How Captain Marvel’s Characters Compare To The Comics

Warning: SPOILERS for Captain Marvel

The Avengers universe has added Captain Marvel to its ranks, and with her, opened up a whole new door into the cosmic races, conflicts, and superpowers of the Skrull, Kree, and more. But how faithful does the movie keep to the comics?

By now even optimistic or forgiving comic enthusiasts know that after Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel isn't sticking to the comics anymore than they feel necessary. But origin stories for lesser known superheroes have been wise to stick to the source material in the past. So how does Captain Marvel compare to the original comic versions of Carol Danvers, her pet cat Goose, and the alien empires of the Kree and Skrulls? We're here to help answer those questions, but be warned: Captain Marvel changes more of her origin story and cast than MCU fans are actually used to.

Carol Danvers A.K.A. 'Vers'

Unlike Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, or the other Marvel heroes she'll join in Avengers: Endgame, asking 'who is Captain Marvel?' is a more complicated question than most audiences will realize. For starters, Carol Danvers is just one of the people who has claimed the title in Marvel's Comic universe--and she wasn't even the first. But the simple answer to start is that Carol, a gutsy test pilot and the potential to become a superhero, is largely faithful to her modern comic incarnation. But the more unique aspects of her origin story are calling on more than just Carol's.

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Memory loss and manipulation, deceit and betrayal, and presumed alien ancestry define Captain Marvel's movie origin, but aren't found in Carol's comic book history. These elements actually blur the line between Carol' story and the original Mar-Vell, a Kree warrior, and Khn'nr, a Skrull sleeper agent implanted with the identity and memories of Mar-Vell who made that lie a reality when it was exposed. The one thing they all have in common? When the truth comes out, they all choose to become a better hero.

The Original Mar-Vell

No character has been changed more for their movie appearance than Mar-Vell, the Kree operative who indirectly causes Carol to be infused with cosmic energy and superhuman abilities. In the comics, Mar-Vell was the original Captain Marvel, deciding to make Earth his home and acting as a costumed superhero. When a battle with his nemesis Yon-Rogg led to the detonation of a Kree Psyche-Magnitron, Mar-Vell's own genetic code was imprinted onto Carol Danvers, also caught in the blast. In the movie, things go... differently.

For starters, Mar-Vell is now a Kree woman, not a man (played by Annette Bening). Instead of acting as a superhero, Mar-Vell is now a Kree scientist in search of an end to the great Kree-Skrull War that doesn't mean the extinction of one or the other. Instead of a Psyche-Magnitron blasting Mar-Vell's Kree powers onto a human, it's Mar-Vell's work that does the enhancing--while making Carol the indirect cause of her powers, and not a bystander.


Most viewers of Captain Marvel won't know that Yon-Rogg is actually the villain of the movie, and not Carol's trusted mentor and commander, as he seems at first. And even if his final scenes in the movie make him out to be the butt of a joke, it's hard to call him outright 'evil' due to his actions in the film--certainly not as pure, or senselessly evil as the worst villains in the MCU. In truth, most of his villainous actions can be chalked up to him serving his Empire faithfully, even if their motives or means are deemed cruel by human standards. Yon-Rogg's showdown with Mar-Vell also seems like a military matter, and not a personal one.

That's a far cry from the comic book version, in which Yon-Rogg was deeply envious of Mar-Vell for capturing a Kree woman's affection. Jealousy and competition drove Yon-Rogg to sabotage, and eventually try to get Mar-Vell killed. Once Carol was created in Mar-Vell's image, Yon-Rogg extended his cruel, hateful, and more comic-book-villainy to her as well. The movie restrains itself for most of the runtime, making it a smart change.

Talos, Skrull Leader

Captain Marvel Talos Drinking Soda

Captain Marvel viewers may assume that General Talos is an accurate example of his race and people, famed as shapeshifting spies throughout comic history. But the similarities may not go much deeper than a name. In the comics, "Talos the Untamed" was a famous cyborg warrior among the Skrulls, all the more admirable since a birth defect actually prevented him from shapeshifting at all. His reputation took a beating when he was captured by the Kree and refused to commit suicide, as was the Skrull way (preferring instead to be killed in glorious combat).

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The disgraced "Talos the Tamed" would only win back some of his street cred when he battled Hulk on Earth, beating him to the point of begging for his life (a seriously uncommon event for the Hulk). Unfortunately, Talos of the MCU seems to only possess the same higher-than-human strength as the rest of the Skrulls. Other than that, his story is changed as a result of the larger changes made to the entire Skrull race.

Page 2 of 2: The Cat, Skrulls, Kree Leadership & More

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Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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