It is a well-known fact that the Internet doesn’t like Brie Larson in her role as Captain Marvel. In fact, there’s even an online petition to get her removed from the role that has acquired a substantial amount of support. While we do not understand the backlash against Brie Larson, we do understand why some fans might wonder whether Captain Marvel is supposed to be a woman in the MCU or if it was a decision by the producers. For those of you who did ask themselves this question, we – of course – have all the answers.
Was Captain Marvel a woman in the comic books? Is she supposed to be female?
Namely, unlike the original Hulk or Odin, the character of Captain Marvel is not exclusively tied to one character. In fact, it is more of a title that anyone could don, and this is what actually happened with this character.
Captain Marvel’s character started off as a male superhero, but that soon changed, and the character’s second iteration was a woman, Monica Rambeau. From that point until now, a total of three women and three men (four in total, if you count Mar-Vell) have donned the Captain Marvel costume, which means that from a purely statistical point of view – the character can be of both sexes.
So, the answer to the first question in this section is – yes, Captain Marvel was a woman in the comic books. In fact, several women donned the costume, so there is absolutely no debate there.
As for the second question, that one is a bit tougher. Namely, when you have a comic book character that is not fixed to one specific fictional character, like Captain Marvel, it is difficult to assume that the character is supposed to be of any sex, be it male or female. Captain Marvel’s situation makes it even more difficult because the male and female ratio is practically the same. So, is Captain Marvel supposed to be female? No, but she can be. Is the character supposed to be male, then? Likewise, no, but he can be.
Who was the original Captain Marvel a man?
The original Captain Marvel was a Kree military officer known as Mar-Vell. He was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, debuting in ‘Marvel Super-Heroes’ #12 (1967). He donned the costume from 1967 until 1982 when Monica Rambeau replaced him.
Mar-Vell was originally a captain in the Kree Empire’s galactic army. In that function, he was sent on an espionage mission to Earth to assess whether it threatened the Kree. After seeing scientist Walter Lawson die here, Mar-Vell took on his name and a false identity. His alias, Captain Marvel, came about when he took action in his (then green and white) Kree uniform to stand up for the people. Protecting humanity from disaster, Mar-Vell became more and more interested in them.
This affection, his exploits, and interest in Kree wife Una simultaneously aroused the jealousy of his commander Yon-Rogg. He, therefore gave him increasingly dangerous assignments. Upon his arrival on Earth, mar-Vell had no special abilities, except that he belonged to a physically stronger race than mankind. He was also armed with wristbands with which he could fire energy charges.
Kree leader Zarek and Ronan the Accuser first gave him supernatural abilities in early 1969. This made him so strong that he could pulverize any matter the Kree knew about, teleport anywhere in the universe, fly faster than light, and project illusions.
In ‘Captain Marvel’ #17 (1969), Roy Thomas and Gil Kane gave Captain Marvel the red and black suit that became the character’s signature look. He then also got access to the typical Nega-Bands that he wore on his wrists. His previous skills were replaced by superhuman strength, durability, speed, the capacity to fly, and the ability to move into space without having to breathe.
Later, Captain Marvel’s powers were supplemented by Eon with a “cosmic consciousness.” This made him notice every change in the universe that mattered to him.
What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments below!