The Captain Marvel (2019) movie was originally announced by Marvel way back in 2014. However, only recently have any headline-making developments in relation to the film been announced. This includes the casting of Brie Larson in the titular role, an announcement that was made last month at SDCC. While the director of the film has not been announced, Kevin Feige has said that we should learn his or her identity by the end of the summer.
Marvel Studios has also confirmed that the Captain Marvel set to star in the upcoming film will be Carol Danvers, a superhero with an interesting past. Danvers has had a number of superhero personas (the first being Ms. Marvel, which she used for decades), and only recently, in 2012, did she take on the title of Captain Marvel.
For comic fans of Carol Danvers who want a refresher, or MCU fans who want to know who Captain Marvel is, here are the 15 Things You Need To Know About Captain Marvel.
15. There Have Been Other Captain Marvels… and Ms. Marvels
The Captain Marvel movie will center on Carol Danvers, who has been part of the Marvel universe since 1968 and has held both the title of Ms. Marvel (from 1977 – 2012) and Captain Marvel (from 2012 to the present). However, there have been a number of Captain Marvels and Ms. Marvels over the years.
The original Marvel comics Captain Marvel, or Mar-Vell, was a male Kree (the same alien species as Guardians of the Galaxy villain Ronan the Accuser) who was created by Stan Lee and first introduced in 1967. Carol Danvers gained her powers from Mar-Vell after the Psyche-Magnitron fuses her DNA to his, giving her a litany of superpowers (more on that in a bit). Before all that, Fawcett Comics had a Captain Marvel character — he made his debut in 1940 — that later became a DC Comics heavyweight known as Shazam.
There are a number of women who have taken the mantle of Ms. Marvel as well after Danvers, including Sharon Ventura, Karla Sofen, and most recently, Kamala Khan, who became the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic in 2014.
14. She’s a Servicewoman in the U.S. Air Force
When Carol Danvers was introduced in the late 1960s, she was not a superhero, but a member of the U.S. Air Force who aided the original Kree Captain Marvel. She joined the military at the tender age of eighteen in order to pay for college — after her father refused to give money to send her to school — eventually rising through the ranks to Major. Over the course of various comic arcs, she also worked at the CIA (where she met S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury, among other heroes) and as the security chief of NASA.
Later, Danvers worked for the Daily Bugle‘s subsidiary Woman Magazine as an editor. While an editor, she often fought with her boss, the Daily Bugle‘s curmudgeonly J. Jonah Jameson, who believed that the magazine should focus on things “relevant” to women’s lives, like diet tips and fashion. Instead, under Danvers’s leadership, the magazine focused on careers and feminism, leading to Jameson firing Danvers over their differing viewpoints.
13. She’s a missing link between the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy
It was while she was at NASA that Carol Danvers met the Kree superhero Mar-Vell and she was exposed to a damaged Kree device called the Psyche-Magnitron. The device genetically reconstructed every cell in her body so that she was a living fusion of human and Kree genetics. This incident gave Danvers her powers that would allow her to become Ms. Marvel.
For the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Danvers offers a link between the Avengers movies and the Guardians of the Galaxy films, connecting the Earth-bound heroes to their space-traveling counterparts. That being said, one of the writers of the Captain Marvel screenplay recently revealed that Captain Marvel’s origin story in the films will be modified so that it does not so closely resemble the story of DC’s Green Lantern. At this moment, it is unclear what Captain Marvel’s new origin story will be, or even if it will involve outer space at all.
12. She’s been affiliated with a number of superhero groups
Over the years, Carol Danvers has worked with a number of superhero organizations, both on planet Earth and across the galaxy. She has been a member of the Avengers and the New Avengers, and she was also a team member (and eventual leader) of the Mighty Avengers. She has worked with the Defenders and the X-Men, and was an active member of the Guardians of the Galaxy for a spell. As another hero persona, Binary, she also teamed with the Starjammers, a group of space pirates. Danvers is a team player, and has proven to be a strong link to every team she has been a part of.
As Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers is currently a member of the Ultimates, a superhero task force that attempts to find and neutralize threats throughout the galaxy before they make their way to Earth. In the Ultimate Universe, Carol Danvers (who does not have superpowers) becomes the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when Nick Fury disappears.
11. She has an insane set of superpowers
Carol Danvers has a number of powers and abilities. Before she gained her superpowers, she was already an ace pilot and was an impressive military officer. Her combat skills and piloting abilities were only enhanced by her superpowers, which included super strength and flight, along with the ability to reach a velocity exceeding the speed of sound. Additionally, Danvers has displayed limited psychic powers and impressive energy absorption/projection abilities, skills that enhance her strength and durability while allowing her to create powerful energy blasts. All around, she’s one of the most powerful heroes the Marvel Universe has to offer.
