Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for The Life of Captain Marvel #3 ahead
With Marvel fans are searching for the secret to Captain Marvel's new movie origin, the comic books may simplified the process even better than the film. Even Carol Danvers is shocked to discover the true source of her human/Kree hybrid physiology may be far more easily explained than in the past. Forget complicated alien-DNA-explosions - it turns out her mother may be a descendant of the Kree, and not just a human being of Earth.
The Life of Captain Marvel - written by Margaret Stohl, artwork by Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, and Marguerite Sauvage - is being billed as the "definitive origin of Captain Marvel" and its timing couldn't be better. Brie Larson is set to bring the heroine to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and with the first full trailer for Captain Marvel released this week, plenty of fans are getting their first introduction to the cosmic character. That trailer only hints at the origin of Captain Marvel's superpowers, teasing the explosive accident which transforms Carol into a powerful half-Kree, half-human super-being. But thanks to Marvel's apparent comic retconning, there is more than one way to combine human and Kree DNA...
In The Life of Captain Marvel #3, Carol is still reeling from the discovery that her father had an affair, and that her mother knew about it. It's been an emotionally turbulent trip home for Carol, to say the least, but even stranger is the odd, clearly alien device she finds among her father's old love letters. Having unknowingly activated it, the device draws the attention of a deadly Kree warrior to the Danvers' doorstep, forcing Carol to suit up and defend her home.
But she won't be fighting alone. Just as the dangerous alien reaches them, Carol's mother, Marie, removes her pendant necklace and reveals that she is apparently also not of this world.
Marie's transformation is a total shock for Carol (and the reader), who up until now has seemed certain she was the only alien in the family. Well, half-alien. Judging by Marie's garb - especially the Hala star displayed prominently on her chest - she appears to also be Kree, possibly even a member of the Kree military team called Starforce. And if this is true, then Carol's origin just became a lot more complicated. At least, in terms of storytelling. The reason for her powers just got a whole lot simpler.
Was she only able to survive the accident that made her Captain Marvel because she actually was part-Kree? Did that accident awaken Carol's dormant, but already part-alien DNA? Or is this woman not really her mother, and the Kree have been interfering in Carol's life for longer than anyone would have guessed? Of course, the dramatic reveal of Marie's true form is a cliffhanger that The Life of Captain Marvel will answer in the next issue, but it's the timing of this reveal that's most interesting.
With the Captain Marvel movie right around the corner, introducing such a seismic shift in Carol's origin suggests the movie could do something similar. Perhaps this is a way to more simply explain Carol's connection to the Kree and the origin of her powers - not so unlike Wonder Woman's origin being altered to make her the daughter of Zeus. Or maybe there's a desire to make Carol seem less a derivative of the original Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior Mar-Vell, by changing it so her abilities and her status as a Kree-human hybrid are more uniquely her own.
Whatever the reason, if it turns out that Carol's mother, Marie, truly is Kree herself... then everything Carol believed about her life is about to get turned upside down.
The Life of Captain Marvel #3 is now available from Marvel Comics.