‘The Marvels’: The newest Marvel team explained

Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani team up in the newest Marvel movie. Here, we delve into their characters from the comics and the MCU

The three protagonists of 'The Marvels' (2023) in a still from the movie.
The three protagonists of 'The Marvels' (2023) in a still from the movie.Disney
Alonso Martínez

Although Marvel Comics published a series called The Marvels in 2021, it is unrelated to the characters presented in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film directed by Nia DaCosta.

The Marvels will present a team created by Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), all of whom at one point have adopted the moniker Captain Marvel in the comics. Although their characters have interacted in the comics, this will be the first time they are presented as a team in any medium. The team will face Dar-Benn, an alien revolutionary played by Zawe Ashton, in a story that mixes comedy and fantasy.

Here all the characters explained.

Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel.
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel.Disney

After Fawcett Comics was sued by DC Comics for breach of copyright, claiming their character Captain Marvel was too similar to Superman, they stopped publishing comics under that name in 1953. In the late sixties, Marvel acquired the trademark with its first series. DC later bought Fawcett and their Captain Marvel became Shazam, another popular character.

The First Captain Marvel, published in Marvel Comics, was created by Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan. The character’s name was Mar-Vell and it first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 in December 1967. Mar-Vell is an alien military officer that belongs to the Kree species. He is sent to Earth and decides to protect the planet. After him, several other characters have adopted the alias Captain Marvel.

Carol Danvers, created by Roy Tomas and Gene Colan, was the seventh person to adopt the name Captain Marvel. Although the character debuted in March 1968, it wasn’t until 2012 that she assumed the mantle. She was previously known as Ms. Marvel.

Originally, Danvers was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and Security Chief of a restricted military base. There, she met Dr. Walter Lawson, the human alias of Captain Marvel. After being caught in an explosion with him, her DNA merged with Captain Marvel’s, which caused her to gain superpowers. She then became part of The Avengers.

Throughout her history, Danvers has also been called Binary and Warbird. In 2012, after Mar-Vell dies, she adopts the name Captain Marvel.

As Ms. Marvel, Danvers possessed superhuman strength, speed, endurance, stamina and physical durability. She also is resistant to toxins and poisons and has a “seventh sense” that allows her to feel different elements from the cosmos. As Captain Marvel, she enhances her physique by absorbing energy and is one of the strongest characters in the Marvel world.

In the MCU

Played by Brie Larson, Carol Danvers is introduced in Captain Marvel as a U.S. Air Force pilot who, in the nineties, gains superhuman abilities when she is exposed to the cosmic energy of one of the Infinity Stones. She is then transformed into a Human-Kree hybrid renamed Vers and can’t remember her past.

Initially, she was loyal to the Kree Empire, fighting in their war against the Skrulls, but she later returns to earth where she regains her memories and unlocks her dormant powers. Danvers then befriends Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), a government agent, inspiring him to create the Avengers Initiative. Decades later, she joins the Avengers in an attempt to fight the villain Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.

In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, she appears as a hologram next to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to discuss the Ten Rings, objects that Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) got from his father (Tony Leung). In a post-credit scene of Disney+ miniseries Ms. Marvel, Danvers swaps places with Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) after the latter’s bangle emits a strange glow.

Monica Rambeau / Photon

Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau.
Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau.Laura Radford (AP)

Created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr., Monica Rambeau first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, published in October 1982. She originally gained her superpowers as a consequence of being bombarded by extradimensional energy emitted by a stolen weapon. This was later retconned and it was revealed that from a young age she demonstrated the ability to manipulate light and energy. Rambeau was written as a police lieutenant who discovers the ability to convert her body mass into any form of energy and later adopts the alias of Captain Marvel.

Under the alias Captain Marvel, she became a member of the Avengers and at some point became their leader. Rambeau later ceded the alias to the original Captain Marvel’s son, after which she adopts the name Photon. She also has been a part of Nextwave and the latest Ultimates team. The character has also been known as Pulsar and Spectrum.

In the MCU

Monica Rambeau is introduced as a child in the film Captain Marvel, portrayed by Akira Akbar. She is the daughter of Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), an original character who is friends with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson).

Her second appearance was in Disney+ miniseries WandaVision, portrayed by Teyonah Parris. Monica is now an adult and joined her mother and Danvers’ footsteps by joining the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of Captain. She later joined S.W.O.R.D.

In 2018, Monica was a victim of “the Blip” (when Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos deletes half of life in the universe) while at the hospital with her mother undergoing cancer treatment. Upon her return, she found her mother had passed away. Sent to investigate Westview, she was sucked into a sitcom-like reality known as the “Hex” created by the witch Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). Monica’s exposure to the “Hex” altered her on a molecular level, granting her new abilities. Eventually, she intervenes to help and understand Maximoff before she goes into hiding. In the last scenes of the series she is visited by a Skrull (an alien species introduced in Captain Marvel) who asks her to meet someone in space, a friend of her mother’s. Her powers have not been explained yet.

Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel.
Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel.Disney

Created by editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson and artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie, Kamala Khan made her Marvel Comics debut on Captain Marvel #14 in August 2013, before appearing in her own series starting with Ms. Marvel #1 in 2014.

Kamala Khan is Marvel’s first Muslim protagonist character and the first Pakistani to have her own comic book. She is a teenage Pakistani-American from Jersey City, New Jersey. Kamala is also an Inhuman (a superhuman race) who doesn’t know she has powers. After an event in the Infinity storyline, her abilities are activated. She has the power to extend her limbs, torso, or neck great distances. She also can change sizes, shrinking and enlarging herself. When she enlarges, her strength increases and she can shapeshift into other people and objects. Kamala also has a healing factor that allows her to heal bullet wounds.

In the MCU

Played by Iman Vellani, Ms. Marvel made her debut in the Disney+ miniseries Ms. Marvel. She is a teenage American Muslim from Jersey City, New Jersey who is a big fan of the Avengers, particularly of Carol Danvers, who she idolizes.

She discovers her powers after using a bangle sent from her grandmother Sana, which gives her the ability to use energy in different forms. Unlike the comics, she doesn’t stretch her body, but she can create big fists or different objects with energy. In the show, she faces a group called the Clandestines who want to obtain her bangles. After she defeats them, she obtains the name Ms. Marvel after talking to her father.

By the end of the series, it is implied that Kamala is a mutant, unlike the comics. In a mid-credits scene, her bangle emits a strange glow before Kamala switches places with Danvers, leading directly to The Marvels.

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