As her Binary persona, Danvers had even more impressive powers. She was able to survive in space, and she could capture the power of a white hole. In that state, her powers were cosmic, though she was not able to remain in that state indefinitely. If Binary is introduced in the MCU in some capacity, there is little doubt that Danvers will be stronger than any hero we’ve seen thus far.
10. Her original title of “Ms. Marvel” was important
Carol Danvers was created in 1968 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, though she initially only served in a supporting role. In 1977, Gerry Conway made Danvers “Ms. Marvel” because he wanted a superhero that could empower women. At the time, “Ms.” was coming into vogue as an alternative to “Miss” or “Mrs.” which denoted whether or not a woman was married. The “Ms.” in her name, then, was a sign that Ms. Marvel was an independent woman.
Ms. Marvel is a feminist superhero, designed from her inception to promote and empower women. While she has not been without controversy — including criticism over her initial revealing costume and her dependence on Mar-Vell — the character has been part of a more recent push to promote female characters within the Marvel Comic Universe. In 2012, Carol Danvers changed her name to Captain Marvel, appearing in a new comic series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick; she has also played a pivotal role in the Civil War II comic arc, leading one of the factions in the conflict.
9. She’s Headlining the First Female-Led MCU Film
Given Carol Danvers’ history in the world of comics, as a pioneering superpowered woman, it seems fitting that she is focus of Marvel’s first female-led film. Her original backstory, if any part of it is used, also helps to position her at the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite the fact that a number of fans were pushing for a Black Widow film (which has not yet been announced, but, of course, could still happen), many welcomed the Captain Marvel movie as a new opportunity. Captain Marvel is going to lead the way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will hopefully pave the way for more female heroes.
Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, has said that Captain Marvel will be “one of, if not the most powerful” superhero in the MCU. Both her film and character will definitely affect how the shared universe and the heroes in it function.
8. She Was Originally Going to be In the Netflix show Jessica Jones
Carol Danvers was going to appear in the Netflix series Jessica Jones (2015) as the best friend to the eponymous ex-superhero. Danvers would have acted as Jones’ confidante and ally against the villainous Kilgrave. Of course, the character had to be modified and revised to be Trish “Patsy” Walker (also known as Hellcat, and played by Rachael Taylor) after the Marvel Cinematic Universe executives greenlit the Captain Marvel movie.
Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg said that the transition from Danvers to Walker was a smooth one. Additionally, it turned out that Trish Walker ended up being a better fit for the show, because she did not have superpowers, in contrast to both Jones and Danvers. Because of this, Walker was able to complement Jones in ways that Danvers wasn’t able to. Meanwhile, while Danvers was delayed, she will ultimately get more screen time and a larger audience on the big screen.
7. Avengers 200 Controversy
In Avengers 200, Carol Danvers was a key player in an unpopular story arc — one that fans believed counteracted her feminist origins in a harmful way. An interdimensional being, Immortus, kidnapped Danvers and brainwashed her, making her believe that she was in love with him. Danvers was raped and impregnated with a child version of Immortus named Marcus, who grew into an adult at an accelerated pace after she gave birth to him.
At first, Carol is horrified, not remembering these events, but after the now-adult Marcus explains to her what has happened, she is entranced and agrees to leave with him. The other Avengers, including Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Thor do nothing to stop her and simply hope she finds her happy ending with her son/lover who is controlling her mind.
Suffice to say, there has been a great deal of backlash surrounding the story. In a later comic by Chris Claremont, Danvers returns and explains to the Avengers how they failed her and left her at the hands of a mind-controlling monster. She only escapes because Marcus’ accelerated aging led to his death. The damage is done, but Danvers tries to move on and heal from her experience.
6. Rogue Stole Her Powers
Carol Danvers’ problems were far from over. Rogue eavesdrops on the future-seeing mutant Destiny speaking to Mystique, and she learns that Danvers will be involved in a future incident that will endanger Rogue. Hoping to stop this, the mutant hero attacked Danvers, stealing both her powers and memories. As a result, for a period of time, Rogue possesses all of Carol’s abilities, including super strength and flight. Rogue leaves Carol for dead, but Spider-Woman ends up saving her life. Rogue is also plagued by Carol’s consciousness and memories until they are eventually destroyed by Magneto.
Meanwhile, Prof. X works with Carol to revive her past memories, although he cannot help her regain her abilities. Carol is also disassociated from the memories, so she does not feel emotional connections that she once did. Begrudging the Avengers for her trauma, Carol goes to work with the X-Men.
