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

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Avengers Annual #10 (Cover image via Marvel)

11. Avengers Annual #10

Just a warning: this particular issue gets difficult, with mentions of assault and betrayal by close friends. As rough as it is, however, Avengers Annual #10 is an important chapter in Captain Marvel’s history. If you can handle the hard parts, then it could be worth the read for how Carol Danvers handles some genuinely horrific events.

This requires a bit of a flashback to a previous story in Avengers #200. The 200th issue of the series was a big deal for writer David Michelinie and editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. Eventually, they and their team decided that Ms. Marvel – Carol Danvers – would become suddenly pregnant and give birth, all over the course of three days. She delivers a baby boy, who also rapidly ages into a man and – hold on – falls in love with his own mother.

Believe it or not, an unintended and mysterious pregnancy was supposed to be a good thing. So, to, was the part where she is raped by Marcus Immortus, a being from the Limbo reality. He uses his advanced mind control machines to manipulate her. Oh, and that baby? That’s actually Marcus trying to enter our own reality.

Eventually, the Avengers decide this is a good thing and don’t worry too much about the mind control. They simply let Danvers enter into Limbo with Marcus Immortus and live “happily ever after.”

When it came time for Avengers Annual #10, writer Chris Claremont had decided he couldn’t sit with this notion of Carol Danvers happily living with her rapist. In this 1981 issue, Claremont made it so Ms. Marvel returns and is taken in by the X-Men. When the Avengers come to see her, she gives them hell. It’s a powerful redemption of the Ms. Marvel character and the beginning of her renewed dignity, as painful as that may be.