25 of Marvel’s best spacefaring characters

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Captain Marvel (Image via Marvel)

12. Captain Marvel

The “Captain Marvel” title has belonged to more than one person. In fact, it’s been given to a total of seven people so far, which must be a record of some sort, even for the ever-shifting world of comics.

The first Captain Marvel, created in 1967, was Captain Mar-Vell, a Kree military officer. He’s assigned to observe Earth as it develops its own spacefaring technology. However, it turns out that his superiors are less than friendly to the humans. Mar-Vell eventually breaks with his homeworld and becomes a defender of Earth, though he’s labeled a traitor to his own people. Mar-Vell eventually dies of cancer, which seems like a more realistic and kind of pedestrian death, considering others are blasted into infinity, covered in adamantium, or killed via teleportation.

Other Captain Marvels include the human Monica Rambeau, a few aliens such as Genis-Vell and, later, his sister Phyla-Vell, and an evil Skrull sleeper agent.

The latest version, and the one you’re probably most familiar with is Carol Danvers. She’s had quite a career in the superhero business, thanks in part to an explosion that merged her DNA with that of the alien Kree. As a result, she’s phenomenally strong, can fly, and finds that she is resistant to many different toxins.

First, she was Ms. Marvel (not to be confused with Marvel Girl, the first name for eventual Phoenix Force possessee, Jean Grey). Then, thanks to some experimentation courtesy of the Brood, she becomes Binary, who can generate the power of a star. Though her connection to the “white hole” that gives her these powers is eventually severed, she’s still doing okay for herself. Carol has since taken on the mantle of Captain Marvel, starting in a series helmed by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick.