What Makes YOU Marvel?
Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members. I have been wanting to speak about Carol Danvers for some time now. Curious, do you hear that muffled noise in the background which continues to grow louder day by day. You know that 165 pound blue, red, and yellow freight train carrying the hearts and dreams of millions of girls racing towards a movie theatre near you.
If not, you will be made aware of this shortly – In 277 days to be exact. That's when Ms. Marvel hits the MCU on 3/8/2019. The arrival of this character brings a ton of expectations that Marvel will be facing to hit yet another home run. I will say it’s not wise to bet against them if you look at their decade long track record. Yet, who exactly is Carol Danvers? Also, why all the different renditions?
That’s what I hope to bring to you in this piece. Trust me folks she is going to be HUGE. When it’s said and done, Wonder Woman won’t be the only female costume being worn by many come next Halloween. So when your girlfriend, wife, niece, sister, mother, aunt or grandmother asks you just who is this Ms. Marvel lady? And why is she plastered over everything?
There will be a lot of facts to back up your statement! All right, let’s get started…
Just a quick note, yes there may be some events left out. This covers over a 50 year span so it is next to impossible to reiterate each and every key point. Please keep this in mind if you wish to share a comment regarding “What about this, or what about that?”
We need to venture quite a ways back to arrive at Carol Danvers first appearance. Fifty years ago in 1968 she was born into comic panels. She was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan. Originally, Carol was a supporting character.
An officer within the United States Air and colleague of Mar-Vell who was the first Captain Marvel in secret. During this period she was portrayed as a strong, independent woman. Let’s look at this key issue and 1st appearance.
Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1968)
Okay, let’s fast forward a few issues as this is when Carol receives her powers. This baddie Yon-Rogg kidnapped Carol Danvers and took her to another abandoned Kree outpost on Earth. The villain uses an outlawed device called a Psyche-Magnitron to create a Mandroid to attack Mar-Vell when he inevitably arrives to rescue Carol.
When Mar-Vell defeats this robot, an explosion occurs. Let’s take a look shall we?
Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (1968)
Exciting stuff huh?
Well Marvel believed in this so much they gave her a series in 1977 titled Ms. Marvel. The powers at Marvel knew they really had something with this woman. A strong, leading lady with super powers would work perfect during this time in history which had a strong feminist movement occurring within the United States. The series lasted 23 issues. It was originally written by Gerry Conway and later Chris Claremont took over the reigns.
Ms. Marvel #1 (1977)
It was told with a greater backstory in issue # 2 just how her powers came to be. Remember when I spoke to the explosion in Marvel Super-Heroes #18? Cue the flashback.. The reveal was that the energy exposure from the explosion of a device called the “Psyche-Magnetron” caused Carol’s genetic structure to meld with Captain Marvel's, effectively turning her into a human-Kree hybrid. Oh, it’s easier visually I know!
Ms. Marvel #2 (1977)
Another key issue for those who are costume completist collectors, Issue #20 is the 1st appearance of her new black, more sleek costume. This occurs because in issue #19 she has her old one torn badly when she is fighting this baddie. It kind of reminds me of that horror flick From Beyond where we get ripped clothes, well just to get ripped clothes and skin. Here is a peak at issue #20
Ms. Marvel #20 (1978)
Well look Carol Danvers is a full fledged superhero – new suit and a lot of convince. In addition powers that rival some of the strongest members of the MU. Unfortunately, the next several years certainly saw it’s ups and downs for Ms. Marvel. As stated earlier, she eventually joins the Avengers and with this we are given that “certain” issue.
Yes, for those who are familiar Avengers #200 was received with great controversy for its time. There are many who feel these events were “unnecessary” or were done for shock value. Finally there are some who feel with this instead of taking two steps forward, she took three steps back.
No matter what, this is a piece that needs to be spoken to as it sets up a different path for Carol.
In a story that is part Jerry Springer, part 1970s cheesy drive thru theater fodder we get this debacle. Okay so here we go…
Within these panels Ms. Marvel is kidnapped by this dude Marcus, claiming to be the son of Immortus, who takes her to another dimension. Now her time spent at this place was not pleasant as she was ultimately brainwashed, seduced, and raped by this clown.
She becomes pregnant and delivers a baby which rapidly grows and becomes another version of Marcus. Huh? Yeah, weird controversial shi* right?! She is then used like a pawn and manipulated to the point she decides to leave to this guys home planet Limbo. No panels with this, doesn’t deserve it. Just the cover for reference.
