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Your Guide To All The Marvel Heroes Who Have Called Themselves Captain Marvel

Your Guide To All The Marvel Heroes Who Have Called Themselves Captain Marvel

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As you’re probably already aware, as of writing this, Captain Marvel is on the verge of starring in her very own MCU movie. With Brie Larson in the title role, we’ll finally get to see Carol Danvers on the big screen as Captain Marvel.

While Carol has been Captain Marvel in the comics for a few years now, she is not the first hero to go by that name at Marvel. In fact, there have been six others to go by that name over the decades.

Take a look below to find out who these other heroes are.

Captain Marvel #29 cover by Jim Starlin.
Captain Marvel #29 cover by Jim Starlin.

Mar-Vell

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (1967)

Mar-Vell is the original hero to go by the name of Captain Marvel. This Kree warrior was originally sent to Earth as a spy but in the process became a hero on Earth. While these heroic efforts would be appreciated on Earth, the Kree would find him guilty of treason. As a result of this, Captain Marvel has faced off against Ronan the Accuser many times.

Captain Marvel spent a lot of time trapped in the Negative Zone, with the only respite from it being the ability to swap places with Marvel-wide teenage sidekick Rick Jones. Through this situation Rick and Mar-Vell became good friends.

One of his most famous stories, The Death of Captain Marvel, was also his last. In this original graphic novel from 1982, Mar-Vell dies of cancer caused by exposure to various radioactive compounds. The story sees the hero come to terms with his fate and the wider hero community paying their respects.

Although, because comics never let the dead rest, Captain Marvel has made brief appearances since his death as part of various storylines over the decades. Although, by the end of the story his statusquo of death has always returned.

Captain Marvel 1989 one-shot cover by Marc Bright.
Captain Marvel 1989 one-shot cover by Marc Bright.

Monica Rambeau

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982)

Monica Rambeau is the second hero to go by the name of Captain Marvel and held that title through most of the 1980s and into the 90s. She was a mainstay on the Avengers for all of Roger Stern’s underrated run (Avengers #227-288 and even lead the team for some of that period.

Unlike all the other heroes Monica does not have any connection to the Kree and instead received her powers through the exposure to extra-dimensional energy. Due to this difference, her powers also operate very differently. Monica is able to absorb and manipulate energy, while also turning her form into pure energy. This allows her to travel at the speed of light.

Monica worked in the Harbor Patrol in New Orleans as a cargo ship captain before her exposure to extra-dimensional energy. That’s quite different work to being a superhero!

Monica Rambeau would later go by other names such as Photon and Pulsar but is currently known as Spectrum.

Captain Marvel (2002 series) #12 cover by Carlos Pacheco.
Captain Marvel (2002 series) #12 cover by Carlos Pacheco.

Genis-Vell

First Appearance: Silver Surfer Annual #6 (As Legacy), Captain Marvel (1995 series) #1 (As Captain Marvel)

Genis-Vell is the third Captain Marvel and operated from the mid-90s and into the 2000s. He’s the son of the Mar-Vell who, after his father’s death, was artificially inseminated using advanced technology and Mar-Vell’s DNA. Afterwards, he was artificially aged and had false memories implanted to believe that he was the son of Star Fox and had a normal childhood.

In a similar situation to his father, Genis-Vell was trapped in the Microverse and was able to temporarily swap places with Rick Jones. Although, Rick and Genis-Vell did not get along and there was significant tension between the two.

While he has been mostly forgotten by fans, Genis-Vell had quite a long run as Captain Marvel with two series spanning a total of 60 issues.

Genis-Vell would eventually join the Thunderbolts as Photon and would die in Thunderbolts #100.

Captain Marvel (2002 series) #17 cover by Scott Kollins.
Captain Marvel (2002 series) #17 cover by Scott Kollins.

Phyla-Vell

First Appearance: Captain Marvel (2002 series) #16

Phyla-Vell is the fourth hero to call themselves Captain Marvel and is the younger sister of Genis-Vell. Her tenure as Captain Marvel was short-lived, taking the mantle for a few issues from her brother before it was claimed back.

She played a big part in Marvel’s cosmic revival in the mid-2000s and was even part of the modern lineup of Guardians of the Galaxy – the same line up which inspired the movies.

Captain Marvel (2008 series) #5 cover by Ed McGuinness.
Captain Marvel (2008 series) #5 cover by Ed McGuinness.

Khn’nr

First Appearance: Civil War: The Return

Another shortlived Captain Marvel and quite different from the others. Khn’nr is actually a Skrull with bonded DNA of the original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell).

He was meant to help infiltrate Earth with the other Skrulls that were disguised as heroes but decided to turn against the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion storyline.

Dark Avengers #1 page by Mike Deodato.
Dark Avengers #1 page by Mike Deodato. (Click for a bigger image)

Noh-Varr

First Appearance: Marvel Boy (2000 series) #1 (As Marvel Boy), Dark Avengers (2009 series) #1 (As Captain Marvel)

Better known as Marvel Boy, Noh-Varr is a Kree teenager from another universe who has been enhance by insect DNA. Crazy, right? That’s comics for you!

Noh-Varr takes up the mantle of Captain Marvel for a short period of time as part of the Dark Avengers.

Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More cover by David Lopez.
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More cover by David Lopez.

Carol Danvers

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (As Carol Danvers), Ms Marvel (1977) #1 (As Ms. Marvel), Avenging Spider-Man #9 (As Captain Marvel)

Finally, we have Carol Danvers, who thanks to a Hollywood movie is best known of all of the Captain Marvel. While she might be the newest to take up the mantle, she has a long history going back to the Mar-Vell.

Before she had any of her powers, she was a supporting cast member in the original Captain Marvel series where she was Security Chief at an air force base. It wasn’t until 1977 that she actually became a superhero when she caught in an explosion from a device called the “Psyche-Magnetron”. This melded some of Mar-Vell’s DNA with her’s and she essentially became Human-Kree hybrid.

Ms. Marvel would would later join the Avengers as well as star in her own series a few times over the years.

She would eventually become Captain Marvel in 2012. Out of all of the Captain Marvel’s she has been the one that has had the most limelight in the Marvel Universe, featuring in Civil War II in a big way as well as leading the space bound organisation of Alpha Flight.

Want to read Carol Danvers Captain Marvel? Check out the Captain Marvel reading order!

Who Is Your Favourite Captain Marvel?

Let me know in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments

  • Just wanted to say that the article was great and that the artist of the Captain Marvel 1989 one-shot cover (and interiors) was “Mark” not Marc Bright, as the caption says.

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