5832 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) during the 1970s

Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers) (Ms. Marvel "Year One" - the late 1970s)


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

Context

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) is one of the major Marvel Comics super-heroines. She had originally appeared as a so-so supporting cast character, but in 1977 she gained super-powers through the “Psyche Magnitron” alien device. She emerged from this as a much stronger character

It is a “chronological retconned” profile. Thus, it accurately covers the Ms. Marvel material from the 1970s, integrates flashbacks and retcons published later, and discusses how to make it all work seamlessly.

If you are terribly confused about all these women with “Marvel” in their codename, you can check our Ms. Marvel disambiguation page.

Sequencing

Since there’s a *lot* of material to cover, this profile is part of a chonological series of articles. Which should be read in order, otherwise it won’t make any sense. The series 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. .
  4. Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Year One) – this here profile.
  5. .

Advertisement


About *this* profile

This here profile starts with Ms. Marvel vol. 1 #1 (January, 1977) and ends when she switches to the black costume with a yellow lightning bolt (in #20 – October, 1978). Thus it covers two years of publication. As often in comics, “year one” is not meant literally. 🙂

During the “Year One” era, Ms. Marvel goes through constant changes in powers and characterisation. We experimented with presenting these evolutions as a series of small profiles, but this gets too confusing. So we’ll present everything in one go, to show how the character evolves.

This means that the article is a bit long. So for convenience’s sake it is split into two parts – the main content, and . So readers can take a break and go pee, walk the cat, read the rest on the next day or whatever.


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: Former member of the Air Force and Air Force Strategic Operations, former member of the CIA, former employee of NASA.
  • Base Of Operations: New York City’s Manhattan borough. Formerly Boston ; later unrevealed Air Force bases and CIA buildings ; later Cape Canaveral (FL).
  • Height: 5’7” (5’9” as Ms. Marvel). Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde !


Advertisement


Walking wounded

When one reads the Carol Danvers stories in their in-universe chronological order, everything is all over the place. Her characterisation darts around like a skunk on meth, her skills appear and disappear, etc.. It seems difficult to reconcile the pilot super-spy, the fumbling supporting cast blonde, and the women’s lib  super-heroine.

Howbeit, writeups.org’s world-famous power of constructive thinking allows for unearthing a coherent narrative. This narrative was likely not intended by the authors. The material is too scattered. But it does makes sense, in hindsight, to explain Danvers’ abilities and characterisation.

Again, though it flows naturally from the stories, this is *not* canon. But is a simple explanation where the events and characterisation all make good sense, without changing anything.

Wait, wait, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this !

This No-Prize Hypothesis  goes :

  • The damage suffered at Lubyanka was medically irreparable. Even with her amazing constitution, Carol Danvers would have remained, physically and psychologically, but a shadow of whom she was in her 20s.
  • When the Psyche-Magnitron energy permeates her, it responds to her wish to fly again, be a great warrior and be a famous heroine. However, she is too badly weakened, physically and mentally. Even the deus ex machina  Psyche-Magnitron technology cannot turn her into a super-heroine right away.
  • In our take, what the Psyche-Magnitron does is run a lengthy background process that repairs her mind and body. After years of this silent procedure, Carol has — without realising it — regained enough fortitude to become Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) vs. Tyrak

  • The process also employs a crutch of sorts – the artificial Ms. Marvel persona. This synthetic mentality is likely motivated by two reasons :
    1. The artificial Ms. Marvel persona was a sort of scaffolding to guide and facilitate the regrowth of Danvers’ strength of personality. It also was a sort of “safe mode”  for the Psyche-Magnitron to test-drive the Ms. Marvel superhuman body, which was operational before her mind was fully healed. As the tests were conclusive and the psychological healing concluded, the artificial personality receded. It was no longer needed.
    2. The Psyche-Magnitron interpreted Danvers’ wish to be a “great warrior” and heroine in a *Kree* cultural context. A great Kree warrior would be one mastering the Kree military skills, not inferior alien ones. Therefore, the Psyche-Magnitron had to teach her these somehow. Yet having a weakened Carol experience being trained as an elite Kree cadet wasn’t possible without driving her crazy. So the skills were given to an alternate personality that would gently fuse with Carol’s personality as she finished her mental recovery.
  • There’s support for the notion that melding Carol with Kree genetics and an artificial Kree personality had to be a lengthy, gradual process. When the Destructor (Kerwin Korman) was turned into a half-Kree by the Psyche-Magnitron, the sudden change practically destroyed him, physically and psychologically. And in issue #19, the Ms. Marvel costume is clearly stated to have been used to enhance her powers because the genetic fusion was a lengthy process with gradual results.
  • Carol states in Ms. Marvel vol. 1 #13 and #19 that the Psyche-Magnitron turned her into a Kree warrior, but her mind couldn’t cope with it and split in two to handle it. In our framework, this pop-psych explanation is almost right. It just has the sequence backward. Her mind was split because it couldn’t handle the transformation yet.

