Captain Marvel is coming to cinemas soon and MCU fans are curious to see what this fresh hero can bring to the world of the Avengers. The rumors surrounding Captain Marvel range far and wide. She might be the strongest Avenger yet. She might tackle Thanos all by herself. She might have been stuck in the past or in another dimension this whole time.
To get a better grasp of who Captain Marvel is and what she brings to the table, we have to turn to the comics where she first made her presence felt. Here are 10 comics you need to read before watching the movie!
Essential Captain Marvel Vol. 1
Carol Danvers was not the first hero to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Before Carol, there was Mar-Vell, a controversial figure who played a crucial part in the passing of the mantle to Carol after meeting a dramatic end. It has been strongly hinted that the character of Mar-Vell has been included in the movie,and is played by Jude Law.
Essential Captain Marvel takes the reader back to the earliest appearance of the original Captain Marvel. It also features the first appearance of Carol Danvers herself in issue #18.
Civil War II
The nitty gritty of who Carol Danvers is as a hero, what she stands for and the principles she believes in are best encapsulated in this series. You also get to see Carol working alongside other heroes as they struggle with deeper socio-political issues than just punching out a bad guy.
The Avengers come face to face with Ulysses, an Inhuman with the ability to predict the future. It is Captain Marvel's belief that they can use this power to prevent crimes from ever happening. On the other hand, Tony Stark wants to err on the side of caution. A rift is created in the team and heroes are forced to choose sides. Remind you of a certain MCU movie?
Captain Marvel is notable for being the first Marvel movie helmed solely by a female heroine. If you want the comic version of such a celebration of girl power, there is no better comic than A-Force by G. Willow Wilson. It brings together all of the biggest heroines of the Marvel Universe. The leaders of this gang are Captain Marvel, Medusa, and She-Hulk. If the movie starring Captain Marvel becomes a success, it is very likely that we will see some version of the A-Force make it into the MCU as well.
The Kree-Skrull War
An ancient war between two powerful and deadly alien races finds a new battleground in the form of Planet Earth, as humanity finds itself unwittingly caught up in this battle. The story follows the capture of Mar-Vell by the Avengers and the ensuing battle for the safety of humanity.
The Kree-Skrull war also forms the backdrop for the Captain Marvel movie, so this comic is the perfect crash course if you want to appreciate the finer details of the movie adaptation. Like the memorable-but-puzzling-for-outsiders scene from the movie trailer with the old woman getting punched in the face. Hint: Granny's actually a Skrull.
Captain Marvel VOL. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
The title of this comic is pretty self-explanatory. You get to see Captain Marvel push the limits of her powers like never before, as she takes on a galactic alliance after reuniting an alien girl with her home planet. Strong in the themes of female empowerment and with a rich backdrop of intergalactic chicanery, the story takes Marvel beyond the confines of Earth and establishes her as a universe-level badass. Bonus points to the comic for also featuring an appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers - The Ms. Marvel Years
Carol Danvers was not always Captain Marvel. Before gaining the title of Captain, she was simply Ms. Marvel. However, even back then, she was a powerful hero in her own right, with the augmented powers of a Kree alien.
This group of publications was released between 2006 and 2010 and the storyline takes place alongside the events of Civil War and House of M. You get to see the kind of person Carol was before she gained fame as the new Captain Marvel.
The Life Of Captain Marvel
With a character who has as long and involved a history as Carol Danvers, there are inevitably some continuity gaps and plot holes along the way. In this storyline, writer Margaret Stohl does an overhaul of the entire Captain Marvel mythos. Her backstory is streamlined and plotholes are filled.
New readers are introduced to a much more coherent narrative for Earth's Mightiest Hero. We also get a closer look at the relationship between Captain Marvel and the other heroes of the Marvel universe.
Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Captain Marvel
As the title suggests, this hefty tome takes a comprehensive look at Captain Marvel dating all the way back to the first time the character made an appearance in Marvel Comics. You get a collection of storylines about the original Captain Marvel and his successor, Carol.
The icing on the cake is the anthology of Captain Marvel stories cherry-picked for the collection. Legendary writers such as Stan Lee, Jim Starlin and Chris Claremont all put their unique spin on the mythology of Captain Marvel.
By now, we have established that Captain Marvel is not just a global hero, but a universal one. The Ultimates storyline finds the character taking on cosmic level threats with nothing but her wits and her power to keep her safe. Also watching her back are the members of a superhero team that Captain Marvel heads.
If you're looking for the cosmic version of the Avengers than this is it. The roster usually includes Black Panther, Ms. America, Blue Marvel and Spectrum, along with Carol herself of course.
Ms. Marvel #25-30 takes us on a journey with a simple question at its core: Is Ms. Marvel a Skrull imposter or she is actually trying to stop the Skrull invasion? The comics continue the Secret Invasion storyline, but focus solely on Ms. Marvel and her role in the epic crossover event.
Considering the relevance of this storyline to the upcoming movie and the fact that it superbly balances action with a suspenseful storyline, its a great read for anyone looking to see Captain Marvel in action grappling with one of the most central conflicts in her mythos.