How Did Captain Marvel Get Her Powers in The Original Comics?

The hero Captain Marvel, originally known as the US Air Force operative Carol Danvers, didn’t just stumble upon her marvelous powers. She forged them through an electrifying fusion of unparalleled circumstances and cutting-edge alien tech. The origin of Carol’s super-development is a captivating blend of science fiction and human determination.



In Marvel Super-Heroes (1968) #13 – by Roy Thomas and Gene Golan – Danvers was introduced as an accomplished officer in the United States Air Force. In the course of the issue, she met the Kree warrior Mar-Vell.

Cover for Marvel Super Heroes #13, which featured the introduction of Carol Danvers

During a battle between Mar-Vell and an enemy Kree, Carol was caught in an explosion caused by a device called the Psyche-Magnetron. Although Mar-Vell shielded her from the full blast, the explosion altered her DNA, granting her superpowers.

Related: Captain Marvel’s New Form Unlocks the Final Stage of Her Powers

Carol Danvers Powers Are A Fusion Of Cosmic Energy And Technology

Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel costume (left); as cosmic hero Binary (right)

Marvel Super-Heroes #13 introduced Danvers alongside the original Captain Marvel, the alien warrior known as Mar-Vell. The explosion which granted Danvers her powers, which occurred during a battle between Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg, an enemy Kree soldier, gave her abilities including super-strength, flight, and energy absorption. Initially adopting the superhero name Ms. Marvel, Carol embraced her newfound skills and joined the ranks of the Avengers. Later in her storyline, Carol’s powers underwent further transformation during an encounter with alien species the Brood in Uncanny X-Men (1982) #164, by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. Subjected to extensive experimentation, her DNA was merged with that of a white hole, a cosmic phenomenon with energy-absorbing capabilities.

This transformation turned Carol Danvers into the powerful entity known as Binary. This cosmic charge made her an extreme force in the intergalactic domain. Carol eventually went back to her original identity of Ms. Marvel, but with her powers intact. It was not until in Mar-Vell’s death, in Avenging Spider-Man (2012) #9 – by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Terry Dodson – that she officially took up the mantle of Captain Marvel, honoring her Kree mentor. As Captain Marvel, one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe, Carol has become a beacon of hope, embodying the essence of leadership, courage, and relentless determination.

Carol Danvers Was Always Destined To Be Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel standing proud against a backdrop of stars

While it may have taken decades, it was inevitable that Carol Danvers would take up the Captain Marvel moniker, given how closely tied the name is to her origin story, and her career. In a whirlwind of cosmic accidents and alien encounters, Danvers went from being an ordinary Air Force officer to a powerhouse superhero. Blasted by alien tech, infused with Kree DNA, and then zapped with stellar energy –it is as though the Marvel Universe decided to turn up her superhero dial to maximum. Danvers, as the greatest hero to take the name Captain Marvel, proves that with a bit of luck and a lot of courage, anyone can become legendary.

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