Captain Marvel.

CAPTAIN MARVEL (aka PHOTON)

Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1982
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Marvel Comics spent the late 1960s and all of the '70s trying to get the public interested in their version of Captain Marvel. Finally, they killed him off and …

continued below

… created a new one. Their second try at a character called Captain Marvel debuted in Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982).

Monica Rambeau was a captain in the New Orleans Police Department, when she had one of "those" accidents — the kind that would kill anyone instantly in the real world, but in comic books merely induce transformation into a superhero. She acquired the power to turn her body into living energy, and back again, like Captain Atom or E-Man. In a riff reminiscent of Captain Klutz's origin 15 years earlier, an incidental player in her first adventure remarked that the captain (referring to her police rank) was a marvel, so in media coverage of the event she was called Captain Marvel.

This time, the publisher apparently didn't aim at making the character a headliner — they attached her full-time to The Avengers, where she assumed the role of hero-in-training. She worked her way up from there, and in the early 1990s, served a stint as the team's leader. Today, she's a reserve member. But she doesn't still call herself Captain Marvel. In 1995, that name was claimed by the son of Marvel's earlier Captain Marvel. Deciding his title to it is stronger than hers, she now calls herself Photon.

As Captain Marvel, she was a place holder — keeping the trademark current, but not doing much else. As a supporting character, under whatever name, she seems to be a permanent fixture in the Marvel Universe.

— DDM

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Text ©2000-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.