Captain Marvel
Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers on the textless cover of Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1 (November 2017).
Art by David Nakayama.
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceMarvel Super-Heroes #12 (December 1967)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Gene Colan (art)
Monica Rambeau
Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel
Mar-Vell on the cover of Captain Marvel #1 (May 1968).
Art by Gene Colan.[1]
Series publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
  • (vol 1)
    Monthly (1–19) and
    Bi-monthly (20–62)
    (vol 3–10)
Publication date
  • (vol 1)
    May 1968[1] – May 1979
    (vol 2)
    1989 and 1994 (one-shots)
    (vol 3)
    December 1995 – May 1996
    (vol 4)
    November 1999 – October 2002
    (vol 5)
    November 2002 – September 2004
    (vol 6)
    January – June 2008
    (vol 7)
    September 2012 – November 2013 and December 2017 – April 2018
    (vol 8)
    May 2014 – July 2015
    (vol. 9)
    March 2016 – January 2017
    (vol 10)
    March 2019 – onwards
Number of issues
  • (vol 1): 62
    (vol 2): 2
    (vol 3): 6
    (vol 4): 36
    (vol 5): 25
    (vol 6): 5
    (vol 7): 22
    (vol 8): 15
    (vol 9): 10
    (vol 10): 1 – onwards
Main character(s)
Creative team
  • (vol 1)
    Vince Colletta
    Dan Adkins
    Al Milgrom
    Terry Austin
    (vol 2)
    Stan Drake
    Frank Bolle
    Dennis Jensen
    Barbara Kaalberg
    Mark McKenna
    (vol 3)
    Mike Sellers
    (vol 4)
    Anibal Rodriguez
    (vol 5)
    Aaron Lopresti
    (vol 6)
    Stefano Gaudiano
    Jesse Delperdang
    (vol 7)
    Dexter Soy
    Filipe Andrade
    Ramon Rosanas
    Michele Bandini
    (vol 8)
    David Lopez
    (vol 9)
    Kris Anka
    (vol 10)
    Carmen Carnero

Captain Marvel is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Most of these versions exist in Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe. The current and best-known incarnation of the character is Carol Danvers.[2]

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, portrayed by McKenna Grace and Brie Larson in Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame (both 2019), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), and the Disney+ television series Ms. Marvel (2022). Brie Larson will reprise her role in the sequel The Marvels (2023).

Publication history

Following a trial in which DC Comics sued Fawcett Comics for breach of copyright, claiming Fawcett's Captain Marvel was too similar to Superman, the latter stopped publishing Captain Marvel in 1953.[3] In the late 1960s Marvel gained the trademark "Captain Marvel" with its first series.

In order to retain its trademark, Marvel has published a Captain Marvel title periodically every few years since, leading to a number of ongoing series, limited series, and one-shots featuring a range of characters using the Captain Marvel alias.[4]


Main article: Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)

The first Captain Marvel is Mar-Vell. Created by Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan, the character first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (December 1967).[5][6]

Captain Mar-Vell is an alien military officer of the Kree Imperial Militia sent to observe the planet Earth, as it is developing technology to travel into space. Mar-Vell eventually wearies of his superiors' malicious intent and allies himself with Earth, and the Kree Empire brands him a traitor. From then on, Mar-Vell fights to protect Earth from all threats.

He was later revamped by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. Having been exiled to the Negative Zone by the Supreme Intelligence, the only way Mar-Vell can temporarily escape is to exchange atoms with Rick Jones by means of special wristbands called Nega-Bands.[7] He is also given superpowers, and his Kree military uniform is replaced with a form-fitting costume. The process of the young man being replaced in a flash by the older superhero was a nod to the original Fawcett Captain Marvel, which had young Billy Batson say the magic word "Shazam" to transform into the hero.

With the title's sales still flagging, Marvel allowed Jim Starlin to conceptually revamp the character,[8] although his appearance was little changed. Mar-Vell is freed from the Negative Zone and becomes a cosmic champion, the "Protector of the Universe" appointed by the cosmic entity Eon. Together, Mar-Vell and Rick continue to battle against evil, most notably battling the Death-worshipping Thanos. Mar-Vell became a close ally of the Titans, and one of their number, Elysius, became his lover.

