Comic Review: Higher, Further, Faster! – The Captain Marvel History

Carol Danvers has taken the world by storm. Originally a side character to the Kree warrior known as Mar-Vell, and now a heroine donning the name of Captain Marvel, leading the Avengers, fighting off armies and soon to have her very own solo blockbuster movie, starring Brie Larson, who is about to become the strongest and most powerful character in the MCU which is a big title to hold. This is a character that has been in the spotlight since 2012 due to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run of Captain Marvel, and is about to get a whole lot more popular. 

The Marvel Comic Universe is full of inspirational strong women, a few of my favourites being Scarlet Witch, Storm, She-Hulk and Mary Jane Watson. I first discovered Captain Marvel, when she was originally known as Warbird, at the end of Civil War when she joined Iron Man in creating the Mighty Avengers, my initial thoughts on the character was that she seemed pretty cool, especially being blown away by her powers and skill sets, and it was interesting as it was my first time seeing a female heroine lead a superhero team with such command and power. Captain Marvel in today’s society is such an icon and role model for young girls and even the women of today, it’s time the world knew more about some of the strong female characters that live in the world of Marvel Comics. 

The history of Captain Marvel can be seen as long and somewhat slightly confusing, with numerous name changes and various different costumes and how detailed and intense some of the story telling is, but I’m going to make it a little easier to understand. Now not to mistake the two, both Marvel and DC have a hero named Captain Marvel, DC’s Captain Marvel has gone through a name change, now known as Shazam! and Marvel has kept the Captain Marvel title. BUT, Carol Danvers wasn’t the first hero to be called Captain Marvel, originally a Kree warrior named Mar-Vell, who disguised himself as a scientist on earth, was the first hero to have that title. When Mar-Vell passed due to lung cancer, and wasn’t until 2012 in issue 9 of Avenging Spider-Man that Carol Danvers started using the name Captain Marvel, donning a very similar costume to what Mar-Vell wore. 

First debuting in Marvel Super-Heroes #13, Carol Danvers was seen as a side character for Mar-Vell, saving her multiple times Raised in Boston by father Joe Danvers. Sr and mother Mari-Ell, yep you guessed it, she’s a Kree champion. Carol then went on to join the United States Airforce and to then proceed in joining the NASA space programme as chief of security. This is where she befriended the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. Of course being a human hanging out with a superhero can lead to some dangerous consequences, such as being kidnapped and put in danger.  It wasn’t until Mar-Vell’s jealous team mate kidnapped Danvers, where she then became irradiated giving her Kree DNA, giving her abilities such as flight, super strength, enhanced speed and energy projection. It wasn’t until 1977 that Carol received her own comic book series “Ms Marvel”, written by famous comic book writer Gerry Conway and artist John Buscema. 

Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick really brought Carol into the spotlight in 2012. After being introduced as Captain Marvel in Avenging Spider-Man #9, DeConnick brought her into her own solo series. Exploring the life of Carol, displaying her with these abilities as an unstoppable force to then strip her of some of these abilities and how she’s constantly pushing herself to become more to deserve the name of Captain Marvel. This series has gone on to become a beloved and go to place when wanting to discover Carol Danvers history, and is perfect jumping on point for new fans.

The costumes Carol Danvers sports throughout her history are quite out there. As Ms Marvel she went through two costume changes, the first classic costume from the year 1977, a red and blue leotard, with a domino mask hiding her identity. When consuming the role of Binary in the 90’s, the costume took a drastic change, which is one many people may not be familiar with. The cosmic influence really shows on this design, wearing a red and white uniform with a unique flamed head design.

When her new alias ‘Warbird’ appeared this design was completely new, and made for a more modern era in the 00’s. Warbird’s costume was famously known for introducing the golden lightning bolt esque design on a black leotard, with a red sash which was used on her original Ms Marvel costume. The lightning bolt design on the costume was then passed down and also used on the young, new Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan! 

The last, and current costume Captain Marvel wears is the one we all know and love. Homaging the Mar-Vell colours, red and blue with the star golden star logo. The interesting thing is reading DeConnick’s run, is how we see why Carol chose the new uniform she wears and the meaning behind it. Showing that if she is going to wear the same colours as Mar-Vell, then she deserves to use the same name. The costumes certainly reflect Carol Danvers on where she was at certain points in her life. And a lot of these costumes all share a certain love within the community. With seeing multiple variations of these at conventions, it’s nice to see Carol represented by the fans at various points in comic life.

The future is bright for Carol Danvers, with a new comic series that has just begun and her debut in the MCU, we know that big things are to come for this character, and this is just the beginning of her explosive high speed adventures. 

Captain Marvel is released in UK cinemas on March 8th 2019.

If you’re looking for some jumping on points to read some Captain Marvel, check out some of these titles.

Captain Marvel – In Pursuit of Flight

Captain Marvel – Down

Captain Marvel – Higher, Further, Faster, More!

The Life of Captain Marvel 

The Mighty Avengers – Ultron Initiative 

Avengers – The Enemy Within

About Jamie Coatsworth

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