Which Version of Carol Danvers is the Best?

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Brie Larson returns to the role of Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s new film, The Marvels. The superhero originated in Marvel Comics, making her first appearance all the way back in 1968’s Marvel Super-Heroes #13 by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Paul Reinman, Stan Goldberg, and Sam Rosen.

Carol Danvers has undergone many transformations over the years. As a result, many alternate-universe versions of her character have appeared in various Marvel films, television shows, and comics. Now that she’s returned in The Marvels, audiences will want to familiarize themselves with every major version of Carol Danvers.

In Marvel’s Animated Series

Avengers Assemble Carol Danvers Was One Of The Avengers’ Most Powerful Members

Captain Marvel using her energy powers in Avengers Assemble

First Appearance:

“Avengers World” – Avengers Assemble: Season 2, Episode 26

Impressive Feats:

Went toe-to-toe with the Hulk; Helped take down the Cabal

Read CBR’s Review of Avengers Annual 2023

Grey DeLisle voices Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, in the animated Avengers Assemble series. First appearing in the season two finale “Avengers World,” Captain Marvel went on to become a featured character in the series.

This version of Carol Danvers had all the powers of her comic book counterpart, eventually being promoted to an official member of the Avengers in the third season of the series. Captain Marvel joined the Avengers in several major battles, including against Kree fanatics and the Cabal during the show’s adaptation of Secret Wars.

X-Men: The Animated Series Carol Danvers Played A Crucial Role In Rogue’s Origin

A split image of Rogue draining Ms. Marvel's powers and of Ms. Marvel fighting in X-Men TAS

First Appearance:

“A Rogue’s Tale” – X-Men: The Animated Series: Season 2, Episode 9

Impressive Feats:

Took down the Bortherhood of Evil Mutants; Battled Rogue

X-Men: The Animated Series explored a comic-accurate adaptation of the mutant Rogue’s superhero origin. This adaptation included an appearance from Carol Danvers herself, who was voiced by Roscoe Handford. In the episode “A Rogue’s Tale,” Rogue confronted Danvers and stole her powers, leaving Ms. Marvel in a catatonic state.

While this version of Carol Danvers could be overlooked for her failure to defeat Rogue, her contribution to the X-Men member’s story is very important. It was the impact of Ms. Marvel’s powers that helped make Rogue one of the most powerful members of the X-Men.

In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

MCU Carol Danvers Jumped Straight To Her Captain Marvel Phase

MCU Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson) ready to fight on a poster for Captain Marvel (2019)

First Appearance:

Captain Marvel (2019)

Impressive Feats:

Defeated Kree Soldier Yon-Rogg, Held her own against Thanos; Became an Avenger

Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First introduced in 2019’s Captain Marvel, Carol is a former flight test engineer for the United States Air Force who gained incredible abilities when she got caught in a cosmic blast triggered by the Tesseract. In the years that followed, she became the hero known as Captain Marvel and eventually served as a leading member of the Avengers.

The MCU’s version of Carol Danvers bypasses her long history as Ms. Marvel, instead having her begin her superhero career as Captain Marvel. Returning in The Marvels, Captain Marvel is on a personal mission to destroy the Kree, but not without the help of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau.

In Marvel Comics

Zombie Carol Danvers Turned On Her Former Teammates

Zombie Carol Danvers flying with her mouth open and ready to devour her next victim

First Appearance:

Ultimate Fantastic Four #22 by Mark Millar, Greg Land, Matt Ryan, Justin Ponsor, and Chris Eliopoulos

Impressive Feats:

Went toe-to-toe with Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and Mister Fantastic

Read CBR’s Review of Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #1

In the zombie-infested world of Earth-2149, Carol Danvers was one of the many unfortunate souls to fall victim to the devastating virus running rampant through their world. In a crossover with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead universe, Carol Danvers and the other Avengers encounter Ash Williams. Ash tries to warn them of the coming zombie infestation, but Carol and her companions don’t properly heed his advice. Shortly after, Carol gets bitten and transformed into a zombie.

This version of Ms. Marvel possesses many of the same powers and abilities as her Earth-616 counterpart, which are then used for evil after she becomes a zombie. The zombified Ms. Marvel becomes a force to be reckoned with, fighting major heroes like Mister Fantastic, Spider-Man, and Ash Williams himself.

Amalgam Universe (Huntress) Merged Carol Danvers With DC’s Huntress

Carol Danvers as Huntress in the Amalgam Universe comics by Marvel and DC Comics

First Appearance:

Legends of the Dark Claw #1 by Larry Hama, Jim Balent, Ray McCarthy, Pat Garrahy, and Bill Oakley

Impressive Feats:

Discovered Logan Wayne alter Ego as Dark Claw; Helped rescue the US President

The Amalgam Universe features an assortment of heroes created from combinations of Marvel and DC Comics characters. In this universe, Carol Danvers gets combined with the DC Comics villain, the Huntress, a name which she adopts in this particular timeline.

The Amalgam Universe’s Huntress makes her first and only appearance in Legends of the Dark Claw #1, where she teams up with Dark Claw and Sparrow to defeat the villainous Hyena. In this universe, Carol Danvers is a keen adventurer without the superpowers Marvel Comics fans would be familiar with. Instead, Danvers fights with a bow and arrow as she completes her various investigations.

