Captain Marvel is becoming a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with her having her own movie and appearing in three other movies – Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Captain Marvel, whose real name is Carol Danvers, is one of the most powerful people in the Marvel universe, both in the comics and the movies. But for those who are unfamiliar with the character, you may be wondering why she is so strong, and if she has any weaknesses at all.
To help you to understand more about the character we’ve made this guide on everything you need to know, from her origins to her powers, how she has been used in the movies and comic books, and who, if anyone, can beat her in a fight.
So whether you’re an MCU or comic book fan who just wants to learn more about Danvers, or you are a bigger to the world of comics, here’s everything you need to know about Captain Marvel.
Who Is Captain Marvel?
The very first thing you should know about comic books is that the name of a superhero, such as the title of ‘Captain Marvel’ will often pass from one person to another whenever the universe is rebooted or the comic book writers want to take things in a new direction.
Because of this, there have actually been seven Captain Marvel’s, with Carol Danvers being the most recent version of the character, and the one being used in the MCU.
The first time a Captain Marvel character appeared was in 1962. Mar-Vell, a Kree race member, was the first of several variations of the character. He was also a male, while many future versions of the character would be female.
He wore the suit until his death from cancer in 1982 when Monica Rambeau took his place. You might recognize this character from both the Captain Marvel movie and the Disney Plus show Wandavision.
Monica Rambeau was Captain Marvel until 1993 when she handed the title over to Genis-Vell, Mar-Vell’s son. After more than a decade as Captain Marvel, Genis-Vell passed the baton to his sister, Phyla-Vell, who served from 2004 until 2007.
In 2007, a Skrull sleeper agent known as Khn’nr took over as Captain Marvel for a few years, until he was replaced by a new Captain Marvel in 2009. This new Captain Marvel was called Noh-Varr.
Carol Danvers then took over the title of Captain Marvel in 2012, though her origins are different in the comic and movie versions of her story.
Captain Marvel’s Origins In The Comics
Carol Danvers joined the US Air Force, where she becomes one of the top pilots in her field. Because of her talent, she becomes a secret agent and participated in missions outside of the USA.
After this, she became in charge of the security and counter-espionage unit of the Cape Canaveral rocket launch site. Though she wasn’t aware of this at first, in the NASA base, a Kree robot was secretly stored.
While working at Cape Canaveral, Danvers meets Doctor Lawson, who was Captain Kree Mar-Vell in disguise. She also encountered and was saved by the first Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell, though she did not regognise him as Lawson.
Doctor Lawson, whom she suspected of being a spy, is one of the people she keeps an eye on. She also follows Mar-Vell on his adventures and becomes entangled in the love triangle that exists between Mar-Vell, Colonel Yon-Rogg, and nurse Kree Una by accident.
Carol Danvers is kidnapped by Yon Rogg, Mar-Vell’s sworn enemy, during Vell’s struggle with him, and she is badly injured by radiation from the “Psyche-Magnitron” (a Kree weapon) after it explodes near her.
This radiation bonded with her and altered her genetic structure so much that she was no longer a regular human.
Though on the outside she looked like a human as these changes happened on a molecular level, she was actually from then on a human-Kree hybrid as Mar-Vell’s DNA got mixed up with hers. This is what gives Danvers her superpowers.
How Did Captain Marvel Get Her Powers In The Movie?
Like in the comics, Danvers in the Captain Marvel movie was also a US Air Force pilot, this time in the 80s.
She got her powers due to her unknowingly blowing up the Light-Speed Engine, a piece of Kree technology that was powered by the Tesseract and was intended to bring an end to the Kree-Skrull war.
Danvers at the time did not know what this technology was, or who the Kree’s and Skrulls were.
The energy of the Tesseract, which was later revealed to hold the Space Stone (one of the six Infinity Stones), is what gave her her cosmic powers.
Injured badly, she was given a blood transfusion by Kree member Yon-Rogg, which then made her into a Kree-human hybrid. Her memories were also wiped, so she believed herself to be Kree.
During the Kree-Skrull war, Vers (what she thought she was called), was captured by the Skrulls, leading her to return to earth and begin to relearn her past.
With the help of SHIELD leader Nick Fury, and a young Monica Rambeau, Danvers learned that the Kree had been manipulating her for years. With this information, she was able to unlock her true powers and defeat an attempted Kree invasion of earth.
