If you’ve seen Avengers: Infinity War (and at this point who hasn’t?), hopefully you stuck around for the post-credits scene. That scene featured the fallout from Thanos’ finger snap by which the mad Titan, wearing the infinity gauntlet, eliminates half of all life in the universe to ‘restore balance’. After the film ends, as a consequence of Thanos’ actions, a disintegrating and confused Nick Fury – one of the eliminated -makes a last ditch effort, before he fades out of existence, to make things right. Fury puts out a call for help on his beat-up 1990s pager. The pager falls to the ground, and after a brief pause [sending….sending…sending] the Captain Marvel logo appears. This sends the audience as clear a message as possible that Captain Marvel will be appearing in the next Avengers movie.
The Marvel cinematic version of Captain Marvel will be the Bronze Age character originally known as Ms. Marvel, i.e. Carol Danvers. We know that Danvers will be played by Brie Larson in the upcoming Marvel film currently set for release March 8, 2019. We also know that this film will be set in the 1990s, so it will feature events that take place before Infinity War. As many collectors know, Ms. Marvel #1 is currently a hot comic (the second most sought after Bronze Age book last month, according to GoCollect.com). With Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (the very first appearance of Carol Danvers) not far behind as the fourth most purchased Silver Age comic in April. However, there are more than a few less well-known keys connected to Ms. Marvel and her early appearances.
Ms. Marvel wasn’t the first Marvel super-being with the ‘Marvel’ name, and she would not be the last (currently the title belongs to the mutant Kamala Khan). The Original ‘Marvel’ character was an alien warrior who first appears in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (cover date December 1967) ‘Marvel’ in this context was not the name of the comic book publishing company but a play on the alien Kree name ‘Mar-vell’. This version of Captain Marvel will be portrayed in the upcoming film by Jude Law. Carol Danvers, first appearing in these Marvel comics as an Air Force officer, attains her powers after the original Captain Marvel intervenes to save her from an attack from a Kree Colonel named Yon-Rogg. As an aftermath of that battle, Carol has her DNA fused with that of Marvel. This act ultimately transforms Carol into a half-human/half-Kree hybrid possessing the powers of Captain Marvel. Although the above all takes place in earlier comics, the origin of Ms. Marvel is retold in Ms. Marvel #2. So while the first appearance of Ms. Marvel is a hot book right now, the second issue of her first ongoing series should not be passed up since it features her origin story and may, after release of the film, become a sleeper key worth having.
The Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel (originally ‘Ms.’ Marvel) was featured in many early Bronze Age team up and other books. As Ms. Marvel she made an early appearance alongside Spider-man in Marvel Team Up #62 (October 1972 cover date) and then shows up in the Defenders (issue #57, March 1978 cover date), but, given the post-credit scene of the last Avengers movie, we now know that she will almost certainly be making an appearance, perhaps even joining the Avengers, in the sequel to Infinity War.
In the comics Ms. Marvel also joined the Avengers. After the Scarlet Witch took a leave of absence following a taxing confrontation with Ultron (as chronicled in Avengers #171). The scene was set for Wanda’s departure. The Scarlet Witch then officially leaves and Ms. Marvel joins the Avengers in issue #183. With her own book having been cancelled, Carol seems to have had nothing better to do, and so the writers of this comic had her join the Avengers. Ms. Marvel’s time with the Avengers brought her many hardships before she leaves the team for the first time in issue #188. Although she would later rejoin the team, nonetheless Avengers #183 is the first book where she officially becomes a member of the Avengers and that makes this comic a sleeper key that, at the moment, is easily attainable in high grade for under $20.00 dollars.
From the original drama of Carol meeting and gaining her powers from Captain Marvel, her character undertakes a long and difficult journey before she finally settles in and earns her own place as the new Captain Marvel. Carol’s path from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel was anything but straightforward- after losing her powers to Rogue (in Avengers Annual #10, Oct. 1981) she later had her full genetic potential unlocked by the Brood – giving her fully cosmic level powers and marking her transformation into Binary (as shown in Uncanny X-Men #164, Dec 1982). After that, she maintained the alias of Warbird for a while until, finally, at the urging of Captain America (and in honor of her original Kree predecessor), she becomes the new Captain Marvel. Although she eventually gets to headline her own comic again but as Captain Marvel (see Captain Marvel v7 #1 in Sept. 2012) her very first appearance as Captain Marvel is actually in Avenging Spider-Man #9 (with a July, 2012 cover date). This is a hot comic, up in all grades and worth picking up since prices may rise even higher after release of the 2019 film.