How Did Captain Marvel Get Her Powers? MCU & Comics

How Did Captain Marvel Get Her Powers?

Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Carol Danvers has become absolutely synonymous with the Captain Marvel persona. This is great because she is the current comic book iteration of the character but the Captain Marvel character has had a rich history with a total of seven different characters being identified with this superhero name. Now, in this article, we are going to focus on Carol Danvers and explain how did Captain Marvel get her powers.

In the comic book canon, Carol Danvers received her powers after being exposed to radiation from an explosion of the Kree weapon called “Psyche-Magnetron”. This altered her genetic structure and she became a human-Kree hybrid, thus gaining her superpowers. In the MCU, she received her powers from the Tesseract.

In the rest of the article, you are going to find out everything you need about Captain Marvel and the origin of her powers. We’re going to introduce you to the history of the character so that you can see how we actually arrived at where we are now, after which we are going to talk about the origins of Captain Marvel’s powers. Let’s go!

Captain Marvel and her powers

The character of Captain Marvel has a very long and interesting history. The first Captain Marvel wasn’t actually a Marvel Comics character, but rather the superhero that we today know as Shazam, who is part of the DC Comics universe. The original Captain Marvel debuted back in 1939/1940, while Marvel’s character of the same name appeared in 1967.

It is interesting to know that the original Captain Marvel wasn’t even a DC Comics character, but a character created belonging to Fawcett Comics; in 1953, DC Comics sued Fawcett over Captain Marvel, alleging that he was a copy of Superman, after which Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel stories, before selling the rights to the character to DC in 1972. But, since this text is about the Marvel Comics character, let us see how that character developed.

Jumping in the void created by the DC-Fawcett lawsuit, Marvel Comics created their version of Captain Marvel in 1967, with the character debuting in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (1967). The first among several iterations of the character was a member of the Kree race known as Mar-Vell, who donned the costume until 1982, when he was replaced with Monica Rambeau, after dying from cancer.

Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel until 1993, when she gave the title to Genis-Vell, Mar-Vell’s son. After more than a decade, Genis-Vell gave the mantle to his sister, Phyla-Vell, who would be known as Captain Marvel from 2004 to 2007. A Skrull sleeper agent known as Khn’nr became the fifth Captain Marvel in 2007, donning the name for just a couple of years, until 2009, when he was by Noh-Varr.

The most recent and current Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, who inherited the title in 2012 and has been further popularized by MCU, where this iteration appeared in the movie Captain Marvel and in other Avengers movies. Because of this fact, we are going to use Carol Danvers as the protagonist of our article.

Carol Susan Jane Danvers is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel. Carol Danvers is best known as the current Captain Marvel, although she has a much longer history within the Marvel universe. She was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.

The character of Carol Danvers debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1968) as an officer of the United States Air Force. She was a colleague of Dr. Walter Lawson, the human alias of Mar-Vell, the first Captain Marvel. The first major event of her history happened when she was hurt in an explosion of a Kree device; Mar-Vell saved her life, but she was seriously injured. During the explosion, her DNA got mixed with Mar-Vell’s, which gave her superhuman abilities.


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Carol Danvers returned during the 1970s with her superhuman abilities as the superhero Ms. Marvel, debuting in the comic Ms. Marvel #1 (1977). She was a very progressive character at the time and has since become one of the foremost female superheroes in the Marvel universe. Carol Danvers worked with the Avengers and has appeared in titles involving other characters. She herself has changed superhero identities again in 1982 (when she became Binary) and in 1998 (when she became Warbird), before finally becoming Captain Marvel in 2012’s Avenging Spider-Man #9 (2012). The role of Captain Marvel has increased Danvers’ popularity so much that she has now become an essential Marvel superhero.

Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, has an interesting plethora of abilities, but they aren’t that strong as Ikaris’. Captain Marvel has several superhuman traits (strength, stamina, durability, speed) and can even fly. She has regenerative abilities and can harness and use different types of energy for both offense and defense. Her real powers are unlocked when she manages to activate her Binary Powers. Find out how strong Captain Marvel is in our article.

