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Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell) (Marvel Comics)

Captain Marvel

(Phyla-Vell) (Profile #1 - pre-Quasar)


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

Context

Phyla-Vell is the daughter of Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) mythos. While born after his death, she struggles to fill his shoes of a great cosmic hero. Phyla’s origin is complex, and we suggest reading our Genis-Vell profile before this one.

Phyla-Vell is one of the secondary “space” characters at Marvel Comics. She played an important role in the excellent Annihilation events and joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. This profile stops as she becomes Quasar.

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


Background

  • Real Name: Phyla-Vell
  • Other Aliases: Captain Marvel
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Elysius (mother), Mar-Vell (aka Captain Marvel, father, deceased), Genis-Vell (aka Captain Marvel, aka Legacy, aka Photon, brother), Dorrek VII (aka Hulkling, aka Teddy Altman, half-brother), Eros (aka Starfox, honorary uncle)
  • Group Affiliation: Eternals of Titan, United Front
  • Base Of Operations: Titan, then Genis-Vell’s HQ on Hyperion (another moon of Saturn), then Mobile
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 103 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: White


Powers & Abilities

Phyla is half-Kree and half-Titanian Eternal. This distinctive heritage endows her with low superhuman strength, speed and durability.

As the daughter of the great cosmic hero Captain Mar-Vell, she has cosmic awareness and received training in melee combat, athletics and acrobatics. She also has a limited ability to absorb and redirect energy shot at her, which was presumably inherited from her mum.

Though Phyla is stated to have cosmic awareness, it is barely ever used. Our game stats are set it so using it isn’t generally worth the effort, and Annihilation didn’t have a situation where using mid-powered cosmic awareness on-panel would have been the obviously correct move.

One hypothesis is that, based on the terrible effects of cosmic awareness on her brother’s sanity, she is pacing herself. She may be waiting to be older and tougher to start using it in a limited manner. When Genis asked why Phyla wasn’t affected by her cosmic awareness, Elysius answered “because girls mature faster”, but one assumes that it was an humorous quip.

Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell) with a comic book

Likewise her energy absorption and redirection power is twice stated to exist, but never demonstrated. Perhaps this is because those energy attacks she was actually hit with were too massive for her to process. Generally Phyla seldom gets a chance to shine, so evaluating her abilities is difficult.

As Captain Marvel, she sports a copy of the Nega-Bands her dad wore. These :

  • Further enhance her strength and durability (in the “Class 50” range).
  • Can emit huge energy blasts.
  • Can propel her for rapid space flight.
  • Include an instant automatic translator.
  • Protect her against the rigours of space.
  • Can be used to physically block powerful attacks.

She could also project a sort of energy lasso to yank somebody toward her, and further abilities are a definite possibility.


History

Phyla-Vell is a timeline anomaly – not that there is anything wrong with that, of course. She didn’t exist in Universe-616 until it was recreated.

The cosmic event that resulted in her existence was the destruction of the abstract entity Eternity by its “offspring”, Entropy. This was aided by the manipulated and disoriented Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell).

Faced with universal inexistence, Entropy became the new Eternity, and Genis-Vell provided the spark to create the universe anew. Though the universe was meant to be recreated exactly as it was, had been and would be, Genis subconsciously introduced tiny changes.

One was that his murdered mum, the Titanian Eternal Elysius, was resurrected soon after her death – or perhaps was never actually killed. The second is that he tweaked his past to make himself a better, more impressive and heroic young man than he had been in the previous version of Universe-616.

Blood of heroes

Elysius was thus alive to see her son Genis’ early heroic career. She prized the young man’s competence and resolve. Since it was working well, she again used the preserved DNA of her late lover Mar-Vell to become pregnant. Thus was Phyla born (genus, phylum… get it ? ).

As with Genis, Phyla’s growth was greatly accelerated. Within 3 years she had the physical form of a woman in her early 20s and the maturity of her girl in her mid-teens. Like Genis, she received artificial memories of having grown up on Titan .

Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell) crouching

Elysius’ second child also received special training so she could also claim the mantle of Captain Marvel if something happened to her brother.

