Female superheroes are great role models for young women and children who want to feel inspired. Wonder Woman fills that role for DC, while Marvel has Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers has evolved into arguably Marvel’s biggest female superhero. Starting off with the moniker of Ms Marvel, Danvers took on the identity of Captain Marvel to honour the original. But where does her journey begin and what are her powers? The Comic Vault is looking into what makes Captain Marvel such an inspiring character.
Born to be a fighter
Carol grew up in Boston with a father who couldn’t see women as equals. This instilled a sense of determination in her from an early age. When she turned 18, Carol joined the Air Force, creating a successful career for herself. NASA called on Carol to be the head of security for a mission into space. During the mission, she met Captain Marvel, a Kree soldier that was trying to protect his people. A series of events led to Carol being knocked into a Kree Psyche-Magnitron, changing her physiology into that of a half-Kree superhuman.
The disastrous mission severely damaged her career, with Carol eventually resigning from NASA. Feeling mistreated, Carol wrote a book that exposed NASA’s secrets and this kick started a journalistic career. Around the same time, she became aware of her powers and took on the identity of Ms Marvel. Ms Marvel #1 debuted in 1977, a socially progressive comic for its time. Ms Marvel was a representative of the feminist movement, with her fighting for equal pay for equal work.
Ms Marvel joined the Avengers, becoming a prominent member of the team. One of her early missions was traumatic, as she battled Rogue, who absorbed a lot of her power and memories. For a long time, Carol was left as an emotionless husk, and her relationship with Rogue is a major part of her story. Both women came from different backgrounds, but they were both determined to better their lives. It was years before either of them could be on the same page again.
Carol was kidnapped by the Brood, experimented on and turned into a cosmically powered entity called Binary. Deciding there was nothing left for her on Earth, Binary flew into space to take on new challenges. After a few years Carol returned to Earth, her powers depleted. She spent several months recovering at The Avengers Mansion, battling with alcoholism and feelings of emptiness.
Becoming Captain Marvel
Ms Marvel was able to conquer her demons and joined the Avengers again. She proved her worth on several occasions, leading the team against a variety of threats. During Avengers vs X-Men, Carol encountered a resurrected Captain Marvel that had been brainwashed into believing The Phoenix was the Kree’s salvation.
Carol helped Mar-Vell break free of the illusion, though he chose to sacrifice himself in order to save his home. Carol realised what Mar-Vell meant to her and she carried on the legacy as the new Captain Marvel. Her transformation took the form of a new costume and hairstyle.
As Captain Marvel, Carol truly became an integral part of the Marvel Universe. She was a major part of Civil War II, leading a team of Avengers in an attempt to stop crimes before they happened. She assumed control of S.W.O.R.D in order to monitor intergalactic threats against Earth. In the recent The Mighty Captain Marvel series, Danvers became a household name and one of the most popular superheroes in the world.
The power to save the world
Captain Marvel’s powers are derived from the Kree side of her genetic makeup. She possesses superhuman strength, durability, flight, speed and reflexes. She has the ability to fire concussive blasts made out of photonic energy. In addition, Danvers is able to absorb different kinds of energy to augment her strength.
Carol’s evolution demonstrates how many creators believe in the character. From her earliest days she was portrayed as a fighter, as a woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer. She achieved success in the military, became the youngest security captain in the history of NASA, wrote a best-selling book and turned into one of the most important superheroes in recent memory. Carol’s ability to overcoming adversity is inspiring as well. She was able to get over her alcoholism and rediscover her self-worth.
The Captain Marvel movie is further proof that Carol is meant to do great things. Everything she’s been through has made her stronger, which is why she’s earned her place as Marvel’s most important female superhero.