5. Carol Later Takes on Other Personas and Gains Additional Powers
As we’ve mentioned, Danvers has used other hero monikers in her lifetime. After losing her powers to Rogue, she gained new and even more powerful powers. Danvers was with the X-Men in outer space when they encountered the Brood, an alien race that unlocked unknown potential in Danvers, including the ability to take power from a cosmic white hole. Taking the name “Binary”, Danvers was more powerful than ever before. As Binary, Danvers traveled the galaxy along with the Starjammers.
Danvers also acted as a hero under the name of Warbird, after she lost her Binary-level powers (but retained or regained her initial Ms. Marvel powers). This name change is in large part because another Ms. Marvel, Sharon Ventura, had appeared in Danvers’ absence from Earth. As Warbird, Danvers struggles with addiction to alcohol due to the traumatic experiences she has had; she bonds with and gets help from Iron Man during this time.
4. She Sides with Iron Man in Civil War… But She Fights Him in Civil War II
In the original Marvel Civil War, Carol Danvers sides with Iron Man on the “pro-registration” side of the superhero divide. However, in Civil War II, not only is Carol Danvers siding against Iron Man — she’s leading the charge. Taking the place of Captain America, Captain Marvel is the leader of the Civil War faction, and she gathers a team of heroes who agree with her cause, including Steve Rogers, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Vision, and War Machine.
The divide in Civil War II does not deal with superhero registration, and instead deals with a powerful Inhuman named Ulysses who is able to see the future. Captain Marvel believes that Ulysses’ abilities can be used to stop threats before they even happen, whereas Iron Man believes that rhetoric leads to a dangerous and slippery slope which gives superheroes too much power. You can learn more about Civil War II by reading our complete guide.
3. Brie Larson is Slated to Play Her
There was quite a lot of speculation over who would play the titular role in Captain Marvel after the movie was announced in 2014. Over the next two years, a number of actresses were suggested. It was speculated that both Emily Blunt (Sicario) and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) were possible leading ladies.
However, it was Brie Larson, who won the Oscar for Best Actress this past year for her impassioned portrayal in Room, that was named the rumored frontrunner and was later confirmed to have gotten the role. Larson posted to Twitter to thank her fans, and later posted a photo of her preparing for the role.
Not only is Larson reading up on her character, but she’s also sporting a superhero costume in the photo. Her enthusiasm for the role feels infectious, and her social media presence should help to tide fans over while they wait for the movie’s release in 2019.
2. The Captain Marvel Writing Team’s Got Talent
Captain Marvel has announced that writers Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve are set to collaborate and develop a script for the first stand-alone female MCU film. Nicole Perlman is no stranger to the MCU, as she is one of the co-writers of Guardians of the Galaxy. Meg LeFauve has not previously written for the MCU, but she has shown her writing chops as a co-writer of Pixar’s Inside Out (2015). Both of these writers have shown that they can balance action and humor, and hopefully the Captain Marvel movie will promise engaging characters, fantastic action sequences, and some great punch lines.
The director for Captain Marvel is still up in the air, with a shortlist that was ten names long last month. The names on the list were not revealed. Elizabeth Wood, who directed the powerful White Girls (2016) appears to be a frontrunner, but is only the most recent name of many linked to the film. Other directors, including Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), Ava DuVernay (Selma), Rachel Talalay (The Flash), and Jennifer Kent (Babadook), have also been suggested as possible directors for the film. It seems from these rumors that the first female-led film will also have a womn at the helm.
The director should be confirmed this summer, so we should not have to wait long.
1. You Might See Her in Theatres Before 2019…
The Captain Marvel movie is not coming to theaters until early 2019 (yes, Marvel is planning that far in advance). However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t see Brie Larson as Carol Danvers before that. The Russo Brothers, who have directed a number of MCU movies, including the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War (2018) reportedly mentioned Captain Marvel would appear in Infinity War while speaking to fans at the Smithsonian Institute — and then tried their best to cover it up by claiming they had said “Captain Barvel”. Fans documented this seeming gaff on Twitter, using the event hashtag #MarvelatSI.
Given that the two-part Infinity War is scheduled for release around Captain Marvel (Part I arrives 10 months before it in May of 2018, while Part II debuts roughly 2 months after Carol Danvers’ solo flick), it would make sense to have a teaser in order to excite fans. Don’t be surprised if the former Ms. Marvel makes her cinematic debut amongst her fellow Avengers. They’ll certainly be needing her help in the fight against Thanos.
Are there any other facts that new Captain Marvel fans need to know before the movie? Share them in the comments!
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2– May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers 4 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.