Captain Marvel has flown higher, further, and faster towards breaking its box office expectations than many thought it would. With so much expectation and criticism mounting, the pressure was on for the film to get Carol Danvers right. The Brie Larson version presented to audiences managed to feel like a faithful rendition of Carol Danvers' comic origins. At the same time, the studio definitely took liberties in changing aspects of the character's story. While at the core she's still Carol Danvers, elements have certainly changed. So let's jump in the cockpit and zero in on five things they changed about the character and five things they kept the same.
10 Same: Her Costume
One thing that's hard to miss is Carol Danvers' costume as Captain Marvel. Redesigned in 2012 by Jamie McKelvie, the suit has a built-in function that gives Carol a helmet (and stylish mohawk) while in space or in flight mode. While the suit starts off with the militaristic Kree colors, the film does a great job showcasing how Carol changes the suit to make it her own. It helps define her as an independent hero, and shows us that she truly IS Captain Marvel.
9 Different: Mar-Vell
In case you're unaware, Carol Danvers is not the original Captain Marvel. In the comics, the original Captain Marvel is a Kree operative named Marr-Vell who disguises himself as human scientist Dr. Walter Lawson. Eventually, he decides to fight for the humans, abandoning the Kree. After years of being Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell succumbs to cancer, having passed on his legacy to others.
The film takes a different perspective on the character. In it, we are introduced to Mar-Vell as Dr. Wendy Lawson, a Kree scientist who is attempting to guide the Skrulls to safe harbor from her homeworld and the Kree military. Besides the obvious gender change, the motives for the character have changed slightly as well. While not a major impact in the story, it was an interesting choice to have the character gender-bent.
8 Same: US Air Force
When Carol Danvers is introduced in the comics, she already came loaded with a title; Major Danvers. Carol Danvers is a career U.S. Air Force officer, having obtained the rank of Major. She eventually goes on to become a Colonel, showcasing the hard work she puts in even while saving the world as Ms. Marvel, Warbird, Binary, and eventually Captain Marvel.
The film never outright says her rank, but given that a major aspect of the film is her tenacity in climbing the ranks and becoming a pilot, it's not difficult to see how similar she is to her comic version. If she has kept her rank as Major, it would be important to note that technically, Carol Danvers outranks Steve Rogers. We'll see if and how that relationship aspect will play out in Avengers: Endgame.
7 Different: The Skrulls
In the comics, the Skrulls are universally seen as The Bad Guys™. While the Kree did ignite hostilities between the two races, the Skrulls quickly evolved into almost barbaric warriors. Their determination to wipe out their foes and conquer worlds to establish a new home is considered a defining trait of theirs. In the film, while the Skrulls are definitely militaristic, they're also capable of peace and want an end to war. They simply want to colonize a new world, away from the Kree so that the fighting can cease. It is a surprising and more compassionate look at one of comics more typically evil and aggressive races.
6 Same: Powers
Carol Danvers' film iteration manages to pack the same punch that her comic version does. Both versions are able to fire blasts of photon energy on command, and can use their energy to absorb energy, fly, and travel enormous distances in moments. She can use her powers to withstand up to ninety-two tons of pressure, and can strike equally hard.
While the comics version has a precognitive "seventh sense" ability, the film version is able to remember elements of her former life, fighting the Supreme Intelligence's programming on her. In both versions, Captain Marvel is able to showcase why she's a powerhouse in the Marvel Universe.
5 Different: Starforce Affiliation
In the comics, Starforce is a Kree team of super-powered and highly trained individuals brought together by the Supreme Intelligence. Starforce exists to fight for the Kree cause, before eventually being co-opted by the Shi'ar empire.
While the team roster in the film is somewhat consistent to the comics version, Carol Danvers has never been a member of the organization. While the film gives a justifiable reason for her starting off in the team, it's not considered a canon aspect from the comics.
4 Same: Kree-Skrull Conflict
While the Skrulls may be slightly different than their comic counterparts, their war with the Kree is very much the same. The two races have been engaged in an ongoing war for countless years. The fight took the two races to the far corners of the galaxy, with each side attempting to one-up the other. Eventually, the war took the Skrulls to Earth. There, they disguised themselves and took the forms of high-ranking officials. They used these positions to infiltrate important positions, allowing them to steal technology to use against the Kree. Despite minor details changes, the story is remarkably similar to the comic version.
3 Different: Nick Fury Relationship
Seeing a young Nick Fury with full depth perception is surprising enough for the film. Even more surprising was the friendship created between Fury and Carol Danvers in the film. In the comics, the two have a cordial working relationship before she becomes a hero. The two worked very briefly together in the C.I.A. right before she became Ms. Marvel and before he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead, the film version shows the two of them as good friends and trusted allies. In his final moments in Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury's first thought is to contact Carol for help. This is certainly not a conclusion the comics version would have come to, as the two don't have the same relationship the film versions do.
2 Same: Yon Rogg
One of the more formidable opponents Carol Danvers has faced in the comics is Yon-Rogg. Yon-Rogg is a Kree military officer who tangled with the original Mar-Vell. When he attacked Mar-Vell, he became indirectly responsible for Carol becoming Ms. Marvel due to the explosion fusing Kree essence into her human form. When he eventually went after her, she was able to defeat him but at the cost of losing her memories.
This sequence of events, though slightly different, is remarkably close to the film's version of Yon-Rogg. There is also a nod to his comic alias as "Magnetron"; his weapon controls and manipulates gravity and metal objects. Given that Carol sent him back to Hala with his tail between his legs, it's unlikely that we've seen the last of him.
1 Different: Monica & Maria Rambeau
The film made a curious decision regarding the characters of Monica & Maria Rambeau. In the film, Maria Rambeau is Carol Danvers' best friend and fellow Air Force pilot. She is the mother of young Monica Rambeau, who views Carol as family, referring to her as "Aunt Carol".
In the comics, these relationships are extremely different. Maria is not a pilot; she is a dressmaker and seamstress. Monica is a lieutenant in the New Orleans harbor patrol, and is the second individual to take up the mantle of Captain Marvel. While she is on working terms with Carol, the two are not overly close despite having shared the same name. She eventually goes by a number of other aliases, including Photon, which is referenced in the film as her mothers call sign. While there's certainly a set up to have Carol return to an older and potentially superpowered Monica, the film characters themselves are drastically different from their comic counterparts.