During the Super Bowl, a new Captain Marvel trailer debuted (as did an Avengers Endgame trailer). And, as we’ve seen in the past, it again has people asking whether Captain Marvel the character has always been a woman. As with so many things in comics, that’s a complex subject, as detailed below.
While we’re a couple months away from Marvel’s next movie, Captain Marvel, the second trailer has arrived, and yes, she’s still punching old women in the face. The character has a very confusing history, which has led to a few people to question who this character is. More specifically, some are not sure why she’s a woman. To the average person who isn’t well-versed in comic book lore, this can all be a little confusing. Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to date and explain it all as quickly as possible.
First are foremost, comic book continuity is confusing and full of plot holes and errors. Keeping track of what’s gone down in stories for the past 80 years or so can be quite the task. However, Captain Marvel at Marvel Comics is a woman and has been for the past six years, and the character behind the mask–Carol Danvers–has been a part of the collective comic book universe for 50 years now. When Danvers took on the role of Captain Marvel, it made the character relevant again, which it hadn’t been for 30 years or so.
So let’s talk Captain Marvel. There are three main characters using this name. The first is DC Comics’ Captain Marvel–who goes by the name Shazam now. He’s actually a young boy named Billy Batson who becomes a superpowered adult when he yells “Shazam.” He’s the DC hero in the red suit with a giant yellow lightning bolt on his chest. Zachary Levi will be playing the character on the big screen on April 5, 2019.
Then, there’s Marvel’s first Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. He was the captain of a Kree militia and a protector of the universe. Mar-Vell died in 1978 after inhaling poisonous gas and getting terminal cancer. He’s been resurrected a few times, and still shows up every now and again but he hasn’t been a heavy hitter for decades.
So that leaves us with Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel. Throughout the years, many people of various sexes and races–both alien and human–have fought under this mantle, but Danvers was the person that made this character relevant again. If you grew up in the ’90s and watched the X-Men cartoon, you know who this character is. In the realm of X-Men: The Animated Series as well as comic book canon, Rogue got her super-strength and flight by sucking the life out of Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers. However, Danvers eventually recovered, and years later, after the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, she took on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Her backstory is wildly confusing, as is almost every cosmic character from Marvel’s silver age. However, her origin is getting a little bit of a clean up in the new movie.
You can learn more about the character by checking out her history video above to see just how insane it is or wait until Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019.