Who Was Carol Danvers Before She Was Captain Marvel?

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Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, is finally getting her own solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And she’ll be defending Earth as it gets caught in a violent conflict between two warring alien races. But what you should know about Carol is that she was a hero long before she even had her energy projection abilities, flight or super strength. After all, it’s not simply the superpowers that make a character a hero. Her attitude, values, and commitment are just as important when it comes to saving the day.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes Carol Danvers tick, what we know about her character and comic book origins.


As soon as she turned 18, Carol left a troubled family life to pursue a career in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot. She’s also incredibly resilient, and even endured being captured by militants. It’s these attributes that actress Brie Larson focused on in bringing Danvers to life.

The actress traveled to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to meet with real pilots. Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, then Commander of the 57th Wing, was on hand to show Larson the ropes, even getting her some flight experience in the kind of aircraft Carol Danvers would fly.


Brie Larson (left) gets hands-on help from Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander (right), at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to research her character, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.

After Carol developed a stellar record as a pilot, she was recruited into the Air Force Special Operations. She soon caught the eye of NASA leadership and was appointed their Chief Security Officer, dealing with extraterrestrial problems. Her main concern was the threat of the Kree Empire, and as intergalactic conflicts continued to spiral out of control, Carol became caught in the crossfire. She was even kidnapped at one point by the Kree villain, Yon-Rogg.


During a conflict with Yon-Rogg and Mar-Vell — played by Jude Law in the movie — Carol is thrown into an alien machine, the Psyche-Magnitron. Programmed to bring a person’s imagination into life, the device unleashed a wave of energy that merged Carol’s DNA with the Kree physiology of Mar-Vell. But her abilities lay dormant for some time before emerging — an experience that proved complicated, to say the least.

Once Carol pieced her troubled mind back together, she cemented her role as the hero, Captain Marvel. It’ll be interesting to see how faithful the film stays to her character origins.

Captain Marvel flies into theaters March 8.

A self-confessed lover of superheroes, Twin Peaks and Riverdale. Will argue why Green Arrow is better than Hawkeye.
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