Captain Marvel is an obscure superhero compared to the others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of the comics are well aware of her eventful fictional life, but casual moviegoers might not be so informed. Now that her solo film has hit theaters, though, there is no excuse not to brush up on the franchise's newest heroine. Carol Danvers was created way back in 1968 by comic industry legends Roy Thomas and Gene Conlan — she was originally a supporting character for the first Captain Marvel, but over the years she has become one of the most important heroes in the history of comics.
With that said, there is still plenty for casual fans to learn about her. For this list, we're going to take a look at Captain Marvel's film and comics to pick out details about her that the movie doesn't flesh out. These can include anything from real life trivia to obscure comic stories that could give fans insight about the future of the character. Be aware that there are spoilers below for Captain Marvel, but judging by the insanely successful box office numbers, you've probably seen it already.
While Captain Marvel acts as her origin story, the movie leaves plenty of questions unanswered. Obviously, her character will develop in future films, but anybody who wants to be a Captain Marvel expert now can experience this crash course and thank us later. Here are 20 Crazy Details About Captain Marvel's Abilities (That She Keeps Hidden.)
20 Strength To Rival Thor
While this doesn't become clear until the very end of the film, Carol Danvers possesses incredible physical strength. Throughout the film, she demonstrates superhuman durability — surviving explosions, lasers, alien punches, and such — but Carol has the strength to rival Thor and even the Hulk.
Captain Marvel spends most of the movie fighting indoors at close-quarters. Only when she reaches space at full power does she reveal her true strength. She throws a giant missile back at her attackers and manages to take down an entire Kree spaceship single-handedly. Those feats are only a small taste of her true abilities, and if the movies plan to adhere to her source material, her actions will only get more grandiose in future films.
19 Space Survival
Audiences distracted by the light show in the third act may not have realized that Captain Marvel can survive in the vacuum of space. The beginning of the film showcases Starforce's transformable uniforms, with each one deploying a helmet and an air-tight shield for use underwater and in space. Obviously, this is so Starforce members can continue to breathe.
At the end of the movie, Captain Marvel flies into space after engaging her helmet but not her shield. It's never specifically stated how or why she can breathe in space, but it's safe to assume that the movie takes after the comics in that it simply doesn't matter. She can breathe in space, and that's awesome.
18 The Real First Avenger
Captain America has always held the informal title of the world's first Avenger, but Captain Marvel puts that in dispute. At the end of the film, classified photos reveal that Captain Marvel's pilot nickname is actually Carol "Avenger" Danvers.
The moniker is emblazoned on her jet, and it is the direct inspiration for Nick Fury's Avengers Initiative. Without seeing her nickname, he would have called it the "Protector Initiative", and that is nowhere near as cool. Seeing as Carol inspires the superhero team, isn't she technically the first Avenger? Captain America is the first Avenger in age (no offense, Cap,) but even he can't dispute that Carol Danvers is the precursor to Earth's mightiest heroes.
17 Seemingly Ageless
Captain Marvel spends most of her solo film trying to understand her past, and even after investigating she knows little about the extent of her powers. However, one thing that audiences can infer without explanation is that Carol doesn't age beyond her prime.
Similar to Captain America, it appears that Captain Marvel's powers have stopped (or at the very least, slowed down) her aging process. She appears in the present-day Avengers headquarters in the mid-credits scene of the film, and she looks the same as she did twenty years prior.
The new Avengers: Endgame trailer reaffirms this, as she looks exactly the same aside from some makeup and longer hair. She hasn't sported her short hair from the comics yet, but it's probably only longer so she can buzz it short later.
16 Carol Outranks Cap
We hate to keep comparing the Captains, but it is worth noting that Captain Marvel outranks Captain America when it comes to actual military experience. Sure, they're both Captains in name, but while their official military titles are somewhat unclear, only one of them worked their way up the ranks.
Before becoming Captain America, Steve Rogers couldn't actually enter the military. He entered the Super Soldier program as a test subject instead, and went on to become a media sensation before becoming an honorary Captain and soldier. On the other hand, Carol Danvers entered the Air Force and climbed the military ladder normally before becoming Captain Marvel.
It's safe to assume that Carol has seen more combat than Steve as well, having spent most of her years off of Earth adventuring through space.
15 She Almost Appeared In Age Of Ultron
Although she is just now hitting the mainstream, Captain Marvel nearly hit screens for the first time in 2015. Early drafts of Avengers: Age of Ultron had Carol Danvers make an appearance, fully-formed as the Captain Marvel we know today.
Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon was pushing for her inclusion at the time, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wasn't so keen about Whedon's implementation. Captain Marvel's appearance in the film was supposed to be brief — she would appear at the end when Captain America assembles the new Avengers. She would have taken the place of Scarlet Witch, who gets a brief spotlight in that scene as she joins the new team.
Feige thought that this cameo did the character a disservice, and that Captain Marvel deserved to be introduced in her own feature film.
14 Lots Of Identities
Carol Danvers has been a constant in the Marvel universe for decades, but not necessarily as Captain Marvel. Her new title is a relatively recent development in the comics. She took on the mantle of Captain Marvel back in 2012, but she had several identities before that.
Her oldest and most popular moniker was Ms. Marvel, one she used alongside the original Captain Marvel. The name is now used by the younger hero Kamala Khan, as a tribute to Carol Danvers. For a while she was known as Warbird, and Danvers was even a villain for a few years as the fiery cosmic entity known as Binary.
Carol's comic history looks like one giant identity crisis, but now that Captain Marvel has become a massive hit, her new name and look are likely here to stay.
13 A Prolific Hero And Leader
She might be new to movie fans, but Carol Danvers has had an eventful history. Not only has she been present for some of the comics' craziest story-lines, but she is affiliated with the most powerful organizations in Marvel history.
Aside from being an Air Force and NASA officer, she is a veteran (and leader) of the Avengers. She heads Alpha Flight, the Earth's primary space defense force. She has had run-ins with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men, and dozens of alien species both friendly and hostile alike. Most recently, she acted as leader of the Ultimates, a team that seeks cosmic threats and prevents them from affecting Earth.
Carol has always been a key player in the comics, so anybody hoping that the movies don't treat her the same should be prepared to eat their words.
12 She Almost Appeared In Jessica Jones
Fans of the comics know that Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones are very close friends, but their relationship almost carried over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers was initially going to appear in early versions of Jessica Jones.
Jessica Jones, set to air on ABC at the time, included a fully-powered Carol Danvers as a supporting character. As the show moved to Netflix and Marvel Studios geared toward at releasing a Captain Marvel feature film, Carol's role was retooled. Patsy "Trish" Walker replaces Carol as Jessica's celebrity BFF.
This change worked out better for the series and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, who felt that having a friend without powers allowed for better juxtaposition between the two heroines. Trish Walker is her own superhero in the comics, Hellcat, though the show has not yet given her a costume.
11 Her Best Friend Is Spider-Woman
Captain Marvel has two best friends named Jessica. Although she is close with Jessica Jones, Jessica Drew is easily her closest friend and confidante in the comics. Jessica Drew is Spider-Woman — another relatively obscure character if your only exposure to Marvel is the movies.
Jessica Drew has been a staple of the comics world for years, and although she hasn't been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is worth noting that their friendship is the stuff of legend. Between the casual cup of coffee and superhero team-ups, these two are inseparable.
It's unclear if Spider-Woman will ever be adapted to film, but it would be a shame for this friendship to never be realized on the big screen.
10 Her Real Name Is Car-Ell
Captain Marvel's origin story has been altered several times over the years. Her origin always involves an explosion that gives her powers, but recently the comics took a sharp turn. Carol's updated origin story reveals that she wasn't given powers via exploding Kree technology, but that she was part Kree all along.
Carol's mother Mari-Ell reveals herself as a Kree hiding on Earth. Carol Danvers' true name is of Kree origin — Car-Ell was anglicized to "Carol" so that she would fit in on Earth. The MCU has not adapted this aspect of her origin (that we know of,) but it is her official backstory in the comics. Perhaps it's too close to Star-Lord's movie origin, or even too similar to Superman's real name, Kal- El.
9 She's Allergic To Cats
Goose steals the show in Captain Marvel. Everybody loves a cute cat, but did anybody expect this cute cat to be a violent space alien? Comic fans certainly did! Carol's pet cat Chewie is also a "Flerken" in the comics — something Rocket Raccoon reveals like Talos does in the film. Ironically, actor Brie Larson is dangerously allergic to cats.
In the comics, Carol and her cat are practically inseparable, but Larson couldn't get near Goose's actors on set for too long or she would have a severe allergic reaction. Thankfully, allergy medication and limited time with Goose kept Larson from experiencing any health emergencies. Sometimes the movie renders Goose with CGI, which undoubtedly helped with the allergy.
8 Captain Marvel And War Machine
Captain Marvel has had her fair share of love interests in the comics, but most recently she and War Machine were a romantic item. Out of context, that probably surprises fans of the movies. Don't worry, in the comics, they're much closer in age.
The two are undeniably compatible, both being experienced soldiers with strong convictions in regard to their careers. However, their relationship was both a recent development and one that was very short-lived. War Machine loses his life in the Civil War II storyline as an indirect consequence of Carol's actions.
