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Ms. Marvel comics (Caroil Danvers) with the original black costume

Ms. Marvel

(Part #5) (The 1980s)


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

Context

This profile is part of a chronological series, which is best read in order. The sequence goes :

  1. Carol Danvers (before Ms. Marvel, part 1) – start there.
  2. Carol Danvers (before Ms. Marvel, part 2 – the Air Force and intelligence years).
  3. Carol Danvers (before Ms. Marvel, part 3 – the NASA years).
  4. .
  5. Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (The 1980s) – this here profile.

If you’ve got your Ms. Marvels all mixed up, you can also peruse this marvellous guide to Ms. Marvels.

This profile starts when she switches to the black costume, and ends… in spaaaace !


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Background

  • Real Name: Carol Susan Jane Danvers.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Joseph (father), Marie (mother), Steven J. (brother, deceased), Joseph Jr. (brother), Benny (uncle).
  • Group Affiliation: Avengers.
  • Base of Operations: Manhattan, NYC, NY.
  • Height: 5’9″ Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde


Powers & Abilities

During the last four issues of her book (plus the material that would have gone into the unpublished #24-25), Ms. Marvel uses the “integrated” stats from the previous writeup.

It is likely that in these six issues she’s even stronger than before — STR 13 in DC Heroes terms. It is difficult to tell since there isn’t much material, but I’d err toward 13.

There’s also a bit more emphasis on her espionage and military skills and contacts.


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Team appearances

After that, she uses a different character sheet . This is because she now chiefly appears in a team book. It is common for power levels to be lower in this case than in solo books.

In particular :

  • Her seventh sense is never really used. She even mentions that she can’t use it reliably, which doesn’t match the previous material.
  • She seems slightly easier to knock out.

But she retains her core assets – “Class 50” strength and durability, high flight speed, extraordinary agility and fighting ability, military training, elite grit and courage.


Soundtrack for this profile

Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire OS is emblematic of early 1980s epic synth compositions. And the movie was about overcoming prejudice through strength and resolve. So it nicely fits the profile.

 

Available for download on Amazon .


History

As Carol was trying on her new costume, her photographer Frank Gianelli warned her that a Woman reporter was in trouble. Sharon Cole had been kidnapped in the San Andres mountains. Though the military stonewalled her, Carol found a local cop who was willing to help. Together, they located the site of Cole’s disappearance.

This led to a clash with Warrior-Primes of The People, a hidden species of saurids. Though they tried to take her down to protect their secret, Ms. Marvel was too tough for them.

Eventually, reason prevailed. The People agreed to free all the humans they had captured, including Sharon Cole. And Carol agreed to keep their existence a secret.

Bits and bobs

On the other hand, Danvers and J.J. Jameson’s fights about the editorial line of Woman magazine kept worsening. Carol stuck to her guns, but the writing was on the wall.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s punching a lizard

During this general time frame, Ms. Marvel also worked with Jewel (Jessica Jones) on minor, unchronicled cases.

Ms. Marvel continued to help the Avengers. She participated to the following encounters :

  • Repelling Doctor Spectrum (Joe Ledger)’s power gem after it possessed the Wasp (Janet van Dyne).
  • Getting into a brawl with Thundra as the Avengers were attempting to talk with Hyperion (Zhib-Ran). But the two parted on good terms.

When Doctor Strange and Clea were attacked by the Silver Dagger, both Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Ms. Marvel responded. They accompanied the good doctor to New Orleans, where he allied with voodoo queen Marie Laveau.

Though they couldn’t do much against mystically invulnerable enemies, they helped Strange and Laveau defeat the Dagger.

Ch-ch-changes

Shortly after that, Jameson fired Danvers. The new format for Woman was a success, but they just couldn’t work together. The editorial staff threw a surprise farewell party for Danvers, and Tracy Burke reluctantly became the new editor.

Carol received job offers to be a press editor, on the strength of her work at Woman. But she now knew that such schedules got in the way of being Ms. Marvel. Returning to being a writer seemed more interesting in that respect.

Danvers also stopped dating psychiatrist Dr. Mike Barnett. She then headed toward a formal breakup. In the meanwhile she briefly dated actor and musician Sam Adams, but that didn’t stick. Perhaps that was out of nostalgia about Boston ? That was a joke .

Lastly, Henry Peter Gyrich imposed a reorganisation on the Avengers. Most of the then-current members were let go, Ms. Marvel among them.

Avengers assemble !

After an odd and inconclusive encounter with Deathbird, Ms. Marvel clashed with the Faceless One. She and Vance Astro narrowly defeated this evil alien.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s vs. Dr. Spectrum

They also managed to save Salia Petrie, Carol’s best friend back at NASA. Though Petrie was thought to have been killed in orbit, the Faceless One had actually turned her into his servant. But Astro broke this brainwashing, and Ms. Marvel helped Salia recover.

