|First appearance||as Carol Danvers:
Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968)
as Ms. Marvel:
Ms. Marvel #1 (January 1977)
Uncanny X-Men #164 (December 1982)
as Captain Marvel:
Captain Marvel Vol. 7 #1 (September 2012)
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|Alter ego||Carol Susan Jane Danvers|
|Species||Human / Kree hybrid|
|Team affiliations||United States Air Force
"Defenders for a Day"
Operation: Lightning Storm
Guardians of the Galaxy
|Notable aliases||Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird, Catherine Donovan, Captain Marvel|
Carol Danvers is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Roy Thomas and designed by artist Gene Colan, Major Carol Danvers first appeared as a member of the United States Air Force in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968) and debuted as the first incarnation of Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1 (January 1977) after a fusion of alien Kree and human genes gives her superhuman powers, which occurred in Captain Marvel #18 (November 1969).
Debuting in the Silver Age of comics, the character was featured in a self-titled series in the late 1970s before becoming associated with superhero teams the Avengers and the X-Men. The character has also been known as Binary, Warbird, and Captain Marvel at various points in her history, and has been featured in other Marvel licensed products including video games, animated television series, and merchandise such as trading cards. In the 2000s, the increased use of her as a character eventually prompted one commentator to note that "she's now the House of Ideas' premier heroine." Marvel Studios announced a live-action film starring the character, titled Captain Marvel, which is scheduled for release on July 6, 2018.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Characterization
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 Collected editions
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The character debuted in the title Marvel Super-Heroes as an officer in the United States Air Force and Security Chief of a restricted military base, where Danvers meets Dr. Walter Lawson, the human alias of alien Kree hero Captain Marvel. In a later story, Danvers is caught in the explosion of a Kree device, after being kidnapped by Yon-Rogg. Although Captain Marvel manages to save her life, Danvers sustains serious injuries.
Danvers resurfaces with superhuman abilities and becomes the hero Ms. Marvel in a self-titled series in January 1977, at first written by Gerry Conway and later by Chris Claremont. In the series, it is revealed that the energy exposure from the explosion of a device called the "Psyche-Magnetron" caused Danvers's genetic structure to meld with Captain Marvel's, effectively turning her into a human-Kree hybrid. Ms. Marvel guest-starred in Defenders and The Avengers. The character then had a series of semi-regular appearances in The Avengers, with additional appearances with the Defenders, Spider-Man, the Thing, and Iron Man. In one of these stories, the mutant terrorist Mystique kills Michael Barnett, Ms. Marvel's lover.
In The Avengers #200 (October 1980), Ms. Marvel is kidnapped by a character named Marcus—the apparent son of Avengers foe Immortus—and taken to an alternate dimension, where she was brainwashed, seduced, and impregnated. She gives birth on Earth to a child that rapidly ages into another version of Marcus who takes Ms. Marvel back to the alternate dimension with no opposition from the Avengers. Comic book historian Carol A. Strickland criticized the storyline in an essay titled "The Rape of Ms. Marvel." Citing Marcus's line, "Finally, after relative weeks of such efforts—and admittedly, with a subtle boost from Immortus' machines—you became mine," Strickland posited that Ms. Marvel's impregnation was simply rape by another name. As former writer of the solo title, Chris Claremont also commented on the inappropriateness of the storyline.
Claremont effectively "undid" the Marcus story in Avengers Annual #10 (1981). In that story, Danvers is revealed to have returned to Earth—courtesy of Immortus's technology after Marcus continued to age and die of old age—but is attacked by the mutant Rogue, who permanently absorbs the character's abilities and memories. Danvers' memories are later restored by Professor X, and an angry confrontation with the Avengers concerning their apathy follows. Claremont continued to develop the character in the title Uncanny X-Men, as using espionage, Danvers enters the Pentagon and wiped old government files on the X-Men. During an adventure in space with the mutant team the X-Men, Danvers is changed courtesy of experimentation by the alien race the Brood into a newly empowered character called "Binary". Drawing on the power of a cosmic phenomenon called a white hole, Danvers becomes capable of generating the power of a star. As Binary, the character has a number of encounters with the X-Men, New Mutants, the British team Excalibur as well as a solo adventure.
