If you want to make a comic book compelling, you have to have big threats and high stakes – that’s why you have incredibly powerful villains. But then again, you want the good guys to win, so you make superheroes that are just a bit more powerful, right? But what happens when a super-powerful hero – becomes the villain? That’s what fans got with Dark Captain Marvel when Carol Danvers suddenly went rogue and attacked the Avengers in the comics. But how did that happen? Who was Dark Captain Marvel, actually? Why is she so terrifying, and will we, perhaps, see it happen in the MCU?
When did Dark Captain Marvel first appear?
The whole superhero-gone-rogue trope is used repeatedly in the comics simply because it’s awesome to imagine – what if our beloved heroes went bad? Especially when you make the super-powerful heroes bad – like Captain Marvel, aka one of the most powerful Avengers ever.
Naturally, the character went through her own breaking-bad storylines in the past, especially the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel. Honestly, the character is somewhat dark in the comics all the time – her biggest enemy wasn’t a villain, but rather her own addiction to alcohol, but Dark Captain Marvel, in an antagonist-version of Carol type of role, didn’t appear until ‘Captain Marvel’ Vol. 10 #12 in 2019.
It was Part One of ‘The Last Avenger’ storyline, and in it, we’re thrown right into action from the jump. Carol Danvers has a new, dark suit, and her mind is corrupted by the Kree Imperium and Vox Supreme. The character appeared here for the first time and secretly merged with the incredibly powerful Kree Supreme intelligence.
Dark Captain Marvel goes right after the Avengers, instantly attacking their most powerful member – All-Father Thor. He asks her: “Carol? What madness is this? What black magic has so bewitched you?” – before Carol seemingly kills him on the spot.
It was a shocking and riveting comic book, to say the least, especially considering how sudden it was. You get thrust into action when one of the most powerful heroes goes bad, and you slowly get answers as to why as the story moves forward.
That wasn’t the only time we saw Dark Captain Marvel in the comics, though. In a similar storyline in ‘All-out Avengers #1,’ something caused Carol Danvers to go bad – something alien. Her suit had spikes on it, and her face had dark marks around the eyes and on the chin.
The whole idea of the ‘All-out’ series is that there’s no time for questions and no time for intros – just pure action, front to cover. We have an alien invasion going on, where the Sinnarians, spearheaded by their Queen, Arrok the Seventh, are using something called the Dark Tide to turn citizens into terrifying monsters loyal to their leader.
Captain Marvel seemingly falls corrupted by the Dark Tide and wants to rip the Avengers apart, and now they must fight not just to survive but to get their friend back. Still, Carol Danvers outpowers them all – she knocks Thor down with ease before turning to Iron Man and smacking him as well.
It looks as if she’s making quick work of them – but the scariest part is, she was essentially aware of everything that was going on. She even says:
I know this insane loyalty I feel toward that Sinnarian queen isn’t real. I know these things. I know I’m not myself. I know the Dark Tide has warped me. But I’m going to kill every last one of you for what you’ve just done.
And, the truth is, Carol Danvers never shied away from using lethal force if necessary – even while she wasn’t corrupted in any way. I mean, in ‘Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest’ #4, two villains, Nitro and Nada, teamed up and captured Carol, and Nada gave Carol a new – but fitting – nickname:
I get it, you’re the mightiest of the mighty.” – says Nada. You could drag me into the sun and fry me. Shred me to bits. You’re the gal with a thousand ways to kill.
Indeed, Nada was right – Captain Marvel was, in all her heroic work, sometimes quite brutal. She openly admitted that it felt good to her to let loose on someone she thought definitely deserved it. It wouldn’t be the first time she had taken somebody into the vacuum of space to kill them and then just leave them there.
All in all, Dark Captain Marvel had its fair share of appearances, and they were mostly connected to an external influence, causing Carol Danvers to go rogue.
Is Dark Captain Marvel evil?
It might be a silly question, seeing that I just told you she literally wanted to rip the Avengers apart one by one – but were these versions of Dark Captain Marvel actually evil? I mean, her actions were evil for sure, but was Carol still there behind the wheel, or was she just a passenger in her own body?
In the case of ‘Captain Marvel’ #12 and ‘All-out Avengers #1,’ it seemed that Carol was still semi-sentient. In both instances, she’s aware that what she’s doing is wrong. In ‘Captain Marvel #12,’ there’s literally a panel where she begs for forgiveness while still fighting the Avengers.
And then, in ‘All-out Avengers #1’, Carol states that she knows she’s being corrupted by the Dark Tide, but she simply can’t help herself. Meaning there was still good in her at the time, which is why it was imperative for the Avengers to find a way to bring her back. Once they did, they finally won the battle against the Sinnarians.
What makes Dark Captain Marvel so terrifying?
Any villain that comes out with a brutal urge to kill – and owns immense amounts of power to do so – will be terrifying. However, what made Dark Captain Marvel so scary is that she actually had the power to take on the entire Avengers team with no hesitation.
She went after All-Father Thor – a buff version of the God of thunder, essentially – and manhandled him. Also, the way these stories were written made the situation that much more horrific.
You didn’t get a chance to be eased into the story, learn what’s going on and how Carol became the bad guy – you’re simply thrown into this story where she’s going murderous, and you only get more information on what’s going on as you continue reading.
It’s always terrifying to see our favorite heroes – especially powerhouses like Captain Marvel – go bad and attack their own kin because you know the heroes will have to fight back and, in turn, go after somebody they care for.
Will Dark Captain Marvel be in the MCU?
So, the villain of the upcoming MCU movie, ‘The Marvels,’ has been revealed as Dar-Benn, a member of the Kree Empire who blames Carol Danvers for disrupting and destabilizing the Kree Empire, so she’s out for revenge. Now, Dar-Benn has gone through some major changes from the comics, but we still see the character dons a huge hammer and has energy-based powers.
However, we can’t really know if Dar-Benn will actually be the main villain of the film. I mean, it seems too simple for Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan to go after Dar-Benn alone – they could probably take her one-on-one if needed.
My guess is that Dar-Benn will only be the first liner – and that the real villain of the movie will work from the shadows. Perhaps we’ll see a version of Vox Supreme or the Kree Supreme Intelligence in the film, and perhaps they come out with a similar story where Carol Danvers gets corrupted, much like the story of ‘The Last Avenger’ from the comics.
So, who knows? Maybe we’ll get to see a Dark Captain Marvel in the MCU, as well. We won’t really know until November 10, 2023, when ‘The Marvels’ comes out in theaters worldwide.
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