Everything You Need to Know About Carol Danvers, the Badass Captain Marvel

who is captain marvel

Higher, Further, Faster! Carol Danvers is one of the most BAMF Captain Marvels in all of Marvel creation. The fiery-fisted, half-alien cosmic defender has quite the history in the pages of comics. And, unless you’ve been trapped in the Quantum Realm, you know she’s just weeks away from making her worldwide and live-action big-screen debut.

I don’t know about you but March 8th feels so far away… but since none of us have an Infinity Stone on our hands to zip ahead to the day of the premiere, here’s EVERYTHING you need to know about Carol, the OG Captain Marvel, before you watch Brie Larson blast into the sky in Captain Marvel’s solo movie.

1. Her Legacy Spans Over 50 Years

Before she officially became Captain Marvel, Carol first appeared in 1968’s Marvel Super Heroes #13 comic as an air force pilot. In 1977 she became the half-Kree half-human Ms. Marvel we all love. Her M.O. in the 70s? Kicking intergalactic baddies’ butts AND being an outspoken activist for equality and women’s rights.

captain marvel

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

2. She Always Wanted to Fly

Even though she was born to a completely normal human military family, Carol Danvers always knew she was destined to fly. Refusing to settle for a safe, ordinary, and boring life, Carol joined the air force when she turned 18. Her unsupportive father insisted she wouldn’t be able to keep up like a man would, but, ha! Carol went on to become the top of her class. She earned a colonel rank and even piloted a fancypants Stark plane. Its code name? Cheeseburger.

captain marvel comic black suit

Image Source: Avengers, Vol. 3, Issue #68 Art by Olivier Coipel, Marvel, 2003

3. Her Story Started with a Big Bang

In most storylines, Carol Danvers wasn’t born with her superpowers! After leaving the air force and #bossbabe-ing it as NASA’s Head of Security–I repeat, NASA’s Head of Security — Carol met, palled around with, and low-key crushed on Kree alien, Mar-Vell. Carol gained her powers when she teamed up with Mar-Vell to defend Earth from hostile aliens, and from his enemy Yon-Rogg.

When Yon-Rogg’s Kree weapon, the Psyche-Magnitron, exploded, Carol absorbed the radioactive blast head on and her DNA merged with Mar-Vell’s Kree DNA transforming her into the first ever Human-Kree hybrid.

4. Sometimes She Has an Alternate Origin Story

Although it’s far less common, there is another Marvel comics universe where Carol Danvers IS born with her great cosmic powers. In this alternate universe, Carol’s father, Joe Danvers, was a U.S. Navy officer and her mother, Mari-Ell, was an elite Kree warrior. Mari-Ell named her half-Kree daughter “champion”, Car-Ell in the alien language. Later, her name is changed to the more human Carol.

captain marvel mother

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

5. She’s Not the Only Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers is not the first Captain Marvel or even the second, but actually the seventh. The Kree alien Mar-Vell, his son Genis-Vell, and his daughter Phyla-Vell were the first, third, and fourth Captain Marvels, respectively. While Monica Rambeau was the second, a brainwashed Skrull named Khn’nr was the fifth, and the sixth was a young Kree Noh-Varr, better known as Marvel Boy, who was tricked by Norman Osborn to join his Dark Avengers. This makes Carol technically the seventh Captain Marvel but the first half-human to hold the title.

6. She’s a Team Player

Beating back Skrull aliens with the Kree military squad Starforce in the Captain Marvel movie isn’t Carol’s first rodeo. Carol’s also been an active member of The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy, The New Avengers, The X-Men, S.W.O.R.D., and even the little known scrappy band of space travelers, The Spacejammers.

Even creepazoid Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) tried to recruit Carol to his Dark Avengers. To which Carol said, and I quote, “NO ONE worth a damn will side with you, Norman.”

captain marvel greeting

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

7. She’s a Woman of Many Names

Carol Danvers is Captain Marvel now, but she wasn’t always. Over the span of her superhero career, Carol rocked the name Binary (when she was part of the X-Men), Warbird (when she was with the Avengers), and Ms. Marvel. Why Ms. Marvel? To honor Mar-Vell’s memory without replacing him or taking anything away.

