Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel’s Major Differences

Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel are arguably the biggest superheroines in the comic industry. The argument can be made that Jean Grey, Storm, or Scarlet Witch are more important and perhaps more beloved, but Captain Marvel has had her own book longer than all of them put together. Wonder Woman is a feminist and queer icon, a hero who blazed a new trail for everyone that came after her, including Captain Marvel.

Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel may seem rather similar, but in reality they are quite different. They are both great characters, and each has accomplished amazing things. However, further examination reveals that Diana and Carol share surface-level qualities but major differences when delving deeper.

RELATED: Why Captain Marvel Is One Of The Most Relatable Characters In Comics

10 Wonder Woman Carries Better Weapons

Wonder Woman #1 Reprint Cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair

Wonder Woman is the princess of Themyscira, the daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons. The Amazons have been around for millennia and have weapons and armor that were created by the Greek Gods themselves. Wonder Woman was armed with the finest weapons on Themyscira, including a sword with magical properties that can cut Superman and a shield that is nigh-indestructible.

However, Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth is her greatest weapon. It makes anyone who touches it tell the truth and is basically unbreakable. It’s an amazing offensive and defensive weapon and villains all over the multiverse fear the Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman’s arsenal is amazing and much better than any weapons that Captain Marvel has ever used.

9 Wonder Woman Is A Much Better Fighter

Tom King's new Wonder Woman run.

Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel are both great fighters. Both of them are tenacious and powerful, leading from the front and always ready to jump into battle with the most powerful enemies. Each of them have skills that allow them to hang with enemies much more powerful than them, and they’re well-known as the toughest fighters in their respective universes. However, Wonder Woman outclasses Captain Marvel as a combatant by many magnitudes.

Wonder Woman was trained by the best combatants that the Themyscirans have to offer and she surpassed them all. Wonder Woman is widely considered the best fighter in the Justice League, which is saying something on a team with Batman and Aquaman on it. Captain Marvel is good; she has military training, and has learned from Mar-Vell and Captain America. However, Wonder Woman was taught to fight by people who battled gods and monsters for millennia and she’s beaten the God of War.

8 Wonder Woman Is Physically Stronger

Superman fights Wonder Woman in DC Comics

Captain Marvel is very strong. She has to be, as Captain Marvel fights many of the biggest cosmic threats out there. However, Captain Marvel’s greatest power is her energy channeling abilities. Captain Marvel is strong and durable, but she’s not at the level of heavy hitting Avengers like Thor or She-Hulk. Wonder Woman doesn’t have the energy powers or the speed, but Wonder Woman is physically much stronger.

Strength levels at DC Comics are generally higher, and Wonder Woman is a pretty great example of that. Wonder Woman isn’t as strong as Superman is, but she can take hits from him and hurt him. Wonder Woman is strong enough to fist fight the most powerful gods, and in an alternate future was able to take hits from Darkseid himself. Captain Marvel has a lot of power and speed, but Wonder Woman can hit harder and take way more damage.

RELATED: Tom King’s Wonder Woman Gives the Amazonian Hero Two Perfect New Enemies

7 Wonder Woman Comics Have Had The Best Talent

wonder woman george perez tom king dawn of dc

Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel have both starred in their own comics for years. Wonder Woman debuted in 1940 in All-Star Comics #8, and wouldn’t get her own series until 1942. Wonder Woman has starred in solo books ever since. Captain Marvel first appeared as Carol Danvers in 1967’s Marvel Super-Heroes #13 but didn’t get her own book until 1976’s Ms. Marvel #1. Both of them have had some great creators on their solo books, but Wonder Woman’s are some of the greatest legends ever.

Wonder Woman’s most recent book has Tom King and Daniel Sampere, two extremely high profile creators. Before that George Pérez, Greg Rucka, Phil Jimenez, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Jodi Picoult, Nicola Scott, and many of the greatest creators ever have worked on various Wonder Woman titles. Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel have had some greats, like Kelly Sue DeConnick, who also did the brilliant Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, and Kelly Thompson, but Wonder Woman has her handily beat when it comes to creators.

6 Wonder Woman Has Grander Mythos

Wonder Woman stands before Themyscira, flanked by goddesses in DC Comics

Wonder Woman has decades of lore, stretching back the Golden Age. Her history has changed many times over the years, but the basics are the same – Wonder Woman is the princess of an island of women, sent to Man’s World to teach the world their ways of peace and loving submission. Details have changed and eventually, Wonder Woman was connected to Greek mythology. Wonder Woman’s mythos are full and brilliant, and she’s birthed her own corner of the DC Universe.

