Captain Marvel is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan and first appeared 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).
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.
Due to her long history in Marvel Comics, Carol Danvers has been highly regarded. She has been labeled "Marvel's biggest female hero," a "feminist icon," as "quite possibly Marvel's mightiest Avenger".
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 trying to get close to Captain Marvel. 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 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.
At the time of the publication of Ms. Marvel #1 in 1977, the title was self-consciously socially progressive for its time. This was reflected in the use of the word "Ms.", then associated with the feminist movement, and in Danvers fighting for equal pay for equal work in her civilian identity.
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 is brainwashed, seduced, and impregnated. She gives birth on Earth to a child that rapidly ages into another version of Marcus, who is ultimately unable to remain on Earth after Hawkeye mistakenly damages his machine, takes Ms. Marvel back to the alternate dimension with no opposition from the Avengers claiming to have felt something between them. Comic book historian Carol A. Strickland criticized the storyline in an essay titled "The Rape of Ms. Marvel". Citing Marcus' 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 restored by Professor X, and an angry confrontation with the Avengers concerning their failure to realize Marcus had brainwashed her follows. Claremont continued to develop the character in the title Uncanny X-Men. Danvers enters the Pentagon and, while wiping the government's files on the X-Men, also deletes all records of herself in a symbolic break with her life as Ms. Marvel. During an adventure in space with 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 happens to Rogue on several occasions, which causes an uneasy armistice between them. After Rogue passes through the ancient supernatural gateway called the Siege Perilous, the Ms. Marvel persona is separated from her as an independent entity. Within the same issue, the Ms. Marvel persona is killed by Magneto.
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. 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.
The increased use of Carol Danvers as a prominent character in many story arcs throughout this decade eventually prompted one commentator to note that "she's now the House of Ideas' premier heroine."
Carol Danvers entered the Air Force upon graduating from high school to pursue her love of aircrafts and her dreams of flying. Carol was a top student at the Air Force Academy and enjoyed a rapid career advancement rising to the rank of Major. Because of her stellar performance, superb combat skills and natural intellect, Carol was recruited into the intelligence field. She ended up serving with the C.I.A., during which time she met and worked with Colonel Nick Fury. She was partnered with Colonel Michael Rossi and the two became lovers. Carol had a distinguished career in the C.I.A.
While on special assignment with Nick Fury, Carol met the Canadian agent called Logan. The two were eventually paired up and shared a number of adventures together. During one of their infamous escapades, they clashed with the brutal Sabretooth who was working for the Hellfire Club. During their time together, Logan and Carol became close friends, perhaps even lovers. Both have saved each other’s lives numerous times.
When Carol was captured by the KGB and imprisoned at Lubyanka prison, Logan was among those who defied orders to save her. Following her affiliation with the C.I.A., Carol took a position with N.A.S.A. as the security director for Cape Canaveral. It was in this capacity that Carol first met Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior, Mar-Vell. In her official capacity, Carol was challenged with unraveling the mystery of this alien soldier. During her investigation, the two forged a unique bond, first as friends and then as lovers. It was this relationship that would change Carol forever.
Captain Marvel's mortal enemy, Colonel Yon-Rogg kidnapped Carol, using her as bait in his conflict with Mar-vell. In the course of the battle, Carol and Mar-vell were caught in the explosion of a Kree Psyche-Magneton device. The energy bombardment somehow caused Carol’s genetic structure to be melded with Mar-vell's. While Mar-vell was apparently unaltered by the event, Carol was now a perfect hybrid of Kree and human genes. In addition, she possessed all of Mar-vell's Kree knowledge and training. Through this transformation, Ms. Marvel was born.
Because of her failure to capture Captain Marvel, Carol lost her job at N.A.S.A. She recovered quickly, writing a successful novel about her experience in the space industry. This lead to her landing a position as the editor of WOMAN magazine, a subsidiary of the Daily Bugle. Carol’s viewpoints as a staunch feminist created tensions with her boss J. Jonah Jameson, but made her the perfect choice to be WOMAN magazine’s editor.
Just as Carol was beginning this new chapter of her life, the powers and persona of Ms. Marvel began to emerge. At first, Carol experienced blackouts triggered by Ms. Marvel’s precognitive seventh sense and the two personas were very distinct, both mentally and physically. As time went on and Carol came to accept her new role as Ms. Marvel, the two personalities merged. A second exposure to the energies of a Kree Psyche-Magnetron also imbued Ms. Marvel with some of the properties which formally resided in her Kree uniform (namely flight and the ability to change into costume at will).
Carol fought many villains during her career as Ms. Marvel, including Deathbird, MODOK, A.I.M., the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Hellfire Club, and Mystique. She also joined the Avengers for a brief period, and it was this affiliation which drew Carol to the attention of Marcus. The son of Immortus, Marcus observed the Avengers from afar and became obsessed with Ms. Marvel. Marcus kidnapped Carol using Immortus' technology to manipulate her mind and seduce her into loving him. Marcus impregnated Carol with a child who would rapidly grow up into Marcus himself, enabling him to escape Limbo. He returned Carol to the Avengers, unaware of her time and seduction in Limbo. Carol was shocked when she learned that she was pregnant and devastated since she was completely unaware of the identity of the father. The pregnancy ran its course in a matter of days, leaving Carol shaken - both as a woman and a hero. The child grew within a day into a full-grown man, one who was determined to win his "mother’s" love. Carol, still bewildered by the entire experience, agreed to accompany Marcus back to Limbo. The Avengers wished the pair well. In Limbo, Marcus continued to age rapidly and quickly died of old age, leaving Carol alone in Limbo and free of his mind control. Carol was sickened by Marcus' manipulations and felt betrayed by the Avengers who failed to question Marcus` actions or motives.