How did Captain Marvel get her powers?

Although we could actually dig a bit deeper into the lore and explain how each of the seven Captain Marvels got their powers, we have decided to focus exclusively on the character of Carol Danvers in today’s article. In the section above, you have read a bit about her history and the evolution of her character, from being Ms. Marvel to becoming Captain Marvel, including all the names she took on in between these two moments. Her character has a very interesting history but let us now see how a regular human Air Force pilot became such a powerful superheroine.

The whole story starts in Boston, MA, where Carol Danvers was born. She has two brothers. When her father refused to finance her studies, she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. She succeeds brilliantly and meets her mentor and partner, Michael Rossi.

As a secret agent, she participated in missions outside the United States, some in association with Logan, then she was in charge of the security and counter-espionage of the Cape Canaveral rocket launch site. In the NASA base, a Kree robot was secretly stored.

There, she would meet Doctor Lawson (identity of Captain Kree Mar-Vell on Earth) and was saved by Mar-Vell, the first Captain Marvel. She watches over Doctor Lawson, whom she suspected of spying. Prompted by Captain Marvel, she leads a parallel investigation into the mysterious Dr. Walter Lawson. She likewise accompanies Mar-Vell in his adventures and unwittingly intervenes in the love triangle between Mar-Vell, Colonel Yon-Rogg, and nurse Kree Una.

During Mar-Vell’s fight against his sworn enemy, Yon Rogg, the latter takes Carol Danvers hostage; she is then contaminated with radiation from the “Psyche-Magnitron” (a weapon developed by the Kree), after it explodes near her. She continues to work for NASA and reunited with Mar-Vell during the Kree and Skrulls Wars where she was captured and replaced by the Super-Skrull.

As was explained, Captain Marvel got exposed to the radiation from the “Psyche-Magnitron”. This radiation bonded with her and altered her genetic structure to a level that she actually ceased being a regular human. In fact, Carol Danvers then became a human-Kree hybrid, which, in turn, gave her superpowers. The changes happened on a molecular level, so they were not visible on the outside, but they gave Carol enormous powers, which she would later use to become a superheroine.


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Does Captain Marvel get her powers from the Tesseract?

Actually no, Captain Marvel did not get her powers from the Tesseract, despite what the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) states. This is a canon matter and when comic book characters are concerned, the only relevant canon are, of course, the comic books. Sure, the MCU is now a separate universe labeled as Earth-199999, but in case of a contradiction between Earth-199999 and the primary Earth-616, the latter always wins, meaning that the comic book origins always beat any other origin stories.

This is how it happened in the movie. As the MCU states, Captain Marvel got her powers by coming into contact with the Tesseract (actually the Space Stone) during an explosion back in 1989. Carol Danvers absorbed some of the powers of the Tesseract but lost her memory, after which she was taken by the Kree and used as a soldier in their war against the Skrulls.

Carol Danvers had recurring nightmares of her past, but she could not really decipher them until she landed on Earth in 1995 and, together with Nick Fury, found out the truth about her past. And the rest is history.

There you have it – Carol Danvers did get her powers from the Tesseract, but that was only in the MCU, which is not canon. It is a separate, alternative universe so if anyone asks, she got her powers from an explosion, as described above, but not from the Tesseract; the latter is only involved in her getting her powers in the MCU.

Which Stone gave Captain Marvel her powers?

As we know quite well, the Tesseract turned out to be the Space Stone in the MCU, so it was the Space Stone that actually gave Captain Marvel her powers in the MCU; this is just an interesting fact, since not all people know that the Tesseract is actually the Space Stone.

To reiterate, in the comic books, Captain Marvel got her powers from being exposed to radiation from a Kree weapon; no Infinity Stone was involved in the process. So, as far as the comic book canon is concerned, no Infinity Stone had anything to do with Carol Danvers getting her powers and there is really no need to ponder on that question any further. Over and out.

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