October 14, 2018

Who is Carol Danvers? - Captain Marvel Origin Story

Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers is a fictional superhero created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, first appearing in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 back in March 1968. Carol Danvers appears as a United States Air Force officer who is working together with Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) unaware of his true identity. Later on, Carol Danvers is caught in an explosion occurred in one of Captain Marvel’s fight with Colonel Yon-Rogg, which essentially gave her the amazing powers she possesses.

Ms Marvel #1 - Carol Danvers

A few years later we see Carol Danvers who again makes her appearance at Ms. Marvel #1 (1977) in a comic book written by Gerry Conway and later by Chris Claremont, that includes Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, Mary Jane and J Jonah Jameson fighting against the Scorpion with a little to no memory of how she became Ms. Marvel.

Carol now working as an editor of a magazine called “Woman” published by the infamous J Jonah Jameson (don’t ask how the person that absolutely hates superheroes ends up employing a few) after losing her position as a security chief since she failed to capture Captain Marvel.

During the series it is revealed that the reason for her superhuman powers was the explosion of a device called "Psyche-Magnetron" which caused her DNA to alter and meld with Captain Marvel’s making her a unique Human-Kree hybrid giving her cosmic powers that included superhuman strength, the ability to fly and the seventh sense which allows her to sense when people want to harm her or others.

During the 70’s Ms. Marvel had a series of appearances in various comic lines, including but not limited to The Avengers, The Defenders, Iron Man, Spider-Man and the Thing. She was portrayed as a strong woman that fought crime as a superhero but also injustice in diversity in the workplace and equal pay for equal work.

Gerry Conway writes in the introduction of Ms. Marvel, "you might see a parallel between her quest for identity, and the modern woman's quest for raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity".

The Avengers #200 Incident and the Rape of Ms. Marvel

The Avengers #200 - Carol Danvers

The early 80’s were quite an uneasy period for Ms. Marvel (for Marvel as well) with The Avengers #200 being the main reason behind it. As said previously Ms. Marvel was seen as a strong feminist character supporting women rights and equality of the sexes in the Marvel comics universe so what happens to her was something that almost no fan left without criticizing.

In The Avengers #200, Ms. Marvel is kidnapped taken to another dimension, brainwashed and rapped by a character called Marcus. Even though they later return and gives birth to earth she later is again taken with absolutely no support of the Avengers since they all believe that she has fallen in love with Marcus.

Book historian Carol A. Strickland as well as Chris Claremont (former writer of the solo series) both heavily criticized the incident. Claremont says in X-Men Companion #2 "Actually, my reaction was a lot stronger than that. But how callous! How cruel! How unfeeling! Considering that [the Avengers] must have seen Ms. Marvel only a couple of days before, or even a couple of months before. She wasn't pregnant then. How could she be eight months pregnant now?"

Thankfully a year later Claremont finally undid the actions of Marcus in Avengers Annual #0.
Claremont also tried to develop the character further in the Uncanny X-Men were in a space adventure with the team she is changed due to experimentation was done to her by the alien race Brood thus getting the name Binary. As Binary she has the ability to draw strength equal to that of a Star.

Carol Danvers - Binary

90’s Carol Danvers becomes Warbird

In the 90’s Carol Danvers lost a lot of popularity and even though she made some sporadic appearances her planner original title was canceled a number of times. In one of the stories, the character was used “Operation Galactic Storm” she loses her Binary powers reverting her back to Ms. Marvel with a little bit of extra kick.

After a little while, she rejoins the Avengers with the name Warbird and Kurt Busiek explores her character by adding a number of traits that are more humane such as alcoholism (after losing her powers and memories) and a lot of mental struggles.

Warbird is soon marked unfit for duty and gets suspended.

2000 Carol Danvers returns

In early 2000 Carol Danvers, still known as Warbird rejoins the Avengers and plays a huge role in the “Kang Dynasty” plotline and later after the Avengers disband together with other prominent superheroes such as The Wasp, Hank Pym, Falcon and Wonder Man they are not included in the New Avengers created by Iron Man and Captain America.