Claremont expanded on the incident with the character Rogue by having the Carol Danvers persona manifest itself within Rogue's mind, sometimes overpowering Rogue's personality. This happened to Rogue on several occasions, which caused an uneasy armistice between them. Sometime later after Rogue was blown through the ancient supernatural gateway called the Siege Perilous, the Ms. Marvel persona was separated from her as an independent entity. However, she was captured by the Shadow King, and sent to attack Rogue. As the two battled, they each discovered there was not enough lifeforce between them to allow them both to exist. Just as the Ms. Marvel persona was on the verge of killing Rogue, Magneto intervened and destroyed her, saving Rogue's life.
The character continued to make sporadic appearances, and two additional issues planned for the original title—prevented by cancellation—were printed in a quarterly anthology series. The same year the character was also used extensively in the storyline "Operation Galactic Storm". By the conclusion of the story the character had lost her connection to the white hole she drew her powers from, reverting to use of the original Ms. Marvel powers, but retaining the energy manipulation and absorption powers she had as Binary, albeit on a smaller scale.
After several more team and solo appearances the character then rejoins the Avengers with the new alias Warbird. Writer Kurt Busiek adds a new dimension to the character and casts her as an alcoholic, struggling to come to terms with the loss of her cosmic powers and memories. Danvers disgraces herself during the "Live Kree or Die" storyline and is soon suspended from active duty.
After a brief appearance in Marvel's alternate universe title What If?, the character was featured in Iron Man, Wolverine, and The Avengers before making a cameo appearance in Mutant X.
The character was then featured as "Captain Marvel" in a false reality created by mutant the Scarlet Witch in limited series House of M. This reality pandered to Danvers' subconscious desire to be accepted as she proved to be the most popular superhero on Earth. Ms. Marvel then came to prominence again when the character was launched in a second self-titled volume. Together with fellow Avenger Iron Man, Danvers also becomes a principal advocate of the Superhuman Registration Act during the events of Civil War. The story also continues in Ms. Marvel's own title as the character battles the anti-registration heroes led by Captain America.
The storyline has major consequences for the New Avengers, causing the team to split and the pro–registration heroes—including Ms. Marvel—form their own team, debuting in The Mighty Avengers. Danvers enters into a relationship with fellow member Wonder Man, appears in a crossover series with the robot Transformers, and becomes leader of the Mighty Avengers. The character makes an agreement with Tony Stark, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., to lead a covert strike team called Operation: Lightning Storm, its designated mission being the elimination of supervillains before they become global threats.
Ms. Marvel was captured by the Brood on Monster Island, whereupon she found the Brood Queen. An intense confrontation ensued during which Ms. Marvel was temporarily cut off from her powers and had to fight the Brood Queen as Carol Danvers and, at one point, she was stripped of her civilian clothing, forced to drift through space until she was able to access her powers.
Ms. Marvel also plays a significant role in the limited series Secret Invasion against the alien shapeshifting Skrulls. She befriends Captain Marvel's Skrull impostor and proves to him that she is not a Skrull by revealing intimate details about their life together. At the conclusion of the war with the Skrulls, Norman Osborn is placed in charge of the registered Avengers team. Refusing to serve under Osborn, Ms. Marvel flees Avengers Tower, and joins the New Avengers, becoming second-in-command. Osborn appoints former Thunderbolt member Moonstone (Karla Sofen) as the "new" Ms. Marvel to his Dark Avengers team; Moonstone wears a variation of Ms. Marvel's original costume. Osborn engineers a battle that results in Danvers's powers overloading, causing her apparent death. The character Moonstone takes over the title role in the ongoing Ms. Marvel series. Carol Danvers returns with the aid of the New Avengers, a group of MODOK embryos (creations of the organization Advanced Idea Mechanics [AIM]), and a character known as the "Storyteller" and reclaims the title of Ms. Marvel from Karla Sofen.
In the conclusion of the second volume of Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers battles her old nemesis Mystique and a clone of Captain Marvel created by the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion, after they carry out a series of tragedies at temples belonging to the Church of Hala, a church dedicated to Mar-Vell. Danvers later aids the allied forces of Steve Rogers against Iron Patriot during the Siege of Asgard. Danvers also begins to develop a friendship with Spider-Man. Though he infuriates her the first time they work together, the two become closer when he helps her during the "Dark Reign" storyline, and she later admits to having feelings for him. Following the conclusion of the "Siege" storyline, Ms. Marvel returns as a regular character in the second volume of The New Avengers.