Captain Marvel’s mythos are fine, but Marvel has done their best to retcon them to make her a more important character. Carol Danvers first appeared in the late-60s, which isn’t exactly a great time to be a woman in a Marvel comic. Carol’s stories were connected to men and she wasn’t much of a character. Creators have tried to make Captain Marvel’s history more personalized, but it can’t really stand with Wonder Woman’s legendary career as a hero.

5 Wonder Woman Debuted In The Golden Age

Wonder Woman art during her golden age debut

Wonder Woman has been around since the Golden Age. Wonder Woman wasn’t the first superheroine, but she quickly became the biggest in the world, gaining her own series. Wonder Woman comics subverted expectations at a time when women in comics weren’t stars. Golden Age Wonder Woman stories are extremely surprising compared to other stories that starred women back then, feminist and queer when that sort of thing wasn’t normal.

Captain Marvel first debuted in the Silver Age, but she wouldn’t become a superhero until years later, when Marvel pushed her as Ms. Marvel to take advantage of feminism’s popularity in the 1970s. Wonder Woman’s Golden Age make her the OG superheroine. It also shows her longevity as an A-lister.

4 Captain Marvel Is A Legacy Character

Image of Monica Rambeau, Mar-Vell and Genis-Vell.

There have been multiple Captain Marvel’s over the years, and Carol Danvers isn’t even the first woman to take up the mantle. The first Captain Marvel at Marvel, because technically the first Captain Marvel ever wasn’t a Marvel character, is the Kree known as Mar-Vell, who became the Marvel’s premiere cosmic superhero. Eventually, Mar-Vell died of cancer and has mostly stayed completely dead ever since. The next Captain Marvel was Monica Rambeau, who would go on to lead the Avengers and is a favorite of an entire generation of Marvel fans.

Mar-Vell’s children – Genis and Phyla – would also become Captain Marvel at various points. Carol Danvers is the third woman to become Captain Marvel, and started out her superheroic career as a sidekick for Mar-Vell. Wonder Woman isn’t a legacy character and has built her own legacy, with multiple sidekicks and several people taking up the mantle that she created.

3 Wonder Woman Is A Leader In The DC Universe

Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman are the classic DC Trinity

Captain Marvel has become rather important in recent years. She was made leader of Alpha Flight, which became an important space defense agency that defended Earth from the greatest threats, and was part of Civil War II as a leader of half the superhero community. She’s become the leader of the Avengers and Marvel has often tried to push her as someone as important as Captain America, Iron Man, or Thor, but it’s often been half-hearted. Captain Marvel is a leader, but she isn’t one of the main leaders, despite efforts otherwise.

Wonder Woman is on a higher level than Captain Marvel. Wonder Woman is a member of DC’s Trinity, and is looked up to by the entire superhero community. Wonder Woman took the lead during the battle against Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs, saving the multiverse with her plan. Wonder Woman is a founding member of the Justice League, and has led the team. Captain Marvel has her place near the top, but Wonder Woman is the top.

RELATED: 10 Marvel Comics That Need A House Of X-Style Reset

Captain Marvel battling Nitro on the cover of Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest #1.

Captain Marvel has battled many powerful villains, but saying that she had many of her own villains is false. Captain Marvel has something of a rogues gallery, but many of them are inherited from her predecessors as Captain Marvel or the Avengers. Every big hero needs their own villains, and Captain Marvel has some, but not really as many as someone of her stature should.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, has a rogues gallery of her own. Ares, Cheetah, Circe, Doctor Psycho, Angled Man, Doctor Poison, and more have all battled Wonder Woman. Her greatest foes are Ares and Cheetah, with Doctor Psycho and Circe just below them. Wonder Woman is an A-list hero and she has the villains to prove it.

1 Captain Marvel Is Inspired By Wonder Woman

Captain Marvel foil variant cover.

Wonder Woman is the ur-superheroine. Women in comics had existed before Wonder Woman, but they were often secondary characters or femme fatales. They were rarely stars as large as Wonder Woman, and none of them got their own series. Wonder Woman did. Wonder Woman became a star like few others, and was one of the few heroes to actually survive the superhero comics crash of the 1950s. The first alternate Earth in DC history appeared in Wonder Woman.

Captain Marvel exists in Wonder Woman’s shadow. Wonder Woman has blazed every trail that Captain Marvel has walked. Even Captain Marvel’s MCU debut was partly inspired by the success of Wonder Woman’s first movie. Wonder Woman is the measuring stick that Captain Marvel is measured by. Marvel had few top rank women outside the mutant side of the company and Carol Danvers was made into the publisher’s Wonder Woman, which put her into Diana of Themyscira’s shadow.

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