At this point, the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) took a leave of absence from the Avengers. She designated her friend Ms. Marvel as her replacement, and Carol officially joined the team.

Her colleagues were the Beast (Hank McCoy), the Wasp (Janet van Dyne), Iron Man (Tony Stark), and the Vision (“Victor Shade”).

Hawkeye (Clint Barton) also occupied an interim position until the Falcon (Sam Wilson) agreed to join. After Iron Man unwittingly murdered the Carnellian ambassador, he was replaced by Captain America (Steve Rogers).

Carol Danvers didn’t have a job during that span. She also didn’t seem to get a stipend from the Maria Stark Foundation. Presumably, new procedures from Gyrich meant that she couldn’t get one without compromising her secret identity.

Avengers reassemble !

Encounters during this era included :

  • A battle with the Absorbing Man (Crusher Creel).
  • Flirting a bit with Tony Stark, though Stark ended up killing the mood with stupid misogynistic comments.
  • Joining the Thing’s poker night circle (and winning a lot).
  • Foiling General Pollock’s impressive operation, where he and his troops stormed a S.H.I.E.L.D. base, boarded a Helicarrier and nearly stole the Ultimate Annihilator.
  • Attempting to break the magical force field erected by Nicholas Scratch around Baxter Building. All of New York City’s heroes failed, until the aged Ms. Agatha Harkness decided that enough was enough and it was time for a change.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s poker night

  • Rushing to Wundagore to help the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who were bedevilled by Modred the Mystic and Chthon as they investigated their roots.
  • Facing the Elements of Doom in Russia. With the Beast’s help, Ms. Marvel solved this politically tense situation by, hmmm, shearing open a fusion reactor using an enormous laser canon. I guess Carol attended the Commander Shepard’s School For Solving Big Problems. Sometimes, they talk a bit alike .
  • Fighting the Grey Gargoyle, and defending the Avengers’ official status against Gyrich and the US government.
  • Responding to Inferno (Joe Conroy) rampaging in Pittsburgh.
  • Discovering the existence of Taskmaster, but he escaped.

Jessica returns

The Avengers and the Defenders also had a big, harrowing but undocumented team up, with Thor pitching in. As they finally got home, they were attacked by a mind-controlled Jewel, sent there by the Purple Man.

Jewel dove in and downed the Scarlet Witch. The heroes’ reaction was explosive, with Thor and the Vision mauling Jewel as she tried to flee. But Ms. Marvel rushed in. She grabbed Jewel to protect her, then flew her to a hospital.

Danvers likely saved Jones’ life that day.

Mystique

Meanwhile, Danvers planned with her literary agent, Nancy Jellicoe. However, she had spent enough time leading Woman that her rep as a writer had faded. If she was to work on a new book, it’d be from scratch and without an advance. Nancy’s husband John — Carol’s accountant — encouraged her to find a book idea PDQ, since her savings were dwindling.

Ms. Marvel then stopped Sabretooth, who had just escaped from a secure transport. She also prevented a subway train from crashing after this fight wrecked the rails.

Meanwhile, Mystique (Raven Darkholme) was stepping up her plot against Ms. Marvel. Her attempts along with Ballard had failed, but she had other ways.

Mystique’s lover, Destiny (Irène Adler) had foreseen the death of their foster daughter Rogue (Anna-Marie NLN) at Ms. Marvel’s hands. Darkholme was determined not to let that happen.

Hong Kong gardens

Thus, Mystique murdered Dr. Barnett to steal his Carol Danvers file. Determined to avenge her psychiatrist/ex, Carol tracked Mystique down. This led to a clash with Hellfire Club inner circle members (Tessa, Pierce and Leland).

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s and the Thing

From there Carol vamped a criminal weapons dealer, Peter Coelho, who was doing business with the Club. She thus kept Coelho under surveillance as he worked in Hong Kong.

In HK, Mystique sent Avalanche and Pyro after Ms. Marvel. This didn’t work. Coelho was then murdered by the Club’s Black King, Sebastian Shaw. Shaw and Tessa had discovered that he was double-crossing the Club by dealing with Mystique.

Coelho’s death left Carol without a lead. She thus returned to New York City.

One of Marvel’s worst storylines (part 1)

As the Avengers returned from a mission, Ms. Marvel blinked out of existence for a split-second. She had been kidnapped by Marcus son of Immortus, living in Limbo .

Marcus was doomed to be erased from existence. Thus, he was working on a plan to be reborn with his full memories. This required a surrogate mother with superhuman durability and endurance. Ms. Marvel was one of the few viable choices.