In 2004, Genis-Vell went seemingly insane and threatened the great empires (specifically the Shi’ar, Kree and Skrull ones) with war. Elysius convinced the Imperatrix Lilandra to let her handle her son nonviolently, and had him come back to Titan. Phyla was ready to confront her brother if things went wrong.

Things did go wrong to an extent. Genis was disoriented as he could remember both Elysius being alive and being dead, and Phyla existing and not existing. He impulsively tried to fix this by exiling them both — and the nearby Starfox — into a conceptual dimension, but Phyla dragged him after them.

Elysius, Phyla, Starfox and Rick Jones defeated Genis. They seemingly brought him back to his senses, and everybody returned to the real world.

Genis rededicated himself to selfless heroism, and Phyla stuck around to keep an eye on him – much like Rick Jones did.

Get out and enjoy the Heather

After an attack by a superpowered undead Marlo Jones from the future, Rick asked Phyla to protect his wife in the present. He then left to investigate into the future.

When Phyla came in, Marlo was having an amicable breakup with her girlfriend Moondragon (Heather Douglas), as Mrs. Jones wanted to rekindle her marriage with Rick. Phyla prevented a version of the Magus (Adam Warlock) from kidnapping Marlo, then took her to her brother’s HQ on Hyperion  for her protection.

During this bodyguarding job, Phyla found herself intrigued by the beautiful and selfless Moondragon. She offered a date. The two quickly became a couple and travelled through space, as Phyla wanted to see the wonders of the universe.

During these travels, Moondragon apparently introduced Phyla to her dad, Drax the Destroyer – and they met Nova (Richard Rider).

A few months later Genis-Vell joined the Thunderbolts and took the name Photon. This left Phyla free to claim the title of Captain Marvel. Genis was then apparently killed by Baron Helmut Zemo.

However, thanks to Ms. Douglas, Phyla had come to realise that she was too young and that the universe was too big. She needed more time and experience to credibly claim the title of Captain Marvel. One imagines that she also didn’t want to do so so soon after her brother died.

As a result she came to wear a hooded cloak to cover her Captain Marvel-like costume.

Annihilation

In 2006, Phyla and Heather were attacked as Vell was visiting the graves of her father and brother. Thanos easily defeated the pair, and kidnapped Moondragon to further his plans as an ally of the Annihilation Wave. He ripped off Moondragon’s ear and threw it to Phyla, telling her to bring it to Moondragon’s father as a warning.

The shocked Phyla located Drax, and in so doing saw that much of the galaxy was ravaged by a war that had yet to reach the Solar System. It was day 212 of the Annihilation, the immense invasion by insectile armies from the Negative Zone led by Annihilus.

When she found Drax, he was among the rag-tag, harrowed forces of the United Front. This was an interstellar army chiefly made up of Kree soldiers and survivors from armed forces slaughtered by the Annihilation Wave. By this point, the United Front was making its first more-or-less successful stand on Dædalus-Five.

Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell) and Blastaar

This stand was broken by the Negative Zone Centurions using Thanos’ advanced teleportation tech. Phyla joined the Front in engaging them. Within a few hours the Front was demolished by the onslaught, and the few survivors had to flee. Phyla helped with the evacuation, but Drax chose to remain behind to ensure the safety of Cammi, a little girl under his protection.

Phyla stuck with the two former heads of the United Front – Nova (Richard Rider) and the former Star-Lord (Peter Quill). She also helped take care of Cammi. The three worked on a plan to take down Annihilus himself.

Meanwhile the deadly Drax killed Thanos and rescued Moondragon. In so doing he freed Galactus from the shackles built by Thanos and Annihilus. In his cosmic anger Galactus ravaged the Annihilation Wave, pretty much ending the war.

And the bands played on

Nova, Phyla-Vell and Peter Quill located Annihilus, and used crude teleportation technology to get within striking distance. They arrived just as the Annihilation Wave was engulfed by Galactus’ rage – the perfect moment, as taking out Annihilus now would make it impossible for the Wave to properly regroup.