In Kelly Sue DeConnick’s 2014 Captain Marvel series, Steve Rogers/Captain America gave Carol the gentle push she needed to officially change her name to Captain Marvel.

captain marvel binary

Image Source: The Ultimates, Vol. 1, Art by Kenneth Rocafort, Marvel, 2015

8. She’s a Feminist Icon

In the 1977 comics, Carol Danvers boldly threw punches at the patriarchy. Carol showed her independence and individuality when she called herself Ms. Marvel. Ms. Carol, unlike Mrs. or Miss, asserted that her identity didn’t revolve around relationships with men. During these years, Carol was also an editor and writer at Woman Magazine, an offshoot of The Daily Bugle.

9. Her Wardrobe Has Gone Through Various Transformations

Some of Carol’s original Ms. and Captain Marvel outfits were well…controversial to say the least. Impractical, skimpy, and maybe even a little x-rated, Marvel fans threw major shade at comic artists for her first costumes. In DeConnick’s Higher, Further, Faster, More, Captain Marvel’s sash and itty bitty cut out leotard went goodbye. Carol’s entirely redesigned flight suit gives her full-body coverage.

Emblazoned with her iconic starburst insignia, the battle-ready blue, red, and gold super suit also compliments Carol’s combat style and enhances her already formidable abilities. Bonus? It is stylish AF!!

Captain Marvel Photo 14 Unpopular original costume

Image Source: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1, Art by John Buscema, Marvel Comics Group, 1977

10. She’s One of the Most Powerful Characters in All of the Marvel Universes

You read that right! Captain Marvel is unstoppable. There’s a reason Nick Fury used his last moments of well… existence in the MCU's Avengers: Infinity War to send her a distress call in the post-credits.

Carol Danvers is a powerhouse. Her impressive abilities include energy manipulation (like firing LASER BLASTS from her hands) flight, a sixth sense, superhuman strength, energy absorption, and she’s rumored to be able to not only survive a trip through the Quantum Realm but possibly even be able to master it. Soooo… what was that about fighting like a girl?

powerful captain marvel

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

11. Even Her Animal Companion Is a Force to Be Reckoned with

Captain Marvel’s adorbs ginger kitty Chewie (not to be mistaken with a certain Wookie) actually isn’t a kitty at all. Renamed Goose in the 2019 Captain Marvel movie, he’s a Flerken— basically, the most badass cat/alien on the planet. Flerkens have super strong tentacles inside them that they can unleash on enemies, and they can hold ENTIRE UNIVERSES inside of them.

Flerkens pack so much power in their deceptively cute and cuddly package, you might say they’re the cat’s meow.

Speaking of cute packages, you need to see this Flerken gift guide!

carol danvers cat

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

12. She Once Lost Her Powers

When Carol went head to head with Rogue (who wasn’t yet an X-Men, but then part of the Brotherhood of Evil), the energy blocking Mutant *plot twist!* absorbed ALL of Captain Marvel’s powers, wiped her memories, and left her for dead! Fortunately, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew (aka Carol’s future BFF) was around and webslinged the pulverized Carol to safety.

captain marvel and rogue

Image Source: Avengers vs. X-Men: X-Men Legacy, Issues #266-275, Art by David Baldeón, Marvel, 2008

13. … And Her Memory

Carol’s spat with Rogue wasn’t the only time she’d lost her memories. Welp. Her selflessness and dedication to enforcing justice led Carol to sacrifice herself one too many times during her Marvel comics run. The consequence almost every time? You guessed it, memory loss! It ain’t easy being Earth’s savior.

14. She Was Experimented On

Before she became X-Men’s Binary, The Brood, a malevolent and parasitic race of aliens, abducted Carol and experimented on her. What was their deal? They wanted to see what her Kree half was capable of. Well, the joke’s on them! Carol got new powers like being able to survive in space, control gravity, and move faster than the speed of light.

Some comics say Carol lost ALL of Binary’s abilities when she returned to being Captain Marvel. Others say she can summon them when she’s having an extreme crisis!

15. She Was Brainwashed For the Most Horrific Reason

Carol’s brainwashing wasn’t a Winter Soldier “Hail Hydra” thing. In one storyline, an inhuman, interdimensional sicko named Immortus zapped her into his dimension, held her captive, and IMPREGNATED her with himself. All so he could be reborn into yet another dimension. What. A. Friggen’. Psycho.

16. She Knew MCU Nick Fury Pre Eye Patch Days

In the MCU, Carol met Nick Fury before he became the BAMF director of S.H.I.E.L.D. we all know. Nick was an entry-level agent at the time, and Captain Marvel was the first ever superhero he met.