During this split-second, Carol spent weeks in Limbo. She was kept mostly stupefied. Marcus attempted to woo her, using the talents of famous historical persons. When that didn’t work, he used mind control technology to rape her. This started a sort of accelerated pregnancy. Marcus then edited out Carol’s memories of having been in Limbo. Then, he was erased from existence.

A few days later, a wozzy Carol discovered that she was three months pregnant. Jocasta stepped in as an Avenger while Ms. Marvel was hospitalised. The delivery took place within days. The child grew into a young adult within a day.

One of Marvel’s worst storylines (part 2)

The Avengers near the kid seemed oddly, subtly befuddled. Thus, they supplied him with parts to build a futuristic machine. Marcus having been reborn on Earth was beginning to damage the timestream, and the machine was meant to stop this.

But he wasn’t quite fast enough. Massive incursions came from the past.

As the Avengers fought, Ms. Marvel was mentally compelled to stay near Marcus. When she began to resist the effect, Marcus knocked her out. Espying this, Hawkeye shot Marcus, destroying his machine. Earth’s timestream thus continued to tear itself apart around Marcus.

Marcus, apparently a noble and self-sacrificing soul (erk), goaded the Avengers into killing him to stop the effect. But Ms. Marvel, not making much sense, protected him and decided to stick with him. Knowing that she would come with him, Marcus agreed to have Thor open a warp to Limbo and leave. This stopped the timestream disruptions.

The Avengers decided that it was a swell idea to let Ms. Marvel leave for a toxic dimension with her lover/son (erk) who just admitted that he raped her, brainwashed her, and hijacked her body (erk). They sure hoped that it was going to work out for the best and she’d be happy ever after !

(Oh yes, it had also been established that Carol would be erased from existence if she spent too long in Limbo. I say thee erk.)

San Francisco, open your golden gate

But Marcus had miscalculated. Back in Limbo he continued to age at an accelerated pace. He died of old age before he could fix this.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s and the Avengers

Studying the machines and presumably using her mastery of Kree science, Carol was able to return to Earth.

Furious and traumatised, she refused to have any contact with the Avengers. She secretly established herself in San Francisco, living alone. She presumably got a minor job to pay her rent and food. Or perhaps she brought loot from Limbo with her.

But Danvers’ return to the Earth dimension triggered a new vision for Destiny, about Rogue’s fate. This time, Rogue attempted to take the matter in her own hands. She replicated strength from an unknown party (Nekra ? Flying Tiger ? Tigra ?) and ambushed Danvers in her home. But even with these edges, Ms. Marvel was more than Rogue could handle.

The fight took them both to the Golden Gate Bridge . While overpowered, Rogue drained Ms. Marvel’s powers with a touch. But something went wrong, and she permanently drained Danvers’ memories, personality and powers.

In a panic, Rogue threw her unconscious victim off the bridge. Carol was narrowly saved by Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew).

Tabula rasa

Jessica took Carol to a hospital. A Spider-Woman SFPD ally, Lt. Sabrina Morrel, established that the patient was Major Carol Danvers. However, Carol’s mind was blank, much like a newborn’s. Spider-Woman called the X-Men, and the amnesiac was transferred to Professor Charles Xavier’s care.

Over weeks of telepathic surgery, Xavier restored Danvers’ mentality and personality. A good part of her memories was also returned, albeit as data without emotional significance. Jessica Drew stuck by her side, and they became friends. Carol also developed tentative ties with several X-Men.

When the Avengers came to visit, Carol verbally lashed out at them. She pointed out how they overlooked the gross abuse taking place right under their noses. The team left with their tails between their legs, and Carol remained a house guest at Xavier’s.

For several months she helped the X-Men as ground crew. Wolverine (James Howlett) confirmed that they had been friends, but the bulk of Carol’s memories from her CIA and Special Operations days were lost.

House of X

NASA scientist Peter Corbeau, an old ally of the X-Men, ran additional tests. These included intensive sparring with the Starjammers.

Thus, Dr. Corbeau and Dr. Moira McTaggert established that, while Carol had lost her super-powers, her physiology and genetics were peak human. The foundational alterations done by the Psyche-Magnitron were still there… and perhaps more.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Marvel Comics) 1980s Avengers and Jocasta

Carol teamed up anew with Wolverine. They entered the Pentagon to delete official intelligence about the X-Men. The relationship with the US government had been going sour, and conflict was now expected.

Both Carol and Logan had legit rank and brass to penetrate the security. Carol even had credentials as an Air Force colonel, and of course the Medal of Honor helped.

(At this point Danvers is still a Major. A caption states that she can assume a Colonel rank for mission-specific intelligence reasons, which is what she’s doing here. I don’t have any idea of how that works.)

The mission nearly went tits up as they ran into Rogue and Mystique. As Raven Darkholme, Mystique worked at the Pentagon. But Wolverine, Storm and Nightcrawler took Rogue out, while Carol took down Mystique.

Danvers then injected the computer virus that would delete the data about the X-Men. She also spontaneously erased her files as Carol Danvers and as Ms. Marvel from government systems. She thought that it’d help with building herself a new life.

House of Neramani

The X-Men and Carol were then invited to a farewell party thrown by the Majestrix Lilandra of the Shi’ar. She had also been living at Xavier’s mansion, but was now returning to the Shi’ar galaxy.

However, her sister Deathbird attacked Lilandra’s yacht as part of her coup. She captured the X-Men and Carol, and handed them over to her allies – the Brood of Clan-1982.

The Brood wanted to mine the X-Men’s mutant genome to improve their own species. But when it came to Danvers, they were perplexed. Her DNA was like nothing they had seen before. Thus, they came up with a special program of genetic experimentation.

As it turned out, this was a so-so idea.


Description

Carol’s new costume was co-designed with Janet van Dyne, and is made of unstable molecules.


Personality

Brash, two-fisted, opinionated, proud, aggressive, determined both to protect the innocent and to utter minor quips. She’s also… not a fan of anything denying her agency based on her gender.

Ms. Marvel is also determined to have fun when she has some down time. This is in part to recover from her years at the helm of Woman. Though she loved her work, it was stressful and came with a lot of crunch time stomping all over her me-time.

Thus, she acts friendly and social. Whereas at NASA she was isolated and had but one real buddy, during this era she easily makes friends.

Down but not out

After the Marcus clusterfudge, Carol is furious. She wants to be left alone by the entire world as she recovers. In a way, Rogue’s assault helps, blunting the traumatic edge of these memories.

Carol’s stay at the Xavier mansion seems to have been pleasant. One assumes that she continued to receive telepathic surgery, albeit with diminishing returns.

Eventually she felt ready to return to the field, but she was still pondering what to do with her life.


Quotes

“I die somewhat *harder* than most, patriarch.”

Absorbing Man: “Just go away ! Why should you care if I take over some piddly-squit banana republic, anyway ?”
Ms. Marvel: “That’s easy, bunky. Can you imagine what would happen to the price of bananas if you did ?”

“Nice bulletproof jacket you have here, Fury ! Your girlfriend knit it for you ?”

“Hala !”


DC Universe History

Superman could easily be subbed for Mar-vell. And there are sufficient similarities between Danvers and some takes on Lois Lane to go for a “Lois is Ms. Marvel” take. Especially since “Lois becomes a superwoman” has been in the water since at least 1943.

Another approach outside the Superman mythos would be for Ms. Marvel to be an independent heroine and a friend of Vixen (Mari McCabe). She would thus involved in the JLA during Vixen’s tenure. She left when Vibe, Steel and the others died.

In this take, her powers came from a freak Dominator experiment. When exposed to the Gene Bomb, she evolved to her Binary state but lost her memories, and joined the Ravers.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ms. Marvel (black costume era)

Dex: 08 Str: 12 Bod: 11 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Warrior and protector
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Wealth: 004
Init: 022 HP: 060

Powers:
Flight: 15

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Artist (Actress): 04, Artist (Guitarist): 03, Artist (Cooking): 02, Artist (Writer): 05, Gadgetry: 06, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques)*: 08, Scientist: 06, Thief (Stealth): 05, Vehicles: 05, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is Serious Marginal.

Advantages:
Expertise (Poker, her personal Soup Recipe), Familiarity (SCUBA, Military equipment and protocols, Avionics and related systems, Press and publishing), Genius, Headquarters (Confined), Insta-Change, Language (Kree, Russian), Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Kree military knowledge), Sharp Eye, Slowed Ageing.

Connections:
Former colleagues at the Daily Bugle press group (Low), former colleagues at Cape Canaveral (incl. astronaut Salia Petrie) (Low), former colleagues at the CIA (Low), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Low), Avengers (Low), Jewel (Low), Scarlet Witch (Low).

Drawbacks:
Secret ID.


Not so plain, not so old Carol

After she loses her powers, Carol has STR 04 BODY 05, no Flight, no Gadgetry, no Scientist. She likely lost her Scholar and the Kree language, and may be missing some of her Familiarities and Expertises.

Everything else is intact, including the high DEX.

All her old Connections go on the fritz. But she has a Low Connection with the X-Men, a separate Low Connection with Wolverine, and a High Connection with Spider-Woman.

She also retains Medium Credentials with the US military, though they’re only used once and she then deletes her files.

Early on she has 000 HPs, but she eventually rebuilds to a solid 020 HPs.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 31st of December, 2017.

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