Throwback Thursday – Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)

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With the excitement over the new upcoming Marvel Studios film in 2019 with the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel, let’s take a quick look back at the original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan back in December of 1967.

Mar-Vell was a Kree warrior sent to Earth to spy on the planet and it’s developing technology to travel into space. Mar-Vell, however, allies himself with the people of Earth and strives to protect them from his Kree Empire superiors. This act brands him a traitor and a wanted man.

This initial run was not successful and the team of Roy Thomas and Gil Kane would later revamp the superhero. Taking him from his green and white Buck Rogers looking outfit into a more interstellar superhero uniform. They would also introduce Rick Jones as his sidekick. Mar-Vell, imprisoned in the Negative Zone by the Supreme Intelligence, could only escape by the use of the Nega-bands. Rick would find these bands and wear them. Much like Shazam in DC, the use of these bands would release Mar-Vell from the Negative Zone, but also had the effect that only one of the characters, Rick or Mar-Vell, could exist in reality at a single time. Mar-Vell was also given superpowers as well.

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Still, the character did not catch on and Jim Starlin, Marvel’s go to guy for all things cosmic, took over. He released Mar-Vell from the Negative Zone and turned him into a hero of the cosmos. He would battle those beings too powerful for human heroes, like Thanos. He is soon appointed Protector of the Universe by the entity known as Eon.

What made Mar-Vell so different is that he actually dies. He contracts cancer and relegates himself to the moon Titan where he dies in peace, surrounded by the superhero community.

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Along with the character Adam Warlock, Mar-Vell developed quite the cult following, and though the character never really caught on big with the general public, we would not have Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel today if not for the Kree Warrior known as Mar-Vell.

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