#CaptainMarvel Character Origins

Updated: Sep 19, 2018

The trailer for the Highly anticipated Captain Marvel feature film was released today and the internet has exploded. I have embedded the Official Trailer released by Marvel Entertainment below, so you can check it out if you haven't seen it yet.

This trailer shows us the Carol Danvers incarnation of Captain Marvel crashing to Earth in what is very obviously the 1990's. There's all sorts of action and chaos to be enjoyed. What many who are eagerly awaiting the film's premiere aren't aware of - is that Carol isn't the first Captain Marvel. She isn't even the first Female character that has carried the moniker.


DC Comics had a Captain Marvel First

The title of "Captain Marvel" didn't actually get first introduced by Marvel comics at all. The well-known DC character "Shazam" is actually the first ever to wield the Captain Marvel moniker. The character originally being created in 1939 and appearing in a Fawcett Comics publication WHIZ COMICS in 1940 before all of Fawcett's intellectual property was acquired by DC comics some time around 1980.

Today, Billy Batson's alter ego is commonly referred to as simply Shazam. The popular character is even getting his own feature film. Set to be released in April of 2019. Truth be told, not much has changed too dramatically about the character Shazam since its original creation.


Mar-Vell: The First Marvel-made Captain Marvel

While DC comics was suing Fawcett over their Captain Marvel character's similarities to Superman in response to Fawcett's character out-selling Superman after it's initial release; Marvel managed to swoop in and snag the copyright for their first series in the late 1960s.


Mar-Vell was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in 1968. Mar-Vell was Captain of the Kree Militia. After being assigned to observe Earth's developing technology for space travel, he quickly becomes aware of his people's less-than-savory intentions and chooses to side with Earth. Defending the planet from any threat from then on. That is, of course, until he develops inoperable cancer from from a toxic nerve gas and passes away on Titan surrounded by the rest of Earth's mightiest heroes. This occurs "The Death of Captain Marvel" in 1982.


Monica Rambeau: The Second Captain Marvel


First appearing in The Amazing Spiderman Annual #16 in 1982, Monica Rambeau was created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. She was the first female character to ever wield the title of Captain Marvel. Monica is a police lieutenant from New Orleans. Her powers consist of being able transform herself into any type of energy she wishes.


Her powers took a temporary shift when, for a time, she was able to generate a personal force field rather than transform her physical body.


At one point during her stent as Captain Marvel, Monica was not only a part of but actually served as the leader of the Avengers. However, she later ceded the moniker of Captain Marvel to Mar-Vell's son, Genis-Vell. Of course, he didn't do the title a lot of justice and eventually went insane and tried to destroy the universe. After giving up the Captain Marvel title, Monica continued on as a hero under the name "Spectrum".


Phyla-Vell: 4th Captain Marvel, 2nd Female


Phyla-Vell was the 4th character to hold the title of Captain Marvel. She is Genis-Vell's younger sister. The character was created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta and first appeared in Captain Marvel(vol. 5) #16 in January 2004. Phyla-Vell is technically an anomaly. She was brought into existence when Genis, who was an only child, literally re created the entire universe. In the process he created all sorts of anomalies. One of which being that his mother is still alive and he gets a sister. Phyla was quite the powerhouse female. She was super-strong, fired energy blasts, could fly, and absorb any energy attacks thrown her way. She eventually becomes Quasar after the original dies, but then she was the avatar for Oblivion. She eventually renames herself Martyr, and then actually lives up to the name when she sacrifices her own life to save her comrades in the Guardians of the Galaxy.


Khn'nr & Noh-Varr: the 5th and 6th Captain Marvels

Fifth on the list of characters to hold the title of Captain Marvel is Khn'nr. He first appeared in "Civil War: The Return" in March of 2007. Khn'nr is a Skrull sleeper agent who is bound with Mar-Vell's DNA to force him to look like Mar-Vell and even has copies of Kree Nega-Bands. Unfortunately, his makers sucked at their job and Khn'nr's actual personality was lost in the process. Leaving only Mar-Vell's persona behind. Basically making Khn'nr a copy of the original Captain Marvel. He is apparently dead at the moment.


Noh-Varr is part of the Dark Reign storyline from Marvel. He initially joins up with the Dark Avengers as Captain Marvel, but then quits when he realizes their the bad-guys. After a big hoopla, he ends up taking the name Protector instead.


Carol Danvers: From Ms Marvel to Captain Marvel


Carol Susan Jane Danvers first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 as a non-superpowered United States Air Force officer. She was caught in an explosion with Mar-Vell causing their DNA to become merged. This is how she is granted the super-human abilities that make her a formidable foe for any baddie she comes across. Super-Human Strength, energy projection, energy absorption, endurance, stamina, and flight are all traits that the amped-up Carol has to use in her fight against villainy.


She remained Ms Marvel until she switched to the Title "Binary" in 1984 for The Uncanny X-Men #164 and then to Warbird in 1998 for The Avengers #9. It wasn't until July of 2012 that Carol first dawned the Captain Marvel moniker in Avenging Spiderman #9. After a touching speach from Captain America in which he told her that Mar-Vell would have wanted her to have the name.


It is also worth noting that Carol isn't exactly non-problematic in the comic book universe. Carol has had some issues getting along with other heroes in the Marvel comic book universe. This stems from a number of character flaws that Carol develops while coping with the growing amount of pressure and responsibility on her shoulders. Most notable is her battle with Alcoholism. You know a character has some issues if Tony Stark ends up being their AA sponsor.




Other well-known heroes in the Marvel Universe have a hard time struggling with the nature of Carol as a character.


That, however, is just the story for the Comic Book universe version of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. How they plan on translating the character onto the big-screen still remains to be fully seen. Initial impressions, based on the trailer, are mixed. With the bulk of the criticism falling to Brie Larson's portrayal of the character rather than the film as a whole.


Personally, I'm not as excited about this film as I have previously been about other super-hero flicks in the past. I am intrigued, but appropriately cautious not to get my hopes up too high.


What do you think of the evolution of Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel?

Do you like the direction the Film is taking?


Are you excited for the release of Captain Marvel?