Carol corps

Captain Marvel MCU concept.

For this I tried my best to replicate the feel of the Marvel films’ promo art. Sure was tough and I don’t think mine is up to par, but I learned a lot!

This concept takes heavy inspiration from Kris Anka’s design for Captain Marvel. I was going for a military, air force feel, so my main point of reference were various types of pilot gear.

The face is no one in particular. I did however, refer to Katheryn Winnick and Elizabeth Debicki’s faces constantly.

Becoming a Captain Marvel Fan: A Primer

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or been hanging in space, you heard that Marvel announced a Captain Marvel movie for 2018! Though it’s hard to imagine, there are actually people out there who do not know who Captain Marvel is…and you may be one of them! In case you or someone you know is living with Captain Marvel ignorance, I decided to create this handy quick guide to get you up to speed on Earth’s Mightiest Hero before her movie comes out. Stick with the short answers, or confuse yourself with the complicated ones; just enjoy!

What’s Her Name Again?

Short Answer: Her civilian name is Carol Danvers, and she is Captain Marvel, Earth’s Mightiest Hero!

Complicated Answer: Okay, here goes; Carol has had many names. Her first superhero name was Ms.Marvel, and she has also been known as Binary and Warbird over the years.Carol’s heroic identity derived from Mar-Vell, Marvel’s first Captain Marvel, and she has inherited his title.

To confuse you further, there have been a lot of other characters (and I mean a lot) across different comic companies to use the name Captain Marvel. But now, officially officialest of official, she is the one and only Captain Marvel, and she will be for the foreseeable future. Especially since now the Ms. Marvel name is being used by a new hero.

Now, there are certain groups out there who actually take some sort of offense to Carol being called Captain Marvel because, I don’t know, reasons, I guess. Some of these groups insist that she be referred to as Ms. Marvel and that there are other characters that deserve the title more. Just let them think what they want, it’s not worth arguing about, especially since according to Marvel and DC, there is no argument.

What Can She Do?

Short Answer:Captain Marvel possesses the powers of flight, super strength, invulnerability, and cosmic energy blasts. She can absorb energies, such as heat, radiation, and electricity, and use them to increase her own power. Using these energy powers, she can also change into her costume with just a flash.

Complicated Answer: When Carol first received super powers, they were identical to those of Mar-Vell. These were strength, invulnerability, some kind of Seventh Sense that no one remembers, and alien tech in her costume which allowed her to fly. Eventually, writers forgot about the tech in her costume and, when she started wearing a new costume, she still had the power of flight. Woops. She then lost these powers, and gained cosmic powers as Binary. After losing her connection to the cosmic powers, she still possessed some residual abilities from them, such as energy blasts. Her original powers eventually returned. Now, her power set is a combination of her original powers and the residual cosmic powers. Ow, my head…like, seriously…

How Did She Get Her Powers?

Short Answer: Carol Danvers was caught in the blast of a powerful alien weapon. Rather than kill her, it granted her amazing powers!

Complicated Answer: Originally, Carol received her powers from the alien bomb, called the Psyche-Magnetron, but only because Mar-Vell shielded her from the blast with his body. The energies from the weapon merged her DNA with his, granting her identical powers as he. After losing her powers, she was then experimented on by a race of aliens called the Brood who were fascinated by the fusion of her DNA with Mar-Vell’s, awakening the cosmic powers from deep within her. You know what, never mind about that. Alien bomb. She got her powers from an alien bomb.

Anyway, recently, the current writer of Carol’s book added a new dimension to Carol’s origin; a time paradox. Carol goes back in time, choosing to place herself in the explosion so that it will grant her the power to defend Earth in the future.

So, She’s Had a Lot of Costumes?

Short Answer: Um, yeah, a lot.

Complicated Answer: Um, yeah, a lot.

But her current costume, a cool, slick, inspiring flight suit with a sash, has certainly been the most popular (plus it does this really cool “whoosh” thing, giving her a really neato space cowl). Some of her costumes over the years are…questionable…and not exactly in line with positive female representation.

So, She Wasn’t Always a Superhero?

Short Answer: Carol was a supporting character until she gained powers and a title of her own in the ‘70s.

Complicated Answer: When she first appeared in the ‘60s, Carol was a love interest (and oft damsel in distress) for Mar-Vell, kind of like Lois Lane. She got her own title, and when that comic was cancelled, she spent the next couple of decades floating around as a supporting character in titles like Avengers and X-Men, before finally getting her own title again in the early ‘00s. She now, unquestionably, surpasses Mar-Vell, her namesake, in popularity. She even has her own faithful fan following called the Carol Corps (carolcorps). Supporting character no more!

