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Captain Mar-Vell (Marvel Comics)

Captain Marvel

(Mar-Vell)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) was one of the Marvel Universe’s great cosmic heroes, and is greatly respected for his universe-saving exploits and resolve. This is largely because he starred in landmark 1970s stories by Jim Starlin  that experimented with cosmic grandeur and some philosophical themes.

This profile is a gisted entry, offering an overview of the character rather than precise analysis of a given era. The game stats and descriptions are for Mar-Vell at his height, during the Thanos War, before his bout with cancer that took his life. Thus, further developments such as Phyla are not in.

If you were looking for another Captain Marvel, see our guide to Captain Marvels.


Background

  • Real Name: Mar-Vell
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Genis-Vell (aka Captain Marvel III, son)
  • Group Affiliation: Ally of the Avengers, (formerly) Kree Militia
  • Base Of Operations: Titan
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 240lbs Age: 30ish
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Mar-Vell has 4 different, distinct sets of abilities that must be taken into account, as some may be absorbed/neutralized/etc. while some may not.

First, there are the natural attributes of the Kree race. These include resistance to toxins and disease (in DC Heroes terms, Systemic Antidote), and a higher natural strength and durability than a human.

Second there is the Cosmic Awareness granted him by Eon. I am unaware of any instance of direct evidence where his awareness could be demonstrated as anything other than, in DC Heroes terms, Danger Sense, Detect Weakness, and Awareness. Since the scope of his power is supposedly vast, Mar-Vell has in our game stats Acuity to cover any other possible manifestations.

Third are the Photonic powers granted him by Doctor Benjamin Savannah’s radiation treatments(everything else listed under Powers in the game stats).

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) uses his cosmic awareness with the starfield effect

Fourth, there are the enhancements given him by wearing the Nega-bands: Enhanced strength drawing from his spiritual resolve, enhanced durability, FTL  flight, and protection from vacuum (Sealed Systems).


History

Mar-Vel’s History is too involved to be gone into a gisted profile, except in brief. I recommend anyone who wants the details to see The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe .

The Kree were a technologically-advanced empire which spanned many different star systems. They are ruled by an an incredibly advanced sentient collective intelligence known as the Supreme Intelligence. The S.I. is a repository of the sum of all Kree advancement and knowledge, and is almost worshipped as a living god by the rigid and militaristic Kree society.

The Kree had forgotten about a small outpost, manned by the solitary Sentry #459. This outpost was discovered by the Fantastic Four, and the defeat of not only the Sentry but also Ronan the Accuser (a high Kree official) marked this little backwater planet as something to be watched.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) chases Thanos

An espionage unit commanded by Colonel Yon-Rogg and consisting of Captain Mar-Vell and Medic Una (who is a member of a Kree pacifism cult) is sent to Earth to observe and collect data prior to an invasion. Mar-Vell and Una are lovers, and Mar-Vell is hated by his commanding officer out of both professional and romantic jealousy.

Mar-Vell assumes the identity of Dr. Walter Lawson, one of the chief scientists at the Cape Canaveral missle complex. He is watched by the head of security, Carol Danvers, as he tries to balance his duty to the Kree and his aversion to letting innocents die. Mar-Vell is coming to really like his adopted planet.

Mar-Vell fights such villains as the Super-Skrull, Quasimodo, a killer robot Cyberex built by the original Walter Lawson, the Aakon (alien enemies of the Kree), and the Man-Slayer. Medic Una is killed by a stupid plot of Yon-Rogg’s, and Mar-Vell vows to have vengeance.

Mar-Vell is granted powers by a cosmic entity named Zo. But it soon becomes clear that Zo is an illusion, masking a conspiracy by Ronan the Accuser and Zarek the Imperial Minister against the Supreme Intelligence. They wish to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence and establish a regime in which the racially pure Blue Kree can purge the Empire of the ’corrupted‘ non-blue Kree.

Mar-Vell defeats their efforts, and the Supreme Intelligence rewards Mar-Vell by making those powers permanent and giving him a new costume. However, he is trapped in the Negative Zone by Yon-Rogg.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) drop kicks a soldier

Enter Rick Jones, who has left his partnership with Captain America. Led by illusions, he discovers a forgotten alien base, wherein he finds a pair of Nega-Bands. Donning these, he discovers that by slamming them together he and Mar-Vell may switch places. Mar-Vell and Rick fight Yon-Rogg, who dies shortly thereafter.

Rick and Mar-Vell travel around Earth, and become involved in the Kree-Skrull War, as they wait for the greatest battle of Mar-Vell’s career – the fight against Thanos.

The Thanos War consumes Mar-Vell and Rick’s existence as they battle Thanos’ minions. Their enemies various renegade aliens, the Super-Skrull, the Collector, and myriad others. Mar-Vell is joined in this fight by Mentor (Thanos’ father) and Eros (Thanos’ brother), Moondragon, Drax the Destroyer, and the Avengers.

Mar-Vell is made ’cosmically aware‘ by the entity Eon, and declared by Eon the Protector of The Universe. Ultimately Mar-Vell and his allies defeat Thanos and his minions. Mar-Vell returns to earth, where he faces Nitro, and is exposed to carcinogens which will ultimately kill him.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) fights some of his signature enemies

Next, Mar-Vell begins to encounter the agents of the Lunatic Legion, who send andriods to defeat him. Mar-Vell traces the Lunatic Legion to the Blue City on the moon. The Lunatic Legion is a conspiracy of blue Kree high-ranking military officers such as Admiral Sro-Himm, Zarek, and Fer-Porr.

They have obtained assistance from the Watcher, who undergoes a trial for his interference in the affairs of others and is adjudged guilty. Mar-Vell travels to the Kree homeworld where he finally defeats Ronan the Accuser and the Lunatic Legion.

On his way back he encounters the Stranger and is attacked by Drax the Destroyer (a recurring theme in Mar-Vell’s existence, it seems…). He helps the underground of Deneb IV against the Null-Trons, killer Kree robots.

He is later captured by the Supreme Intelligence, who is trying to absorb Rick Jones to gain those supra-abilities with which Rick defeated the entire Kree Empire during the Kree-Skrull War.

Mar-Vell and Rick returned to Earth, just in time to defeat the Kree Sentry #459 and his partner, the Cheetah. When he collapses at the end of the battle (well, OK… after he escapes from incarceration in a sheriff’s office), he is captured by Mac-Ron, and does battle with Ronan the Accuser. Ronan succumbs to a viral disease which reduces him to a childlike condition, and he and Mac-Ron are stranded on Earth.

Mar-Vell then helps the Avengers defeat the Super-Adaptoid, and in the process separates himself from Rick Jones. Rick goes off to pursue his own life (for a change).

While Mar-Vell foils the invasion plans of Mercurio the 4-D Man, Rick is captured by Dr. Minerva, who desires to mate with Mar-Vell so that Kree genetics can transcend that dead-end they’ve been in for the last millennium or so.

When Mar-Vell returns he is confronted by Minerva, but before she can consumate her plans (heh), the head of the Kree Science Council, Phae-Dor, takes control of her vessel and uses an energy-manifestation to try and capture Mar-Vell for use by the Kree in the War Of Three Galaxies. Mar-Vell and the Inhumans deal with the War, and Mar-Vell returns to Earth once again.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) flies above the city

After a short period where he fights Nitro and Deathgrip, he is attacked by Drax the Destroyer, who is enraged that he has no purpose. Drax blames Mar-Vell for the death of Thanos, and attempts to destroy Mar-Vell in revenge.

Mar-Vell brings together a temporary truce when they discover that Thanos has programmed ISAAC, the master computer system of Titan, to continue his plans in the event of his death. Mar-Vell and Drax proceed to Titan.

Most of the Titans have been captured by ISAAC, and Mar-Vell frees Mentor and Eros, and battles Lord Gaea, Dionysus, Elysius (who changes her mind about working with ISAAC when she falls in love with Mar-Vell), Stellarax, and Chaos.

After the defeat of ISAAC and his minions, Mar-Vell and Elysius tour Earth together, in what Mar-Vell refers to as “it was a honeymoon of sorts”. They retire to Titan for a time, until Mar-Vell discovers that he has a problem. Titans call it “The Inner Decay”. The Kree call it “The black-end”. Terrans call it “cancer”.

When Mar-Vell defeated Nitro and sealed the leaking cannister of a deadly bio-agent, he contracted cancer. Unknown to him, his nega-bands kept the cancer in remission until the cancer mutated beyond its ability to affect, and by the time it was detectable by Mar-Vell it had mutated past a cure.

Mar-Vell was awarded the Royal Skrull Medal of Valor before his death by General Zedrao in recognition of his bravery, as a token of respect to their enemy. The Kree rejected Mar-Vell even in death. Mar-Vell was posthumously made an Avenger.

Yes, this *was* the brief version.


Description

Mar-Vell is a powerfully built man in his mid-30s with blond hair, somewhat long and falling roguishly across one eye. He has blue eyes and ruggedly handsome looks.

His fighting costume is a simple red leotard with dark blue boots and gloves, low-cut trunks, and chest/shoulders/back area an eight-rayed yellow star sits on his chest. His face is half-masked. He wears the Nega-bands (gold circlets) on his wrists.


Personality

Captain Mar-Vell is a man without long-range goals in life. He is a stellar wanderer who does not make friends easily and rarely stays in one place for long. He is, however, fiercly supportive of anyone whom he feels needs his help.

He starts as a Kree warrior, whose whole dedication is to conflict, to choosing a side and then fighting like hell for victory, allowing nothing to get in your way. His experiences with Thanos and Eon re-cast him as the champion of the living universe. He will still fight, but only to oppose, not to conquer.

Iconic death of Captain Marvel scene

Mar-Vell *never* kills, as he has become sickened with the casual attitude towards taking lives created in his race by the centuries-long wars with the Skrull Empire. He will use just the amount of force necessary to overcome those who insist on using force as a weapon, and no more – to do otherwise is to become his enemy

And then he died.

Mar-Vell died in bed, surrounded by his loved ones. His spirit resisted Death until the end, and he faced it unflinchingly, without illusion as to what lay beyond. He died with grace and dignity, and unlike so many others in comics, had the decency or good taste to stay that way.


DC Universe History

Substitute Durlans for Skrulls, Darkseid for Thanos, and make the Titanian Eternals an offshoot of the New Gods (since both are Kirby creations), and leave everything else as is. Subtract any Marvel heroes you don’t want in your campaign. The Kree are just another militaristic, conquest-bent humanoid race from another galaxy, so they can be left in.

Mar-vell would have been the greatest Green Lantern ever, probably even greater a legend than Hal Jordan. As a warrior without peer, and a cosmic hero in his own right, he was about to be offered a position in the GLC to patrol the Kree Empire, when he unexpectedly contracted cancer and died. He was awarded a Green Lantern ring posthumously, which was buried with him.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Captain Mar-Vell

A 3600 Point Character

Dex: 10 Str: 08 Bod: 10 Motivation: Upholding The Good
Int: 08 Wil: 11 Min: 12 Occupation: Protector of the Universe
Inf: 10 Aur: 08 Spi: 10 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 032 HP: 100

Powers:
Acuity: 12, Weakness Detection: 18, Flight: 11, Solar Sustenance: 12, Energy Blast: 10, Systemic Antidote: 04, Energy Absorption: 09, Power Reserve: 02, Invulnerability*: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acuity is most often used as Danger Sense or Awareness as a default setting (+0)
  • Detect Weakness is Contingent (-1) to Acuity
  • Acuity has the Distance(+1) and Supernatural (+1) Bonuses
  • Energy Absorption is Solar energy only (-2)
  • Systemic Antidote is Innate (+1 )
  • Power Reserve is Linked to Energy Absorption and Solar Sustenance (-2), and adds to STR and Energy Blast equally (-0)
  • Flight, Solar Sustenance, Energy Blast, and Power Reserve are Contingent (-1) to Energy Absorption

Skills:
Charisma: 10, Martial Artist*: 10, Military Science: 08, Thief (Escape Artist, Security Systems): 07, Vehicles (Air Vehicles, Space Craft): 07, Weaponry: 09

Advantages:
Buddy [Rick Jones], Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Misc. Captain Mar-Vell is Outside the Loop of Destiny (Like Thanos, he’s not destiny-bound, enabling Mar-Vell to perform wondrous deeds on a cosmic level (he has an extra 50 HPs for such purposes, including facing Thanos himself ; this brings him to 150 HPs whilst in this ’state‘).

Connections:
Avengers (High, Powerful), Titanian Eternals (High, Powerful), Earth’s Superhuman Community (Low, Powerful). Although the Cosmic entity Eon is responsible for Mar-Vell’s elevation to the role of Cosmic Champion, he is not listed as a Connection because they never meet again.

Drawbacks:
Dependant [Elysius], Arch Enemy (Thanos), Arch Enemy (Supreme Intelligence), Exile (Involuntary [Kree Empire]), Public Identity, Loss Vulnerability: STR, BODY and all Powers lowered by 2 when cut off from solar radiation

Equipment:
NEGA-BANDS [/STR/ 10 BODY 25 /BODY/ 12, Flight: 30, Sealed Systems: 20, Limitations: Sealed Systems is Ineffective Against Gas Attacks ; /STR/ is User-linked to Spirit. Misc: The Nega-Bands may have capabilities of which Mar-Vell is unaware.]


