Captain Marvel: origin and history of Carol Danvers

The visibility that the female characters of the Casa de las Ideas have gained in recent years is a reflection of the change in the traditional paradigm, since the potential public is more aware and diversified, becoming more inclusive and even demanding of its themes.

In the case of superhero comics (until not long ago an almost exclusively male feud) it was necessary to reformulate obsolete models and offer new points of view on many characters, especially female ones.

The current presence of strong female characters and protagonists was spearheaded by one of the most storied women in the publishing house: Carol Danvers , today known as Captain Marvel .

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But who really is Carol Danvers and why does she seem to be the only one capable of saving the universe? In the comics, the character already has 50 years of history , one of the most varied and controversial. Pilot, soldier, superheroine, avenger, space adventurer… Review with us the trajectory of what today has become the greatest feminist icon in the Marvel Universe!

Carol Danvers, the vase bride

Carol Danvers debuted in the Marvel Universe at the end of the 1960s, specifically in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 , with a cover date of March 1968. Created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, Carol held the rank of Colonel of the United States Air Force and was the head of security at the NASA facility at Cape Canaveral where Dr. Walter Lawson, the then-human alter ego of Mar-Vell , the renegade Kree hero known as Captain Marvel , worked. .

However, Carol’s main role during this stage was that of occasional romantic interest and damsel in distress, a trend unfortunately typical of Marvel in those years, which marginalized its female characters.

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In Captain Marvel #16-18 (September 1969 – November 1969) she was kidnapped by Mar-Vell’s great enemy, Kree Commander Yon-Rogg. During the fight between the two, the energy of the weapon that the villain intended to use, called Psycho-Magnetron, would end up being released and bombard Mar-Vell himself and Carol. Yon-Rogg was killed in the resulting explosion, while the Psycho-Magnetron’s energy would cause Mar-Vell’s Kree DNA to fuse with Carol’s human DNA, giving her superhuman abilities similar to those possessed by Captain Marvel.

Ms. Marvel, the heroine in search of her personality

In the 1970s, Marvel began to show the effects of the struggle for Civil Rights and the movements in favor of women’s liberation, and an inclusive and empowering current emerged with respect to its female characters, initially emerging as mere counterparts. of its most popular male characters (Spider-Woman, She-Hulk…).

In this context, Carol was brought back in Ms. Marvel #1 (1977), with powers such as the ability to fly, enhanced strength, a precognitive “seventh sense,” and a costume designed by John Romita that left less to the imagination than a trikini. Fortunately, Dave Cockrum (in his run with Chris Claremont) redesigned the heroine’s costume for Ms. Marvel #20 (1978) by adding the red sash around her waist, thus becoming the costume she was seen wearing. would identify for decades.

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Despite being a female version of an existing character, there is a progressive air to the series, which is reflected in Carol’s job as editor of Woman Magazine, a magazine published by the Daily Bugle (and therefore funded by JJ Jameson) that mirrored the well-known real-world magazine Cosmopolitan and was geared toward the women of its day.

But while carrying out her work as an editor fighting for women’s rights, Carol began to experience strange “blackouts” (a side effect of the Psycho-Magnetron energies to which she had been exposed) and had no recollection of her exploits as a superhero. . Fortunately, her mind would not take long to heal, integrating her two personalities (the civilian and the superhero) and definitively adopting the title of Ms. Marvel in honor of Mar-Vell.

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Although today the term “Ms.” It may seem sexist to us, in those years it was associated with the feminist movement and using it was a form of progressivism and equal treatment. However, we would still have to wait a few years for the character to become the symbol of female empowerment that she is today.

Defenestrated Avenger: Marvel’s Shame

Thanks to the work of Chris Claremont, Carol Danvers became an important character, confident and glued to the real world. After collaborating on several occasions with the Avengers, she joined the group when Scarlet Witch was absent in Avengers #183 (1979). This was the beginning of the worst moment of her entire career.

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In the unfortunate Avengers #200 (1980), Carol was abducted by a man named Marcus who appeared to be the son of Immortus, the villain who controlled the dimension known as Limbo. During her brief time in that dimension, Carol would end up falling in love with Marcus and sleeping with him. Shortly after, she would return to her planet with no memories of what had happened, but being pregnant… 7 months! Because this was not a normal pregnancy, the gestation period was completed in just a few days and Carol gave birth to a boy who looked similar to Marcus’s and began to grow at a rapid rate.

The boy, who turned out to be Marcus reincarnated, began to build a machine to maintain his existence on Earth, but it was destroyed by the Avengers, and Marcus was then forced to return to Limbo, taking Carol with him without the Mightiest Heroes of Earth. Earth tried to stop it. Later, after escaping from Limbo and returning to earth, Carol confronted her colleagues for not realizing that she had been “used” and left the team.

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This number, written by Jim Shooter and drawn by George Pérez, continues to this day causing astonishment and indignation in equal parts. Carol, contrary to her feminist essence and her independent nature, falls in love with a stranger who rapes her and then agrees to go into exile with him. Meanwhile, her colleagues, her Avengers (who we assume know the concepts of “brainwashing” and “rape”) remain impassive, watching her partner leave her and wishing her luck…

The events of this issue caused many voices to be raised in protest. The American historian Carol A. Strickland even wrote a famous essay entitled “The Rape of Ms. Marvel” in which she showed her indignation at this story. Chris Claremont himself, who had already been in charge of writing Carol’s adventures and who at that time was succeeding as a screenwriter for the X-Men, considered what had been done with the character so unacceptable that he decided to do something to remedy it.