Nova engaged Annihilus, but even with the full Nova-Power found himself outmatched. That was in good part because Annihilus wore the immensely powerful quantum bands formerly used by Quasar (Wendell Vaughn). Though her power level was manifestly insufficient, Phyla bravely charged in and body-blocked Annihilus, who swatted her away.

However her actual plan worked. She had briefly touched the quantum bands, and telepathically offered her services as their new bearer. The quantum bands took the offer, suddenly flying away from Annihilus to land on Phyla’s wrists and make her the new Protector of the Universe.

Though Phyla didn’t know how to fight efficiently with the bands, she gave Nova enough breathing space for him to attack anew and kill the weakened Annihilus.

With the Annihilation Wave disorganised, diminished and beaten back Phyla was reunited with Heather. The daughter of Mar-Vell wanted to carry the legacy of Vaughn as the Protector of the Universe, and though Moondragon was against it as Phyla wasn’t experienced enough, her lover’s insistence on doing the right thing eventually wore her down.


Description

The skintight costume is worn before Phyla and Heather become an item. The more elaborate costume with the cloak appears after they do.

Phyla sports a softbutch buzzcut but starts letting it grow into a longer shag during Annihilation, presumably due to the difficulties in finding a proper hairdresser in a warzone.


Personality

Early on, Phyla comes across as a cranky 15-year old girl. She’s jealous of her big brother and wants to be the one doing all the kick-arse stuff. She feels betrayed by the failures and instability of Genis. What she wanted was to look up to her brother and see him worthy of their dad’s immense legacy, but that didn’t work out.

Seeing her bro suffer through his bouts with depression, alcoholism and insanity hurt her. With her adolescent rashness she felt that she had to intervene and use force if necessary.

During this phase she tends to act in a catty yet oversensitive manner, and frequently complains that she should be Captain Marvel. Though she looks like a young woman and has all the intellectual and cultural resources she needs to be snide, she still has very little life experience. Whichever methods Elysius used to accelerate her daughter’s maturation were good, but there are limits.

Still, being a teenager, Phyla has some skill at pretending to be more mature than she actually is.

Annihilation

By the time of the Annihilation, Phyla has grown up and seems closer to a 17-year-old naïve and romantic youth. She’s out of her cranky and catty phase thanks to her big love story making her feel better about herself. She now focuses on discovering the universe, on her relationship with Heather and on trying to fill her dad’s shoes.

Phyla-Vell about to wield the Quantum Bands

Phyla is at this stage very young, and very emotional. She does not have enough experience yet to harden and weather her psyche. She has enormous potential willpower, but it’s not focused yet and isn’t much of an asset in most situations. She’s like an adorable, trusting, eager puppy bravely trying to fill the role of a wardog.

She often exclaims “by the creator” or “by the blessed creator”. Which person or deity she’s referring to is unrevealed (Kronos ? The One Above All ?).

Phyla has a good amount of common sense. She will often object to the crazy desperate plans of Rider or Quill… then go along since there isn’t a sensible alternative.

Her father’s legacy is critical to Phyla. However, the more she fights in cosmic crises, the more she realises that she isn’t even in the same zip code as he was.

She is gaining a hands-on understanding of just how greater-than-life Mar-Vell was. This makes her even prouder of her heritage, but also dismayed about whether she’ll ever be able to fill these shoes and fearful that she can’t live up to her dad’s legacy.

Phyla is head-over-heels in love with Moondragon, and will become particularly agitated and despondent if something bad happens to Heather.


Quotes

“C’mon, big bro. All your life, you touted your smug superiority to me, and I had to deal with it. ‘I’m Captain Marvel, I’m the legacy‘. Made me wanna puke sometimes. Well, guess what – I’m Captain Marvel now. Mom said so. So deal with *that*.”

Marlo Jones: “What you’re doing is crazy ! And unfair !”
Phyla-Vell (cattily): “So is the universe we live in. If you want to complain to the manufacturer, I can arrange that.”

“Can the sarcasm, Blastaar. Our alliance is temporary, of this I’m certain.”