Later Ms. Marvel comes back to prominence leaving the name Warbird back. The story is also revolving around her support to the Superhuman Registration Act together with Tony Stark and her battles with anti-registration supporters led by Captain America.

Ms. Marvel later becomes the leader of the Mighty Avengers and after making an agreement with Tony Stark (director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) she leads a strike team with the goal of eliminating supervillains before they become global threats.

Ms. Marvel also played a big role in the plotline of “Secret Invasion” but also after leaving from the registered Avengers team due to Norman Osborn taking the lead she becomes second in command in the New Avengers.

2010’s Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel

The last couple of decades were very important for Carol Danvers and her character development. Nonetheless, nothing was quite as important as the past 8 years of her existence which led up to the Captain Marvel movie. It would have been a great miss for the Marvel cinematic universe if they were to wait a little while longer.

At the conclusion of the second volume of the aforementioned Ms. Marvel comic series, Carol Danvers finds herself against Mystique and a clone of Captain Marvel created by the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion.

She finds herself playing a very important role at the Siege of Asgard storyline as well as starting to develop a relationship with Spider-Man who later she develops genuine feelings for.

Most importantly at June 2012, Carol Danvers in the hands of Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy assumes the mantle of Captain Marvel in an ongoing series and later re-joined the Avengers as Captain Marvel in volume 5 of the Avengers and in the spin-off series Avengers Assemble, also written by Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Captain Marvel #1 2012 - Carol Danvers

In November 2013, Marvel announced that Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel will be joining Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 under the supervision of Bendis. In 2014 Captain Marvel gets her 8 volume storyline written again DeConnick who said "The big difference is we were grounded in New York City for the previous volume; at least in the latter part of it. With the new Captain Marvel #1 we start in NYC but after that we're letting her go cosmic. Carol will be spending time off planet."

Later on 2015 event of “Secret Wars” Danvers gets her own tie-in series called Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps again written by DeConnick but with the help of Kelly Thompson. Danvers is in charge of an elite squadron of female pilot fighters who end up helping her answer questions regarding her origins. During that time Danvers becomes a member of the A-Force, Battleworld’s all-female team of Avengers.

The story written by Gwendolyn Willow Wilson or most commonly known as G Willow Wilson (Cairo, Air, Alif the Unseen) continued within Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different Marvel” which was the relaunch campaign that followed Carol Danvers within the “Secret Wars” in a key role.

After the events of the “Secret Wars” we see Danvers taking over the responsibilities of the S.W.O.R.D., a military agency responsible for the protection of earth from intergalactic threats and she also joins “The Ultimates”.

Come 2016 Danvers is a key player in the “Civil War II” events written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by David Marquez. Danvers is the leader of a group of heroes that want to use the powers of Ulysses an Inhuman that with his precognitive powers can see visions from people that will commit crimes in the future.

In July 2018, Danvers headlines in “The Life of Captain Marvel” a limited series written by Stohl and artist Carlos Pacheco. The story tells the story of how Carol Danvers came to be Captain Marvel from her early days. As Stohl explained this was not a re-write or a change of her origin but just telling the story from a different point of view.

“You look through a different lens. It's nothing you'll expect and nothing you've seen happen but there will be parts of her life that change the context of what you've seen before, so it's telling the other side of the story, of how she came to be."

Stohl also mentions that there are going to be similarities with the upcoming Captain Marvel movie but that ultimately the film is “it’s own thing”. Which basically brings us to today and the upcoming film of Captain Marvel produced by Marvel Studios starring Brie Larson.

Check out the Captain Marvel’s official trailer right here.

Carol Danvers is by far one of the strongest most unique characters in Marvel comics in the history of Marvel. From all points of view, she survived in situations that most people would have cracked but also she was a symbol of Equality and Strength for women in the industry of comics when most women heroines were by far a companies longshot to amuse its fans that were usually a copy of a male counterpart.

101Comics is a website dedicated to comics, graphic novels and their movie and tv series adaptations.
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