Every now and then, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Carol Danvers, currently known as Captain Marvel. In the past, Carol has also used the costumed identities of Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Personally, she’ll always be Ms. Marvel to me because that’s how I first met her back in the Seventies.
Back then, she was meant to be a “women’s lib” kind of character — in fact, the tagline for her series was “This female fights back!”
Yeah, I know. But, hey, it was the Seventies! Everyone was a bit less enlightened back then.
Anyway, Carol had actually been around since the Sixties, having been introduced as a supporting character in the Captain Marvel series that starred the Kree hero Mar-Vell. By the time she got her own series, a Kree weapon had altered her DNA, making her a strange hybrid of Kree and human physiology. She starred in her own series that ran a little over 20 issues, all of which I proudly own in both single copies and in an Essentials volume. She also became an Avenger, though she was mind-controlled and gave birth to her own son, who then took her off to Limbo for icky romantic purposes (yeah, it was awful).
Then things got worse for Carol. She lost her memories to eventual X-Men member Rogue, went off into space and became the cosmic super-heroine known as Binary. As a member of the Starjammers, she hung out in the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe for awhile before returning home. She then became Warbird and rejoined the Avengers, though she’d now become an alcoholic and this caused problems with the rest of the team.
Eventually, Carol switched back to her Ms. Marvel identity and she became a mainstay Avenger over the next few years. Several years ago, she abandoned her trademark thigh-high boots and red-sash costume for a modified version of Mar-Vell’s old outfit and has taken the name Captain Marvel. I have to say, I miss the old look — if they wanted to get rid of the swimsuit feel, all they’d needed to do was put her in some long pants.
Oh, well. Marvel didn’t ask me for my input.
I haven’t been a big fan of her recent appearances – she doesn’t feel like quite the same character as she used to… and she was definitely the villain in Civil War II, which doesn’t sit well with me. Despite that, she’s probably my favorite female hero in the Marvel Universe and I really wish I could enjoy her current appearances a bit more.
She’s headed to the big screen soon so hopefully that means we’ll get some high-quality Carol stories in the near future. Fingers crossed.
Here’s some of her other looks from over the years:
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