With ‘Captain Marvel’ arriving in theaters on March 8, here’s a little primer to get you prepared, or if you’re already familiar with the character Carol Danvers from the comics, this may be a refresher.
Carol Danvers first appeared in 1968’s ‘Marvel Super Heroes’ #13 and served as a supporting character to Marvel’s first Captain Marvel, the alien Kree soldier Mar-Vell. In 1977, she was exposed to the Kree Psyche-Magnitron and gained superpowers of her own and adopted the identity of Ms. Marvel, in honor of her friend. She joined the Avengers and was a major hero, until… well, keep reading.
After years of lingering in the background of the Marvel Universe, she rejoined the Avengers in 1998 and became positioned as the publisher’s most prominent female hero. In 2012, with a movie in the talking stages, she was rebranded as Captain Marvel.
Want to know more? Read on!
1. Ms. Marvel Was A Super Feminist
Feminists coined the term “Ms.” during the Women’s Liberation Movement, as a prefix that did not define a woman by her marital status. Prior to that, women were referred to as “Miss” if they were single, and “Mrs.” if they were married, while men were only ever referred to as “Mr.” either way.
‘Ms.’ was also a pioneering feminist magazine, founded by Gloria Steinem. When Carol got her own comic book series, she abruptly switched careers. She was no longer a security chief but the editor of ‘Woman’ magazine, a clear nod to ‘Ms.’ (Side note: ‘Woman’ was published by the ‘Daily Bugle’, making J. Jonah Jameson Carol’s boss.)
The name “Ms. Marvel” was meant to be a clear break from labels like “Marvel Girl,” and “Invisible Girl.” This was a woman… her own woman! (Well… even though she gained her powers from a male hero… but, baby steps.)
2. She Has A Power No One Mentions
Captain Marvel has an impressive array of powers– superhuman strength, flight, energy blasts, and power absorption. But there’s one ability that has largely been forgotten– her sixth sense. This was a play on the idea of “women’s intuition,” the belief that females have an inherent ability that men don’t to figure certain things out. (I.e. how your girlfriend knew you did that thing you did, even though you cleared your browser history.) Technically, she still has this power, but writers don’t use it very often.
3. Carol Originally Didn’t Realize She WAS Ms. Marvel
Originally, much like The Hulk, Carol Danvers would black out whenever Ms. Marvel was needed. When Carol came to, she had no memory of her activities as Ms. Marvel. That idea was ditched fairly early into the run of her first solo title, but the idea of blackouts/amnesia seem to be an element of the film.