She carries the dreams of Avengers fans on her shoulders, but who is Captain Marvel?
Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War.
Many MCU fans are still shell-shocked by the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, which saw many beloved characters lost to Thanos’ plot to wipe out half the Universe.
Thankfully, there is hope. In the film’s post credits scene, Nick Fury sends out a distress call moments before he disintegrates. A distress call bearing the insignia of Captain Marvel.
While comic lovers let out a squeal of delight at the heroine’s symbol, fans coming to the Marvel universe from the films alone may have been left scratching their heads.
Just who is Captain Marvel, and why is she so important?
Let’s take a quick look at the character’s history before she flies into cinemas in 2019.
Many A Marvel
While Carol Danvers (to be played by Brie Larson) is the version of the character we will mostly be dealing with in the MCU, she is not the first to bear the mantle of Captain Marvel.
That honour goes to Mar-Vell, who will be played by Jude Law in the film.
Mar-Vell is one of the alien Kree, posing on Earth as human scientist Walter Lawson. Originally a spy meant to decide whether Earth was a threat to the Kree, he soon grew fond of the planet and its people. He took on the alias of Captain Marvel to protect his new home.
Mar-Vell takes part in various important battles, including the Avengers first defeat of Thanos. Earth’s heroes come to view him as a trusted ally.
Unfortunately, Captain Marvel’s allegiance to Earth did not come without a heavy cost. While on a mission with The Hulk, Captain Marvel is exposed to the nerve gas Compound 13, which leads him to develop Cancer.
The Nega-Bands that give Mar-Vell his powers prevent human treatments from being effective. Viewing him as a traitor, the Kree also refuse to help. Mar-Vell passes away, surrounded by the heroes who had come to admire him, in graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel.
Marvel Comics paid homage to that storyline during the cancer-stricken Jane Foster’s tenure as Thor.
Others who have borne the title of Captain Marvel include Monica Rambeau (possibly being played by Lashana Lynch in the film), Mar-Vell’s genetically engineered children, Genis and Phyla-Vell, and of course, Carol Danvers.
It was through an accident involving Mar-Vell that Danvers received her powers.
The Marvellous Ms. Marvel
After getting too close to an exploding Kree device, United States Air Force Officer Carol Danvers had her DNA melded with the hero Captain Marvel. The accident left Danvers a Human-Kree hybrid, and gifted her with superhuman strength, stamina, flight, physical durability, minor precognition, and a resistance to most poisons.
Originally a supporting character in the Captain Marvel book, the character soon grew popular enough to earn a solo title, running on and off from the seventies onwards.
The Ms. Marvel book was seen as progressive for its time. Outside of her costume, Carol Danvers was often seen fighting for equal pay in the workplace.
Throughout her time as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers worked with some of Marvel’s most well-known superhero teams. At various points, she has been a member of the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Defenders.
At times she took on different personas, including Binary with the X-Men, and Warbird with the Avengers. It was the Ms. Marvel identity that Danvers would always revert back to.
A Captain’s Legacy
In 2012, Carol Danvers witnessed the resurrected Mar-Vell sacrifice his life to save the peaceful planet Hala from the rampaging Phoenix Force.
It was at this time that Danvers finally took on the mantle of Captain Marvel as her own. She also dons a new suit in Mar-Vell’s colours, to honour her old friend and mentor.
As Captain Marvel, she has been of a member of the Avengers, the Ultimates, and even the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Danvers has also been a major player in some of the biggest Marvel Comics events in recent years, including Secret Wars and Civil War II.
She is one of the Marvel universe’s most powerful characters, and she is quickly becoming one of the most popular.
What can we expect from Captain Marvel on the big screen?
As you can see, Carol Danvers has a vast history to mine for the Captain Marvel film.
So far, we know that the film will deal with the beginnings of the Kree-Skrull war.
We are also getting some familiar faces in the film. Both Agent Maria Hill and Agent Phil Coulson will appear, and thanks to the movie’s 90s setting, we will see Nick Fury as we have never seen him before: with two good eyes.
As for everything else, we will probably have to wait until Captain Marvel hits theatres in 2019.
The one thing we do know is this: the surviving Avengers will need Carol Danvers for the great battle ahead.
Want more like this? We explain what happened to Gamora in Infinity War here. Spoilers. Obviously.