Was Captain Marvel the First Avenger?

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Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is one of the most powerful Avengers ever to be a member of the team. However, seeing that she got her powers back in 1995, she’s also one of the first members of the team ever. The question is, was Captain Marvel the First Avenger in the MCU?

Captain Marvel became a member of the Avengers in 1995. However, she still isn’t the First Avenger, technically. It’s Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, who got his Super Soldier serum during WWII and went under the ice in 1945. Meaning he was the real First Avenger, 50 years before Carol Danvers.

That being said, the Avengers Initiative didn’t actually begin until Carol Danvers came into the picture. Nick Fury – the creator of the Initiative – even named the proposed group of superheroes after Carol Danvers’ U.S. Air Force pilot callsign, Avenger. So, who’s really the first Avenger, and who’s second? Let’s find out.

Who is Captain Marvel (MCU & Comics)?

Captain Marvel first appeared a long time ago in the comics – in 1967, to be precise, in ‘Marvel Super-Heroes #12’ by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. However, the original Captain Marvel wasn’t Carol Danvers – the one Brie Larson is portraying in the MCU.

Instead, Captain Marvel was an incredibly powerful Kree named Mar-Vell, who donned the alias Walter Lawson on Earth.

captain marvel mar vell

Carol Danvers actually inherited her powers in the comics from Mar-Vell after accidentally being subjected to the Psyche-Magnitron machine and receiving Kree energy and DNA from Mar-Vell’s Nega-Bands, after which she developed her enormous power.

Her first appearance came in ‘Marvel Super-Heroes #13’ as Carol Danvers. Then, she was known as Ms. Marvel after ‘Ms. Marvel #1’ in 1976. She eventually started donning Captain Marvel Mantle in ‘Avenging Spider-Man #9’ in 2012.


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In the comics, she was first a member of the US Air Force before becoming the head of security at NASA, which is where she crossed paths with Mar-Vell, who infiltrated NASA as a spy.

In the MCU, the backstory is a bit different but is certainly based on the comic book version of Danvers. She is a highly-skilled pilot, but her powers come in a different way. Still, she became incredibly powerful – perhaps among the most powerful humanoid beings in the universe.

Her powers came in 1995, the same year that Nick Fury launched the Avengers Initiative – a program designed around the formation of a superhero group that would protect the world from alien or metahuman threats. S.H.I.E.L.D. accepted the initiative, and the Avengers were officially formed.

Is Captain Marvel the First Avenger?

In the comics, it’s not even a question – Captain Marvel is not the First Avenger. Danvers joined the team in ‘Avengers #183,’ so it’s reasonable to conclude she wasn’t among the initial members of the team, right? However, in the MCU, it depends on how you look at it.

After the final confrontation of MCU’s ‘Captain Marvel’ movie, we come to understand that it was that very same year that Nick Fury came to the idea of creating the Avengers. He even named the team after Carol Danvers’ US Air Force call name – Avenger.

Seeing that the team was created in 1995 and named after her, one could argue that she was the First Avenger. However, the first metahuman in that particular role came over fifty years earlier. And that guy actually has a movie titled ‘The First Avenger.’

captain marvel america

We’re talking about Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, aka the real First Avenger. He was just a small guy who decided to enlist to defend his country in WWII, but in turn, became the first Super Soldier after being injected with the serum originally created by Abraham Erskine.

In 1945, while trying to stop Red Skull, Captain America sacrificed himself and crashed with a plane into the Arctic ice, seemingly dying in the process. However, almost 70 years later – 66, to be precise – his body was recovered, and Steve Rogers was ‘unfrozen,’ still alive due to the amazing nature of his new physiology.


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So, although the Avengers Initiative didn’t exist back then – rather, it was created after Carol Danvers 50 years after Rogers went under the ice – One could still consider Captain America to be the First Avenger – as the title of his movie would suggest.

That being said, he was under the ice for 16 years after the team was formed, so I guess one could argue that Captain Marvel is the real First Avenger. It all depends on how you’re looking at it, but still, the guy called the First Avenger likely IS the First Avenger, right?

Who is the Second Avenger?

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If Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, is the First Avenger, one must consider Carol Danvers the Second Avenger. After all, the program did actually start with her and was named after her as well.

Captain America came before Danvers, but she was the one that sparked the fire in Nick Fury to form the team that would go on to save the world – and the universe – so many times.

The second Captain Marvel movie in the MCU, titled ‘The Marvels,’ is coming to theaters on November 10, 2023.

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