Who is Captain Marvel? Everything You Need to Know About Marvel’s First Female Superhero
More than a decade after the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched, we finally get to see its first solo film led by a female character. Captain Marvel as a character did not get much attention outside the comic books, until it was teased in the post-credit scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
Touted as one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s little we know about Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. In the comics, she has been referred to by different titles like Ms Marvel, Binary, and Warbird. But it was the moniker Captain Marvel which stuck on and gave the superhero a definitive identity.
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Carol Danvers was said to have been born in Beverley, Massachusetts. As a Marvel comic character, she was first introduced in 1968, without any superpowers. She became a consistent supporting character in the Captain Marvel series. It was in lieu of the feminist movement in the US that she became a prominent character. She was made to be projected as a feminist role model who could connect with the readers.
Throughout her life, Carol struggles to break the shackles of stereotypes. Her strict and conformist father believed that women are of the weaker gender and anything beyond homemaking is an unnecessary pursuit. Going against her father’s wishes, she joins the US Air Force and becomes a pilot.
Earning the rank of a colonel, she serves as a pilot, an intelligence officer and a NASA security officer.
During her training as an air force officer she meets Dr. Lawson. Lawson in reality is an undercover fellow of an extraterrestrial race called Kree who is sent on Earth to observe if the planet could be a threat to them.
Unknown to Dr. Lawson’s intention, Danvers joins her on a secret mission. But the mission goes wrong and the two are caught in an explosion. The explosion leads the fusion of Danver’s DNA with that of the Kree DNA, giving her superhuman powers.
When she first gets powers, Carol is called Ms. Marvel. While in another comic volume, after her encounter with The Brood, she was known to the villains as Binary. And Later, when she joins the Avengers and her Binary powers are exhausted, she comes to be known as the War Bird.
Thanks to Captain America, in 2012 she finally gets the name Captain Marvel. It was his idea to name her behind the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. In the comics, Carol takes on Mar-Vell's armour after the latter dies.
Her powers included superhuman strength, nuanced fighting abilities, absorbing and re-channeling energy and also enables her to survive the vacuum of space. However, the moment she gains her powers, she loses all her past memories.
The movie is much different from the comics. In the comics, Captain Marvel fights with the Rogue (a villain in X-Men then) where the mutant takes up all her powers, including her memories. It is Professor Charles who helps her get back her memories. In a way, she is a bridge between the Avengers and X-Men.
Also, Captain Marvel will essentially close the gap before Avengers: Endgame. In the setting of the '90s, Carol will learn about her powers, who’s her friend and who is her enemy. The film's plot also explores her origin, her struggle to find out her true identity and Carol’s transformation into Captain Marvel and possibly becoming the secret weapon against Thanos.
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