Monica Rambeau, aka Photon, is a fairy older character in Marvel Comics known under many names, including the second Captain Marvel and Spectrum. Even though she debuted in the 80′, the character rose to popularity when Monica Rambeau appeared in the MCU. Rambeau is about to be launched to stardom once again with the upcoming release of The Marvels movie. Due to this, we’ve decided to revisit Monica Rambeau’s superhero origins in both comics and the MCU and see how she got her powers in the first place.
Monica Rambeau got her powers in the comics due to an accident with an energy disruptor machine that overloaded her with extra-dimensional energy. In the MCU, Monica Rambeau got her powers in WandaVision by crossing the hex barrier too many times. The Hex rewrote her DNA, granting her spectral vision and other energy-based power.
Now that we’ve covered the origin of Rambeau’s powers in the comics and MCU, it’s time to explore what happened in more detail. If you’re interested, stay with us and keep reading!
Monica Rambeau originally gained her powers during an accident
Monica Rambeau was born as a normal non-powered human in New Orleans to a seamstress mother and a firefighter father. She was ambitious and headstrong and decided to pursue a career in New Orleans Harbor and eventually reached the rank of lieutenant. She aimed for the position of Captain, but the promotion was denied to her several times due to her being a black woman.
But her story of acquiring powers actually begins with her grandfather’s acquaintance Professor André LeClare. LeClare worked on a special type of energy-retaining device along with his assistant Felipe Picaro.
Felipe Picaro, however, had different plans. Soon, Rambeau learned that the device could tear the fabric of space and reality, and she realized that Picaro, who was at that time stationed at Roxxon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, needed to be stopped.
Rambeau sailed to the Roxxon oil rig with LeClare accompanying her on her journey. When they reached the oil rig, Rambeau managed to gain the trust of Felipe Picaro. LeClare infiltrated the tower by himself and was soon discovered by the rig guards, blowing their cover.
Picaro realized that LeClare wanted to deactivate a dangerous device and got mad.
In a mess, Monica Rambeau used her bare hands to destroy the energy disruptor to stop the destruction from taking place. During the event, the machine naturally malfunctioned and bombarded Rambeau with bizarre types of extra-dimensional energy.
Rambeau soon realized that she could convert her entire body mass into any form of electromagnetic energy. After fashioning a new superhero costume inspired by New Orleans culture, she returned to Roxxon Oil Rig to finish what she had started. She managed to stop Picaro completely and save LeClare.
After this undertaking, the media dubbed Monica Rambeau “Captain Marvel.” The alias was previously attached to Mar-Vell and will soon be taken over by his son, Genis-Well.
Rambeau’s standard powers are mostly related to energy manipulation. Since she can convert her body mass into visible light, radio waves, electricity, X-rays, microwaves, infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, gamma radiation, and other forms of energy, she is capable of taking on various “energy forms” and becoming intangible if needed.
She can absorb energy and generate powerful photon blasts, her trademark ability. The fact that she can store and recycle energy likewise means that Rambeau can be used as a battery, meaning that other superheroes who utilize energy can use her to empower themselves.
In several instances, it was shown that Rambeau could manipulate the visible light spectrum to “shapeshift,” but it’s not a true shapeshifting since only her outward appearance changes. It’s just a clever and skillfully performed illusion.
In the MCU, Rambeau got her powers while interacting with the Hex
After returning to the living after Thanos’ snap, Monica was among the first people to interact with the Westview anomaly. Interacting with the Hex already scrambled her DNA so that minor changes could be detectable. However, the key change happened after Rambeau attempted to enter the Westview through the Hex for the third time.
Arriving near the anomaly, Rambeau tried to enter Westview, but the Hex offered some resistance. Through her great efforts, Rambeau managed to break through the barrier, and during the re-entry, a burst of powerful energy happened that again rewrote her DNA, making all the previous changes permanent.
Rambeau realized that she now had spectra vision. She gained the ability to perceive various forms of energy beyond the capacity of a regular human. For example, she was aware of the energy coming off of the power lines. She could detect even minor fluctuations in the energy levels around her. She also gained the ability to absorb energy in a massive way. Like in the comics, Rambeau can utilize almost all known to humans forms of energy.
One more ability of Rambeau’s that is similar to her comic powers is the fact that she can turn herself intangible by shifting into her energy form. Rambeau managed to absorb the impact of her fall and the kinetic energy of several bullets that went her way.
Most likely, with the upcoming The Marvels movie, we will see more of Rambeau’s powers developing, considering the fact that Rambeau’s, Danvers’, and Khan’s powers seem to be connected in some way. In the trailer, we’ve seen that the three are able to randomly switch places every time their use their powers, and hopefully, we’re going to get a good explanation for this.