In July 2012, Carol Danvers assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel in an ongoing series by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy. Danvers sports a revamped costume to complement the codename. DeConnick stated at 2012 WonderCon that the series would reflect on what the legend of Captain Marvel means to Danvers, how she handles that responsibility, and how the rest of the Marvel Universe reacts to her assumption of it. Danvers also rejoins the main Avengers team as Captain Marvel in vol. 5 of The Avengers and in the spin-off series, Avengers Assemble, also written by DeConnick. DeConnick said, "You might know this -- I have a certain affection for [Carol Danvers]. And I decided, 'Well, if I'm deciding, there will be a slot available for her as well.'" In 2013, Carol Danvers starred in the Captain Marvel / Avengers Assemble crossover storyline, "The Enemy Within". In the story, Danvers and her Avenger teammates battle Yon-Rogg, the Kree commander who was responsible for the explosion that caused Danvers to receive her powers, and in defeating the Kree Danvers loses her memories. In November 2013, Marvel announced that Danvers would be joining the Guardians of the Galaxy beginning in Free Comic Book Day: Guardians of the Galaxy (May 2014) by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.
With Ms. Marvel #1 in 1977, writer Gerry Conway played a significant role in the character's development, writing in his introduction to the series, "you might see a parallel between her quest for identity, and the modern woman's quest for raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity".
Ms. Marvel's uniform and abilities, however, were derived from the character's then-contemporary male counterpart: Captain Marvel. She was ranked 29th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
The Ms. Marvel letters page ("Ms. Prints") featured letters debating whether or not the character was feminist. Reader (and frequent letterhack) Jana C. Hollingsworth took issue with Ms. Marvel's entire origin:
|“||For the eleven years I've been a comics fan, I've been proud of how Marvel resisted the temptation to create male-based heroines à la Supergirl. It's been proudly proclaimed that Ms. Marvel is not Marvel Girl; well, maybe the early Marvel Girl did have weak powers and an insipid personality, but at least her powers were her powers and her personality was her personality.... I hope you can change her costume if it's all possible, and keep her on her own instead of associating her with Captain Marvel....||”|
Another reader had issue with the character's outfit: "Question: where is a woman who wears long sleeves, gloves, high boots and a scarf (winter wear), and at the same time has a bare back, belly, and legs? The Arctic equator? That costume requires a few alterations." These questions, and the controversial rape in Avengers #200, caused many readers to question the character's portrayal, and whether she was a good role model for female readers.
It has been noted that "Danvers' initial appearances portrayed her as a strong character, but that changed over time—even after she gained super powers." When Ms. Marvel received her own title in the 2000s, Marvel Comics was "determined to have the character take center stage in the Marvel Universe", with "Joe Quesada and the other powers [having] had the character play major roles in their huge 'House of M' crossover, in the 'New Avengers' and in the gargantuan success that is 'Civil War'." "Writer Brian Reed has had Ms. Marvel overcome worthy challenges ranging from alien invasions, time-traveling sorcerers and former teammates turned enemy." Brian Reed's characterization of Ms. Marvel (in the "War of the Marvels" story arc) has been said to be "an engaging mix of bravado and aggression juxtaposed with compassion and empathy."
Powers and abilities
Carol Danvers initially possessed superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, flight, physical durability, a limited precognitive "sixth sense", and a perfectly amalgamated human/Kree physiology that rendered her resistant to most toxins and poisons. As Binary, the character could tap the energy of a "white hole", allowing full control and manipulation of stellar energies, and therefore control over heat, the electromagnetic spectrum and gravity. Light speed travel and the ability to exist in the vacuum of space were also possible.
Although the link to the white hole was eventually severed, Danvers retains her Binary powers on a smaller scale, enabling her to both absorb energy and project it in photonic form. She can still also survive in space. While she lacks a constant source of energy to maintain the abilities at their previous cosmic level, she can temporarily assume her Binary form if empowered with a high enough infusion of energy.
Danvers possesses superhuman strength and durability, can fly at roughly six times the speed of sound, retains her Seventh Sense, and discharge explosive blasts of radiant energy, which she fires from her fingertips. She also demonstrates the ability to absorb other forms of energy, such as electricity, to further magnify her strength and energy projection, up to the force of an exploding nuclear weapon. When sufficiently augmented, she can withstand the pressure from a 92-ton weight, and strike with a similar level of force, although Hank Pym theorized that this likely was not her limit. Danvers cannot absorb magical energy without consequence, though she aided Dr. Stephen Strange in the defeat of the mystic menace Sir Warren Traveler.
