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Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) Comic Book Origins

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As a young girl, she dreamt of becoming an astronaut and traveling to outer space; she got more than she bargained for. With the recent drop of the newest trailer for the upcoming 2019 “Captain Marvel” film, Carol Danvers is on everyone’s mind, but before we can jump into an action-packed movie surrounding the Marvel character, it’s important to start from the beginning in order to truly understand her story. The following is a brief exploration of the comic book origin of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers and will definitely let you in on some crucial information that will hopefully be covered in the upcoming movie! For an even deeper analysis of the character, check out our Superhero Origins video HERE!

Early Years

Carol Danvers, a Boston-born United States Air Force Officer, had to go through decades worth of adventures (and misadventures) before assuming the mantle of Captain Marvel. Though they have varied over the years, Danvers’ powers as Captain Marvel include superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, agility, and durability, as well as flight, energy absorption, and the ability to fire photon blasts from her hands. Carol Danvers made her comic book debut in 1968’s Marvel Super-Heroes #13, but not as a hero. She was introduced as a secondary character, romantic interest and occasional damsel in distress in the stories of Mar-Vell, a member of the Kree warrior race and the original Captain Marvel.

To balance out these humble and distinctly outdated beginnings, more recent stories have expanded upon Danver’s feisty and ambitious early years. Her entry into service as an Air Force pilot built her strength and sent her on missions that brought her into contact with future heroes the likes of Logan and Ben Grimm. Her remarkable accomplishments drew the attention of higher-ups, which is how she would wind up working with NASA as a security officer and meeting and befriending Captain Marvel. Though she largely played the role of damsel in distress for Mar-Vell to save (an unfortunate by-product of the times), her involvement in his adventures would eventually result in her gaining his powers, and becoming a superhero in her own right.

Ms. Marvel and the Avengers

In 1977, Ms. Marvel made her debut. Though Carol Danvers didn’t know it at the time, she and the new heroine were one and the same. After a falling out with NASA and a bestselling book, she went into journalism, unaware that the Psyche-Magnatron (from 1969’s Captain Marvel #18, explained in the video here) had fundamentally changed her, and that she was having blackouts, during which she would fight crime with her incredible new abilities. Thankfully, she would eventually reconcile these two aspects of her identity, and in the years to follow, Danvers would go on to become a successful hero, even joining the Avengers.

Unfortunately, despite her success and her remarkable abilities, the character of Carol Danvers continued to get mistreated after joining the Avengers, for example being made into the victim in a much maligned and highly controversial storyline, now commonly labeled “The Rape of Ms. Marvel”, in which she was brainwashed and impregnated by the villainous Marcus Immortus, with no support from her Avengers teammates Thor, Iron Man, and Hawkeye.

The X-Men and Captain Marvel

In her 12 years of publication up to that point, Carol Danvers had already gone through more than many characters do in their entire careers, but the road ahead of her to become Captain Marvel was still long and winding. After having her powers and memories stolen by Rogue, she became close with Charles Xavier, as he attempted to restore some of her lost memories. During her time with Charles and the X-Men, Carol underwent a dramatic change after being taken and experimented on by the alien race known as the Brood, becoming the cosmically-powered “Binary.”

Later, she would take the name “Warbird” and rejoin the Avengers, only to eventually return to the name Ms. Marvel. Like we said… it’s a complicated history. In 2012, Carol Danvers finally fulfilled her destiny, stepping into the role that she’d been sharing a history with since her 1968 debut. Around this time, she was reunited with her old friend Mar-Vell, whom the Kree had resurrected to help in defending the Kree Empire against the Phoenix Force. After Mar-Vell sacrificed himself, Carol took up his name to honor him, and ever since, has been protecting both earth and the cosmos as Captain Marvel. From chronic damsel in distress to one of the most powerful, formidable and inspiring characters in the pantheon of Marvel heroes, Carol Danvers has certainly come a long way. And yet, we have every reason to believe that her greatest adventures are still yet to come!

Check out the full origin story below for even more details about the Noble Warrior Hero!

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