Captain Marvel: An Introduction to Carol Danvers

Whether you are a casual movie goer or deeply involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fandom, you are probably aware that Marvel’s first female-led movie, Captain Marvel, is now in theatres. And with the head of Marvel Studios making comments about Captain Marvel being front and center and leading the next phase of the MCU, she is definitely a character you will want to know more about. As a member of the Carol Corps (yes, we Captain Marvel fans have our own name), I invite y’all to jump right in and learn more about Captain Marvel in this introduction to Carol Danvers, both the comic and movie character.

Who is Captain Marvel?

Several characters have taken on the name Captain Marvel throughout the years (for further reading, check out this deep dive), but today, the title belongs to Carol Danvers. As a full bird colonel in the Air Force, Carol outranks Captain America in the comics, and she frequently enjoys reminding him of this fact. Before taking on the title Captain Marvel, Carol used several different aliases, including Binary, Warbird, and her original moniker, Ms. Marvel (currently being used by Kamala Khan).

Carol Danvers is a tough, stubborn, smart, fiercely loyal, independent, Star Wars–loving hotshot pilot. Behind all her superpowers, though, is a need to prove herself and her abilities. Kelly Sue DeConnick, who wrote Captain Marvel from 2012–2013, sums up Carol perfectly in this quote from an interview with Polygon: “Carol falls down all the time, but she always gets back up—we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘F**k you.’”

What is Captain Marvel’s backstory?

Carol Danvers was originally introduced in 1968 as a colleague of Walter Lawson, the human alias of a Kree spy and hero, Mar-vell. She was the Security Chief of a restricted, military base (NASA) and officer in the Air Force. Carol was involved in an explosion with a Kree weapon, but was rescued by Mar-Vell, which resulted in some fused DNA, and made her a human-Kree hybrid. Your basic superhero origin story!

Carol took on the name Ms. Marvel, and in 1977 got her own comic book, which was marketed at the time as a progressive, feminist take on superheroes. Through the years, she has joined the Avengers, worked with the X-Men, and teamed up with Alpha Flight and the Guardians of the Galaxy. As with many superheroes who have been around for over 40 years, she has gone through some changes, including (but not limited to) losing her powers, regaining her powers PLUS some, losing memories, having memories returned, time traveling, several romances, and a tweak or two to her origin story. In 2012, Carol Danvers was given a costume update (by the wonderful Jamie McKelvie) for her solo comic relaunch and officially took the Captain Marvel name.

For more information on Carol’s comic history, check out our primer, complete with comic recommendations!

What are Captain Marvel’s powers?

As a hotshot pilot, Carol has always been a badass. But now with superhuman abilities and superhero powers, she is damn near unstoppable. Let’s break it down!

Her mutated DNA gives her superhuman strength, dexterity, stamina, and reflexes. She can also manipulate molecules, no big deal.

She can create and produce energy, which she channels as energy blasts through her hands. They don’t call her Princess Sparklefists for nothing.

She still pilots a jet (or spaceship) from time to time, but Captain Marvel can achieve flight all on her own now—including going faster than the speed of sound, and into space. The helmet is purely a fashion choice, she can breathe up there just fine without it.

And of course, we save the best for last: Captain Marvel’s binary powers, allowing Carol to essentially become as powerful as a white hole, generating and controlling any form of radiation and gravity.

How powerful is Captain Marvel?

The short answer: VERY. She ranks as one of the fastest, strongest, most durable, and most intense characters in the Marvel universe. She can go toe-to-toe against iconic characters like Captain America and has no problems punching dinosaurs. According to Kevin Feige, she will be “by far” the most powerful superhero in the MCU.

Who plays Captain Marvel in the movie?

Academy Award–winning Brie Larson is the actress stepping into the role of Carol Danvers in the Captain Marvel movie.

Like other Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, Carol’s origin story will be streamlined and changed for the film, though how exactly is anyone in fandom’s best guess. We do know that the movie is set in the ’90s and features a younger, two-eyed Nick Fury, so how exactly Carol fits into the MCU timeline is going to be interesting to see. Between the pager shot of the post-credit scene in Avengers: Infinity War, the time vortex reference in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and that pesky Time Stone, I think it’s safe to speculate that some sort of time travel will be involved.

