Who am I to dis a Brie?
Captain Marvel: “Well… First there was nothing, then there was everything… Then the good lord saw fit to bring me into the world to kick the asses of those who need it most. So get ready ’cause this day or the next, it’s coming.” – Avengers #19
A politician speaks at a rally. He rants and raves about minorities, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Something smashes through the ceiling a moment before the audience’s rage threatens to spill outside. A red and blue blur flies through the bodyguards, destroying their guns. An energy blast knocks them out.
The blur slows enough for humans to see a woman grabbing the politician’s throat. “Show them the truth!” she snarls, raising a glowing fist. The politician turns green as his features shift, revealing he is an alien. The crowd screams as Captain Marvel knocks him down and flies away.
Captain Marvel is the strongest Avenger. She’s been an Air Force pilot, an Avenger, and the centerpiece of one of Marvel’s biggest mistakes. So who is she? How did she get her powers? How is she the strongest member of a team including Thor and the Hulk? Let’s find out!
Live Kree or Die: Captain Marvel’s Backstory
Nick Fury: “War is a universal language. I know a renegade soldier when I see one. Never occurred to me that one might come from above.” – Captain Marvel (2018)
Captain Marvel debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 in 1968. She was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan. Captain Marvel was heavily influenced by that time’s feminist movement.
Carol Danvers was a U.S. Air Force officer assigned to work as the security chief of a secret research base studying alien technology. She and a doctor named Walter Lawson fell in love there. Carol was soon caught in an alien attack and learned that Dr. Lawson was actually an alien hero named Captain Mar-Vell.
Mar-Vell revealed that he was sent to Earth by his people, The Kree. He had been ordered to protect the tactically significant planet Earth from their arch enemies, the shapeshifting Skrulls. Carol decided to help Mar-Vell since they both protected the planet.
Carol was exposed to a Kree artifact called the “Psyche-Magnetron” while fighting the Skrulls and became a Kree-Human hybrid with all of Mar-Vell’s powers. Carol became Ms. Marvel. What? Well, Captain Mar-Vell was taken.
Crash and Burn: Captain Marvel’s History
Ms. Marvel: “I’ve been used! That isn’t my baby! I don’t even know who the father is!” – Avengers #200
Ms. Marvel was dynamite, taking out Skrulls and supervillains like no one’s business. She was quickly recruited by the Avengers. But those benefits came with horrible tragedies.
Mar-Vell died of cancer, and unlike most superheroes, he was never resurrected. Carol took a long time to deal with her mentor’s death. She eventually took the name Captain Marvel to honor her late ally.
The Avengers celebrated their 200th issue in 1980 with a story about Captain Marvel getting raped. A villain named Marcus Immortus transported Carol to a dimension called Limbo and brainwashed her into loving him.
He somehow impregnated Captain Marvel with a clone of himself that was born in the Avengers’ dimension. Marcus’ presence distorted reality, meaning he had to return to Limbo or destroy Earth. Captain Marvel “willingly” went with him. And the writers tried playing that off as a happily-ever-after. What the hell?!
Captain Marvel escaped Limbo only to stumble into a fight between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Future X-Man Rogue, then a villain, latched onto Captain Marvel and stole a large portion of her powers. A traumatized, angry Captain Marvel taught her Avengers team about consent and being a victim. Then she quit and joined the X-Men.
Precog Profiling: Captain Marvel’s Modern Stories
She Hulk: [dying words] “It’s our future, Carol. Not his. Fight for it.” – Civil War II #1
Captain Marvel eventually recovered from the rape and losing her powers. She joined a S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff called SWORD to serve as an intermediary between Earth and alien worlds. She also encountered a young heroine named Kamala Khan who had adopted the Ms. Marvel identity.
Captain Marvel was one of the lead characters in the event series Civil War II. Or as I call it “Minority Report with Superheroes”. Following an attack by Thanos, the heroes discover a man named Ulysses who can see the future.
Captain Marvel uses Ulysses’ powers to prevent crimes and disasters before they happen. Iron Man opposes her on ethical grounds. Many fights interspersed with comparisons between pre-crime arrest and racial profiling follow. The war finally ends with Captain Marvel seemingly killing Iron Man and the superhero community ostracizing her.
Planet Buster: Captain Marvel’s Powers and Personality
Captain Marvel: (to Hawkeye) “I may be an Avenger now, but I’m also an agent of S.W.O.R.D. This is what we do. If Nick Fury thinks you’re one of these Skrulls, I need to bring you in for interrogation. Those are the rules.” – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes , “Who Do You Trust?”, (Season 2, episode 7)
There’s a reason Captain Marvel is called the strongest Avenger. She has the standard powerset of super strength, speed, durability, flight, and a few other nifty tricks. She also has a sixth sense that functions like the Spider-Sense. Captain Marvel can absorb any form of energy and use it to enhance her powers. Captain Marvel then becomes Binary when she absorbs enough energy.
Binary is Captain Marvel on steroids. In this form she can lift over 100 tons, fly faster than light, and fire energy blasts strong enough to destroy planets. The only downside is that Captain Marvel has difficulty maintaining her Binary form and returns to normal if she uses too much of Binary’s energy. That’s a bummer, but cool while it lasts.
Captain Marvel is a strict authoritarian and stubborn as hell. She often ignores her teammates and allies in favor of doing what she thinks is right. This works on occasion, but usually backfires.
The Actors who play Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel made her debut in the 1992 cartoon X-Men. She appeared in an episode based on Rogue’s backstory and was voiced by Roscoe Handford. Scooby Doo’s Grey DeLisle voiced Captain Marvel in the Super Hero Squad Show and has reprised the role in several Marvel cartoons. 24’s Kim Raver is set to voice Captain Marvel in Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.
Oscar winner Brie Larson will play the hero in 2019’s Captain Marvel. She will reprise the role in Avengers 4.
Didya get all that?
The strongest Avenger
Jared Bounacos has written for Movie Rewind since 2017.