His career was cut short when he developed inoperable cancer, the result of earlier exposure to toxic nerve gas during a battle with Nitro. He died from this cancer on Titan in the presence of the Marvel Universe's superhero community, as chronicled in Marvel's first large-format graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel, published in 1982.[9]

Monica Rambeau

Main article: Monica Rambeau

The second Captain Marvel is Monica Rambeau. Created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr., the character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual#16 (October 1982).[10]

Monica Rambeau is a police lieutenant from New Orleans Louisiana who possesses the power to transform herself into any form of energy.[11] Her powers were briefly altered so that she cannot transform to energy, but instead can generate a personal force field.[12] Sometime later, the Stranger returned her energy-transformation abilities. She is a member of the Avengers, and at one point she served as their leader. She eventually ceded the Captain Marvel name to the original Captain Marvel's son after which Rambeau took the name Photon,[13] using that name for quite some time until Genis-Vell adopted the same name. Genis-Vell and Monica discussed this, and Monica decided on the name Pulsar.[14]

Rambeau later joined H.A.T.E. (the Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort) in the new series titled Nextwave.[15] In this series created by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen, H.A.T.E. (a subsidiary of the Beyond Corporation) forms a team to fight the Bizarre Weapons of Mass Destruction. Members include Monica Rambeau, a man known only as The Captain, Boom Boom, Aaron Stack, and Elsa Bloodstone. She returned to the Avengers using the codename Spectrum.


Main article: Genis-Vell

The third Captain Marvel is Genis-Vell. Created by Ron Marz and Ron Lim, the character first appeared in Silver Surfer vol. 3 Annual #6 (1993).[16]

Genis-Vell is the genetically-engineered son of Mar-Vell and his lover Elysius, created from the late Mar-Vell's cell samples and artificially aged to physical, if not emotional, maturity. Genis, like his father, wears the Nega-Bands, possesses Cosmic Awareness, and is, for a time, bonded with Rick Jones. Although the pair do not get along at first, they eventually become good friends. Genis goes insane and threatens to destroy the universe.

After dying and resurrecting himself—with the secret aid of Baron Helmut Zemo—Genis-Vell joins the Thunderbolts under the name Photon. However, in accelerating his resurrection, Zemo links Genis to the ends of time, causing a degenerative effect on the universe. To prevent the inevitable destruction of all existence, Zemo scatters pieces of Genis-Vell's body through time and the Darkforce Dimension.


Main article: Phyla-Vell

The fourth Captain Marvel is Phyla-Vell. Created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta, the character first appeared in Captain Marvel vol. 5 #16 (January 2004).[17]

Phyla-Vell is the sister of Genis-Vell. She is created when Genis, an only child, recreates the universe and, in doing so, creates various anomalies which result in his mother being restored to life and his sister coming into existence. She is last seen romancing Moondragon.

Phyla-Vell appears in the Annihilation event, fighting alongside Nova's United Front in an effort to stop the destructive armies of Annihilus. She becomes the new Quasar after the original one is killed by Annihilus.[18]

Phyla has superhuman strength. She can fire energy blasts, fly, and act like an "energy sponge", absorbing any energy attacks directed at her and returning them as energy blasts. Phyla also has cosmic awareness and is a proficient fighter.

Phyla later became an avatar for Oblivion and renamed herself Martyr. She died to save her comrades in the Guardians of the Galaxy.


Main article: Khn'nr

The fifth Captain Marvel is Khn'nr. Created by Paul Jenkins and Tom Raney, the character first appeared in Civil War: The Return (January 2007).[19]

He is a Skrull sleeper agent who is bound with Mar-Vell's DNA to lock itself into Mar-Vell's form and given technological replicas of the Kree Nega-Bands. However, his mental conditioning was botched, causing Khn'nr's personality to be erased leaving the Mar-Vell persona dominant. Though part of the Secret Invasion, this Marvel decides to fight against the invading Skrulls. As of now, he is apparently dead.


Main article: Noh-Varr

The sixth Captain Marvel is Noh-Varr. Created by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones, the character first appeared in Marvel Boy #1 (August 2000).[20][21]

As part of the Dark Reign storyline Noh-Varr joined the new team the Dark Avengers using the alias Captain Marvel.[22] He subsequently quit the team upon discovering they were all villains, at which point he was contacted by the Supreme Intelligence, given a copy of the original Captain Marvel's Nega Bands, and told he should take his place as the Kree's protector of Earth. This led to Noh-Varr taking the new code name Protector. Noh-Varr currently goes by the codename Marvel Boy, the name he uses when he joins the Young Avengers and works alongside the Inhuman Royal Family.

Carol Danvers

Main article: Carol Danvers

The seventh Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers. Created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, the character first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968).[23]

Carol Danvers, the longtime super-heroine known as Ms. Marvel, assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel in an ongoing series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy, in July 2012.[24] Danvers dons a jumpsuit and explores her own past. DeConnick said at WonderCon 2012 that her pitch for the series could be described as "Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager." She said the series would contemplate what Captain Marvel's legend means to Danvers, how she will wield it, and how the rest of the Marvel Universe reacts.[25]

Other versions

Ultimate Captain Marvel

Main article: Mahr Vehl

The Ultimate Marvel miniseries Ultimate Secret introduces a renegade Kree who has been surgically altered to look human and sent to Earth by his people to observe its destruction by the entity Gah Lak Tus, but defects to help the humans. He wears a specially designed combat suit that is activated by his wristwatch. The Kree technology in the suit gives Mahr Vehl increased strength and allows him to fly, create energy shields, turn invisible, view different fields of the light spectrum, and fire energy blasts through the "totalkannon" located on his lower arm.

His real name is Pluskommander Geheneris Halason Mahr Vehl. As with the Marvel Universe character of Mar-Vell, he assumes the identity of Dr. Philip Lawson, a scientist working on the space program. He dated the Ultimate version of Carol Danvers. The name 'Captain Marvel' arises as a mispronunciation by General Nick Fury and Carol Danvers. Only the Falcon and Thor have bothered to learn how to pronounce his name correctly.


Main article: Ruins (comics)

In the two-issue Warren Ellis mini-series Ruins (1995), Captain Marvel is one of the many Kree prisoners, in a Kree reservation in Nevada. The reservation was placed deliberately on top of a former nuclear test site. As a result of this, the majority of the Kree are suffering from various forms of cancers and tumours including Mar-Vell who is the Kree's spokesperson. Mar-Vell gives an interview to Daily Bugle reporter Phil Sheldon regarding the failed Kree invasion of Earth. Mar-Vell recounts how his ship was made vulnerable to a nuclear strike when their cloaking and shielding was affected by cosmic radiation from a deceased Silver Surfer.

Fantastic Four: The End

Main article: The End (comics)

In the limited series Fantastic Four: The End, the superheroine formerly known as Kismet (now under the name of Ayesha) has apparently taken over the Captain Marvel mantle in the not-too-distant future.[26]

House of M

Main article: House of M

In the alternate, mutant-dominated world created by Scarlet Witch, Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel in mainstream continuity) uses the name Captain Marvel and is one of the few non-mutant heroes with a successful career.

Marvel Zombies

Main article: Marvel Zombies

In the mini-series Marvel Zombies, Captain Marvel is seen sitting with Vulture and Hercules (both infected) waiting for Iron Man. He is later killed by the Silver Surfer for immediate cause.


In The Thanos Imperative, the main villain is an alternate version of Captain Marvel called Lord Mar-Vell. Unlike his Earth-616 counterpart, this Mar-Vell colluded with the Many-angled ones to survive his cancer by actually destroying Death via the sacrifice of its Avatar.

Amalgam Comics

Main article: Captain Marvel (Amalgam Comics)

In two issues of JLX and JLX: Unleashed, Captain Marvel combines with Captain Marvel to become yet another Captain Marvel, sporting the DC Comics lightning bolt uniform design but with the original green and white colors of the Marvel version.

Age of Ultron

Main article: Age of Ultron

In the Age of Ultron crossover event, Janet van Dyne becomes Captain Marvel in an alternate timeline created by the death of Henry Pym. Pym is murdered by a time-travelling Wolverine to prevent the creation of Ultron, an artificial intelligence which in a post-apocalyptic future has wiped out most of the Earth's population including most superheroes.

In other media

Marvel Cinematic Universe



  1. ^ a b The first 6 issues were published under the indecia Marvel's Space-Born Superhero! Captain Marvel
  2. ^ George, Marston (2023-05-01). "How many Captain Marvels are there in Marvel Comics?". gamesradar. Retrieved 2023-08-04.
  3. ^ Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #2, Comics Should Be Good, June 9, 2005
  4. ^ Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #12 Archived 2016-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Should Be Good, Comic Book Resources, August 18, 2005
  5. ^ DeFalco, Tom (2008). "1960s". In Gilbert, Laura (ed.). Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 125. ISBN 978-0756641238. Captain Mar-Vell was an evil Kree warrior sent to spy on Earth, by Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan.
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  7. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 138: "Rick Jones...became bonded to Captain Mar-Vell thanks to Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane."
  8. ^ Sanderson, Peter "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 159: "In March [1973], the first of artist Jim Starlin's many sagas of the Marvel heroes' wars against Thanos began."
  9. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 207: "This title by Jim Starlin was the first of a new series of Marvel Graphic Novels. Running between forty-eight and ninety-six pages, these paperback books were an attempt to compete with the European-style graphic albums."
  10. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Manning, Matthew K. (2012). Spider-Man Chronicle: Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. DK Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 978-0756692360.
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982)
  12. ^ Captain Marvel vol. 3 #1 (Nov. 1989)
  13. ^ Avengers Unplugged #5 (June 1996)
  14. ^ New Thunderbolts #9 (Aug. 2005)
  15. ^ Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #1 (March 2006)
  16. ^ Hunt, James (2019-03-06). "Captain Marvel: The Many Versions of the Character". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2023-04-03.
  17. ^ Kleinman, Jake. "'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' leaks could reveal an exciting new team member". Inverse. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  18. ^ NYCC '07 - JOE QUESADA's CUP 'O JOE PANEL Archived February 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Newsarama
  19. ^ Shiach, Kieran (June 29, 2016). "The Replacements: Mar-Vell And The Legacy Of Captain Marvel". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
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  22. ^ Dark Avengers #1 (March 2009)
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