Ms. Marvel in heroic pose. Artist: John Buscema.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1977
Creators: Gerry Conway (writer) and John Buscema (artist)
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Even before it adopted the current company name, Marvel Comics had a penchant for using the word "marvel" in its characters' names. Marvel Boy (1940), The Black Marvel

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… (1941), another Marvel Boy (1943), a third Marvel Boy (1950) … And when it did permanently adopt the name "Marvel", one of the first new characters it introduced was Marvel Girl (1963). Ms. Marvel, a spin-off of its first (of three so far) Captain Marvel character, debuted in the first issue of a comic book bearing her own name, with a January, 1977 cover date.

Ms. Marvel started out as a supporting character in Captain Marvel's series. In fact, as Carol Danvers, she dates back to its beginning, the December, 1967 issue of Marvel Super Heroes. In the 14th issue of Cap's comic (June, 1969), she was accidentally dosed with radiation from an advanced device created by the alien Kree race (of which Cap himself was a member), which, unknown to her at the time, gave her all of Cap's super powers (which mostly consisted of awesome strength, a reasonable level of invulnerability, and the ability to fly), plus a sort of super-intuition that they often give to female superheroes. It was only years later that these powers developed, which is why she didn't start combating evil in a female version of Cap's most recent costume until the word "Ms." became trendy.

The first issue was written by Gerry Conway (Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing) and drawn by John Buscema (Silver Surfer, She-Hulk). However, the writer and artist most associated with the series are Chris Claremont (Iron Fist, X-Men) and Jim Mooney (Supergirl, Tommy Tomorrow).

Ms. Marvel behaved about like your standard, average Marvel character — defeating super villains, foiling alien invasions, becoming a member of The Avengers, etc. — for a little over two years. Her comic book ended with #23 (April, 1979). After that, she became subject to the indignities that can befall any comic book character who doesn't headline a regular series (cf. Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld).

She fell under the spell of a super villain named Marcus, who used her body as a vehicle to facilitate his own birth. Her super powers and her memories were stolen by another super character, Rogue. She got new super powers, which involved channeling energy, changed her superhero name to Binary, and started hanging out with The X-Men. Then she decided her destiny lay in the stars, and took off for other portions of the Cosmos. Later, back on Earth, she got drunk and nearly caused an airline disaster, the legal consequence of which was to put her back in The Avengers as a form of community service.

Meanwhile, a completely separate character, a super-powered female wrestler named Sharon Ventura, started calling herself Ms. Marvel. When last seen, which was some time back, this Ms. Marvel had been transformed to resemble The Thing.

More recently, Ms. Marvel/Binary changed her name again. She currently holds a position in The Avengers under the name Warbird.


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Text ©2003-08 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.