Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

A lot of people were expecting Captain Marvel to be male by the time they adapted the comic. It took most of them by surprise once it was revealed that Captain Marvel would be a female named Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson. Fans began to wonder why the decision of the supposed gender swap was made by producers for the MCU.

To clear up the confusion, Captain Marvel is a title that belongs to several characters in comic books. Marvel simply based the film’s story on the current Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers, is also the current Captain Marvel in the comics, so Marvel did not gender swap the superhero.

But I don’t blame you for getting confused, the title “Captain Marvel” has gone through so many characters over the years. It even belonged to a Character not owned by Marvel. Let’s take a look at the different characters that donned the Captain Marvel name.

Is DC’s Captain Marvel the Same as Marvel’s?

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

The two Marvels are completely different. Before Marvel had their own Captain Marvel, the title already existed, but it belonged to a superhero, not from any Marvel comics. Captain Marvel was a comic book originally published by Fawcett Comics, and not yet owned by DC. In the comics, Captain Marvel was the alter ego of Billy Batson, who was chosen by the wizard Shazam.

The comic faced several lawsuits, especially since it was competing against DC’s own Superman. By the time the comic was able to start publication again (under DC this time) they were faced with another problem. Since the name Captain Marvel was not in use, Marvel comics decided to make their own Captain Marvel.

Since Marvel Comics trademarked their Captain Marvel comic during the time the other book was facing a lawsuit, DC was unable to market their Captain Marvel under the same name. As a result, DC decided to use the trademark Shazam! To promote their books and character.

Who Was Marvel’s First Captain Marvel?

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

Despite sharing the same name, Marvel’s Captain Marvel was extremely different. Captain Marvel was a member of the Kree race known as Mar-Vell who came down to earth as a conqueror. He eventually vowed to protect the earth after some time. Mar-Vell eventually died of cancer and the name Captain Marvell was passed down.

Who Are the Other Captain Marvels in the Marvel Comics?

Despite the original Captain Marvel dying, his legacy was kept alive. The name Captain Marvel was then passed down to both male and female characters in Marvel Comics. 

Monica Rambeau as the Second Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

Monica is also the first female Captain Marvel in the comics. She first appeared in the Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 16 in 1982. The character was a police lieutenant who possessed the power to transform herself into any form of energy. She was called Captain Marvel by the media after she displayed her powers during an incident. Ben Grimm said the original Captain Marvel would probably not mind if she were to take the name.

Genis-Vell as the Third Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

The third Captain Marvel is the genetically-engineered son of Mar-Vell and his lover Elysius. He received the name from Monica when she decided to take up the name Photon.

Phyla-Vell as the Fourth Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

Eventually, the title was passed down to Phyla-vell, Genis-Vell’s sister. However, she gave up the name Captain Marvel by the time she made a deal to save her partner’s life. After the event, she now calls herself Martyr and remained with the Guardians of the Galaxy till her eventual death.

Khn’nr as the Fifth Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

He is actually a Skrull sleeper agent posing as the first Captain Marvel. He was given memory implants to make him believe that he was actually Captain Marvel until the time of the invasion when his Skrull persona will activate. However, after learning the truth of his Skrull persona, he decides to embrace his Mar-Vell persona more, and rebels against the Skrulls.

Noh-Varr as the Sixth Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

Noh-Varr adopts the alias Captain Marvel when he joined the Dark Avengers. He decides to quit after learning the team was actually villains. He is contacted by the Supreme Intelligence and given a copy of the original Captain Marvel’s Nega Bands and told he should protect earth. Instead of continuing the name, he used the codename Protector instead. In Young Avengers he used the codename Marvel Boy.

Carol Danvers as the 7th Captain Marvel

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

In the comics, Carol first appears as an officer in the United States Air Force and a colleague of the first Captain Marvel. She later becomes the first incarnation of Ms. Marvel after her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell’s during an explosion, giving her superhuman powers.

Which Marvel Was MCU’s Captain Marvel Based On?

The MCU decided to base Captain Marvel’s story on Carol Danvers’s time as Ms. Marvel. In the MCU Carol is a former U.S. Airforce fighter pilot who was given superhuman abilities when she was exposed to the Tesseract during an explosion. She was later taken in by a team of Kree men and was transformed into a Human-Kree Hybrid.

The events also caused her to forget everything prior to the incident, allowing the Kree Empire to rename her as Vers. Captain Marvel was the main inspiration for Nick Fury to create the Avengers. Decades later, she joins the Avengers to take on Thanos.

Was There Any Gender Swap Made by the Time the Movie Was Out?

As far as the main character, Captain Marvel is concerned, there was no gender swap. Captain Marvel was meant to be female. However, Mar-vell was re-imagined to be female in the film. In MCUs Captain Marvel, she was a Kree Scientist who rejected her species war with the Skrulls. In this version, she fled to earth and adopted the alias Dr. Wendy Lawson.

Was Creating a Female Captain Marvel a Feminist Move?

Why Did They Make Captain Marvel Female?

In the comics, Carol’s rising to become her own superhero was especially important since the feminist movement in the 70s grew. When she was introduced as Ms. Marvel, instead of using the word “Miss”, the creators decided to use “Ms.” As a tribute to Gloria Steinem and “Ms.” Magazine.

Gerry Conway, the comic’s creator also mentioned that he and his team wanted to reach out to female readers, thus creating a superheroine. He admitted during an interview that “there were definite attempts to create this kind of feminist role model.”

Who would have thought that Carol will eventually rise and become one of the strongest characters in the MCU? I’m definitely excited to see what the MCU has in store for Captain Marvel in future films.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Voice Film and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.