She then left earth to explore the universe and help other planets in need.
After spending 23 years traveling across the universe, she learned of the Snap (the event that wiped out half the universe), by receiving a distress signal from Fury. On returning to earth, she helped the Avengers in reversing the Snap, before once again leaving earth to help others in need.
As one of the most powerful beings in the universe, Danvers was happy to leave earth in the capable hands of the Avengers to help other plants in need, though she keeps in contact with earth in case they need help once again.
What Are Captain Marvel’s Powers?
Captain Marvel has a huge range of powers, making her one of the strongest beings in the universe. With just a single kick or punch she can send her enemies flying through the air, but this isn’t her only ability.
Because she is a hybrid, her skin density, muscles, and bones have become incredibly strong. She has resistance to blunt trauma, falls from high altitudes, Kree energy shots or other weapon hits, and large explosions.
Due to the Tesseract’s energy, she can hold some of the Infinity Stones in her hands, something that is impossible to almost everyone, even Thanos.
The Tesseract also allows her to absorb almost all forms of energy and turn it into cosmic energy, which is what she uses for most of her battles. This energy can be used to increase the damage of her blows and can be used to block strikes from enemies.
The cosmic energy increases her strength and durability and allows her to power her photon blast, a massive outpouring of energy that is used to strike goes. It is also used to help her fly at incredible speeds and through space.
Later, she gained control of Cosmic Energy Manipulation, which gives her the ability to completely surround herself with energy.
Marvel can also build up the energy in her hands which allows her to burn, melt, or traverse solid metals like steel walls or doors.
Using a form referred to as Binary she can harness the power of her cosmic energy to greatly improve her physical attributes, such as her strength and durability.
Producing enough cosmic energy makes her essentially invulnerable and incredibly strong. This also makes her photon blasts even more powerful.
In an even bigger show of power, Danvers can travel through space without a helmet or breathing equipment when her cosmic power is fully released.
How Strong Is She?
Because she can absorb an infinite amount of energy to power her abilities, Danvers is possibly the most powerful superhero in the MCU currently.
Her strength is also one of her biggest assets. When being tested by the Avengers, they found that she could withstand a force of 92 tons, though she said she could most likely endure even more. This also means that she can punch with a huge amount of force.
On top of this, she can withstand traveling at three times the speed of sound, something that would destroy modern aircraft, let alone people.
If she somehow is hurt in battle, Danvers can use her cosmic abilities to heal herself incredibly quickly.
Her strength can be seen in her fight with Thanos. While all other Avengers had to work together just to land a single punch on the Titan, Danvers was not only able to hit the villain, but by doing this she was able to knock him unconscious for a brief moment.
On top of this, she was also able to survive a direct headbutt from Thanos, coming out completely unscathed.
What Are Her Weaknesses?
While being almost indestructible, Captain Marvel does have one or two reported weaknesses.
Marvel has confirmed that Captain Marvel is vulnerable against magic, something that is becoming more prominent in the MCU thanks to characters like the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange.
In the Comics, Doctor Strange has refused to teach Danvers magic when she asked, as this would take away one of the few weapons that someone would be able to use against her should she goes down a darker path in the future.
Seemingly, if Danvers learned some magic skills and then went rogue, she would be unstoppable.
In the MCU it seems like it’s undecided what path the Scarlet Witch will take, whether it be good or bad. If she does become a villain then this will cause a huge crisis as she, like Danvers, is one of the most powerful beings in the universe when in full control of her powers.
If a battle between the Scarlet Witch and Danvers was to happen, then Danvers would be at a huge disadvantage because of the Scarlet Witch’s magical abilities.
While incredibly physically strong, Captain Marvel’s mind has been overpowered a few times, whether through manipulation or psychological scarring from battles that she has witnessed or taken part in.
It also seemed fairly easy for the Kree to wipe her memories, though this happened before Danvers knew of and could control all her power, so this may not be possible again.
As we have seen, Captain Marvel is one of, if not the strongest character in the MCU and comics currently.
Despite this, like all characters, she has some weaknesses, and if the right villain can exploit these, then it could cause a lot of harm to Danvers, or even make her one of the most dangerous beings in the universe.