So who’s this character fronting the MCU’s first female-led film?
PASS THE PARCEL
You’d think that with a name like Captain Marvel the character would be Marvel’s signature hero, but he/she has had a fragmented history with at least seven different men and women going by that name. The original Captain Marvel wasn’t even published by Marvel. He was created by Fawcett in the ’30s, but DC sued, claiming the Captain was too similar to Superman. Later the character rights went to DC but by then Marvel had copyrighted the name.
Marvel’s first Captain Marvel was created by Stan Lee in 1967. He was a Kree soldier, Captain Mar-Vell, sent to Earth as a spy but who instead becomes a friend of humanity’s. He would eventually become the star of Marvel’s first ever graphic novel; a dubious honour since it was called “The Death Of Captain Marvel”, and he’s one of the few comic characters never to have been resurrected.
…A young woman called Carol Danvers, head of security at the company where Mar-Vell worked on Earth under a pseudonym, is caught in the crossfire in a battle between the Captain and his Kree enemy Yon-Rogg. When there’s a big radioactive explosion, Mar-Vell shields Danvers to save her. Watch this space.
THE NEXT GENERATIONS
After Mar-Vell’s death, a rag-tag bunch of pretenders took on the name. In a rather progressive move, the first was a woman, Monica Rambeau, but she had no connection with Mar-Vell at all (and very different powers); she was practically leaping into a dead man’s shoes. After she was renamed Proton (and later Pulsar), a number of characters took the “Marvel” name, including a clone created from Mar-Vell, plus a Skrull sleeper agent, and a member of supervillain team the Dark Avengers.
MS MARVEL IS BORN!
Remember Carol? Turns out she absorbed Mar-Vell’s powers in that explosion we told you about and became the super heroine Ms Marvel. She even becomes an Avenger on various occasions, which isn’t all fun and games. There are periods of power-loss and alcoholism. And the less said about the time she spent in an alternate dimension with a man she gave birth to after he impregnated her against her will the better.
BECOMING THE CAPTAIN
Eventually the Avengers convinced Danvers she really deserved the title Captain instead of Miss and, in Kelly Sue DeConnick’s critically-acclaimed 2012 series, Danvers finally became one of Marvel’s A-listers. Just in time for her to make her big-screen debut, but who’ll play her? Word is Brie Larson (Room, 21 Jump Street) is a favourite, while Marvel’s eyeballing Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) and Niki Caro (Whale Rider) for the director’s chair. Expect it in early 2019.