Further notes about this “trellis” framework

The hypothesis above addresses retcons  that occur within the first 20 issues of Ms. Marvel, as the character is in a state of flux. Early on, it seemed that Gerry Conway  thought of the process that empowered Carol as something like exposing a positive photographic film. The Psyche-Magnitron emitted a beam which passed through Mar-Vell and struck Carol.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) recap flashback

Claremont  showed this in flashbacks when he took over the series. Yet, he must not have been happy with it. Among other issues, it did not explain the costume. He eventually settled on the genetic reconstruction explanation in Ms. Marvel #19 after having phased out the dual persona subplot and the powered costume.

That Ms. Marvel became rapidly less dependant on her costume was probably just Claremont drifting away from the Conway concept. In hindsight, though, it reinforces the notion of the Psyche-Magnitron employing a number of physical and psychological trellises  to have Carol become Ms. Marvel.

Further further notes

During this era Carol Danvers pines to be better, stronger, a warrior, and a winner. At this point her past as a pilot and military intelligence operative has not yet been retconned in. So it comes across as an allegory for women’s lib and empowerment.

However, the story works even better with the retconned-in military career. Danvers’s reactions and thought bubbles in the period material actually make *more* sense as those of a damaged and traumatised person who is being slowly, painfully put back together by a mysterious force without realising it.

In this light, the whiplash between her meek incompetence as a supporting cast character at Cape Canaveral and her brash assertiveness in her own book some years later makes much more sense.

The fact that this psychic and physical surgery was done by aliens, and thus ham-fisted and inaccurate in parts, can also help explain many of her later psychological difficulties and alcoholism.


Soundtrack for this profile

Let’s have something thematically appropriate, and emblematic of 1977 in the US… Yes, the Steve Miller Band nicely fits that bill.

 

Available for download on Amazon .


Powers & Abilities

Ms. Marvel is a powerful fighter with :

  • Enormous superhuman strength. She can smash through heavy stone walls, uproot and throw large trees within seconds, lift main battle tanks, throw cars around as if they were made of cardboard, etc..
  • The power of flight. She can reach orbital heights under her own power, though early on such a feat required wearing her costume.
  • Enhanced senses – including a complex “seventh sense” we’ll detail later. When concentrating, she can see tiny details in the distance.

Ms. Marvel is also superhumanly durable. She can largely ignore conventional weaponry, and withstands superhuman blows without significant damage. Being unexpectedly hit across the face by a falling I-beam just dazed her for a short while. But this isn’t entirely consistent, though her durability seems to increase over time.

Other assets

Ms. Marvel is a tenacious fighter and hates being knocked out. In DC Heroes terms she tends to keep her Hero Points  to soak damage. If she becomes angry or needs to save lives, she’ll use her Hero Points more offensively.

During this era, Ms. Marvel consistently underestimates her own power. She regularly discovers that she’s stronger and more durable than she thought.

For instance she assumed that she wasn’t bulletproof – despite regularly withstanding attacks more powerful than any bullet. She also thought that people known for their superhuman strength (such as Tiger Shark) were radically stronger than her. As it turned out, he wasn’t actually that much more powerful.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) flies out of a New York City diner

Her agility, reflexes and speed are likely superhuman. She uses an acrobatic fighting style reminiscent of Olympic-level gymnastics. On the other hand, she never displays a number of military skills one would expect from an elite cadet of the Kree Lar academy.

In DC Heroes terms she might very well have Martial Artist, Military Science, Vehicles, and Weaponry. But she doesn’t use any of those during this era. On the gripping hand , after she integrates herself, she routinely uses Carol’s judo techniques as Ms. Marvel.

