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Image by Ricardo Gomez Angel
  • Writer's pictureRock

What Is SHE Doing Here? - Captain Marvel

Did you know she's fifty four years old?

I don't mean Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, at least in the comic books. She's some timeless age of around 30 or so, such things get a recurring handwave pass from us. No, I'm talking about first appearances, here. 1968 takes her well within the Silver Age of comics and, although she didn’t put on a costume until about 10 years later, she's been through a lot. But what makes her one of the characters they chose for Midnight Suns?

On the face of it, it doesn't make much sense. While other heroes have links to the supernatural, Captain Marvel is one of those cosmic-type heroes that get called in when things go universe-ending sideways. The lady has gone toe-to-toe with some of the most powerful villains the Marvel Universe has ever known. While many of them are based on the alien Kree, a lot of them are well known powerhouses like Rogue (when Rogue stole her memory and powers), Dark Phoenix, Annihilus (in the Annihilation Event), Thanos (Infinity War), a bunch of Galactus' heralds... Hell, Galactus! With that sort of bad guy resume, she seems a bit overpowered to be included.

Power-wise, she tops the charts. She’s nearly invulnerable, can fly at six times the speed of sound in the atmosphere, strong enough to lift 90+ tons, can fire her signature ‘photon’ blasts, and can absorb energy up to a nuclear level blast. Yep, the lady can eat nukes. She also originally had a ‘seventh sense’, a form of danger sense much like Spider-Man’s ‘Spidey’ sense, though Captain Marvels’ manifested itself in different ways depending on the writer, not just warning her of immediate danger.

Notwithstanding power levels, though, she's also always been more of a 'space/government' hero than any type of magic-oriented one. So, what gives? Is there rationalization for Captain Marvel being in Midnight Suns or do we just throw up our hands and say 'That's comics for you, weird shit happens.'?

There's more than one reason it makes sense to include her, other than maybe she happened to be flying by and got co-opted into helping. While she’s been shown to be an ace pilot, she’s also had many roles in the cloak and dagger genre, doing both intelligence work for SHIELD and Director of Security for NASA. Most recently she was Commander of SWORD and the new Alpha Flight, protecting Earth from outside threats more than Earth bound ones. But, the best reason is that Colonel/Commander/Captain Danvers has repeatedly worked for SHIELD, which means she's repeatedly fought against HYDRA. Since they're the main group of villains in the game, it's an easy way to include Captain Marvel in the heroes set against them. This works for many of the heroes that, at first glance, might seem out of place. With Captain Marvel, though, it's particularly apt. Lilith might be a being of vast demonic power, but not the type of villain we'd normally see Carol Danvers facing off against.

'Normally' is the key word there, though, for in doing research for this article I did find an instance of her teaming up with Dr. Strange. Apparently, her ability to absorb energy DOES include magical energy, though she also says that it’s one of the things she normally has to worry about killing her and she’s not overly familiar with magical foes. (Her quote is ‘I have a hard time telling my abra from my cadabra.’ For anyone interested, it's Ms. Marvel #5 from 2006).

So, yes, while normally Carol Danvers is more into the spying and/or space agency type government work and Captain Marvel can normally be found fighting cosmic threats in deep space, fighting magical enemies isn't totally out of her wheelhouse. And, on any super-type team, it's always nice to have a powerhouse on your side for when things get really tough.

Captain Marvel certainly fits that bill.

- Rock

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