17. One of Her Ships Was Tragically Sunk

Carol Danvers dated a few Marvel superheroes when she wasn’t energy blasting alien invaders into oblivion. One of her deepest bonds was with Rhodey. Yup, Tony Stark’s best bro! In the Civil War II comics War Machine and Captain Marvel were an item. But, in a cruel twist, Captain Marvel and War Machine’s relationship comes to a grim ending when *spoiler alert* Mr. genocidal purple megalomaniac Thanos kills him. As if he hasn’t done enough damage.

captain marvel rhodey

Image Source: Captain Marvel Vol.1 Higher, Further, Faster, More, Art by David Lopez, Marvel, 2014

18. She Caused Some Mad Drama During Civil War II

Carol was totes game for Tony Stark’s Super Hero Registration Act during Civil War and lent her photon-blasting bad babe self to fighting on the side of the Pro-Regs. Until she, um, wasn’t.

In the controversial –and to be frank, universally loathed — 2016 comic Civil War II, Carol’s Captain Marvel had an epic Face-Heel Turn and suddenly made it her mission in life to arrest and detain any remotely “threatening” superheroes according to the “visions” of an Inhuman named Ulysses.

Carol’s sudden fanatical shift (rightfully put on blast for being OOC by fans) resulted in Bruce Banner and War Machine’s death, Tony Stark nearly losing his life, She-Hulk falling into a coma, and inadvertently furthering dark!Captain America’s secret Hydra agenda.

Captain Marvel Civil War II

Image Source: Civil War II, Issue #7, Art by Marko Djurdjevic, Marvel, 2016

19. She’s a Talented Writer

Before Carol embarked on her stint as Ms. Marvel, she was a columnist for The Daily Bugle’s “Woman Magazine”. Yes! The very same Daily Bugle run by the loud-mouthed, cigar-chomping editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson and where Peter Parker (Spider-Man!) is employed as a photographer! Carol also became close friends with a certain fiery red-haired investigative journalist during her time at The Daily Bugle– Mary Jane Watson!

Captain Marvel Carol Writer

Image Source: Ms Marvel, Issue #1, Marvel Comics Group, 1977

20. She Has a Friend in High Places

Literally. Carol’s BFF is the web-slinging, wall-crawling, dynamite dame Jessica Drew–aka Spider-Woman! Jess swung into action in 1981’s Avengers Annual #10 comic where she caught Carol’s unconscious body as she plummeted off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Jess not only zipped off to the hospital to get Carol treated ASAP but when Carol woke up with all of her memories wiped out, Jess took her to the only person with the power to bring them back– Charles Xavier!

Since then, Jess and Carol have been inseparable. Carol even takes Jess to the best maternity hospital in the galaxy when Jess is ready to give birth to her son. #FRIENDSHIPGOALS

Captain Marvel and Jessica Drew

Image Source: Spider-Woman, Issue #4, Art by Javier Rodriguez, Marvel, 2015

21. She’s Tight With Another Jessica

Carol also has a gal pal in none other than Jessica Jones. As Captain Marvel, Carol ultimately saved Jessica who was being mind-controlled and manipulated by Killgrave.

22. She’s A Helluva Mentor

In G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel and Disney Channel’s Marvel Rising, Carol, impressed by teen girl Kamala Khan’s moxie, gives the Pakistani-American newcomer (and Marvel’s first Muslim-American superhero to headline her own comic series) her blessing to carry on the Ms. Marvel name into the next gen. Supportive and inspirational, Carol gives Kamala invaluable advice on the reg.

After all, one of our greatest superpowers as women is our ability to lift ourselves and our sisters up!


Is it any wonder the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige revealed that Carol Danvers not only has “powers [that] are off the charts” but also “will be by far the strongest character [the MCU] ever had”? Higher, Further, Faster indeed!

We’re all looking forward to the 8th March release of the Captain Marvel movie, literally counting the days, hours, and minutes leading up to it.

victoria tomis

Victoria Tomis


Hiya, my name is Vicky and I’m your friendly neighborhood Marvel-loving, Studio Ghibli-obsessed, Queer Potterhead.

I may be in my mid-twenties but I’ve been an enthusiastic Potterhead for over a decade. I can’t go a day without firing off at least half a dozen Harry Potter references and have a small museum of Potter and Wizarding World merch… one with FAR too many Funkos.