Empowered

Listing what contributes to Ms. Marvel’s power is interesting :

  • The energy from the Psyche-Magnitron.
  • Additional power drawn by the Psyche-Magnitron from Mar-Vell’s nega-bands.
  • Exceptional human genetics, including the enormous psionic  potential inherent to all humans. The later was important in the late 1970s Marvel Universe.
  • These genetics were then reconstructed as a perfect blend of Human and Kree genetics.
  • Extensive Human and Kree military knowledge, Human knowledge of intelligence work, and Kree scientific knowledge.
  • And for a while a costume to enhance her abilities as they finished maturing.

Big science, yodellayheehoo

At this stage, Ms. Marvel uses Kree science as one of her core skills. She builds advanced gadgets such as :

  • Water-breathing potions.
  • Multi-shot flash-packs shooting flares intended to blind and scare off creatures living deep underwater.
  • Special nets capable of catching intangible beings such as the Vision.
  • Specialised sensors.

She also improvises a powerful EMP  generator from a Con Ed power plant.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) uses Kree science

She’s not a full-on gadgeteer . She prefers to use her advanced scientific skills after a forceful approach has clearly failed. Still, Ms. Marvel can come up with very useful, very advanced tech. Ronan stated that Danvers had all the knowledge of a Fleet Captain, meaning that she knew how to build any Kree weapon up to and including the Universal Weapon.

Her scientific and engineering work is done in a sort of light trance where she doesn’t quite see the hours pass, and she once worked at a clearly superhuman speed.

This aspect of the character soon faded. But during the era covered by this writeup, alien science is the ace up her sleeve.

A woman’s intuition

Ms. Marvel’s “seventh sense” is a danger sense. For instance, it warns her when somebody is about to shoot her in the back.

But it also incorporates extra-sensory perception. She can sense that somebody or something is threatening people she knows. This can be broad, as she has sensed dangers to New York City in general. Perhaps somebody she knew was in the crowd being threatened ?

This is a convenient plot device. Ms. Marvel will know when an adventure is about to begin, where it is and what is going on. This threatens to put old men hiring adventurers in taverns  out of work.

Somehow, she never senses the dangers that occur in other comic books set in New York City – except of course when she appears in a team-up event. Her danger sense also inexplicably fails when that’s convenient for the plot, as with many ESP powers in comics.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) has a vision of the Scorpion

Ms. Marvel’s seventh sense allows her to clearly locate the source of a danger. She get visions about the person or phenomenon, which is reminiscent of the cosmic awareness of Captain Marvel. This moves the story forward without wasting time on investigation, tracking stuff down, etc.

Thus, the clarity of her seventh sense perceptions varies. It goes from vague intuition, to clearly perceiving the danger through clairvoyance (fully visualising the opposition and where they are), to detailed dreams about likely events in her future, to sudden flashes of cryptic images.

Later on, she starts getting precognitive vision flashes, sensing events that might be hours in the future.

Her Seventh Sense is an important power in Ms. Marvel stories. But Rogue didn’t quite absorb it, and is thus not well-known to later readers.


History

Carol Danvers took charge of, and revitalised, Woman magazine. At the same time, Ms. Marvel was becoming active as a mysterious heroine manifesting during Carol’s blackouts.

Ms. Marvel had started manifesting back during Carol’s time at Cape Canaveral. The Destructor later tracked her first appearances there. Perhaps those were brief, sleepwalking-like manifestations allowing the Ms. Marvel personality and physical form to develop.

At this point, Danvers and Ms. Marvel did not know about each other. They were both perplexed by their blackouts. Ms. Marvel assumed that she was some sort of amnesiac heroine. But it was distressingly unclear to her whether she was some sort of space alien, or an Earth woman.

It is implied that Ms. Marvel was active for some months before her first depicted appearance.

Flying into action

Said appearance was responding to a robbery in New York City. Mere hours later, the brazen blonde battler rescued the ungrateful J. Jonah Jameson, who had been kidnapped by the Scorpion.

Carol Danvers running Woman Magazine

Danvers was worried sick about her inexplicable blackouts, and not knowing what was happening during those spells. She continued to consult with Dr. Barnett, a psychiatrist known for his mastery of regression hypnosis.

