The journey of MCU’s Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster
Marvel Studios’ namesake character Captain Marvel was created by writer Roy Thomas and Gene Colan as Captain Mar-Vell aka Walter Lawson. The character is an alien military officer and since Lawson, the mantle has been taken up by many. The ‘Captain Marvel’ we know is Carol Danvers played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Larson starrer was the studio’s maiden attempt of a female-led superhero movie. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the movie created history by grossing $1.128 billion on worldwide box-office. Captain Marvel’s mega-success changed the genre significantly.
Carol Danvers in Marvel Comics
Carol Danvers was created in 1968 by Thomas and Colan as an American security officer working alongside titular character Captain Mar-Vell. Further, she debuted as the super-powered character Ms. Marvel in the pages of Marvel Comics after her human DNA was fused with genes from the alien race known as the Kree. She went on to inherit the title of Captain Marvel in 2012.
Captain Marvel is one of the strongest superheroes. Apart from her photon blasts, she has Superhuman Strength, stamina and durability. She can take a space flight and has hyper-cosmic awareness. Like her namesake Mar-Vell, she can control, absorb, and manipulate various types of energy. More so in the comics, she is an experienced spy, master pilot, expert combatant.
Watch: Captain Marvel | Marvel TL;DR
Captain Marvel in the MCU
The 2019 Captain Marvel origin story is a mix of comic book storylines topped with Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) and ‘Skrulls are good’ theme. While announcing the character Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige acknowledge that Captain Marvel has gone by many names in the comics along with many people inhabiting the titular costume and power base. He said, “I want to make it very clear: This hero’s name is Carol Danvers.”
Interestingly for the magnitude of the movie’s success, Brie Larson received equal amount of hate and praise for her portrayal of the titular character. The fandom is always divided. While some ridicule her for her acting chops and stone-like expressions, others love her for being a feministic icon.
Captain Marvel’s origin story is also her coming to terms with her exceptional power set. In the MCU, Danvers gets her powers from the Tesseract which turns out to be carrier of one of the Infinity Stone – the Space Stone.
The power of Space Stone turns her into a Kree-Human hybrid. She has enhanced powers in the MCU thanks to the blast from the Light-Speed Engine. She relies solely on her fighting skills, strength, and photon blasts. Captain Marvel has enhanced agility; regenerative healing and she can go binary. Given her abilities, most fans had the question as to why Captain Marvel couldn’t snap with the Infinity Gauntlet instead of Tony. Nonetheless, as per directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the final battle had to focus on the OG Avengers. As Carol Danvers was introduced towards the end of Infinity Saga, the studio was not sure about the audience’s response to the character. However, the future of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is continuing with Captain Marvel 2.
What Are Captain Marvel’s Powers
- Energy Absorption And Manipulation: Danvers can absorb and manipulate any kind of energy and also project it from her hands.
- Cosmic Awareness: Her Kree conversion gives her cosmic awareness and precognition that allowed her to sense danger before a crisis even started.
- Going Binary: Carol’s most powerful form is called Binary. She can radiate heat, light and radiations drawing from the energy of White Holes.
- Flight Faster Than Speed of Sound: Apt for a skilled pilot she can fly at a speed faster than sound.
- Superhuman Strength and Durability: She has strength and durability that can only be outmatched on occasions by likes of Hulk & Thor.
What are The Weaknesses of Captain Marvel
- Energy Depletion: With all the mighty powers Captain Marvel has problems sustaining them. Her power levels can deplete leaving her useless.
- Brainwashing: Danvers is susceptible to brainwashing and memory loss.
- Split Personality: Initially, unable to come to terms with her powers she develops a split personality viz Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel
- Magic and Magical Energy: Though able to manipulate energy she has no control over magical beings or magic.
- Alcoholism: In the comic, she turns alcoholic and recovers with some help from Tony Stark.
Carol Danvers’ In The Fandom and Pop-culture
The 2019 Captain Marvel is set in the ’90s and has some amazing pop-culture references that make you nostalgic. Here are few:
- 90s Music: The movie not only carries amazing 90s music but Danvers is seen wearing band t-shirts with Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses and Heart.
- Blockbuster: Danvers was seen crashing in movie rental store Blockbuster which was recreated for the flick.
- True Lies: Captain Marvel was seen blowing up the cardboard cut out of Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger from 1994 comedy True Lies.
- AltaVista: Long before Google existed, AltaVista was 90s jam which was featured in the Captain Marvel Movie.
- The Fonz Lunch Box: This was an unmissable 90s treat that Carol used to contain the Tesseract.
As mentioned before, the fandom has a mixed reaction towards Larson’s Captain Marvel. A huge chunk of fans criticize and troll her. The other tries to protect and praise her. The closest ally of Carol Danvers will soon be introduced in the MCU – the American-Pakistani teenager Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. Young star Iman Vellani will play the titular role and will appear in the future MCU movies alongside Brie Larson. As we saw with the culmination of the Infinity Saga – many heroes will pass on the baton to other stars. Fandom sees Ms. Marvel as the successor of Captain Marvel.
Another interesting character from Captain Marvel who is making MCU debut in WandaVision is Monica Rambeau. We saw a young Monica in awe of Carol Danvers during the 2019 movie. In WandaVision she has grown up to be a SWORD Agent and is being foreshadowed in her comic accurate avatar Photon. The announcement of the addition of Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan didn’t come as a surprise as both the characters are heavily inspired by Captain Marvel in the comic.
The Upcoming Captain Marvel 2
Brie Larson’s MCU sequel project has made a wave even before taking flight. It’s reported Larson has demanded the studio for equal pay as her male counterparts and also top billing. As per rumours Marvel Studio has given in to her demands. Larson a staunch feminist stood up against the gendered pay gap in Hollywood. With her movie making a billion-dollar on box-office and internet buzzed with her name (negative or positive) it’ll not be a big deal for the studio to grant her wishes.
Previously, Marvel Head Kevin Feige had underlined the importance of Captain Marvel and Larson in MCU’s future. During the Captain Marvel promotions, he said, “One of the highlights of my career at Marvel was introducing her at Comic-Con and having her come out on stage and stand there with literally almost everybody else from our movies. There she was at the forefront, and it was a great foreshadowing – not just for how audiences are going to embrace Brie as this character, but also for how Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire Cinematic Universe.”
Captain Marvel 2 is going to do just that. Not knowing when MCU will transition from Phase 4 to 5, we can least be sure that the sequel will bring us some power-packed action in terms of Kree-Skrull war tying into Secret Invasion storyline somehow. The movie is to be helmed by Candyman director Nia DaCosta. Brie Larson will return in the titular role along with new entrants Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau/Photon) and Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan). The movie is currently in pre-production stage and is slated to release on 11 November 2022.
Captain Marvel FAQ’s
Captain Marvel became a woman in 2012, when writer DeConnick turned Carol Danvers aka Ms Marvel in the comic, into the titular character.
The idea behind turning Mar-vell into Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers was to reach out to female audience. She was portrayed as a powerful character with her own flaws that makes her more relatable.