So Sayeth the Odinson: Character Spotlight on Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers

Greetings from the Odinson,

She is the premiere super woman of the Marvel Universe.  She’s one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  She is an inspiration to the next generation of heroes to come.  She is soon to be starring in her very own Marvel movie.  She’s a leader.  A soldier.  And, she has had one of the most interesting and controversial character arcs in the History of Comics.

The Odinson Character Spotlight on Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers

 

To say that Carol Danvers has had a roller coaster ride of a character arc is a huge understatement.  To truly appreciate just how amazing she really is, we must first take a look at where she came from, the trials and tribulations that forged her character, and where she is today.

Who is Carol Danvers? – Carol Danvers was an officer and pilot in the United States Air Force.  During her career in the military, she has had past interactions with Logan during his time as a Canadian secret agent.  However, her life was forever changed the day she met the Kree superman known as Captain Mar-Vell.  During a battle between Mar-Vell and the mechanized terror the Mandroid, Carol was caught in an explosion and put into a coma, but it was an injury that would have some very curious side effects.

A Hero is Born – When Carol awoke from her coma she quickly discovered that the ordeal left her physically changed.  She was empowered with cosmic might.  Now with super human strength, speed, nigh-invulnerability, and the ability to fly, Carol became the super heroine known as Ms. Marvel.  Though powerful, Carol was a far cry from the legendary champion she would one day become.  Battling classic Marvel villains like Scorpion, MODOK, Deathbird, Super Skrull, and Tiger Shark, Ms. Marvel took her lumps, but she earned her hero status and even drew the attention of the Marvel U’s premiere super team – The Avengers.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ms. Marvel participated in some truly harrowing battles including a showdown with the nigh unstoppable Absorbing Man, a slugfest with the stone cold Grey Gargoyle, a face off against a demon-possessed Scarlet Witch, and The Korvac Saga.  Ms. Marvel had earned her spot amongst Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but her life was about to take a shockingly serious turn.

One of the Most Controversial Chapters in Marvel History – In Avengers #197-198, Coral discovers she is pregnant.  Not only does she have no recollection of how this happened, but the pregnancy is moving at such an accelerated rate that when she found out, she was already six months along. The truth behind this strange pregnancy is revealed in Avengers #200.  After only three days of pregnancy, Carol gives birth to a baby boy who suddenly increases in age and intelligence and becomes a full grown man named Marcus within hours of being born.  Even more bizarre is that Marcus had earlier kidnapped Carol and took her to an alternate timeline where he brainwashed her and impregnated her.  In the end, Marcus and Carol leave Earth and the Avengers let them.  This is considered to be one of the most controversial moments in Comics History because basically one the world’s premiere female super heroes was essentially kidnapped and raped and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes literally did nothing about it.

The Fall of a Hero – Upon returning to Earth, Ms. Marvel, understandably not at her best, is ambushed by Mystique and her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.  This is the moment when Rogue uses her power-siphoning abilities to steal not only Coral Danvers’ super powers, but a part of her identity as well (see Rogue’s Journey for more on that).  The details of this attack play out in Marvel Super-Heroes #11, featuring a previously unpublished tale that was meant for the canceled Ms. Marvel comic series from the 70s.  Now, powerless and aimless, Coral Danvers struggles to find her place in the world.  In Uncanny X-Men #158, Carol helps her old friend, Logan, and uses her military pull to sneak into the Pentagon and erase all knowledge of the X-Men from the government’s database.  While she is at it, she also erases all trace of Ms. Marvel, too.  Now, with a fresh new start, Carol Danvers sets out to find her place in the world, but what she finds just may reveal that her place is not on this world at all.

Cosmic Ascension – Through the X-Men, Carol meets the Starjammers, a group of space-faring pirates.  While battling the alien Brood, Carol is taken by the aliens and experimented on, experiments that result in her becoming Binary, one of the most powerful cosmic heroes in Marvel History.  In Uncanny X-Men #171, Carol is upset that her friends the X-Men would harbor Rogue, the woman that not only tried to kill her, but the woman that stole her powers, stole a piece of her mind, and stole her life.  With her new Binary powers, Carol easily overpowers Rogue but falls short of killing her when Rogue shows true remorse for her past sins.  Though Carol never truly forgave Rogue, she left her to the care and tutelage of the X-Men.  For years, Carol traversed the stars alongside the Starjammers, but eventually even that was not meant to last as her star-powers started to fade.  Now back to her Ms. Marvel power level, though with some of her Binary energy left, Carol returned to Earth and semi-retirement, as least from the spotlight, but that was not meant to last, for the call to ASSEMBLE rang out!