It's unlikely to see this relationship brought to the big screen given the age difference between Brie Larson and Don Cheadle... but you never know.
7 Pro-Superhero Registration
If you thought that Iron Man's team was overpowered in Captain America: Civil War, then imagine if the movie had followed the comics. Carol Danvers also sided with Tony Stark in the Civil War storyline, hoping to enforce registration and accountability on all Marvel superheroes.
Carol only features as one of the many supporting characters in the story, but her siding with Tony is what positions her to be the leader of the Avengers after the conflict ends. This happens before she officially takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel (she was still Warbird back then,) but it's worth noting that this is where her character begins to move to the forefront of Marvel comics.
6 Rogue Stole Her Powers
One of Captain Marvel's most famous stories is actually an X-Men story — one that fans of X-Men: The Animated Series might remember well. Rogue fights Carol Danvers and manages to steal her powers.
Rogue, who can temporarily absorb the abilities of people she touches, holds onto Carol for so long that she retained her powers for years. Rogue could fly and exert super strength, while Carol was left powerless and with amnesia.
The story gets convoluted afterwards. Carol was abducted and experimented on by aliens, her memories started to re-surge in Rogue's mind, and for a while she was the super-villain Binary. In the end, Carol eventually returned to her normal state and resumed her Avenger status as the reformed superhero, Warbird.
5 Built-In Wardrobe
Carol spends most of Captain Marvel wearing a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt, but when she's not wearing casual clothes, she's wearing a green Kree Starforce outfit. The movie later reveals that every aspect of her suit can change color, as Monica Rambeau inspires her red, yellow, and blue color scheme. However, when Monica and Carol are choosing a new look, they cycle through colors that reference other characters.
One of her color palettes is red and black, which is a reference to the original Captain Marvel. Another palette is green and gray, which is the classic Kree uniform from the comics. It even turns red and yellow for a moment, referencing DC's Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam.
4 She Fell In Love With A Monster
The most infamous Carol Danvers story is not one fans look back on fondly. Although she was initially designed as Marvel's feminist icon, she was subjected to one of the most offensive storylines in Marvel comics. The Avengers #200, published in 1980, began a saga that made her a victim of sexual assault.
Marcus, son of Avengers villain Immortus, uses his powers to make Carol unwillingly fall in love with him. They have a child together — one that aged to adulthood in a matter of days. The baby grows up to be Marcus reincarnated (yes really,) who ends up forcing Carol to travel with him to another dimension.
It took years for Marvel to undo this bizarre story's damage, as it wasn't until the 2000s that Carol reemerged as a marketable character.
3 Civil War II
Captain Marvel's most controversial appearance in recent comic history is her role in Civil War II. After the Avengers discover a boy who can accurately see into the future, the heroes clash over what to do with his information. Captain Marvel wants to use his powers to stop crimes before they happen, while Iron Man refuses to act on people who haven't yet done anything wrong.
The promising story concept soon proved damaging to Captain Marvel. Her stance seems unreasonable in context, and many fans believe that she was written out-of-character. Captain Marvel becomes the unwitting villain of the story, causing the demise of Hulk and War Machine. She indirectly puts She-Hulk in the hospital, and even beats Tony Stark into a coma.
2 She Knows Of The Infinity Stones
Captain Marvel reveals that Wendy Lawson was experimenting with the Tesseract, the cube that houses the Space Stone. Carol actually calls the Tesseract by its name, suggesting that her memories are slowly coming back to her. From this, we can infer that she has some knowledge on the Infinity Stones.
Although Lawson seems to have kept her alien identity a secret, the fact that Carol knows about the Tesseract suggests she might know more. Even if she doesn't know about the Infinity Stones from her time on Earth, her decades of space adventuring have likely informed her on Thanos and his quest to collect them all. This isn't confirmed, but based on the information we do know, it's a safe bet.
1 Captain Marvel Is Definitively The Strongest Avenger
She hasn't had the chance to prove it to the angry trolls yet, but Marvel Studios has confirmed it.
Ever since this film was first announced, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been boasting about her strength. Feige attests that Carol is the strongest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rivaled only by heavy-hitters like Thor and Doctor Strange.
While no Avenger is invincible, Captain Marvel may be the closest they come. Not only is her power going to be more evident in future films, but she is poised to be the face of the franchise after Avengers: Endgame. It's unclear if audiences will take to her as team leader, but she'll acquire plenty more fans after she lays the smack-down on Thanos.
What did you learn about Captain Marvel? Are you excited for her appearance in Avengers: Endgame? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!