Who Exactly Was Mar-Vell?

Short Answer: A Superman rip-off who died a long time ago.

Complicated Answer: He was a super-powered member of the Kree race (you may remember them from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie) sent to Earth to scope it out. He then decided to turn against his own people who sought to use the earth for their own gain, and became a defender of humanity. He died of, like, cancer(?) I think, and there have been about a bazillion clones and sons and resurrections since then. But he is pretty much irrelevant now, and Carol is the one and only Captain Marvel.

Carol Was in the Air Force?

Short Answer: Yup. Before becoming a superhero, early comics establish that Carol was a major in the Air Force, and she still loves to fly!

Complicated Answer: Yikes, Carol has been a lot of things. She’s been an Air Force pilot, chief of security of a secure military base, and even a writer for a women’s magazine. And as she is fond to point out, even though she goes by “Captain”, due to her military career, she actually outranks Captain America. For some time now, she has been a full-fledged Avenger, her most exciting job!

I Heard She Was Raped? And the ‘90s X-Men Cartoon Said That Rogue Ruined Her Life. What’s That About?

Short Answer: Carol has been through much adversity in her life, including suffering violations at the hands of others, but she has overcome it all to become even stronger.

Complicated Answer: The story of Carol’s rape is rather disturbing, but not in the way you may think. See, if the story had actually been about sexual assault, it could have been a powerful story with a very poignant message about a serious issue that is rarely approached properly. Oh, that’s right, but it wasn’t approached properly, because the story wasn’t about rape…and by not being about rape, it told an ironically telling story about the objectification and de-humanizing of women. The writer of that story, which happened in an Avengers comic, was apparently completely tone deaf and oblivious that he had written a story about rape. In the issue, Carol is kidnapped by an interdimensional being named Marcus, brainwashed into loving him, and impregnated with his child. It gets even more complicated than that, but ultimately Carol gives birth to the mysterious baby (no she does not have a child floating around out there, it’s all okay), confesses her love for Marcus, leaves with him, and the Avengers say nothing but happy things about it. Let me repeat that; Carol is kidnapped, given a sci-fi date rape drug, impregnated against her will, manipulated into running off with her rapist, and all her friends do is pine over her pregnancy. They don’t try to stop her, they don’t offer her options, they don’t try to really help her…here, Cracked says it best. Later writers fixed this problem by having her, you know, be upset about the whole thing.

Besides this unfortunate event, she has also lost her powers and mind to Rogue, forcing Professor X to restore her, been dissected by aliens, faced inequality, suffered through alcoholism, dealt with self-image issues, had a nasty bit of brain trauma that took away some of her memories, etc, etc. But, like I said, she always rises from her struggles stronger than ever, which many readers find inspiring in spite of the abuse she has faced.

If I Want to Get to Know Her, Where Do I Start?

Short Answer: Start right here.

Complicated Answer: There are a few places you could start, including the Brian Reed Ms. Marvel series, or the first volume by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Both are available in print or in digital format. Hell, you could even watch the show Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to see an animated version of her kicking butt and get her origin story that way. Or, you can just pick up the latest issue and see if you can follow it. You might like it!

And remember, if you’re short on cash, your local public library can help you find these volumes. That’s what we librarians do!

How Do I Join the Carol Corps?

Short Answer: Enjoy Carol Danvers.

Complicated Answer: Enjoy Carol Danvers and let others know how much you enjoy Carol Danvers!

What If I’m a Dude? Can I Dress as Captain Marvel for a Comic Con?

Short Answer: Yes, you can.

Complicated Answer: You can, you better, and you should absolutely send me pictures. Trust me, the Carol Corps will support your costume choice!



 Warbird (because I know you’re afraid of anything having the word Marvel in the title, and Binary doesn’t sound as badass)

Synopsis: US Air Force Colonel Carol Danvers (Anna Torv, Fringe) is about to hit forty, and ready to retire. Accompanied by War Machine James Rhodes (Don Cheadle, as seen in Iron Man 2 & 3), and suffering from a hangover, Danvers heads to the Nevada desert to investigate the crash landing of an unidentified aircraft. The last thing Danvers is in the mood for, is a run-in with smart mouthed, sneaky SHIELD agent private investigator Jessica Drew (Lauren Cohan, The Walking Dead).

The second to last thing, is an alien spacecraft that seems to be phasing in and out of existence.

Keep reading