18 min read

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) 1960s kidnapped again

Carol Danvers

(Before Ms. Marvel, part #3)


This profile is part of a large, marvellous series.

For orientation you definitely should first check our guide to Ms. Marvels.



  • Real Name: Carol Susan Jane Danvers.
  • 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. Formerly Boston ; later unrevealed Air Force bases and CIA buildings ; later Cape Canaveral (FL).
  • Height: 5’7” (1.70m). Weight: 120 lbs. (54 Kg.).
  • Eyes: Blue. Hair: Blonde.

Powers & Abilities

In the material published during the late 1960s, Carol is dramatically less competent and assertive than in the flashbacks taking place in the early 1960s.

The simplest hypothesis is that torture, undernourishment, sleep deprivation, etc. at the Lubyanka prison severely damaged her health. The diminished Carol was left unable to train – and to pilot under most circumstances.

This would also explain how often she passes out in these old stories. As well as her difficulties to concentrate – or assert herself.

That Carol Danvers was greatly diminished after Lubyanka is not stated in the material. But it is a reasonable conclusion to draw from several Claremont stories.

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) and a Kree Sentry at Cape Canaveral

The very first panel depicting Carol.


After her first book became a best-seller, Carol could have lived in luxury for about a year (Wealth 006 in DC Heroes, Benefit 1 in DC Adventures).

But she instead invested this windfall into a beautiful and tastefully decorated Manhattan penthouse apartment.

Connections with NASA

Said book was a tell-all exposé about NASA. It badly burned some decision-makers and made her enemies for life.

On the other hand a number of NASA employees were quietly supportive of Danvers’ stance.

Years later, when she helped prevent a planet-shattering disaster involving a cavourite crystal, Danvers was able to come back to NASA turf without being thrown out. Her supporters could invoke her good deeds to ignore orders from Danvers’ enemies.

Thus she ultimately retained her connections with NASA, despite losing her official credentials with that organisation.


This profile is chiefly about Carol’s NASA carreer during the 1960s. So there’s at least one obvious choice, innit.

This Public Service Broadcasting  high-energy electronica tune samples recordings from journalists and flight directors during the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969.

The words “White director Gene Kranz” refer to flight engineering teams being colour-coded, with the white team being the lunar landing engineers. Mr. Kranz is the one who designed the “go/no-go” procedure to coordinate the scattered control teams – which is used as a rythmic motif in PSB’s tune.

History (part 1)

Carol had to leave the intelligence community after her unauthorised rescue from Lubyanka. But NASA was interested in hiring her as Cape Canaveral  ’s security chief.

She thus became a civilian security specialist. Reportedly, Ms. Danvers was the youngest NASA security chief ever.

Back in 1967, this position chiefly meant heading the investigative and administrative operations. The on-site muscle was military police commanded by one General Bridges, who wasn’t in her chain of command.

Therefore Bridges was the one in command of most of the physical security, since the Cape was under military secrecy and protection. He often patronised Danvers, seeing her as a glorified secretary and source of red tape while he did the real work.

Kree havoc

Carol’s tenure as security chief at the Cape was eventful. Not only was she protecting NASA during the final years of the race to the Moon, but the site was attacked by numerous hostile parties. Including space aliens.

For instance the Fantastic Four brought a wrecked alien robot to the Cape for study, and agents of the Kree Empire soon came to recover it.

One of the robotics experts brought in by the NASA to examine the alien sentry, Dr. Lawson (no relation), was actually a Kree infiltrator. Namely, the special forces trooper and war hero Mar-Vell. However, other Kree agents reactivated the robot before it could be stolen.

As a result, Mar-Vell was forced to smash the sentry to bits to save Danvers, the MPs and much of the Cape.

Carol Danvers, General Bridges and a Kree Sentry (Marvel Comics)

Chaos at the Cape

Danvers sensed that something was off with “Lawson”. She also was determined to identify the mysterious superhuman who had stopped the alien robot.

This forced Mar-Vell into fancy footwork to dodge her investigations. To fend her off, Lawson kept patronisingly brushing her aside. But she kept digging. Even after the FBI failed to come up with much information about Lawson.

The Kree hero’s presence resulted in further security problems. Neither Danvers nor Bridges could hope to contain those.

  • The Super-Skrull clashed at the Cape with Captain Mar-Vell. He stole some material using his shape-changing powers.
  • An experimental NASA rocket was lost at sea then destroyed by Namor the Sub-Mariner.
  • UFO activity was clearly afoot within and around the base.
  • A failed test created the rampaging energy giant Solam.
  • Quasimodo (Quasi-Motivational Destruct Organism) invaded the base.
  • Etc..

Furthermore, Kree operatives realised that Danvers’ investigations were a threat. They attempted to eliminate her on several occasions.

Love and rockets

Danvers grew to instinctively trust, and be attracted toward, Captain Marvel – the name Earth people had given to Mar-Vell in his heroic identity.

Eventually, Danvers just pounced on Marvel and kissed him. To the distress of medic Una, Mar-Vell’s Kree girlfriend, who was watching the scene from the orbiting Kree scout ship.

A Skrull agent later attempted to steal a spaceship at the Cape, and knocked Lawson/Mar-Vell out. Danvers rushed aboard the spaceship as it was taking off.

She managed to save “Lawson”, kill the Skrull with his own weapon and pilot the shuttle back to Earth.

This was one of the few times where Danvers, very diminished compared to her USAF and CIA days, successfully took direct action.

(It also was a flashback, explaining the difference in tone from the period material where she’s merely supporting cast).

The right stuff

Violence, intrusions and weirdness continued to plague the Cape.

Most of the time, Captain Marvel’s arrival was required to put an end to the problem. Since conventional weapons were useless. For instance :

  • An advanced robot built by the real Lawson attacked.
  • Captain Marvel fought a team of alien Aakon soldiers.

Carol eventually sneaked and bribed her way into “Lawson’s” hotel room. She nearly discovered the truth, but Lawson’s giant robot returned and captured her.

Marvel destroyed the robot. But the mysterious high-tech paramilitary organisation led by Number One attacked him and Danvers.

Chaos continued as Mar-Vell stole an experimental American rocket to save Una. This incident turned a bitter Danvers against him. She felt betrayed, and hunted down both “Lawson” (whose disappearances were by then beyond suspect) and Mar-Vell.


In the meanwhile, protests took place around the Cape. A group of protestors was attacked by the robotic Man-Slayer – who, of course, kidnapped Danvers.

Marvel narrowly saved Carol, regaining her trust. She therefore defended him when the MPs attempted to arrest him for stealing that rocket.

However Mar-Vell was forced to abruptly teleport back to the Kree galaxy. Which made it look like he had fled from arrest, humiliating Carol.

Concussed during the Man-Slayer assault, Danvers nevertheless left the hospital, dodging the FBI and the paparazzi to continue defending Marvel.

Carol Danvers before Ms. Marvel comics and Doctor Lawson


However, Carol was kidnapped by Mar-Vell’s commanding officer, Colonel Yon-Rogg.

A forbidden Kree device, the Psyche-Magnitron, had recently been found on Earth. It had been hidden there by the founding fathers of the Kree Empire. Yon-Rogg was well aware that it was a fine example of the proverbial “sufficiently advanced technology”  .

He used it to gain the power to conjure any piece of Kree technology past or present. This gave him power enough to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence, ruler of the Kree empire.

Recreating the ancient Kree executioner robot called the Mandroid, Yon-Rogg clashed with Mar-Vell.

During this fight, the captive Carol was hit by a stray laser blast near the Psyche-Magnitron.


Marvel got Danvers out of Yon-Rogg’s hideout. But the Psyche-Magnitron exploded right behind them. He shielded her with his body, but she was nevertheless heavily exposed to Psyche-Magnitron energies.

However, once at the hospital, the perplexed medical staff couldn’t find any trace of irradiation.

Unbeknown to Carol, she was invisibly mutating. Her body slowly became a complex meld of superhuman and enhanced Kree physiologies.

A synthetic “Kree” personality also slowly developed, separate from Carol’s consciousness.

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) psyche-magnitron radiation exposure


Furthermore, the Psyche-Magnitron briefly hypnotised Ms. Danvers. She was made to recover a hidden high-tech costume and keep it handy. This may have been a post-hypnotic suggestion implanted during the initial exposure.

The Kree machine also mesmerised Danvers into forgetting about the costume. No matter how many times she packed it into her luggage.

Carol apparently experienced episodes of somnambulism during which she made brief and uneventful “test flights” as Ms. Marvel.

(The “test flights” bit is tentative. This hypothesis is to explain why a foe later traced Ms. Marvel’s first appearances to Cape Canaveral, even though no such appearances were ever depicted).

Late NASA career

Carol resumed her duties at the Cape. But the constant circus amidst the supposedly highly-secure perimeter meant heavy criticism from the generals. It seems possible (but is not clearly stated) that her position was folded back under military authority.

Two flashbacks likely occur during this time.

  1. She was NASA’s watchdog in Professor Kronston’s Doomsday Man project. Ms. Danvers was among those who realised early on the danger posed by this invincible robot. She tried to stop the project, but the Doomsday Man was nevertheless built.
  2. She worked with Dr. Peter Corbeau as a security adviser. He was researching an extraordinary source of energy, the cavourite crystal, as a possible source of propulsion for a faster-than-light spaceship.


Another fateful incident

When Carol was next seen, she seemed to be in direct command of a team of MPs. They were securing the experimental gas Compound Thirteen when they were attacked by the superhuman criminal Nitro (Robert Hunter).

Captain Marvel came to the rescue. But he was exposed to the nerve gas, which would ultimately result in a fatal cancer.

Mar-Vell switched places with Rick Jones after collapsing from the effects of the gas. Danvers found Jones, and rushed him to a hospital.

She then helped the Wasp (Janet van Dyne) and Dr. Pym against a Living Laser attack. This let Jones switch places back with Mar-Vell.

The intensive care unit that Danvers had scrambled for Jones was thus able to save the Kree’s life.


A few weeks later, the body of the deceased medic Una was possessed by a space parasite. Una had been jealous of Danvers in life, and as an undead she severely beat Carol before Captain Marvel could intervene.

Danvers was hospitalised again, as Marvel strove to destroy the animated corpse. He then left Earth, as the memories of Una had been too painful for him.

Whilst she was recovering from the corpse’s attack, Danvers was let go from NASA. Though the various menaces were objectively unstoppable with the means at hand, heads had to roll.

Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) comics rubble

History (part 2)

Carol’s career had rapidly gone from ace pilot to intelligence wunderkind to torture survivor to being fired for being unable to stop space alien commandos and giant robots.

Furthermore, she started experiencing fierce migraines. And her once-mighty self-confidence had been further damaged by her dismissal – and her unrequited love for Captain Marvel.

Fed up with fighting chauvinism in the military and NASA, she searched for her identity. She eventually established that she liked to write – and excelled at it.

After she sold her first articles to magazines, she recovered much of her self-respect. It is apparently as a magazine writer that she researched feminism and women’s lib  .

(If you have zero familiarity with the 1960s/1970s women’s lib movement, check the brief students’ primer at the link above. To get a rough sense of the historical context behind Marvel pushing Ms. Marvel as a women’s lib-inspired super-heroine).

This woman, this author

Within months of leaving the hospital Carol was a published book author. She wrote about the space industry, and her exposé about NASA was a best-seller.

However, Ms. Danvers also started having depressive episodes – and her migraines worsened. These became bad enough to have her black out, and she soon grew convinced that she was sleepwalking during these spells.

Doctors couldn’t determine what was wrong with her. But she apparently accomplished some progress with a psychiatrist and hypnotist, Dr. Barnett.

On the strength of her articles and best-selling book, Danvers was considered an up-and-coming non-fiction writer in New York City. This led “Jolly” Jonah Jameson, publisher of the Daily Bugle, to hire her to revitalise Woman – a magazine with crumbling sales.

Agent of W.O.M.A.N..

The conservative, chauvinistic Jameson had laughably outdated ideas about what would make a women’s magazine successful.

Furthermore, he wanted Woman to relay his anti-super-heroes crusades by exposing costumed heroines. Such as the newcomer Ms. Marvel.

Danvers took the job as Woman’s Editor-in-Chief. But she immediately rejected Jameson’s concepts – and put together her own editorial stance.

Apparently, she fully expected to be eventually fired for being too contrary and independent. But she would not consider toeing the line. Unexpectedly, Jameson appreciated this – and gave her her shot.

The EIC of Woman magazine toiled hard, and managed up her oft-wroth boss.

But still she wondered. Why was she painfully and repeatedly blacking out ? And how did she keep waking up home even after fainting miles away from her apartment ?

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) vs. J.J. Jameson liberated woman


Carol usually wears mid-1960s, respectable middle-class younger women’s clothing (including a pearl necklace). Even as a NASA security specialist.

And yes, she still sounds like sAHmebahdEEfruhm BAHSton.

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) with soldiers and MPs


At this point Carol is a fairly typical late 1960s super-hero comic book female character.

Her role as a security chief is unusual, but it doesn’t really impact characterisation. She could have been a secretary and little would have changed – except for her tendency to nag Lawson for being a security risk.

She is at the confluence of two comic book stock characterisations. Namely, the Romantic Interest and the Flatfoot Detective.

As the Romantic Interest, she is more specifically The Other Woman. Captain Marvel is attracted toward her and saves her every time she is kidnapped (and she gets kidnapped a lot). However, Una is his main Romantic Interest, and Carol’s interest in him is therefore doomed to failure.

As the Flatfoot Detective, she is ever thwarted in her uninspired and oddly tepid attempts to uncover the hero’s secret identity. Think late-60s-to-mid-70s Lois Lane trying to discover Superman’s secret identity.

However, the story is less misogynistic than with vintage Ms. Lane. It does not *quite* portray her as a bumbling airhead coming up with amazingly inept and convoluted plans a 5-year old could shoot to pieces.

System shock

Most character traits of Danvers — competitiveness, need to reject social conventions and authority to forge her own path, brazen courage and take-charge attitude, crankiness toward sexist prejudice, etc. — are barely visible during her NASA career.

But they start noticeably re-emerging as she earns her success as a writer.

In hindsight, this characterisation probably results from the trauma suffered at the Lubyanka prison. Though Lubyanka was a retconMaking changes to a character or story after the fact., its consequences are easy to guess :

  1. She’s diminished and traumatised by the torture and deprivation.
  2. She’s reeling from having her life suddenly collapse from being a top pilot and crack agent to being a ground-bound paper-pusher and glorified hotel detective.
  3. She’s gone from being invincible and highly successful to a continuous string of failures against vastly superior forces attacking Cape Canaveral. Danvers likely doesn’t know how to deal with failure, having seldom failed as a student, pilot and agent. Therefore, she is deeply hurt by this novel experience.
  4. She’s no longer protected against chauvinism by her amazing track record, her medals and highly-placed allies such as Rossi. Her achievements are immaterial to NASA or Bridges.
  5. As her credibility is being destroyed, one imagines that everyone who resented her for being uppity and not knowing her place (which would be most people given the times) came with knives out to stab her now that she was down. Further stressing her out and grinding her down.


During the last six months covered by this profile, Carol goes through miserable and even depressive phases. The rest of the time she strives to be back to her old flow, with some success.

While she is more at peace as a writer than she was in the military or as a security chief, she is far more vulnerable than she ever was as a gun-toting agent or maverick pilot.

Left without direction, without orders and with nothing to effectively rebel against (until she encounters Jameson), she tries to fill her suddenly empty and aimless life.

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) vs misogynistic crap

Just another day at the office.


“So, General Bridges… I see you’ve brought Dr. Lawson here against my best advice… as usual !”

“But even if I weren’t head of security for the Cape, I’d be determined to get to the bottom of it ! The man who calls himself Captain Marvel saved my life earlier tonight — and I take my heroes very seriously !”

“Captain Marvel ! You’re a heavenly sight to these eyes… I’ll tell you !”

“And one more thing, Jonah… my name is *Ms.* Carol Danvers. And as far as diets and recipes [in Woman Magazine] go… forget it.”

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) kissing Captain Marvel Una reacts

DC Universe Adaptation

(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).

Carol would likely have headed a Task Force X beachhead base on Dinosaur Island that regularly got into troubles, suffered heavy losses from monsters that conventional firepower could barely stop, and eventually was closed as a failure.

Alternatively she simply could have been head of security at Ferris Aircraft, and easily inserted into period Green Lantern stories. Having two conflicting love interests both named Carol is so Silver AgeSuper-hero comics from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.

Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel Comics) training in the martial arts

DC Heroes RPG

Carol Danvers

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 012 HP: 005


Artist (Actress): 04, Artist (Cooking): 02, Artist (Writer): 05, Artist (Guitarist): 03, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques)*: 04, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land): 04, Vehicles (Air): 06, Vehicles (Space): 03, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 04

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. Therefore, it is only usable with Earth space vehicles.


  • Credentials (NASA, Medium).
  • Expertise (Poker, Making her personal recipe for soup).
  • Familiarity (SCUBA, Military equipment and protocols, Avionics and related systems).
  • Language (Russian ; some vocabulary in a number of languages, including Arabic).
  • Slowed Ageing.
  • In the last few months covered by this entry she gains a Headquarters (her penthouse flat in Manhattan).


Logan (Low), Colonel Michael “Ace” Rossi (Low), Colonel Fury (Low), Dr. Michael Barnett (Low), “Jolly” Jonah Jameson (Low), USAF (Low), NASA (Low). She has a Low Connection with Captain Marvel, but no way to reach him that she knows of.


  • Uncertainty.
  • MIA toward Captain Marvel.
  • Misc.: Carol is young, attractive and in a very unusual role for a woman in the 1960s and 70s, which results in credibility issues and social awkwardness much like the Age (Youth) Drawback.
  • This disappears when she leaves NASA, but is replaced by a Minor Physical Restriction (fierce migraines and occasional blackouts).


Do her job.


Head of security.




Carol is never armed during this era, and almost always runs around in casual civvies.

Design Notes

The game stats in this profile are on the high side for what she actually does in the vintage comics. That’s because we assume that she retained a weaker version of the skills she displayed in the retcons.

There was little she or the MPs could do during the attacks on Cape Canaveral during her tenure. The threats being overwhelming and her Hero Points low, highballed Abilities and Skills are not going to change much.

So these remain compatible with the stories as published. And allow for uncharacteristic burst of competence, as during the case with the Kree spy stealing the space shuttle.

A later flashback mentions that Carol was trained in judo while working security for NASA. Therefore, our game stats include soft fighting techniques.

Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics) thinking mystery

DC Adventures RPG

Carol Danvers (vintage appearances) — Averaged PL 3.6

00 01 00 03
03 01 01 01

Combat Advantages:

Defensive roll 1, Improved trip.

Other Advantages:

Benefit 1 (Slowed ageing), Language 1 (Russian).


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


Initiative +0
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 1


Dodge 5
Fortitude 3
Parry 4
Toughness 2/1*
Will 4

* Without Defensive Roll.


  • Prejudice Carol is a young woman in a macho occupation and a chauvinistic time.
  • Disability Carol is physically weakened and has a hard time concentrating.

Powers Levels:

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 3, Dodge/Toughness PL 4, Parry/Toughness PL 3, Fort/Will PL 4.
  • Point total 57. Abilities 20, Defences 11, Skills 22, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 4. Equiv. PL 0.

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Darci, Chaplain Chris.