Avengers: Forever Carol Danvers Fought To Overthrow Tyranny

Carol Danvers flying after breaking free from the Hellfire Church in Avengers Forever #9

First Appearance:

Avengers: Forever (vol. 2) #9 by Jason Aaron, Aaron Kuder, Cam Smith, Jochen Weltjens, and Cory Petit

Impressive Feats:

Helped the Multiversal Avengers battle the Council of Red; Joined the Carol Corps; Helped the Carol Corps Defeat Dark Phoenix and the Hellfire Church

Read CBR’s Review of Avengers #1

In Avengers: Forever, a multiverse-spanning Marvel event, the Carol Danvers of Earth-31132 makes her debut. Forced to live in a world locked under the grip of the Dark Phoenix, Danvers disobeys a direct edict to make her own makeshift flight machine. Branded a criminal, Carol was enslaved by the Dark Phoenix until she discovered her own innate ability to fly.

This version of Carol Danvers not only overcame the tyrannical rule of the Dark Phoenix but also served as a member of the Multiversal Avengers in their battle against the Council of Red. While many of her powers remain similar to those of her Earth-616 counterpart, the Avengers: Forever version of Carol Danvers has an even more compelling and inspirational backstory.

Exiles Carol Danvers Was A Member Of The Weapon X Program

Carol Danvers kills a scientist in Exiles #38 by Marvel Comics

First Appearance:

Exiles #38 by Chuck Austen, Jim Calafiore, Mark McKenna, and Dave Sharpe

Impressive Feats:

Killed President Robert Kelly; Helped King Hyperion spread his reign of terror

The Carol Danvers of Earth-4732 is an exciting diversion from the typical portrayal of the classic character. She emerges as an enemy of Marvel Comics’ Exiles, a group of heroes from across the multiverse, as she allies herself with the villainous King Hyperion.

Possessing the same powers as her variant on Earth-616, this version of Carol Danvers is a member of Weapon X, which aims to conquer different realities in the multiverse. This Captain Marvel variant eventually dies when the Exile known as Morph throws her into a building, causing it to fall on top of her.

Mangaverse Carol Danvers Became Captain America

Carol Danvers leading the Avengers as Captain America in Marvels Mangaverse

First Appearance:

New Mangaverse #3 by C.B. Cebulski and Tommy Ohtsuka

Impressive Feats:

Defeated the assassin Elektra; Saved Spider-Man from Execution; Became Captain America

In Marvel’s Mangaverse, designated Earth-2301, Carol Danvers continues to work with the United States Air Force but is stationed in Japan. She develops superpowers after surviving a plane crash orchestrated by Lady Deathstrike and the Silver Samurai. Rather than becoming Captain Marvel in this reality, however, Carol dons the mantle of Captain America.

Unlike her Earth-616 counterpart, the Mangaverse’s Carol Danvers doesn’t have the cosmic superpowers that have become so closely associated with her character. Instead, she merely sports the super strength and invulnerability most Captain America variants have. Carol does, however, wield Captain America’s iconic shield.

Ultimate Universe Carol Danvers Became The Director Of SHIELD

the ultimate marvel universe's version of carol danvers in a suit and sunglasses operating a complex computer system

First Appearance:

Ultimate Secret #1 by Warren Ellis, Steve McNiven, Mark Morales, Morry Hollowell, and Chris Eliopolous

Impressive Feats:

Was Director of SHIELD; Became Steve Rogers’ Chief of Staff

Read CBR’s Review of Uncanny Avengers #1

In the Earth-1610 reality, otherwise known as the Ultimate Universe, Carol Danvers isn’t a superhero. Instead, she’s a SHIELD agent who works alongside the heroes of her world. Eventually, Danvers becomes the new director of SHIELD, putting her in charge of the New Ultimates, her world’s version of the Avengers.

Despite not possessing the powers of her Earth-616 counterpart, the Ultimate Universe’s Carol Danvers is just as resourceful and unyielding. She has proven her merit in battle, standing alongside the Ultimates in the face of major threats posed by Loki, Norman Osborn, and other supervillains. In so doing, she has proven to be one of her world’s greatest heroes.

Carol Danvers (Earth-616) Became One Of Marvel’s Greatest And Most Powerful Heroes

carol danvers flying directly at the viewer in her current suit on the cover of captain marvel dark tempest 1

First Appearance:

Marvel Super-Heroes #13 by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Paul Reinman, Stan Goldberg, and Sam Rosen

Impressive Feats:

Led the Avengers to victory against Ultron; Led the Carol Corps; Single-handedly defeated armies of Skrulls; Took Down the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants; Defeated the Brood Queen

Carol Danvers has a long and storied history in Marvel Comics, beginning as the assistant and love interest of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel. Over the years, Carol became a superhero in her own right under the name of Ms. Marvel. Eventually, Carol even took over the Captain Marvel mantle from Mar-Vell, becoming one of the leading heroes in the Earth-616 reality.

Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, using her superhuman strength, energy manipulation, and a host of other various abilities to defend her galaxy from extraterrestrial invaders. She has proven to be a leader among the Avengers as well, forming many lasting relationships with her fellow heroes, including Jessica Jones, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman.

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