Avengers #200 (1980)
The aftermath of this horrific event was brought to light in Avengers Annual #10. This was also the 1st appearance of Rogue. The issue begins with Spider-Woman saving a girl who has been thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge.
She was savagely beaten and stripped of her powers and memories by this new mysterious force named Rogue. The woman who received this beating…Carol Danvers. Thanks to the powers of Professor X, she was able to save some part of who she was before this event.
Let’s watch it play out on panels!
Avengers Annual #10 (1981)
With her memories and powers gone for the most part, Carol becomes the pilot during X-men missions. During an adventure in space 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. Yes, cue the issue.
Uncanny X-Men #164 (1982)
Carol remained in the background for some time until the Mid 2000s. At this time, the House of M storyline was created. Carol realized her full potential as a superhero and became one of Earth's greatest champions.
Though that reality was eventually reversed, Carol was one of the few heroes to remember her House of M self, and it inspired her to change her name back to Ms. Marvel. This led to the return of her own comic book in 2006, nearly 30 years after the debut of her original title Ms. Marvel.. Also, she played a major role in the seven part series Civil War.
Here are some highlights…
House of M #2 (2005)
Ms Marvel Vol 2 # 1 (2006)
Ms Marvel Vol 2 #50 Final Issue (2010)
Civil War #1 of 7 (2006)
With the huge popularity gained due to the two aforementioned series, there was a decision made to reboot her as Captain Marvel under the new Marvel Now banner. What made this interesting is the storyline went back to her roots. Meaning they examined her time with Mar-Vell and fighting alongside with him.
With some creative dialogue and reminiscing in issue #1, we see the “WHY” behind her taking the Captain Marvel name. However, keeping this in time continuity, Avenging Spider-Man #9 (1st Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel) predates the 1st Captain Marvel of 2012 by a month.
So let’s take a look…
Avenging Spider-Man #9 (September 2012)
Captain Marvel # 1 (October 2012)
The new rendition ran seventeen issues thru January of 2014. Throughout the next few years there has been another Captain Marvel run of fourteen issues. This is followed by the Secret Wars. In 2016, Carol Danvers played a big part in the Civil War II storyline. This will be followed with a new storyline launching July 2018 titled The life of Captain Marvel.
Here are the covers for reference…
Captain Marvel (2014)
Secret Wars #1 of 9 (2015)
Life of Captain Marvel #1 of 5 (July 2018)
Well, there you have it – Fifty years of Carol Danvers in most of her different renditions. Now that’s a lot of stuff! Again, I know there were other storylines or costumes – I am looking at you Black S.H.I.E.L.D. costume for Ms Danvers as an example. There was just too much for the average fan.
I tried to stay in the field, vs. in the weeds. Oh I do know though, what about covers? Let’s list a few — Not the ones everyone is aware of as those are been there, done that material. Here is some bin diving stuff for your LCS endeavors.
Well that’s all for this week. There is a lot of great reads within Carol Danvers / Ms. Marvel / Captain Marvel Universe. Below seems to be the general consensus on what to read in her storylines as we prepare for the arrival of her on the Silver Screen.
These are all available (Except #1) in TPB:
- WHEN WALKS THE MANDROID
Captain Marvel Vol. 1 #18
- THIS WOMAN, THIS WARRIOR
Ms. Marvel, Volume 1 #1-23
- BROOD SAGA
Avengers Annual #10
Uncanny X-Men #151-159
- IN PURSUIT OF FLIGHT
Captain Marvel Vol. 1 #1-6
- HIGHER, FURTHER, FASTER, MORE Captain Marvel, vol. 2 #1-6
Just one more piece of information that is of importance. Kevin Feige had this to say in regards to this character:
“All of the Marvel characters have flaws to them, all of them have a deep humanity to them. With Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had. It’s important, then, to counterbalance that with someone who feels real. She needs to have a humanity to tap into, and Brie can do that.”
Those are strong words by the man who is running the show!
So just why then is Carol Danvers so powerful within the MU? Here is the laundry list:
- Super strength
- Super speed
- Super agility
- Super stamina
- Energy absorption
- Energy protection
- Danger sense
- Minor molecular control
- Cosmic awareness
Thanks as always for reading! My goal is that you took away something new, and something learned.
I will leave you with what I started with – What makes you Marvel?