Under hypnosis, she could describe her metamorphoses. At first, Barnett thought these were delusions. But after Danvers fainted from the stress of a regression, she became Ms. Marvel right in front of him. Marvel flew off to confront the Scorpion and the Destructor in a street battle.

At Woman, Carol was primarily assisted by associate editor Tracy Burke. Other journalists she regularly worked with included free lance photojournalist Frank Gianelli, reporter Sharon Cole and clumsy intern Tabitha Townshend. As an Easter Egg, real-world comics artist Marie Severin  also worked at Woman.

This woman, this warrior

Carol then returned to Cape Canaveral. She was to write an exclusive about a lady astronaut (and friend of hers) for Woman.

However, she sensed the arrival of an ICBM aimed at the Cape. Turning into Ms. Marvel, she flew beyond the atmosphere to intercept it. The payload of the missile was the Doomsday Man robot. But Ms. Marvel destroyed the missile, forcing the indestructible Doomsday Man to crash-land not far from the Cape.

As her foe climbed out of the crater, Ms. Marvel was irresistibly attracted toward the cave where the Psyche-Magnitron had exploded. There, she intuited that she was Carol Danvers as well as Ms. Marvel.

She was also exposed to further Psyche-Magnitron energy. But it would be a while before she realised that it had strengthened her.

After this new exposure Ms. Marvel destroyed the Doomsday Man robot. She returned to New York City to switch back to her Carol Danvers existence.

Robots and aliens

Days later, Carol fainted right in the street. She experienced a premonition of grave danger involving a strange truck. Her psychiatrist explained to her that she somehow was the host for the super-heroine, and that this vision likely was a precognitive flash Ms. Marvel had.

;Investigating as Carol, she found the truck and was forced to change into Ms. Marvel. The heroine intercepted the vehicle, but discovered that the Vision was riding shotgun to protect the shipment.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) vs. Tiger Shark

The two heroes eventually allied as the driver turned out to be a disguised robot. Ms. Marvel’s precognitive flash was proved correct – the robot had been tasked with detonating the shipment, which would have killed millions.

This was followed by an encounter with Grotesk. However, both combatants were interrupted when MODOK tried to kidnap Ms. Marvel so he could mass-produce duplicates of her costume. But said costume had just been wrecked by Grotesk, ruining this plan.

In New York City, Carol accidentally ran into a fight between the Super-Skrull (Kl’rt) and the Torch (Johnny Storm) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker). Ms. Marvel flew in to help after the Torch had been knocked out, using Kree knowledge to defeat the Skrull.

As she and Spider-Man fought the alien, Ms. Marvel deduced that the Super-Skrull wanted to use a cavourite crystal to return to his galaxy. She used the crystal to trap him in warp-space instead.

The warrior and the witch-queen

Danvers then had a vision of the future. Therein her friend Salia Petrie died in a space shuttle explosion, caused by a cavourite crystal. However, Carol also sensed impending danger in nearby Saracen Cay. Ms. Marvel forced the change to fly off to the Cay and meet this greater menace, leaving Petrie to her fate.

Ms. Marvel ended up intervening in a fight between the Elementals and Hecate. During the entire fight, the Carol consciousness fought against the Ms. Marvel consciousness. One wanted to rescue Salia and the other knew that stopping the Elementals was much more important.

Ms. Marvel retained control, the Elementals were stopped, and Petrie and her crew died.

Furious, Danvers forced the change from Ms. Marvel into Carol, then decided that it was all Hecate’s fault. She started hitting Hecate with superhuman brawn. But the Witch-Queen stopped her using some sort of influence power.

Perhaps intending to make up for Petrie’s death, Hecate then changed something within Danvers. This resulted in a much better integration between the two sides. Suspiciously enough, Carol seemed to also immediately accept that Petrie’s death had been a necessary sacrifice.

Danvers soon returned to New York City as a new, improved, integrated Ms. Marvel.

Flying United

Carol now had the typical life as a super-heroine with a secret identity. She would leap into action as Ms. Marvel whenever she stumbled upon super-villain attacks.

She encountered Sapper and Golden-Blade when she came back to Boston. Ms. Marvel then rescued her father as he clashed with corrupt construction industrialist Maxwell Plumm, aka Steeplejack.

