15 Captain Marvel comics you need to read before seeing the movie

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Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight (Cover image via Marvel)

1. Captain Marvel Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight

So, let’s say you don’t have much time. You’ve already bought tickets to Captain Marvel and you’re getting decked out in all the merchandise you can get your paws on. You may also have mundane things like a job and family life that get in the way of reading every single comics run mentioned above. That’s fine – none of us are perfect. If you absolutely must narrow your homework down to one series, then, make it In Pursuit of Flight.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t reach for other issues, since the galactic and interdimensional adventures of Carol Danvers are often tremendously fun and gripping. Yet, her story does always have to start in one place: Earth. I mean, she is from there, after all.

Why this series? Besides the awesome writing and character building from Kelly Sue DeConnick (or perhaps because of it), this is the point where Carol Danvers finally transitions from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel. There isn’t anything really wrong with the Ms. Marvel title nowadays, especially after Kamala Khan took it over, but this was a huge step forward for Carol.

Plus, there’s time travel. In this story, Carol Danvers gets tossed back through time until she lands in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Of course, she’s got to find a way back to her own time, but not before taking care of business in the 1940s. She meets Helen Cobb, a pilot who wants to do everything Carol will eventually do, but who is also hampered by being a woman in mid-twentieth-century Earth.

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When the Psyche-Magnitron comes back into play, it soon looks as if Helen will get Captain Marvel’s powers, instead of Carol herself. It’s a dramatic story that distills all of the essential things that make Carol Danvers today’s Captain Marvel, with a fun and ultimately very meaningful time travel twist.

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