Are you excited for the release of Captain Marvel in a few weeks? Do you know Carol Danvers’ history in the Marvel Universe? No? Well, lucky for you, I’m here to help. Working in a comic shop has exposed me not only to new comics featuring characters I like but also access to their origins as well.

Believe it or not, Carol Danvers has been in comics since 1967. However, she did not actually become Captain Marvel until 2012. Initially, Captain Marvel was a Kree military officer, Captain Mar-Vell. Mar-Vell was sent to observe Earth as it was developing technology to travel into space. He eventually gets tired of Kree’s malign intent and allies himself with Earth. Branded a traitor by the Kree, Mar-Vell fights to protect Earth from all threats until his death. After his death, several other characters have donned the Captain Marvel name.
Avenging-Spider-Man-9-Cover-1
For the sake of time, we are going to stick to Carol Danvers. Below I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the most important issues pertaining to Carol Danvers. A fair amount of these comics are somewhat pricey for the average reader in their single issue format. However, there are several trade paperbacks available that contain reprints of these issues. Also, check your local comic shop as Marvel is currently reprinting Captain Marvel issues under its True Believers line up.

Having not yet seen the movie, the list below may inadvertently contain spoilers to the plot of the film. If you want to go in completely blind, do not continue.

Carol Danvers Key Issues

  • Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #13 – Marvel Super-Heroes #13 marks the 1st appearance of Carol Danvers in comics. Additionally, this is Captain Marvel’s (Mar-Vell) 2nd appearance.
  • Captain Marvel (1969) #18 – In Captain Marvel #18 Carol Danvers gains her superpowers as a result of the Psyche-Magnatron, a Kree weapon.
  • Ms. Marvel (1977) #1 – The title is fairly self-explanatory but this comic is the 1st Appearance of Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel. Ms-Marvel-1-Cover
  • Ms. Marvel (1977) #2 – Unsurprisingly, this is the 2nd Appearance of Ms. Marvel but it also contains her origin.
  • Avengers (1979) #183 – In Avengers #183 Ms. Marvel joins The Avengers as a temporary member to replace Scarlet Witch, who has taken a leave of absence.
  • Uncanny X-Men (1981) #150- Uncanny X-Men is not an overly notable comic except for the fact that it is the 1st appearance of Carol Danvers in an X-Men comic.
  • Avengers Annual (1981) #10 – In Avengers Annual #10, during a battle, Rogue (who makes her first appearance in the comics) manages to permanently absorb Ms. Marvel’s powers and psyche. After this Annual, Carol Danvers becomes a regular character appearing in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.
  • Uncanny X-Men (1982) #163 – In Uncanny X-Men #163 Carol Danvers is abducted by the alien Brood and the events that unfold cause her to become Binary.
  • Uncanny X-Men (1982) #164 – This issue marks the 1st full appearance of Carol Danvers as Binary.
  • Avengers (1998) #4 – In the 3rd volume (the 3rd time they started at #1) of The Avengers, Captain America reforms The Avengers. Carol Danvers joins and is known as Warbird.
  • Avenging Spider-Man (2012) #9 – Avenging Spider-Man #9 is the first time that Carol Danvers takes the moniker, Captain Marvel. Interestingly enough, this issue came out about a week before Captain Marvel (2012) #1 but actually takes place after the fact.
  • Life of Captain Marvel (2018) #1 – The Life of Captain Marvel retells the origin of Carol Danvers’ powers. Rather than getting them after the Psyche-Magnatron explosion, readers find out that Carol Danvers is in fact half-Kree.

Recently, a new volume of Captain Marvel has started. This is the perfect time to get in on the ground floor as it were. However, I will say that you should read Life of Captain Marvel first as it does lead directly into the new series.

Key Issues Pertaining to the Movie Characters in Captain Marvel

  • The Amazing Spider-Man Annual (1982)#16- 1st Appearance of Monica Rambeau
  • The Avengers (1992) #346 – 1st Appearance of Starforce
  • The Incredible Hulk (1994) #418 – 1st Appearance of Talos
  • Giant-Size Ms. Marvel (2006) #1 – 1st Appearance of Chewy the Cat (known as Goose in the movie)

Giant Size Ms. Marvel

I won’t go into detail about these titles as it could really spoil the movie. However, if you want to know more, there are plenty of sites that will give you the full story on each character.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Captain Marvel comic cheat sheet. There are a few more issues that are considered “key” in the comic community but I felt for the sake of brevity that you wouldn’t be missing much. Do you read Captain Marvel? What are some of your favorite issues? Leave a comment below or let us know on social media!