Spending time with her father infuriated her – he was as macho and chauvinistic as ever. Furthermore, Mrs. Danvers immediately realised that Ms. Marvel was her daughter.

Back to New York City, Ms. Marvel clashed with Tiger Shark to rescue young Namorita, but he eluded her. She requested help from the Avengers. After a short brawl with Beast, Ms. Marvel convinced the Scarlet Witch to let her use the Avengers’ engineering labs.

Using Kree science, Ms. Marvel built herself a tracker and a water-breathing serum to chase Tiger Shark. Burning every Hero Point  she had, she narrowly defeated Tiger Shark, but would have drowned had Namorita not rescued her in turn. After this case she developed a good relationship with the Avengers.

Spooky

Ms. Marvel then clashed with an ex-CIA man named Ballard (whom she apparently knew from her time with the Agency). Back then, Ballard was an ally of Mystique.

Ms. Marvel was nearly killed by the powerful Centurion armament wielded by Ballard, but the Avengers helped her prevails. However, Mystique soon would make further attempts on her life. Furthermore, Ballard had firebombed Danvers’ apartment. She had to move to a large studio (14 Carrol St., Greenwhich Village, New York).

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) rescues two children

During the fight with Ballard, Ms. Marvel realised that he could detect her Kree costume. She thus ditched her clothing to improvise something the Centurion suit couldn’t track. This outfit included a black bodysuit, which would soon inspire a costume change. It was also an occasion to get rid of the impractical scarf.

Ms. Marvel soon helped the Avengers in turn. They were hunting down Ultron. Ms. Marvel was here specifically to rescue the Scarlet Witch, whom she had foreseen falling into an awful trap. Carol was successful, swiftly rescuing the Avenger after the trap was triggered.

What comes before “assemble”

Carol stuck around a bit after that, helping the Avengers defeat the Atlantean villain Tyrak. She also made a lighthearted flirting pass at Wonder Man.

Ms. Marvel soon returned to help the Avengers when her seventh sense detected their upcoming clash with Korvac. Thus, she was among the small army of heroes who took down Korvac – as was Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell).

During the Summer of 1978, Ms. Marvel was attacked and kidnapped by the powerful Ronan the Accuser. The Accuser had been living on Earth with a small group of Kree. The Kree Supreme Intelligence had reawakened back on Kree-Lar, and ordered Ronan to bring Ms. Marvel in. The S.I. wanted to use Carol’s incredible merged genetics to make her the mother of a new kind of Kree.

Captain Mar-Vell, having sensed Ronan’s return, intervened but was also captured. With the two heroes under its thumb, the Supreme Intelligence attempted to break Ms. Marvel’s psyche but failed. After Captain Mar-Vell distracted Ronan, Ms. Marvel attacked and defeated the surprised Accuser. However, she broke her arm in the scuffle.

The encounter left Ms. Marvel wanting to affirm her humanity over her Kree side. She also now thought it’d be better to wear a costume not based on Mar-Vell’s.


Description

Ms. Marvel is taller, more broad-shouldered and more muscular than Carol is. She wears her hair in a bob whereas Carol sports a simple long cut. This feat of capillary transmutation puzzled some for decades.

Ms. Marvel seems to have less of a Boston accent than Carol. Perhaps it’s more like a generic East Coast accent, or even a Kree one. Once they fully integrate, Ms. Marvel has the exact same voice as Carol. Or at least, she can talk exactly like Carol when needed.

Initially, Ms. Marvel wears a Captain Marvel-like costume that leaves her belly, diaphragm and most of her back exposed. It comes with an itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikini bottom from the 1960s (comparable to modern volley-ball “boy shorts”) that looks like skin-tight thin leather.

The upper half of the costume later changes to cover the previously exposed areas, though her legs remain bare. This slight change in costume cut (in issue #9) was never explained.


Personality

(This section assumes the timeline discussed in the first Carol Danvers profile, and that the development of the Ms. Marvel persona took place as discussed in our “trellis” hypothesis above. This doesn’t change the facts or the characterisation. It merely makes everything sound more coherent).

As Carol Danvers

Carol is a 1970s liberated woman, in the process of regaining her assurance. Since things are finally looking up after several disastrous years, Carol is upbeat, dynamic and warm. She’s also obviously smart and independent.

