Carol Danvers has a long and peculiar history as first Ms Marvel, and later Captain Marvel — one that’s strange even by comic book standards. So it should be no surprise that for her upcoming movie, the hero will be given a new and updated origin.
Speaking to the Any Time with Vin Forte podcast, Captain Marvel screenwriter Nicole Perlaman confirmed that Carol will have a new origin for her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, citing a similarity to the origin of Green Lantern as to why the change is occurring:
I don’t think I’ve ever had a project where I’ve been more mindful about the impact that it could have and the importance of it. She’s such an incredibly kick-arse character and Kelly Sue DeConnick did a great run with her story arc recently. But here’s the thing, if you were just going to do a straight adaptation of the comics, her origin story is very similar to Green Lantern. And obviously, that’s not what we want to do. There’s a lot of reinvention that needs to happen.
And also, she’s her own person and she’s a great character. We have to be aware of what’s happened in other Marvel film and makes sure that her particular storyline is unique and fun and also fits in within this world that’s going on at the same time. It’s a little bit of an interesting story gauntlet. It’s been good to have a partner. It’s been an incredible experience. If we can pull it off it could be an incredibly important but also really fun and kick-arse superhero film.
In the comics, Carol was introduced as the love interest of the then-actual Captain Marvel, a Kree warrior in disguise on Earth called Mar-Vell. After being caught in the explosive blast of a Kree superweapon called the Psyche-Magnetron, Carol’s DNA was merged with Mar-Vell’s, granting her his powers. Originally she would black out and the Kree DNA would take over her body, turning her into Ms Marvel, but later on she was just naturally superpowered.
It was always a bit of a weird origin — and unlike the Carol Danvers fans grew to love in the rebooted Captain Marvel comics, one where she wasn’t really an active agent, getting her superpowers from her space-boyfriend. Captain Marvel comic writer Kelly Sue DeConnick actually tweaked the origin for her acclaimed run on the comic, making it a time paradox where the future Carol ensured her past self would be caught in the explosive blast, so she could become the hero Earth needed in the future.
It makes sense that the movie would want to change it. The Kree might be in the cinematic universe thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD, but to introduce the likes of Mar-Vell as the originator of Carol’s powers could easily be viewed as a little archaic for Marvel’s first female-lead superhero film, but unnecessarily complex too. Just how much will be changed remains to be seen, but at least we know to expect a difference.