“I won’t… watch him die ! I… won’t !” (finally breaks through a force field so she can join Nova in fighting the overwhelming Annihilus)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Phyla-Vell (pre-quantum bands)

Dex: 06 Str: 07 Bod: 07 Motivation: Uphold Good
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Heroine
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 012 HP: 010

Powers:
Acuity: 08, Reflection/Deflection: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acuity has the Distance (+1) and Supernatural (+1) Bonus.
  • Acuity is Minor Marginal.
  • Reflection/Deflection is limited to energy attacks.

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05

Advantages
Familiarity (Cosmic super-heroes, Life of Captain Mar-Vell), Schtick (Precise Blocker (Bracers)).

Connections:
Titanian Eternals (High), Nova (Richard Rider, Low), Peter Quill (Low), Moondragon (High).

Drawbacks:
Innocent.

Equipment:
NEGA-BANDS [/STR/ 11 BODY 25 /BODY/ 12, Comprehend Languages: 12, Energy Blast: 12, Flight: 38, Sealed Systems: 20, Stretching: 02, Limitation: Stretching has No Fine Manipulation and no defensive application (it’s an energy lasso)].


Design notes

There’s little material about Phyla’s capabilities – certainly not enough to quantify her abilities with any degree of authoritativeness. These are just educated guesses based on what she’s clearly seen doing, taking Gareth’s game stats for her brother as the starting point.



Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Phyla-Vell (pre-Quasar) — Averaged PL12.2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
06 (11) 05 (07) 04 01 04 02 01 01

Powers

Energy sponge ● 8 points ● Descriptor: Half-Eternal
Close Deflect 8 w/ Reflect & Redirect (Limited 1 to Electromagnetic Energy damage)

Daughter of Vell ● 48 points ● Descriptor: Cosmic Awareness
Tiring Variable 8

Devices

Nega-Bands ● 96 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Titanian Eternal tech
– Boosts strength — Enhanced Strength 5, Enhanced Stamina 2, Protection 2
– Bracers block — Impervious Protection 8 (Concentration, Limited 1 to attacks that can be physically blocked by the bracers), Ultimate Toughness
– Universal translation — Comprehend 3 (Languages)
– Photon blast — Ranged Energy Damage 12
– Space flight — Flight 14, Movement 3 (Space Travel), Immunity 10 (Life Support)
– Energy lasso — Elongation 2, Limited 1 (no direct damage)

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 3, Defensive Roll 3, Ranged Attack 2, Ultimate Toughness.

Other Advantages

None demonstrated.

Skills

Acrobatics 4 (+8), Athletics 2 (+8), Close combat (Unarmed) 2 (+9), Deception 1 (+2), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Photon blast) 7 (+10).

Offense

Initiative +4
Unarmed +9, Close, Damage 11
Photon blast +10, Ranged, Damage 12

Defense

Dodge 11 Fortitude 12**/10
Parry 9 Toughness 12**/8*/5
Will 8

* With Defensive Roll
** With Nega-Bands (and Defensive Roll where applicable)

Complications

  • Inexperienced Phyla has little life experience, and most of it was simulated.
  • Responsibility Phyla wants to bear the crushing burden of the Captain Marvel legacy, despite realising that she doesn’t have the shoulders for it yet.
  • To baldly go… Phyla-Vell is in love with Moondragon.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 12, Parry/Toughness PL 11, Fort/Will PL 10.
  • Point total 243. Abilities 48, Defences 24, Skills 12, Powers 56, Devices 96, Advantages 8. Equiv. PL 17.


Notes

There’s little material about Phyla’s capabilities – certainly not enough to quantify her abilities with any degree of authoritativeness. These are just educated guesses based on what she’s clearly seen doing, taking Gareth’s game stats for her brother as the starting point.

It is implied that Phyla has an Energy Absorption power, but there’s nothing on-panel so I took a conservative Deflect approach that assumes that she can absorb and return the attack. Likewise the Variable was selected for the cosmic awareness since it’s never seen in action, but would likely be plot-device-ish if it were.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (primarily Captain Marvel (2002 run) and Annihilation.).

Helper(s): Gareth Lewis, Darci.

Writeup completed on the 30th of April, 2014.

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