Avid comic collector & fan for nearly twenty years, Vic started collecting comics around eight years old. Comic investing since the 2000s.
Welcome back to this series, and it looks like we shall be wrapping it up in this article. If you missed parts 1 and 2 of this Carol Danvers in comics adventure, the links below will swoosh you there.
So, picking off from when Carol Danvers' powers as Binary is greatly reduced after saving the Earth's sun and she rejoins the Avengers as Warbird, this period does see Carol Danvers return to the Ms. Marvel mantle before taking the mantle of Captain Marvel.
First a few other things happens to this amazing Marvel female comic character, and let's get into it.
Bringing Back the Classic Ms. Marvel Costume
I updated this back in Part 1 of this series, so I shall touch upon the subject briefly here again. Before Ms. Marvel had her first self-titled series cancelled and joined the Avengers the first time around, she got a costume upgrade. That costume became the character's more iconic Ms. Marvel look. Yes, the black one piece bathing suit with the yellow lightning bolt, red sash, thigh high boots, and opera-style gloves actually became Carol's signature look as Ms. Marvel.
In Avengers #1 of the 1998 series, we see Binary don this costume again. Beast makes mention of it as seen in the panels below.
In the Operation Galactic Storm story event, Quasar #34 sees Carol Danvers save the Earth's sun and exhaust herself. Before becoming Warbird, her powers become unstable and unpredictable. As mentioned before in Part 2 of this look at Carol Danvers, it's revealed in Avengers #4 of the 1998 series that she lost her connection to the white hole and her powers are reduced.
Thus, she cannot take her Binary form and then takes the name of Warbird. She will, however, reclaim the name of Ms. Marvel, but not before taking the name of Captain Marvel in an alternate reality.
The House of M
Yes, it's true. Carol Danvers is first seen and named Captain Marvel in this very comic series of House of M. The comic series debuted way before the comic that currently holds her debut under that moniker.
True, it is an "alternate reality", but this alternate reality is a direct split from the mainstream continuity of Earth-616. It happened when Scarlet Witch had a breakdown and created an alternate reality. In this alternate reality, humans are ruled by mutants and mutants are ruled by Magneto and his House of M.
Wolverine wakes up in this reality fully aware that something is off. Peter Parker is a celebrity married to Gwen Stacy. Scott Summers and Emma Frost are married, Doctor Strange is a shrink or psychologist, and Carol Danvers is the most popular superhero as "Captain Marvel".
It seems that Scarlet Witch had given everyone their secret wish or desire. Wolverine is a S.H.E.I.L.D agent. The panels below are from issue #2 and issue #3. The page from issue #3 clearly depicts a newspaper that calls her Captain Marvel.
So Wolverine sets off to wake everyone up, and they also begin to realize that this reality is wrong. After the events of House of M, Carol Danvers does remember that she was the most popular superhero in the world as Captain Marvel. In short, she remembers that alternate reality even after things revert back to the 616 timeline.
I cannot pinpoint exactly when Carol retakes her Ms. Marvel mantle. She is often called Carol by other Marvel characters, so I am not sure if Marvel made a big deal about it or if they just slip her retaking the name quietly.
It is clear that by Marvel Team Up #11 of the 2004 series, she is referred to as Ms. Marvel. That comic series came out around the same time as the House of M story line, and it is part one of The Titannus War. That story line of the Titannus War is considered to be part of the Earth-616 story line.
Welcome Back Ms. Marvel
It would be 27 years after her first self-titled comic series as Ms. Marvel when Marvel Comics saw fit to have Carol Danvers star in her own comic book series again. The second Ms. Marvel series lasted 50 issues and saw Ms. Marvel side with Tony Stark and the Superhero Registration Act during the famous Civil War story line.
Ms. Marvel would also play a major role in the Secret Invasion story line. A slice of this story line may play out in the Captain Marvel film starring Brie Larson.
In Secret Invasion, it is revealed that the Skrulls underwent a long time invasion of Earth and replaced many superheroes. Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman is just among the many that were captured and replaced.
It was becoming clear by this time that Marvel was pushing for Carol Danvers to be their premier female superhero. She joined the Avengers and New Avengers several times and became a well-known Avenger in the Modern Age.
After the events of Secret Invasion, the Avengers are placed under the command of one Norman Osborn. Norman recruits Moonstone to be the "new" Ms. Marvel when Carol refuses to serve under him. In the Dark Reign story line, we get some weirdness when it comes to the character of Carol Danvers in this Modern era of comics.
Norman tricks Carol into over-loading her powers and this causes her apparent death. Pages of this event are shown below.
Carol Danvers Overloading Her Powers
After the events of Danvers' apparent death, Karla Sofen, also known as Moonstone, took the mantle of Ms. Marvel. She even stars as Ms. Marvel in the comic series starting with issue #38. That was a pretty brief affair.
Now, I'm not saying these are key comics or anything, but this is the evolution of the character of Carol Danvers. We haven't even gotten into the weirdness yet.
War of the Marvels
Don't expect Carol Danvers' death to last long. Those who know me thus far know I'm not really into deaths of comic characters. They all seem so gimmicky nowadays. So, Carol Danvers isn't dead.
In fact, the weirdness was that she was split into four energy beings, and this all had something to do with 24 baby MODOKS and a being called the Storyteller. It gets a bit hairy but below are the pages of Ms. Marvel being reborn.
Yes, so Ms. Marvel is reborn. Did you expect her anything less?
Okay, to make a long story short, let's fast forward this a bit. We later learn that a group called the Storytellers gave Danvers' her wish of being free from the burdens that came with being Ms. Marvel and created the separate alter ego of Catherine Donovan
When Norman Osborn pisses off the Storytellers by killing Donovan, the other alter ego of Donovan is somehow merged with Karla Sofen. In a whole "inside the mind" type of story within Ms. Marvel #46, Karla and Catherine occupy Sofen's mind.
That's until a vision of Karla's mother makes her realize that she is Moonstone and not Ms. Marvel. From there, she wills out Catherine Donovan, and Donovan merges back with Carol Danvers.
Carol Danvers Official Debut as Captain Marvel
As I mentioned before, Carol Danvers debut as Captain Marvel is a bit tricky. That means it can be argued.
I did mention that she appeared as Captain Marvel in the House of M comic series, in which the reality pf that story line was spun off from mainstream continuity. Adding more weight to that argument is the the conclusion of the House of M story arc did directly affect Earth-616.
Anyway, Avenging Spider-Man is considered the official debut of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. I think it's her debut in mainstream continuity, but not necessarily the her first appearance as Captain Marvel.
The origin of why she takes up the mantle of Captain Marvel is explained in issue #1 of her first comic series as Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel #1 2012 Series
This use to be considered the debut of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, and it sort is and isn't. If we discount the whole House of M stuff, Avenging Spider-Man #9 came out about a week before this issue.
However, this issue does tell the origin of how and why she decided to take up the mantle of Captain Marvel. Yep, so that makes it an origin and it is her first in continuity or timescale.
Once again, Avenging Spider-Man #9 was released earlier, no doubt. Still, Captain Marvel #1 of the 2012 series is still an important key for Carol Danvers.
First, Cap tries to persuade her in taking up the mantle.
She then asks Spidey what he thinks about the name "Ms. Marvel". It's a pretty comedic scene with the Wallcrawler being the wise ass that he is.
After flying around the city and then into space, Carol contemplates and also remembers her childhood hero, Helen Cobbs. After thinking things through for a bit, she finally decides to take the mantle of Captain Marvel. It is soon reported in the Daily Bugle.
With the Wonder Woman film being such a huge and recent success, I wonder if Brie Larson is feeling any pressure. As stated before, Wonder Woman is the only successful female led movie based on a female superhero comic character to date.
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel could push this genre even further a long. I am rooting for this film and hope it continues to usher movies based off of female comic characters.
Just a few days ago, photos of Brie Larson in the Captain Marvel costume leaked online and will be featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly September 14th issue. I, for one, love it.
What do you guys think? Excited about the Captain Marvel flick? Be sure to cast your vote in the poll at the bottom and comment on what you think.
I hope you enjoyed this series and would really appreciate it if you shared it with others you think would enjoy knowing a bit more about the Marvel Comics character of Carol Danvers. Thank you and happy hunting out there.
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© 2018 Vic
Anton on October 04, 2018:
Cool write up. Didnt know abut some of these Captain Marvel comics.