“The Secret History of Captain Marvel”

“With Marvel Studios reportedly closing in on an actress to portray Captain Marvel in future Marvel films and Carol Danvers playing a critical role in the currently unfolding “Civil War II”event, now’s a great time to revisit — or discover for the first time — who, exactly, Captain Marvel is and what her legacy at Marvel Comics looks like.

The history of Captain Marvel began with 1967’s “Marvel Super-Heroes” #12 (by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Frank Giacoia), with one of the strangest set-ups for a Marvel superhero yet. Captain Mar-Vell was sent by the Kree military to Earth to investigate the planet and determine whether the Kree needed to dedicate themselves to destroy the planet (after the Earth heroes, the Fantastic Four, had drawn attention to the planet by defeating a few other Kree emissaries). Mar-Vell’s commanding officer, Colonel Yon-Rogg (who was in love with Mar-Vell’s girlfriend), wanted Mar-Vell dead, so he tried to sabotage Mar-Vell’s mission.

In the next issue (with Roy Thomas now writing the series), Yon-Rogg tried to kill Mar-Vell but instead accidentally killed a human scientist, Walter Lawson, who was on his way to a restricted military base. Mar-Vell took on Lawson’s identity and when he showed up at the base he met its head of security, a young woman named Carol Danvers, who was immediately suspicious of him. Yon-Rogg then tried to activate an old Kree sentry robot and have it kill everyone there, including Mar-Vell. Mar-Vell switches to his Kree battle uniform and saved their all of their lives. In all the confusion, they believed him to be a superhero called “Captain Marvel”…”



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