However, this is, in a way, an act. Yes, for the last year or so she has had a great life and her journey to find herself again was successful. But it doesn’t compare with her old life as an elite agent and pilot.

Carol never mentions her youth, but she yearns for what her wounds made impossible. To be a fighter again, to fly again, to be strong and proud. And to somehow erase all the damage rather than just work her way around her post-Lubyanka limitations.

As the editor of Woman Carol works hard and manages well. She fights Jameson about every other day to prevent him from imposing his inept, dated vision of what a women’s magazine should be.

Her need to be strong-headed, independent and to impose her personal vision despite social conventions and tradition are obviously coming back to the fore. Whereas she had to largely suppress these feelings back with NASA.

I am woman, hear me roar

Carol’s struggle to be her own woman and to affirm herself as a great something (a great writer and journalist, a great publisher, a great warrior, a great heroine…) reflects a greater societal context. Her ambition is not quite about herself – it’s about proving her socially conservative father wrong.

It’s also about making it clear that a woman can win despite living in a society that still considers ladies as children.

While the comic was a bit behind the times, Carol is in part a symbol of women’s lib . Her desire to be a badass and to be successful and admired should be interpreted in that light rather than as simple narcissism and egotism – at least at this stage.

“To be as competent and independent as any man” was far from quaint in the 1970s. It is a major goal of hers.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) involuntarily transforming

Danvers oscillates between being one of the boys (especially when she’s working and managing her staff) and being appropriately feminine (especially in her clothing and jewelry, and the decoration of her apartment). She’s assertive and sometimes downright aggressive, but almost never butch.

Though Claremont was already using soap opera elements into his writing, Carol’s private and professional life were only superficially explored. Early on she has a romantic relationship with her psychiatrist (!) Dr. Barnett. But this is given so little screen time that it’s easy to forget about it – presumably to the APA ’s relief.

This relationship was apparently brief. Though they stayed good friends, Carol was planning to remain single after that.

Freelance reporter Frank Gianelli had a longstanding interest in her and even stole a kiss. But Carol did not intend to follow up on that though she liked him.

Carol’s personality eventually merges with Ms. Marvel’s — see below.

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel is a born warrior, heroine and protector. She instinctively stops robberies, rescues kidnapping victims and the like. She is always in motion and never hesitates.

But when she’s not in action, she’s far more confused. Originally, she does not know her name, who she is, why she is here, or why she knows these places and people. She is struggling as her mind wants to refer to her both as an Earth woman and a Kree warrior.

But this only bothers her when there is nothing to fight or no catastrophe to stop. And in such circumstances, she will soon fade into becoming Danvers again anyway. Eventually the issue recedes as she understands that she is Carol Danvers with something more.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) flying over Manhattan

Ms. Marvel is proud and gung-ho. While she fights smartly, she obviously believes in the virtues of a hard charge and her right hook. She does not actually kill, but given how aggressive she can verbally and physically get in the heat of combat, observers can come to doubt that.

This is especially true if one considers what was allowable for a super-heroine in the late 1970s. In this context, she definitely doesn’t fight with the kid gloves on. She’s vigorously competitive, unladylike, and fights to *win*.

Eventually, Ms. Marvel realises that, while as a Kree warrior she would fight to kill, it is her Carol Danvers side that prevents her from doing so.

Are we not Kree ?

Ms. Marvel’s style is very much in the Kree tradition. Fight like hell, battle gloriously, rejoice in taking risks, never back down, don’t go for stealth or low profile actions. She thus resists and frets when Carol wants to use her spook training for infiltration and intelligence. The Kree are warriors, not thieves !

In some ways she is a cross between a one-woman shock troops squad and a daring firefighter. Rescuing innocents and protecting people is very important to her, and she will always choose to take some blows, lose a fight, flee, etc. if it’s necessary to save lives.

Ms. Marvel employs Kree exclamations and minor trash talk when she fights. Many of those are actually semi-obscure geek references of the 1970s.

  • Astarte is a Phoenician goddess of love and war.
  • Calots are vaguely dog-like creatures in John Carter of Mars pulp adventures.
  • The “Hala !” exclamation may be a wink toward the “Hera !” exclamation of Wonder Woman.

Ms. Marvel’s personality eventually merges with Carol’s — see below.