When is the Captain Marvel release date?

After years of waiting, watching for the original release date, and living through several rescheduled dates, I am so pleased to say Captain Marvel’s movie release date was last week: March 8, 2019.

Can Captain Marvel beat Thanos?

I suppose we’ll have to wait until Avengers: Endgame hits theatres on April 26, 2019 to know the answer for sure. As far as this Carol Corps fan’s thoughts on the matter, well, she’s saved the world before in the comics universe. I don’t think saving the galaxy at the last minute would be any different.

By , March 

20 CAPTAIN MARVEL QUOTES TO GET YOU PUMPED FOR THE MOVIE

Female superheroes are where it’s at. Just ask Wonder Woman (but we don’t speak of the Justice League movie). I’m glad film studios are finally realizing people want to see movies starring female heroes. I’ve been waiting for this adaptation since they announced it in, what, 2014? Carol Danvers is kickass in every way you can be. Smart, strong, powerful, and hilarious – she’s a kick ass, smart ass badass. Whether she’s beating baddies from outer space or palling around with the rest of the Avengers, she’s always got a zinger up her sleeve. She is tied with Wonder Woman for my favourite superhero and I cannot wait for the movie. To help hold me—I mean you—over until the movie, here are 20 Captain Marvel quotes!

Captain Marvel Quote

“My name is Carol Danvers. Ever since I was a little kid, I didn’t fit in. See, I always wanted to fly.”
—Captain Marvel Primer Pages (2017)

“Even with my back against the wall—I don’t give up!”
Ms. Marvel Vol 1 #17

“You don’t have to thank me. I absorbed you. We’re practically related.”
Captain Marvel Vol 7 #8

Captain Marvel Quote

“I don’t need a power-up to kick your ass, slimeball. I got some moves”
Captain Marvel Vol 8 #14

“This isn’t a question of what I’m not. This is a question of who I could be.”
Giant-Size Ms. Marvel Vol 1 #1

“I couldn’t tell them the truth…it wasn’t that we couldn’t go back…it was that I don’t know if I wanted to.”
Mighty Captain Marvel Vol 1 #9

“Yeah, laugh it up, Mr. Potato Head. Let’s see, which tiny appendage should I rip off first?”
—Ms. Marvel Vol 2 #17

Captain Marvel badass quote

“I’m sorry…sorry I’m a badass.”
—Captain Marvel Vol 7 #16

“These are not the droids you’re looking for. …It was worth a shot.”
Captain Marvel #1

“Don’t you ‘lady’ me, son. I’m an avenger.”
Avenging Spider-Man 9

Captain Marvel Quote Lucky Hat

“Preeeetty sure nothing bad can happen when I’m wearing my lucky hat.”
Captain Marvel #9

“But being the best you can be…That’s doable. That’s possible for anybody if they put their mind to it.”
—Ms. Marvel Vol 2 #50

“Now if you’ll excuse me…I need to go punch a dinosaur.”
Captain Marvel #9

“No one steals my flerken cat!”
Captain Marvel Vol 8 #2

“Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again…A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and she flies. In that moment, every little girl flies.”
Captain Marvel Vol 8 #1

“Make the coffee and I might let you live.”
Captain Marvel Book 2: Stay Fly (#7-11)

“Fear is not a choice. What you do with it is.”
Captain Marvel #10

Captain Marvel Quote let's rewrite some history

“Let’s rewrite some history, shall we?”
Captain Marvel #2

“You wanna be excellent? Really excellent at what you do? Then be excellent every day, in every part of your life. That’s how the great ones do it.”
Avengers (2018) #11

“Well…First there was nothing, then there was everything…Then the good lord saw fit to bring me into the world to kick the asses of those who need it most. So get ready ’cause this day or the next, it’s coming.”
Avengers Vol 5 #19

And a bonus from the movie trailer:
“I’m not going to fight your war. I’m going to end it.”

By , January