Carol Danvers is also an exceptional espionage agent, pilot, hand-to-hand combatant and marksman.
Age of Apocalypse
A powerless Carol Danvers helps Logan and Gateway escape at the price of her life, only to be "healed" and used by Pierce as a living weapon against her friends.
Age of Ultron
In the Age of Ultron, a version of Captain Marvel was seen vacationing in London when the Ultron Sentinels arrive. Captain Marvel is assisted in the fight against the Ultron Sentinels by Captain Britain and MI-13. After Computer Graham and Magic Boots Mel are killed in battle, Captain Marvel and Captain Britain sacrifice their lives to stop the Ultron Sentinels that were invading London.
In Marvel Zombies, Ms. Marvel is one of the first on the scene when a zombified Sentry bursts onto Earth-2149, and was one of the first heroes to be infected. Ms. Marvel, and the rest of the Avengers continue their rampage until their appetite is sated, at which point their minds clear a little, and they decide to go back to Avengers Towers to work out how to beat the zombie plague. By the time they arrive back, the hunger has taken hold once more and they consume Jarvis. After this snack, and being joined by Giant Man, they are still hungry, and so send out an "Avengers Assemble" message, and wait for the others to arrive. Zombie Ms. Marvel infects Nova during a S.H.I.E.L.D. battle. Zombie Ms. Marvel then kills herself.[volume & issue needed]
A version of Danvers appears in the title New Mangaverse: The Rings of Fate briefly using the callsign Warbird. She later adopts the shield, costume, and name of Captain America at the end of the series. She displays superhuman strength and a near-invulnerability in the miniseries. No genuine explanation is given to how her powers came to exist in the Mangaverse (though it is implied that she somehow gained them after exposure to attacks from the Rings of the Mandarin, as she claims she can feel the power of the Rings while climbing Mt. Fuji in the final issue of the series, indicating she followed them back to their present location on foot from the air base.), as she appears at first as a normal human, piloting what appears to be a variant design of an F-22 while assigned to the Yokota Air Force base and survives her plane being destroyed by agents of the Hand, as well as a number of direct attacks which leave her briefly hospitalized, only to awaken with her injuries more or less fully healed and exhibiting superhuman strength as she destroys a heart monitor and needle, then lifts up a bed one handed with no effort. She further displays this enhanced strength when she cleaves Elektra in half with a single swing after climbing Mount Fuji with little real effort, making handholds on her own due to her new strength.
The MAX version of Carol Danvers which is retconned back to the original Marvel line appeared in the comic Alias. More of her persona is displayed. Despite being a heroine, she comes off as superficial, picky, and has no problems setting people up.[volume & issue needed] She set up Jessica Jones on a blind date with one of the Ant-Men. During the date Jessica Jones stated to him that Danvers was her ideal mate on paper, but declined him, because he had served time in prison.[volume & issue needed]
Ultimate Carol Danvers
The Ultimate Marvel imprint features a version of the character without superhuman abilities named Captain Carol Danvers in the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy. As an Air Force member, she was assigned to work on Mahr Vehl's security detail with General Nick Fury when Earth was threatened by Gah Lak Tus. In the title Ultimate Power, the character becomes acting director of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Nick Fury's disappearance. Her first missions involved working with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men opposing threats like Apocalypse, and the Silver Surfer. In Ultimate Spider-Man, she works on apprehending Norman Osborn after he escapes from the Triskelion. Things got difficult for her when Norman lied to the press that S.H.I.E.L.D. wrongly imprisoned him for trying to make the world a safer place, putting the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents out of a job.
She receives help from Spider-Man (Peter Parker) after she arrests him in public, hoping that it would lure Norman to her. She summoned a press release and had Harry Osborn tell the reporters the truth that Norman was a horrible person for experimenting on himself and killing his mother. Outraged, Norman went to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and attacked his son along with her, Spider-Man, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on board. Norman accidentally killed Harry and, feeling guilty, tells the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to kill him. Spider-Man becomes angry at Danvers because Harry died on her watch and told her to stay out of his life. She did not do as he asked, but she still felt sorry for him.
As S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Danvers was put in command of the newly formed New Ultimates. When Loki attempted another invasion of Earth, Danvers and the women of the team (Zarda and Valkyrie) were placed under a spell by Amora. Danvers, using technology, was able to resist the spell and was able to free the rest of the team to battle Loki's forces.
