Thanos eradicated half the universe’s population in last year’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”
Now what’s left of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy must rely upon Captain Marvel, whose appearance was teased with Nick Fury’s 1990s-era pager in the film’s post-credits scene.
This weekend’s “Captain Marvel” debut will give Carol Danvers’ backstory, plus plenty of action to tide us over for two months, when “Avengers: Endgame” brings the Thanos story arc to an epic conclusion. Oscar winner Brie Larson plays the Marvel Comics hero, with Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury.
But Captain Marvel’s comic book origins predate the movies’ 90’s timeline by more than two decades.
While several heroes have taken the moniker, (including the original Kree alien Mar-vell who memorably died of cancer portrayed in the movie by Annette Bening) Carol Danvers began crime-fighting career as the 1970s Ms. Marvel.
Are Ms. Marvel and Capt. Marvel different characters? Is thus comic worth anything? pic.twitter.com/G1YaKEKg9g
— Jim Harrington (@jimthecritic) February 27, 2019
Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, Danvers was an air force pilot who was caught in an explosion with Mar-Vell, which changed her DNA. (Marvel has since adjusted the backstory to explain that Carol’s mother was Kree, and the explosion merely awakened her dormant alien genes.)
The explosion gave Danvers various superpowers, including extraordinary strength, the ability to fly as well as a pre-cognitive “seventh sense.” In her comics book adventures, she’s faced off against the villainous Moonstone, Tiger Shark and, of course, Thanos himself.
Created as a tip of the hat to the feminist movement, Danvers originally called herself Ms. Marvel. While the name was meant to reflect the times, Ms. Marvel’s writers often struggled with how to use her beyond being a love interest.
In one unfortunate adventure, Danvers was essentially raped by an alien being who impregnated her with his own life essence. A few days later, she gives birth to him. (And you thought your family life was complicated.)
Ms. Marvel was also instrumental in the introduction of future X-Man Rogue, who like many heroes started life as a villain. Rogue attacked Danvers, draining so much of her powers that she would have died if not for a timely rescue by Spider-Woman. (Rogue retained Ms. Marvel’s strength and power of flight thanks to the prolonged contact.)
In the 1990s and 2000s, she tried her hand as a few other superheroes, Binary and Warbird. But in 2012, thanks to the pen of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, Danvers assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel.
(Teenaged Kamala Khan, an Inhuman with the power to “embiggen” her body parts, became the new Ms. Marvel.)
FAST FACT: At 15, Brie Larson scored a hit with the song “Invisible Girl,” snaring a record contract as a result.
Danvers became a mainstay of the Avengers, earning her place alongside Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America. She also played a major foil to Tony Stark’s Iron Man in Marvel’s Civil War II, a conflict torn out of the pages of Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report.”
Danvers believed that a new powered hero had future vision and was willing to arrest anyone who might commit a crime in the future. The war left the Hulk dead, Tony Stark as a non-corporeal AI, the Guardians of the Galaxy stranded on earth and the rest of the Marvel universe fractured.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) may be just as impacted once Captain Marvel makes her mark on the films. At this point, she’s the only thing standing between Thanos and nothingness for half of the universe.
Hey, we’re in that obscure movie that you have probably never heard of before called Captain Marvel
See it in theaters this weekend
Or you can just rent it when it comes out on Blu-ray pic.twitter.com/Fyd7Ctc1jB
— Blockbuster (@Blockcuster) March 5, 2019