Heroes Return – Just back from their exile in the Heroes Reborn Universe, every Avenger alive was called to arms by Captain America in order to stop the sorceress Morgan Le Fey from taking over the world.  At the end of the campaign, Cap and Iron Man handpicked arguably the greatest team of Avengers ever assembled, and Carol, now called Warbird, was among them.  However, Carol was still dealing with all her inner demons – Marcus, Rogue, and the loss of her Binary powers.  This came to light when she failed to tell Captain America about her limitations.  This is bad because as team leader, Cap needs to know the capabilities of his teammates so he can put his team in a position to win.  This lack of knowledge nearly cost the team a severe defeat at the hands of the Squadron Supreme.  However, Carol Danvers had even further to fall.

Demon in a Bottle – To help cope with her inner demons, Carol took to drinking, a lot.  This did not go unnoticed by her teammates and friends.  Tony Stark, another hero that has in the past struggled with his own Demon in a Bottle, approached Carol and offered his advice and help, which she refused.  Even her old pal, Wolverine, showed concern for her drinking.  This all came to a head during the Live Kree of Die caper when Carol’s alcoholism interfered with her performance in the field and nearly cost the world dearly.  Furious, Captain America immediately unceremoniously dismissed Carol from the team.

A Rock Star is Born – For years, Carol operated in obscurity, only showing up in the background or as a guest-star.  That is until the super hero Civil War brought her back into the spotlight.  She fought on the side of pro-registration and with Tony Stark, the man who stood by her when she was at her lowest.  In the aftermath of the war, Carol, now once again Ms. Marvel, stepped up and asserted herself as the world’s premiere female super hero.  She had faced down her demons and come out the other side more confident than ever, and even a better hero than she had ever been before.  No longer wanting to be defined by her gender and wanting to honor the man who died a hero and inspiration to all, Carol took the mantle of Captain Marvel.

A Young Hero Inspired – Inspired by Carol Danvers’ heroic exploits, when her Inhuman super powers manifested, teenager Kamala Khan took the name Ms. Marvel and set out to do her hero proud.  Khan actually got to meet her hero and was over joyed to learn that not only was Carol Danvers happy to see she had inspired Kamala, but that she was also proud of the All-New Ms. Marvel’s heroic accomplishments.

Civil War II – Life proved to have another curveball to throw Carol’s way.  This came in the form of an Inhuman named Ulysses Cain, a young man with the ability to see the future.  When Cain foresaw a sneak attack by Thanos, Carol and a team of Avengers were in position to greet the Mad Titan.  Unfortunately, the battle resulted in She-Hulk being severally injured and War Machine being K.I.A.  At this time James Rhodes and Carol were lovers, so his demise proved even more heartbreaking.  This sent Carol spiraling down a torrential tunnel of emotionally driven agendas.  She planned to use Cain’s powers of foresight to stop crime before it happened.  Iron Man and some others opposed her, and this led to yet another super hero Civil War that resulted in the murder of Bruce Banner and the super hero community once again being torn right down the middle.  In the end, Cain ascended to a higher plane of existence, and Captain Marvel ascended to a higher position of prominence among the super hero community.

The Future and Beyond – As of now, Captain Marvel is a member of the Ultimates, a proactive and highly successful team of powerful heroes who set out to stop chaos and cosmic level threats before they can harm mankind.  Carol Danvers is also the leader of Alpha Flight, the former Canadian super team who now help Captain Marvel recruit and train new heroes.

From her days as a soldier and a bourgeoning super hero, to her tragic misuse and victimization at the hands of Marcus and Rogue, to her triumphant rebirth as Binary and struggles with alcoholism, to her rise to prominence once again and her mantle as the Marvel Universe’s premiere female super hero, Carol Danvers tale is an arduous story with many ups and downs.  She has had easily one of the most interesting and controversial character arcs over the years, and through it all, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, has proven that she is a true Marvel Legend.

This is Odinson bidding thee farewell

NOTE: The Odinson has written a book, and I’m very excited about it.  It is my love letter to the slasher genre of the 1980s.  For those interested, there are still FREE copies available to read online.  Just follow this link – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale.

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About Odinson

I am a lifelong comics fan and pop culture enthusiast. Comic books, novels, games, television, movies, I love it all. From fantasy to science fiction, drama to comedy, as long as the writing and execution are interesting, I love it, and I want to talk about it.

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