adamantium and vibranium, two of the strongest metals in the Marvel universe. Considering the nigh-indestructible qualities of the metals, Osborne considers Marvel captured and leaves the hero to rot. Once alone, Marvel summons every scrap of will and strength in her body, and ultimately breaks out of the chair. Considering that both Ares and Sentry failed to break out of this chair previously, this makes this feat truly impressive. Considering Thanos struggled to even break Iron Man's armor, Marvel's level of strength should give the Marvel heroes a definitive edge in battle against the Mad Titan.
4 GROUND ZERO
Newton's third law states, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." That's all well and good, but we tend to prefer Carol Danver's law: "For every explosion, there is a bigger and stronger returned explosion." It's not quite as catchy as Newton's, but you get the idea. The general idea is that Captain Marvel's Binary powers derive their strength from the amount of energy absorbed; essentially, for every ounce of energy taken in, Danvers can then put that energy out in the form of a concussive blast. While Marvel has primarily kept her energy absorption on the smaller side of things, Danvers can step up to the plate and absorb massive amounts of energy when needed. Like, say, the energy from an exploding nuclear bomb.
In one memorable instance. Danvers found herself confronted with a nuke. Before Marvel could react, the bomb was deployed and hit its target dead-on, all but guaranteeing the death of thousands of innocent souls. Thinking quickly, Captain Marvel kicked her energy absorption powers into overdrive, sucking in the kinetic energy of the recently exploded bomb. With her quick thinking, Marvel was able to gulp down every ounce of nuclear energy, saving the city from nuclear annihilation. Being able to soak up the energy of a nuclear bomb is no easy task, and it's this kind of power that should have Thanos worried about Captain Marvel's appearance in the MCU.
3 COMING BACK DOWN TO EARTH
One of the perks of near-invulnerability is being able to survive all manner of wackiness. If the Hulk wasn't borderline un-killable, he would have kicked the bucket the first time he took a punch from the Abomination. Captain Marvel joins the long list of Marvel heroes that count "can survive ridiculous stuff that should kill a person" on their list of superpowers, and Danvers has gotten to put this power to use plenty of times over the years. It was thanks to this handy dandy power that Captain Marvel managed to survive a fall that might have even killed the mighty Thanos.
As a near-invulnerable hero with the ability to survive the depths of space, Captain Marvel spends plenty of time out in the cosmos. Marvel tends to zip around without the aid of a space suit, preferring to rock her trademark duds when traversing the galaxy. During one such space outing, Marvel was punched so hard it sent her careening towards Earth. Marvel subsequently entered into Earth's orbit and went rocketing towards terra firma, traveling at absurd speeds while engulfed in fire. Marvel ultimately hit the ground at breakneck speeds and... walked it off. Yep, after undergoing intense heat and pressure from re-entry into orbit, Marvel barely flinched upon smacking into Earth like a fly hitting a windshield. That's the kind of toughness that will make Marvel a force to be reckoned with in the MCU.
2 NO USE IN BROODING
Remember that exchange between Tony Stark and Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming where Peter laments he's nothing without the Spider-Man suit Stark provided, to which Stark snaps, "If you're nothing without this suit, then you shouldn't have it"? That's an important lesson that all super heroes have to learn; at the end of the day, you need to be a hero, with or without your powers and fancy costume. Carol Danvers once had an experience that helped the longtime hero to learn this lesson, and it just required her to fight for her life against a bloodthirsty alien creature.
In Ms. Marvel vol 2 #22, Danvers was stranded on Monster Island, sapped of her powers. In an unfortunate bit of poor timing, this happens to be the exact time that the parasitic alien race known as the Brood decide to come looking for the hero. On her own, with no back-up coming, Danvers has to resort to using her wits, smarts, and tactical skills to stay two steps ahead of the aliens, with a single slip-up meaning death. In the end, Danvers not only survives, but manages to take down the fearsome Brood Queen using only her hands! With their razor sharp teeth and terrifying stinging tail, the monstrous Brood are as deadly as they are scary looking, making Danvers survival and subsequent victory all the more impressive. Even without her powers, Captain Marvel finds a way.
1 DROPPED LIKE A BAD HABIT
Sure, Captain Marvel's various feats and accomplishments are certainly impressive, and they certainly prove that Marvel is a force to be reckoned with, but in the end, it's all just talk. For Marvel to really stand a chance against Thanos, she needs to be able to prove that she can use her powers effectively. Why, if only there was a situation that could be highlighted, a confrontation that could be shown, that proves that Captain Marvel actually stands a chance in defeating Thanos. Ask and you shall receive.
In Ultimates #8, the titular team find themselves face-to-face with Thanos, serving as the last line of defense against a Mad Titan dead set on defeating the heroes of Earth. With the conflict of Civil War II looming over the team, it seems as though a splintered Ultimates won't be able to rally together to defeat Thanos. Thankfully, the group is able to put aside petty squabbles and work together, overwhelming Thanos with pure power. After a full-fledged assault from the likes of Blue Marvel and America Chavez, Thanos is dazed, allowing Captain Marvel to wind up and deliver a thunderous knockout punch, putting Thanos down for the count. When the MCU incarnations of Captain Marvel and Thanos finally go toe-to-toe, it's very likely that Marvel will get the TKO.