Binaria, redemption thanks to Claremont

Chris Claremont has always been characterized by portraying very strong female characters with a strong vindictive character, as evidenced by most of his X-Women, especially Storm, Jean Gray and Kitty Pryde. Horrified by what happened to Carol Danvers, the writer wanted to claim the character for his mutant series, where our heroine would enjoy a new opportunity.

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Before that, in Avengers Annual #10 (1981) we witnessed the already mythical battle between Carol and an evil Rogue (then a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique). During the fight, Rogue absorbed both Carol’s powers and memories, leaving her for dead and throwing her from the Golden Gate. But Carol survived the fall and was rescued by Spiderwoman, who would alert the Avengers and the X-Men of the Brotherhood threat.

Professor Xavier used his powers to help him recover his memory and reconstruct his memories, with which Carol (still without powers but with human-Kree hybrid genes) was herself again, blaming her former Avengers colleagues for their negligence and neglect. callousness and joining the ranks of the X-Men.

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In Uncany X-Men #164 , the aliens of the Brood race (El Nido) experimented on her, unleashing the full potential of her hybrid genes and giving her cosmic-level powers in the process. In this way, Carol Danvers assumed the identity of Binaria and resumed her dreams of exploring the confines of space, joining the Starjammers (Star Raiders), with whom she spent time until returning to Earth.

Warbird, alcoholic avenger

Over the course of the “Operation: Galactic Storm” saga (which chronicled the confrontation between the Kree and Shi’ar empires) Carol lost her cosmic Binary gifts in an attempt to save our Sun, reverting her powers back to those she had as Ms. Marvel and moving to Avengers Mansion to recover.

When Kurt Busiek and George Pérez relaunched the Avengers collection with Avengers #1 (1998) within the Heroes Return initiative , Carol returns to the group with the nickname of Warbird , hiding her loss of power from her companions in order to keep your position. Due to depression and exhaustion derived from her low level of power, Carol falls into alcoholism, which leads her to be removed from the group, not returning until later, when she already has her addiction under control. her. Another low moment for our superheroine, but this time treated with maturity and with consequences that define the character’s trajectory.

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Ms. Marvel…again, but different

Carol takes up the mantle of Ms. Marvel again (with a new costume, yes). It is at this time that her popularity began to grow, playing an important role in the House of M (2005), Civil War (2006) and Secret Invasion (2008) events, which allowed her to receive a new header focused on her that ended lasting half a hundred numbers with Brian Reed as a writer.

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As a curiosity, Carol sided with Iron Man on the pro-registration side, which caused him to take on Captain America and the rest of the heroes who opposed the Superhuman Registration Act in the first Civil War . Ten years later, it is her rivalry with Tony over the use of an Inhuman’s future-predicting powers that triggers the event known as Civil War II .

Captain Marvel, to the stars and beyond

Captain Marvel Vol 7 #1 (2012) marked the beginning of a new stage for Carol Danvers thanks to screenwriter Kelly Sue DeConnick. In addition to debuting a new costume designed by Jamie McKelvie and reclaiming the title of Captain once and for all, Carol consciously decides to take on the nom de guerre of the late Mar-Vell, not as a legacy to be inevitably assumed, but as a a challenge that had to be accepted voluntarily. Carol’s empowerment finally brought with it the recognition she had long deserved. DeConnick’s Carol Danvers isn’t perfect. She is controlling, stubborn and arrogant. But she is also generous, funny and loyal.

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This volume in the series helped create a community of very active readers who reclaimed Captain Marvel as a feminist icon who had breathed new life into Marvel’s progress. Her fans, who call themselves “Carol Corps” , are a clear reflection of Captain Marvel’s impact on ordinary people, as well as her ability to inspire a whole new generation of women.

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In addition to her successful solo career, Carol has been part of different incarnations of the Avengers (including the current one), has been a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, has acted as a mentor to the new Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and commands the Alpha Flight space station as Earth’s first line of defense against cosmic threats.

“Higher, further, faster, more.”

Captain Marvel en Infinity War

March 8, 2019 is indicated on the calendar as the release date of Captain Marvel , the new (and more than certain) bet of Marvel Studios and the first film of its Cinematic Universe led by a female character.

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Movie fans haven’t heard from her until the post-credits scene of Infinity War , when a desperate Nick Fury issues an emergency message in the face of the terrible events triggered by Thanos’ Gauntlet and his Infinity Stones (SPOILER: if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for).

The last seconds of the epic blockbuster that has already become the highest grossing film of 2018 (and the fourth of all time) show us that the message from the former director of SHIELD has been received, appearing on the screen the star that symbolizes the Captain Marvel, reminding us that it’s the next UCM movie.

Trailer

Captain Marvel, from Marvel Studios – First Trailer

Bonus Track

A review of the character’s evolution in different media:

EVOLUTION of CAPTAIN MARVEL in Movies & Cartoons (1992-2019)🙀 Captain Marvel full movie scene 2019