I sing the persona synthetic

It is unclear whence the Ms. Marvel Kree personality came from. It might be a duplicate of Carol’s – but altered by extensive exposure to Kree history, values and military training.

Most of the “Ms. Marvel memories” are from the Imperial Academy of the Kree military, on Kree Lar. This conveys the impression that she’s a young warrior-in-training – probably the equivalent of a cadet.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) negotiates with J. Jonah Jameson

Ms. Marvel once vividly remembers an incident from the Academy. She was assaulting a blue-skinned fellow cadet after he made a racist remark about her pink skin. Since in this scene she is improbably wearing her Ms. Marvel costume, this “memory” is probably a fabrication.

It is *possible* that those memories are “Kree-ified” versions of Carol Danvers’s Air Force/WAF memories. For instance an altercation about her gender which was ”translated“ as an altercation about alien skin tones.

It seems more likely, though, that those memories are based on the memories of Kree war hero Captain Mar-Vell. Vell was pink-skinned and did run into issues of blue privilege and racism. There’s too little material to hazard a solid guess, but it would be curious if the Psyche-Magnitron had just made everything up.

Multiple Personalities New Order

At first, Ms. Marvel and Carol Danvers are two distinct persons. The Kree persona (“Ms. Marvel”) and the Carol persona are unaware of each other.

Carol cannot remember what Ms. Marvel did (she only knows that she blacks out, and that something happens whilst she’s unconscious). And while Ms. Marvel can to a degree access Carol’s memories (for instance to speak English) she does not understand where this knowledge comes from.

When she returns to Cape Canaveral, the Ms. Marvel half gains the knowledge that she is also Carol Danvers. She even starts referring to herself as “Carol” in her thought bubbles. This awareness remains one-way for most of the era covered here.

There is, however, a gradual process of Carol understanding what is going on. She slowly accesses her Ms. Marvel side. Ms. Marvel thus becomes the “better half” of Carol, the stronger, better and more decisive half. She is protective of her weaker, more mundane Carol form and persona.

Carol is of course creeped out by those unusual fainting spells that turn her into somebody else. For some irrational reason she feels that she cannot compete with her other self, whom she resents for being better than she is. She feels outclassed by Ms. Marvel, as if she had to compete against a superhuman opponent

Toward fusion

By Ms. Marvel v1 #07, Carol becomes able to witness Ms. Marvel and her actions. It is as if she were a ghost floating behind Ms. Marvel. This experience makes her less afraid of her “other self”.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) punches through some machines

Then Ms. Marvel gets captured, tortured and interrogated for a bit. Oddly enough, seeing Ms. Marvel in pain and nearly defeated makes Carol more confident, and able to deal with her Ms. Marvel side on a more equal footing. It is possible that this incident helped Carol deal with traumatic memories from Lubyanka.

From then on, Carol can remember what happens when she’s Ms. Marvel, and can change into Ms. Marvel of her own will. She can also try to force Ms. Marvel to become Carol, or resist when Ms. Marvel attempts to force the transformation. Yet, these efforts are not normally successful.

At this point Carol and Ms. Marvel’s relationship is a bit like that of two sisters. They can more or less communicate with each other and work together. They also know each other and trust each other, though Ms. Marvel is occasionally surprised by how rash and aggressive Carol is becoming.

The notion that they aren’t actually two different persons also grows stronger in their mind.

Fusioning

Once Ms. Marvel and Carol Danvers fully merge with Hecate’s help, they become one person with the best qualities of both.

Carol Danvers is now an assertive, determined woman and a brash fighter who likes action. Her main pursuit is to live her life as Carol and manage Woman. But now that she’s a super-heroine she keeps stumbling upon crises necessitating a super-heroic touch. She then turns her clothing into her Ms. Marvel costume in a flash, leaping into action.

Early on her brashness causes more problems than it solves. She gets into unnecessary fights by punching first and asking questions later.

Even after she moderates her fires, Ms. Marvel is a woman of action. She’s certainly not dumb, but she prefers to *do* things rather sit and ponder mysteries. She’s not very good at standing still or staying in place, and enjoys attention.


This article is continued…

… in the , due to length.

Said appendix has the quotes, a discussion of integrating 1970s Carol in the DC Universe, and a whole bunch of game statistics.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, Darci, Frank Murdock.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .