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Carol Danvers (Earliest) (Marvel Comics) in a black jumpsuit

Carol Danvers

(Before Ms. Marvel, part #2)


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

Context

This article is the second part of a series. The sequence goes :

  1. Carol Danvers (before Ms. Marvel) (part 1) – start there.
  2. Carol Danvers (before Ms. Marvel) (part 2) – this here profile.
  3. Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (profile #4 – year one).
  4. After that there are much older notes — Ms. Marvel (1980s), Binary (Carol Danvers) and Warbird (Carol Danvers).

If you are TERRIBLY CONFUSED about super-women with “Marvel” in their name, start by checking this guide to Ms. Marvels.


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Soundtrack

This part is mostly about military and intelligence service. And the previous soundtrack was sung by Terri Nunn. So there’s no choice, really.

 

Available for download on Amazon .


History

(The dates mentioned in this section all assume our suggested timeline. As discussed in the previous writeup.)

Carol is the eldest child of a Boston couple. Her father was a stubborn man with a strong personality and conservative mores. He prized qualities such as self-reliance, courage and persistence, which he perceived as manly. He was disappointed that his first child was a girl. Thus, Carol spent much of her childhood and adolescence proving she could be as tough as any boy.

The young girl excelled in traditionally masculine pursuits, such as ball games, poker or helping with building the family’s summer house near Cape Cod. Yet this was not enough to smooth over her relationship with her father. She spent most of her teens fighting with him.

Teens

Young Danvers developed an interest in cutting-edge aviation early on. During her teens, she hitchhiked away without authorisation or supervision to go watch test flights. Her furious father beat her over this.

(The flight in question was stated to be an Apollo launch. If we stick with the suggested, hypothetical late 1930s birth date, Carol likely went to watch a test flight of the groundbreaking X-Plane experimental program  instead).

She also was fascinated by the then-contemporary “golden age of American sci-fi”. She avidly read Clarke , Heinlein , Pohl , Asimov  and other landmark authors.


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Being an excellent high school student, Carol wanted to go to college. However, her father again objected. He could afford to send but one of his kids to college. Joseph Danvers Sr. predictably decided it would be Steve, the elder son – whose grades were higher than even Carol’s. According to Mr. Danvers, girls did not need a higher education and just had to find a good husband.

Carol worked part-time from age 16 to 18, chiefly at Filene’s Basement . But did not make enough money to pay for her tuition, and her father refused to loan her the missing amount.

You’re in the Air Force now

Tough, smart, having graduated as the valedictorian of her high school, and ahead of her times, Carol joined the Air Force. She signed on on the day after her 18th birthday, without bothering to talk about it with her family.

In the military, she soon met Michael “Ace” Rossi. This Chair Force colonel became her mentor, then her friend. In the Air Force, Danvers rapidly became a Major — and a test pilot as well. Her callsign, assigned under unknown circumstances, was “Cheeseburger”.

Despite her gender Cheeseburger was often thought to be the top pilot in the USAF and WAF. Her career progression was something of a record.

Flashback to Carol Danvers' youth

For a likely progression of Carol’s Air Force career and the historical context, see the previous profile.

In unrevealed circumstances, Danvers was decorated by the President for service above and beyond the call of duty. She received the Medal of Honor . The most logical explanation is that it took place during her career as a pilot, to help explain her high rank.

Carol’s final mission as a military pilot was to test-flight an experimental Stark Industries aircraft and reconnaissance camera over Afghanistan. After some banter with Stark, who had personally come to monitor the equipment, she flew the mission. However, Danvers’ plane was shot down by a missile that unexpectedly defeated all counter-measures.

Grounded

Captured and tortured by a local armed force headed by one Rashid Ghazi, she escaped after grabbing some intelligence and killing several guards. She thus learned that her captors were working for the CIA. They apparently thought that Danvers’ mission was to kill them as part of an American treason.

With a broken arm, a broken leg and five missing fingernails, Danvers crossed 30 miles of bad terrain to rendezvous with Rossi. Her friend was now with an Air Force spook outfit. He was in Afghanistan to establish the groundwork for downed pilots recovery operations. Danvers ended up being his first customer.

Carol now had highly sensitive information about the operations of their CIA rivals in Afghanistan. Rossi told her to play dumb and not mention what she had found.

Once she was stateside and out of the hospital, Danvers had her military flight licence revoked. Though this development shocked Major Danvers, she soon learnt that it was a necessary step for her transfer to Rossi’s Air Force intelligence unit. It was known as “Strategic Operations” or “Special Operations”.

Strategic Operations

Danvers completed various rounds of intelligence and combat training. She then became Rossi’s field partner within Strategic Operations — and eventually his lover. This two-person team was one of the top intelligence assets of the US during the Cold War.

However, Rossi and Danvers’ attempts to follow up on the information she had found in Afghanistan were less successful. They were foiled in Berlin by an American mercenary — Rick Mason, the Agent — working for unrevealed parties. Thus, the duo had to leave without leads.

After several years with Strategic Operations, Danvers — still looking in her 20s — apparently transferred to the CIA. There are conflicting accounts as to whether this was the CIA, or whether she even transferred at all. But the CIA remains the most likely possibility.

As an Agency operative, Danvers came to work in the field with the legendary Nick Fury. She also became a friend of star agent Logan. Though Canadian, Logan was then working for US intelligence. Years later he’d return as the Canadian costumed agent Wolverine.

In matters agricultural

One documented operation had her paired with Colonel Fury. They acted upon a tip about a secret weapon hidden within the Department of Agriculture. The weapon turned out to be Logan, whose memories had recently been heavily edited.

Fury and Danvers helped him escape from a cadre of apparently American agents trying to capture him. After receiving unexpected help from the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova), Fury decided to just let Logan leave for Canada. He told Danvers that he had his reasons to disobey orders.

Though Carol cherished her relationship with Michael Rossi, the couple drifted apart. They eventually broke up. Presumably Danvers was sucked into her work and the constant travel and danger, and did not maintain her full ties with Rossi. Though no longer lovers, they remained good friends and close allies.

Espionage

In 1964 or 1965, Danvers was detailed to a very special mission by Colonel Nicholas Fury. He presumably was working for the CIA, since it was a few months before he was recruited to head S.H.I.E.L.D..

Hotshot test pilot Benjamin J. Grimm and special Canadian agent Logan were her team-mates. The trio also was provided with an experimental YB-49 Northrop flying wing packed full of special equipment. Their goal was to gather intelligence on a Soviet experimental site.

However the Soviets were aware of the mission, and the flying wing was shot down. Carol, being the flight engineer, set the aircraft’s nuclear self-destruct charge. She then ran into the woods with the black boxes whilst Grimm and Logan bought her time. However, the Black Widow disarmed the charges, and the plane was captured intact.

Logan and Grimm escaped from the guards. Meanwhile Danvers stole a Yak  aircraft to fly back to Alaska. Spotting her colleagues shortly after taking off, she had them grab the skis of her plane and airlifted them away. The trio went on to recapture their flying wing and dodge the Black Widow long enough to escape.

Homo superior

Another documented case occurred after the assassination of a crack Canadian special agent – a friend of Logan’s. Danvers and Logan made unofficial enquiries. They felt that there was something odd with the official investigation into the assassination.

Carol Danvers and Nick Fury do a drive-by shooting

They unearthed a conspiracy of suspected mutants, involving the Canadian intelligence services and the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club in New York. Back then, mutants were unknown except to a few cutting edge specialists, such as Charles Xavier.

Logan did not know that he was a mutant at that point, though he strongly suspected a link. Thus he and Danvers kept digging. Even though it all seemed to be a wild-eyed conspiracy theory involving secret supermen and improbable shady organisations.

An agent of the conspiracy who would later be known as Sabretooth killed the witnesses and destroyed the scant evidence. But Danvers and Logan determined that the conspiracy was real. In a fateful moment, Carol transmitted the evidence to “a freshman Senator who seem[ed] on the up and up”, Senator Kelly.

Thus did Major Danvers unwittingly play a major role in what would eventually become Project: Wideawake and the anti-mutant policies of the US government.

Meanwhile, Fury went on to become the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It is likely that Rossi was an early recruit. Whether he contacted Danvers for S.H.I.E.L.D. membership is unrevealed.

End of an era – Lubyanka

Some months after these events Carol’s brother Steve was killed in Việt Nam. Steve’s death had a dire effect on the Danvers, and in particular Joe Sr.. Devastated by the death of his son, he started drinking too much whilst pretending that everything was all right.

This both worsened his relationship with Carol, and foreshadowed his daughter’s own bout with alcoholism years later.

(A later account has Steve dying much earlier, just before Carol joins the Air Force. This is apparently a continuity mistake.)

In mid-1966, Carol was caught by the KGB and sent to the Lubyanka prison. Her superiors decided to just let go of her. They forbade any attempt to rescue her. However her close friends Rossi and Logan went AWOL and busted her out of Lubyanka, exfiltrating her back to the US.

How she had been captured, what happened in prison and how the rescue mission went was never explored. However, Carol seemed very diminished physically and psychologically by her imprisonment. Thus, she had to leave the US intelligence apparat.


Description

CAhrul haza nOtabull Bahstonahhxent — AAndd prahsueMAbleetha Bahstondikshun azwell. Just… just be thankful I didn’t rewrite the quotes in propah Bahstonhehglish.

For people unfamiliar with it, here is a gripping documentary about said accent. It’s also hilarious if you’ve lived in Boston.

 

Danvers’ youth and attractiveness are frequently commented upon by the men she encounters, to the point of monotony.

Officially she is 5’11”. Yet she does not seem that tall in any of the flashbacks or period art. Furthermore, a 5’11” woman would not be a common sight during the 1960s. We assume that her successive mutations as Ms. Marvel and later Binary are what gradually boosted her physique and height.


Personality

Despite her apparent youth, Agent Danvers is a consummate professional. She’s calm, smart, in control, highly trained, dedicated. Despite her job, she’s a good person – not a casual killer or a torturer. She maintains an idealistic sense of patriotism and of the greatness of the US.

Still, if sacrifices are necessary, she will execute on them with little hesitation.

Carol soon grew tired of being treated either as a kid to be protected or as some sweet piece of behind to be wooed. Even her good friend and most trusted ally, Logan, tended to treat her somewhat like a child despite her track record and skills.

Carol is clearly ahead of her times. During her entire life, she butted her head against conservative views of women’s roles. That made her cranky about the subject, but she apparently wasn’t exposed to feminist thought until the mid-1960s.


Quotes

“[My plane] is on fire, I’ve got no landing gear and I don’t have a parachute. This does not bode well.”

“Let him go, Logan. He isn’t worth it. Get control of yourself.”

“Somebody in our government has got to listen. Has got to care.”

(Test-flying a Stark Industries experimental plane after Tony Stark used a lamentable pickup line on her) “Colonel, you can tell Stark the plane operates better than he does.”


DC Universe History

“Flashbacks Carol” is connected to the key spies of the Marvel Universe in the 1960s. So it would make sense for her to be a colleague of King Faraday on the danger trail, giving her a similar role in the DCU.

Carol could conceivably have worked with the Suicide Squad. You might even substitute Rick Flag Sr. for Rossi to an extent, depending upon which of the various Mission X Suicide Squad timelines you use.

Other likely DCU links for the highly-connected Carol include Nathaniel Adams and Steve Trevor in the USAF. Trevor was the son of a lady pilot, and would likely have supported WAF and similar organisations.

A DCU character is somewhat similar to Carol at this stage. Namely Captain Jillian Pearlman of the USAF, call-sign Cowgirl, a friend of Hal Jordan. Pearlman was briefly turned into Star Sapphire. With the “small world effect” in super-heroes stories, Pearlman could be Danvers’ niece.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Carol Danvers – in her 20s

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Upholding Justice
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Pilot, agent
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 016 HP: 020

Skills:
Artist (Actress): 04, Artist (Cooking): 02, Martial Artist: 04, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land): 05, Vehicles (Air): 06, Vehicles (Space): 03, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Vehicles (Space) is Contingent upon Vehicle (Air) — it represents Danvers using her experience as a pilot or test pilot as it transfers to space shuttles and the like, and is thus only usable with Earth space vehicles.

Advantages:
Credentials (US Air Force, Low ; Central Intelligence Agency, Low), Expertise (Poker ; Making her personal soup recipe), Familiarity (SCUBA, Military equipment and protocols, Avionics and related systems), Language (Russian ; some vocabulary in a number of languages, including Arabic), Rank (former Major with the Air Force), Slowed Ageing.

Connections:
Logan (High), Colonel Michael “Ace” Rossi (High), Colonel Fury (Low). Low Connections with the USAF and the Agency (from her Credentials).

Drawbacks:
Misc.: Carol is young, attractive and in a very unusual role for a woman in the 1960s and 1970s. This results in credibility issues and social awkwardness. In game terms this is very much like the Age (Young) Drawback.

Equipment:

  • .45 ACP Colt M1911A1 [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 08, R#02].
  • XM16E1 rifle [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 06, Ammo: 06, R#03, Advantage: Autofire, Rec. STR: 03].


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Carol Danvers (flashback youth) — Averaged PL 6.2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
01 02 02 04 04 02 01 01

Combat Advantages

Defensive roll 2, Evasion, Precise attack (Close, Concealment).

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Slowed ageing), Connected, Contacts, Equipment 5, Language 1 (Russian), Skill mastery (Vehicles).

Skills

Athletics 4 (+5), Close combat (Unarmed) 3 (+7), Deception 5 (+6), Expertise (Fighter pilot) 8 (+10), Expertise (Espionage) 6 (+8), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Firearms) 3 (+7), Stealth 4 (+6), Vehicles 5 (+9).

Equipment

Light pistol.

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 1
Light pistol +7, Ranged, Damage 3 Ballistic
Assault rifle +7, Ranged, Multiattack Damage 5 Ballistic

Defense

Dodge 8 Fortitude 6
Parry 7 Toughness 4/2*
Will 7

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Prejudice Carol is a young woman in a macho occupation and a chauvinistic time.
  • Identity Carol is a spy working undercover.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 6, Dodge/Toughness PL 6, Parry/Toughness PL 6, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Point total 90. Abilities 34, Defences 19, Skills 23, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 14. Equiv. PL 6.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe .

Helper(s): roguetamlin, Darci, wikipedia, Chaplain Chris, Ryan Jones’ writeup 

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