Who Is Captain Marvel? Learn More About Marvel's 2018 Superheroine

One of the many new superheroes announced for the Marvel Cinematic Universe this week was Captain Marvel. To comic book readers, that name is a big deal — she's a fan favorite character that people have been asking Kevin Feige about for years. But to everyone else, the name may not ring a bell.

To get you better acquainted with her in time for her 2018 debut, we've put together a primer explaining who she is, how she got here, and what her introduction might mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you're going "Who is Captain Marvel?" you'll get all the answers after the jump.

Who is Captain Marvel?

The short answer: As Kevin Feige said, "This Captain Marvel's name is Carol Danvers."

The long answer: Kevin Feige had to clarify the above because Captain Marvel has the nom de guerre of many different characters in the Marvel Comics universe. (To make matters even more confusing, Captain Marvel also used to be the name of the unrelated DC Comics superhero now known as Shazam.) The first Captain Marvel who debuted in 1967 was a Kree (alien) soldier called Mar-Vell, and the mantle passed through several more characters before landing with Carol Danvers in 2012.

Carol Danvers

Okay, so who is Carol Danvers?

Carol Danvers first appeared in 1968 as a supporting character in Marvel Super-Heroes. She was a top U.S. Air Force pilot who moved on to the CIA and then NASA, where she met and eventually fell into a romance with the original Captain Marvel. During a battle with Mar-Vell's nemesis Yon-Rogg, a radioactive explosion leads to Danvers' DNA absorbing Mar-Vell's genetic structure. That meant she also gained his powers, including flight and enhanced strength and durability. Danvers took on the superhero name Ms. Marvel for the first time in 1977.

Ms Marvel

Over the next several decades, Danvers underwent all the sci-fi soap operatics typical for a Marvel superhero: She made new friends, fell in love, suffered losses, battled foes, gained and lost other powers, forayed into other realities, got trapped in an alternate dimension where she was raped and impregnated, and so on. At various points she's taken on the aliases Binary and Warbird, and she's rolled with the X-Men, the Avengers, the Starjammers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Captain Marvel

When did Carol Danvers become Captain Marvel?

Carol Danvers took on the Captain Marvel mantle in 2012, headlining her own series from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy. At the time, Captain Marvel was the publisher's only solo female superhero title. It proved an immediate hit, and launched Carol Danvers to new heights. The new Captain Marvel inspired a devoted following calling themselves the Carol Corps, many of them women and girls excited to see a lady in the lead and eager to push for still more diversity in comics. And they seem to be succeeding, based on the recent announcements of a Muslim Ms. Marvel, a black Captain America, and a female Thor.

After the jump, find out what Carol Danvers is like and how she might fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Carol Danvers

What's Carol Danvers like?

Carol Danvers is a bold personality. DeConnick has said her original pitch was "Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager." The writer has further described her Captain Marvel as "the virtual definition of a Type A personality," with her stubbornness, her competitive streak, and her control freak tendencies. But Captain Marvel has some demons to deal with including her struggle with alcoholism and many decades' worth of angst-ridden drama. She is a Marvel superhero, after all.

Captain Marvel

How will Carol Danvers fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Now we're getting into purely speculative territory. Marvel Studios hasn't offered any plot details pertaining to Captain Marvel, and there's no guarantee they'll follow her characterization or story lines from the comics. That said...

Captain Marvel has long been rumored to have a cameo (or at least a mention) in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While Marvel Studios has confirmed no such thing, their announcement of a Captain Marvel movie at least confirms Carol Danvers exists in the MCU. It's also quite possible Captain Marvel could show up in future Avengers films. Feige has confirmed that the Avengers lineup would be "altered" by the events of Age of Ultron, and Captain Marvel has been an on-again, off-again member of the superpowered team in the comics.

The character has also linked up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the books, but don't expect her to do so in the movies just yet. Director James Gunn has specifically said Captain Marvel will not appear in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, though he promised other prominent female characters would be featured.

Finally, Captain Marvel could potentially play a part in Captain America: Civil War, or the films that deal with the aftermath of same. In the comic books, Carol Danvers joins Tony Stark in supporting the Superhero Registration Act, in opposition to figures like Captain America.

Above is a video put together by World of Heroes giving a look at the complicated and fun history of Captain Marvel.

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Captain Marvel