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Whether You Like It or Not, the MCU Changed Captain Marvel for the Better


The Many Lives of Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers first appeared in 1968’s Captain Marvel #13, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Frank Springer, but not as Captain Marvel. In that issue, the appellation belonged to the Kree warrior Mar-Vell, the first character in the Marvel Universe to use that title. Instead, Danvers was the head of security at NASA, a position she held because of her military training. She played a background role for a few issues until an explosion of Kree energy left her in a coma and pushed her to the background of the series. 

In 1977, writer Gerry Conway and artist John Buscema woke Carol from her coma and gave her the same powers as Mar-Vell. Taking the name Ms. Marvel, Carol was reimagined as a feminist hero for the 70s, trading her military gig for a job as an editor for a women’s magazine. As Ms. Marvel, Carol teamed up with heroes across the universe, including Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Avengers.

In the years that followed, Carol had her powers augmented to become the energy-based galactic hero Binary. During the Operation Galactic Storm storyline in the 90s, she returned to her Captain Marvel power set and later took the name Warbird, a reflection of her role in the U.S. Military. A few years later, Carol reverted to the Ms. Marvel moniker to emphasize her superhero work, which apparently included capturing unregistered heroes during the Marvel Civil War.  

It wasn’t until 2012 that Carol teamed with a resurrected Mar-Vell to stave off a Kree invasion. After Mar-Vell’s sacrifice, Carol recognized her role in a larger lineage and finally accepted the title Captain Marvel. In the Captain Marvel series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Carol integrated all of the parts of her past: her super-heroing, her military background, and her work with the X-Men and the Avengers. 

Time, Crimes, and a Mistake with Ms. Marvel 

The MCU version of Carol Danvers wisely avoids all of those shenanigans, winking at the character’s convoluted history with the name “Vers” she uses while an amnesiac Kree warrior, but going straight to the Captain Marvel name, and that’s not the only way the MCU improves upon the comic book version of Carol Danvers. It also does it by avoiding one of the worst storylines in Marvel history. 

In Avengers #197 (1980), written by David Michelinie and penciled by Carmine Infantino, Ms. Marvel faints while visiting Scarlet Witch. Wanda takes Carol to the hospital, where they learn that Danvers is three months pregnant. Carol comes to term over a period of a few days, during which the Avengers spend their time battling the giant robot Red Ronin (designed to fight Godzilla, back when the King of the Monsters was a canonical part of the Marvel Universe). 



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