After Spider-Man was captured and replaced by the Chameleon, Danvers decided that having Peter, untrained, loose in the city was doing more harm than good. She approached May Parker and they both agreed that Peter would attend training lessons from individual members of the New Ultimates.
Danvers and her New Ultimates battled Nick Fury and his Avengers while each side accused the other of being traitors to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United States of America. During the fight, Danvers was hit by a Police Cruiser, leaving her in critical condition. Her role as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director was then passed on to Gregory Stark, the one that had in fact engineered the events from the start. After Stark is killed, Fury replaced Danvers as director.
X-Men: The End
In other media
- Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel appears in the X-Men episode "A Rogue's Tale", voiced by Roscoe Handford.
- Ms. Marvel appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Grey DeLisle. She is depicted as a strict S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is the superior of the Super Hero Squad.
- Carol Danvers appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Jennifer Hale. She first appears in the episode "459". In the episode "Welcome to the Kree Empire", she has gained super powers and assumes the "Ms. Marvel" identity. She joins the Avengers and appears as a regular character for the remainder of the series.
- Ms. Marvel's The Super Hero Squad Show character makes a cameo in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Flight of the Iron Spider".
- Carol Danvers appears as Captain Marvel in the anime film Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher.
- In May 2013, the The Hollywood Reporter reported that Marvel Studios had a script for a Ms. Marvel feature. In October 2014, Marvel announced that the film, now titled Captain Marvel, would be released on July 6, 2018.
- Ms. Marvel appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, with April Stewart reprising her role.
- Ms. Marvel is a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced again by Grey DeLisle.
- Ms. Marvel is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Danielle Nicolet.
- Captain Marvel is a playable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics.
- Captain Marvel is a support character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, with Jennifer Hale reprising her role from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- Essential Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 (collects Ms. Marvel #1-23; Marvel Super-Heroes Magazine #10-11; Avengers Annual #10), February 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2499-3
- Ms. Marvel
- Vol. 1: Best of the Best (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #1-5; Giant-Size Ms. Marvel), October 2006, ISBN 978-0-7851-2281-4 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-1996-8 (SC)
- Vol. 2: Civil War (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #6-10; Ms. Marvel Special), March 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2304-0 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-2305-7 (SC)
- Vol. 3: Operation Lightning Storm (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #11-17), October 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2890-8 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-2449-8 (SC)
- Vol. 4: Monster Smash (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #18-24), March 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-3018-5 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-2813-7 (SC)
- Vol. 5: Secret Invasion (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #25-30), October 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-3019-2 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-3299-8 (SC)
- Vol. 6: Ascension (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #31-34, Annual; Ms. Marvel Special: Storyteller), March 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3457-2 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-3178-6 (SC)
- Vol. 7: Dark Reign (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #35-41), September 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3838-9 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-3839-6 (SC)
- Vol. 8: War of the Marvels (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #42-46), December 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3840-2 (HC), ISBN 978-0-7851-3841-9 (SC)
- Vol. 9: Best You Can Be (collects Ms. Marvel vol. 2 #47-50), April 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4573-8 (HC), 978-0-7851-4574-5 (SC)
- Captain Marvel (2012-2014)
- Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight (collects Captain Marvel Vol. 7 #1-6), January 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-6549-1 (HC)
- Vol. 2: Down (collects Captain Marvel Vol. 7 #7-12), June 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-6550-7 (SC)
- Avengers: The Enemy Within (Collects Avengers: The Enemy Within #1; Captain Marvel Vol. 7 #13-14, 17; Avengers Assemble Vol. 2 #16-17) December 17, 2013, 978-0785184034 (SC)
- Infinity Companion (Captain Marvel Vol. 7 #15-16)
- Captain Marvel (2014-present)
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As Carol [Strickland] pointed out in her article in LOC [#1], women tend to get very short shrift in comics. They are either portrayed as wallflowers or as supermacho insensitive men with different body forms, who almost invariably feel guilty about their lack of femininity. And it's always seemed to me that, why does this have to be exclusive? Can you not have a woman who is ruthless and capable and courageous and articulate and intelligent and all the other buzz-words—heroic when the need arises, and yet feminine and gentle and compassionate, at others? That was what I tried to do with Ms. Marvel. I tried to create a character who had all the attributes that made her a top-secret agent yet at the same time was a compassionate, warm, humorous, witty, intelligent, attractive woman.
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- Ultimate X-Men #91-93
- Ultimate Fantastic Four #42-46
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- Ultimate Spider-Man #117
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- Ultimate Spider-Man #150
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