Previous Statistics

Mar-Vell’s stats have changed somewhat frequently, so I won’t list all the changes here, but items of note are:

  • While trapped in the Negative Zone, Mar-Vell shares a Mental Link with Rick Jones, and…
  • …by slamming the Nega-Bands together, Rick Jones would trade places with Mar-Vell (Add to the Nega Bands: Dimensional Travel, Limited to Negative Zone Only, Can only switch the wearer of the Nega-bands with someone he shares a Link with)

Some may be confused by the listing of a “split” HP score for Mar-Vell. This is necessary due to the discrepancy between Mar-Vell’s power level and Thanos’ when they fought. Mar-Vell could not possibly stand up to Thanos unless he has HP far in excess of his normal level, and in fact more than Thanos normally posesses. Since Mar-Vell was chosen as Cosmic Champion specifically to defeat Thanos, During those times he is acting as the Universal Protector he has the higher HP total.


Kree strength!

If Mar-Vell’s powers are Neutralized, his Str becomes 06, his Body is 05, and he retains his Systemic Antidote as these are based on his alien physiology (Form Function).


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Captain Marvel — Averaged PL 13.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
05 (08) (10) 03 (10) (12) 04 05 10 03 05 05

Powers

Cosmic awareness ● 13 points ● Descriptors: Cosmic, Sensory
Enhanced Perception 6 (+18) Linked to Senses 10 (Extended [x100k] Radius Cosmic Awareness, Detect Weakness [Ranged, Cosmic Awareness], Danger Sense [Cosmic Awareness])

Kree physiology ● 1 point ● Descriptors: Racial, physiological
Immunity 2 (Disease, Poison), Limited to Half Effect

Solar-powered ● 47 points
– Photonic Blast — Damage 10 (DC 25; Extras: Increased Range: ranged)
– Solar Absorption —Immunity 2 (Uncommon Descriptor: Solar; Flaws: Limited – Half Effect)
– Solar Flight — Flight 10 (Speed: 2000 miles/hour, 4 miles/round)
– Solar Sustenance — Immunity 1 (Starvation & Thirst; Flaws: Limited: requires solar energy)
– Solar Vitality — Enhanced Stamina 2 Linked to Enhanced Strength 2 Linked to Enhanced Extraordinary Effort, All Limited: requires solar energy

Unbound by fate ● 7 points
Variable 1 (Enhanced Abilities and Ultimate Effort), Action 2 (free), Flaws: Only when the series’s PL is temporarily raised

Devices

Nega bands ● 25 points (Indestructible, Removable) ● Descriptors: Cosmic
– Cosmic Protection — Immunity 5 (Cold, Radiation, Vacuum, Suffocation (All); Quirk: Can still be affected by gas-based attacks
– Intergalactic Flight — Movement 3 (Space Travel 3: other galaxies)
– Strength of Will — Enhanced Stamina 7, Enhanced Strength 3

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack, Close Attack 4, Power Attack, Precise Attack 2 (Ranged, Cover and Concealment), Ranged Attack 7, Uncanny Dodge

Other Advantages

Connections

Skills

Athletics 4 (+14), Close Combat: Unarmed 2 (+16), Expertise: Kree Military 13 (+16), Insight 7 (+12), Perception 7 (+18/+12), Persuasion 5 (+10), Sleight of Hand 4 (+9; Limited 2 to Escaping), Technology 8 (+11; 2 Limited 2 to Security), Vehicles 6 (+11; Limited to Air and Space vehicles)

Offense

Initiative +4
Unarmed +16, Close, Damage 10/8/5
Photonic Blast +12, Ranged, Damage 10

Defense

Dodge 14 Fortitude 14
Parry 14 Toughness 12
Will 12

Complications

  • Enemies The Captain has been in conflict with Thanos, the Mad Titan, many times and has also been at odds with the Kree Supreme Intelligence
  • Motivation Upholding the cosmic good and protecting the innocent
  • Relationships Rick Jones has been Mar-Vell’s closest friend and, at one point, his only access to Earth; Elysius the Titanian Eternal is Mar-Vell’s lover
  • Responsibility Captain Mar-Vell is the appointed Protector of the Universe
  • Identity Formerly, Captain Mar-Vell was in a state where he had to change places with Rick Jones by slamming the Nega-Bands together.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 13, Dodge/Toughness PL 13, Parry/Toughness PL 13, Fort & Will PL 13
  • Point total 232 Abilities 80, Defences 23, Skills 25, Powers 68, Devices 25, Advantages 17. Equiv. PL 16.


By Pufnstuff

Helper(s): Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Jackson, Roy Cowan, Gareth Lewis, Sébastien Andrivet, Richard Lyon, Chris Cottingham, Ethan Roe. DC Adventures stats by Mister O (helper – Pawsplay).

Source of Character: Marvel Graphic Novel #1 (The Death of Captain Marvel), OHOTMU Deluxe and Masters Editions, thumbnail history by Marvelite.

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