There’s a wonderful history in the Marvel Universe about two popular characters who took the superhero name Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers and Mar-Vell, Danver’s mentor.
Mar-Vell was created by comic book writer Stan Lee. Carol Danvers was created by comic book writer Roy Thomas. Both were illustrated by comic book artist Gene Colan.
The “Captain Marvel” film, released March 8, is about Danvers and not Mar-Vell, the original bearer of the superhero name. True comic book fans who know the history of Captain Marvel may not be fans of the movie.
Mar-Vell was a member of the Kree, an alien humanoid race who built a galactic empire known as the Greater Magellanic Cloud. He made his first appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes No. 12 (December 1967).
Since he is the greatest captain of the Kree’s space fleet, Mar-Vell is in a war against the Skrulls, an alien race that has the ability to shape-shift. The Supreme Intelligence, the planetary leader of the Kree, sent Mar-Vell to Earth to destroy Earth’s space program. On Earth, Mar-Vell impersonated dead scientist Dr. Walter Lawson to hide his secret identity.
Mar-Vell however, slowly began to respect humans and help them. They called him Captain Mar-Vell. He defeated Thanos, the Mad Titan, who sought to annihilate all lifeforms in the universe and was the main villain in “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018).
Additionally, Captain Mar-Vell is the first Captain Marvel, but there are several others. Danvers, Genis-Vell and Monica Rambeau also took this name as their alter egos. The most important characters, however, are Mar-Vell and Danvers.
Now let’s discuss Danvers. She made her first appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes No. 13 (March 1968). She is a U.S. Air Force and NASA officer who was assigned to spy on Lawson, who Mar-Vell impersonated. Danvers was caught in an explosion and nearly died. Captain Mar-Vell melded his blood and saved her life. That’s how she received her superpowers. She lost her memory in the process and adopted the codename Ms. Marvel.
After she joined the Avengers, Marcus, son of the Avenger’s foe Immortus, brainwashed Marvel into joining the Limbo. He took her to an alternate dimension and did horrible things to her. After Marcus died, Marvel returned to Earth, lost her superpowers and subconscious to Rogue, a member of the X-Men. Later, while working with the X-men, Marvel is abducted by The Brood, an extraterrestrial race modeled after insects.
They experiment on Marvel, giving her benevolent superpowers and she becomes an entirely new superhero known as Binary. Binary is similar to Jean Grey’s better-known character Phoenix. The difference is that she is much more dangerous. After Binary saved the sun in issue #34A of “Quasar,” her original powers are returned and she rejoins the Avengers as the character Warbird.
Later on, Danvers claims the name Captain Marvel to honor her beloved friend Mar-Vell.
Danvers and Mar-Vell are iconic characters but he is more powerful than she is. Surprisingly, Mar-Vell can defeat Thanos with his fists, but Danvers can’t. After witnessing her losing her powers and subconscious mind to Rogue, she does not have a chance to defeat the Mad Titan.
Who do you think can defeat Thanos in “The Avengers: Endgame” (2019)? Moviegoers will have to wait to find out.