Carol mastered Immortus' technology and returned to Earth, choosing to settle in San Francisco instead of returning to the Avengers. Carol’s return to Earth was sensed by the precognitive Destiny. Destiny had previously prophesied that Ms. Marvel would be involved in an event that would destroy the life of Mystique's foster daughter, Rogue. Mystique had vowed to destroy Ms. Marvel before this could happen and developed an obsessive hatred for Ms. Marvel. Rogue, overhearing Destiny’s concerns and Mystique's ranting, decided to take the battle to Carol herself. Rogue attacked Carol in San Francisco and the pair fought atop the Golden Gate Bridge. When Rogue tried to use her power-absorbing abilities on Carol, something went terribly wrong, and she absorbed too much of Carol’s persona, making the transferal permanent. Driven mad by Carol’s thoughts and memories, Rogue threw Carol’s body from the bridge. Amazingly, Carol was rescued by Spider-Woman. At the hospital, Carol was identified and diagnosed as a tabula rasa - a blank slate. Jessica Drew called in Professor Xavier of the X-Men, who was able to pull forth Carol’s memories and personality from her subconscious. However, he was unable to restore her emotional connection to those memories and experiences. Carol and Jessica spent some time at the X-Mansion while Carol recovered from her ordeal.
During this time, a now-powerless Carol confronted the Avengers and vented her anger for their betrayal of her. Carol remained with the X-Men for a brief time, during which she often accompanied them on missions. One such mission led to Carol’s capture by the alien Brood. Fascinated by her Kree/Human physiology, the Brood performed experiments on Carol’s genetic structure. This unleashed the full potential of Carol’s Kree/Human physiology transforming her into the cosmic-powered Binary. Carol now possessed more power than ever due to her link to a white hole.
Carol returned with the X-Men and was strongly considering joining them on a permanent basis when the desperately troubled Rogue came to Xavier for help. Upon seeing Rogue, Carol flew into a rage and punched her into orbit. The X-Men reluctantly informed Carol that Xavier had allowed Rogue to join the X-Men. Unable to accept this, Carol opted to join the space pirates known as the Starjammers and to leave her troubles on Earth behind. As Binary, Carol was a valued member of the Starjammers and fought alongside them to restore Lilandra to the Shi'ar throne. In space, Carol was able to escape her loss and rebuild her life. The stars were her escape and offered her a whole universe in which to escape the emptiness her former life represented. Carol remained with the Starjammers for a number of years. During this time, she lived out her lifelong dream of exploring the stars. She formed a close friendship with Raza Longknife, the sullen cyborg member of the Starjammers. Despite fighting the Shi'ar forces and her former enemy Deathbird, Carol found herself frustrated at the lack of challenge among the Starjammers' adversaries. When Earth's sun was threatened, Carol chose to abandon her mission for the Shi'ar Majestrix Lilandra Neramani and aid the Avenger Quasar in saving it. This effort left Carol in a depleted state, and she spent months recuperating at the Avengers Mansion. During this time, she reconciled with the Avengers. When the Starjammers came to Earth and into conflict with the Avengers, Carol helped resolve the conflict and decided to try and rebuild her life on Earth.
Recently, Carol rechristened herself Warbird and rejoined the Avengers, following a reality-warping conflict with Morgan Le Fay. She brought with her a whole new set of problems. First, her powers were slowly depleting, and she attempted to hide this fact from the Avengers, leading to a conflict with Captain America. Carol had also developed a drinking problem, which was immediately noticed by recovering alcoholic and fellow Avenger, Iron Man. Her drinking, coupled with her determination to prove herself a worthy addition to the Avengers and her secretiveness about her power loss, led to reckless grand-standing and sloppy teamwork. This eventually endangered the lives of her teammates and led to a formal court-martial before her fellow Avengers. Rather than face her problems and a forced demotion to reserve status, Carol quit the team. This all occurred amidst the Avengers' conflict with a rebel faction of Kree. Seeking to join the battle despite leaving the team, Carol realized that she no longer had the capability to reach escape velocity in order to join the battle on the Moon between the Avengers and the Kree Lunatic Legion.
Disheartened, Carol realized that she’d hit rock bottom, and moved to Seattle to work on rebuilding her career as a freelance writer and novelist. She started to make some progress in accepting her alcoholism but refused to accept that she had a serious problem for months. After her drinking almost led to disaster in a number of combat situations, Carol was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. Carol’s doctor warned that she had done considerable damage to her internal organs and that another drink might kill her. This diagnosis combined with the knowledge that she had nearly killed a plane full of people during a drunken rage have forced Carol to admit the severity of her drinking problem. Carol has now accepted that she is an alcoholic and has started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a regular basis. She has since been accepted into the ranks of the Avengers once more and taken the name “Ms. Marvel” once again.
When the Scarlet Witch warped reality, Carol was one of the few people who remembered the events when reality was restored, and she determined to prove her worth as a true hero, something she had experienced during the events. She told this to Captain America when he offered her membership in the new Avengers team, but she declined, feeling unready to join that august assemblage. Cap assured her that a place would always be available to her in the Avengers.
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 survive 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 sixth sense, and can 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.
Captain Marvel has a number of allies including The Avengers, Spider-man, the X-Men, War Machine, Daredevil, Jewel and many more.
Captain Marvel has a number of enemies including Deathbird, MODOK, A.I.M., the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Hellfire Club,Mystique and many more.
Marvel Studios announced a live-action film featuring the character, titled Captain Marvel and starring Brie Larson, which is scheduled for release in 2019.