Comics
Published November 2, 2023

Captain Marvel's History with the X-Men, Explained

Once upon a time, Captain Marvel was an honorary member of the X-Men. Learn all about their history together here!

Captain Marvel might be the leader of the Avengers today, but she was once an honorary member of the X-Men

Although Carol Danvers first teamed up with Wolverine before she attained her cosmic powers, her connection to the X-Men was truly cemented when she lost her powers to Rogue. From that moment on, mutantkind gave Danvers a home away from the Avengers before helping her achieve her most powerful form yet. Since Danvers started reaching new heights as Captain Marvel, her experiences with the X-Men have reverberated across the far reaches of the Marvel Universe. 

Now, let's take a closer look at Captain Marvel and how her history with the X-Men lifted her up from her darkest moment to new cosmic heights. We'll also look at how Kamala Khan, Captain Marvel's protégé, carries on her legacy with the X-Men as Ms. Marvel.

CAPTAIN MARVEL AND WOLVERINE 

Before they were costumed heroes, Captain Marvel and Wolverine had a few run-ins with each other during their respective military careers. As an amnesiac Logan recovered from having adamantium bonded to his skeleton by the Weapon X Program, Carol Danvers met the future X-Man through her work as an intelligence operative in WOLVERINE (1988) #-1 by Larry Hama and Cary Nord. While Logan attempted to speak with the scientist who discovered adamantium, Danvers saved him from Sabretooth and Hydra, with some help from a young Nick Fury.  

Shortly after that, Danvers and Logan paired up on a mission to fly an experimental plane into Russia with Ben Grimm, who would later become the Thing, in BEFORE THE FANTASTIC FOUR: BEN GRIMM AND LOGAN (2000) #1 by Hama and Kaare Andrews

After that successful operation saw them escape hostile territory together, Danvers and Logan teamed up again in LOGAN: SHADOW SOCIETY (1997) #1 by Howard Mackie and Keith Aiken. Together, they investigated a series of murders linked to a book that threatened to disclose the existence of mutants to the public for the first time. Beyond their allegiances to the Avengers and the X-Men, Carol and Logan remain friends, with the heroes teaming up multiple times and regularly attending each other's game nights.

HOW ROGUE STOLE CAPTAIN MARVEL'S POWERS

When energy from the Psyche-Magnitron and Captain Mar-Vell's Nega-Bands triggered with her Kree-human hybrid genes, Carol Danvers manifested several powers, including super-strength, superhuman durability, and the ability to fly. However, after joining the Avengers as the heroic Ms. Marvel, she lost these abilities to Rogue, a young member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, in a MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1990) #11 story by Chris Claremont, Simon Furman, Mike Vosburg, and Mike Gustovich. In a misguided attempt to help her adoptive mothers Mystique and Destiny, Rogue ambushed Carol and used her mutant powers to absorb all of her abilities, personality, and memories. 

As Rogue struggled to control Danvers' powers and the influence of her memories, she attacked the Avengers and took down Captain America and Thor in AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #10 by Claremont, Michael Golden, and Armando Gil. Rogue generally only retains the powers she absorbs for a limited time, but she maintained Ms. Marvel's powers for several years, thanks to Danvers' unique alien-human physiology. 

Although this incident left Carol powerless, Professor X was able to partially restore her memories—but not the feelings she associated with them. With Rogue on the run, Carol joined Charles Xavier and the X-Men at the X-Mansion and began to pick up the pieces of her life.

BINARY AND THE X-MEN

Even without her powers, Carol Danvers is a skilled fighter and experienced intelligence operative. While staying with the X-Men, she helped them sneak into the Pentagon, erase the government's files on mutants, and take down Mystique in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #158 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum

Alongside the rest of the X-Men, Danvers was abducted by a group of parasitic aliens called the Brood. While the Brood implanted alien embryos in the bodies of the X-Men, they subjected Danvers to tortuous experiments due to her unique genetics in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #163 by Claremont and Cockrum. When Wolverine freed her, Carol discovered the Brood's experiments had awakened a new set of energy-wielding abilities that gave her access to vast amounts of cosmic power through her connection to a white hole. With her new powers, Danvers took on the name Binary in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #164 by Claremont and Cockrum. 

After wiping out a Brood outpost, Binary used her powers to kill the Brood embryos inside the X-Men and fatally wounded the Brood Queen. Although the X-Men invited her to join the team, she refused, wanting to fulfill her childhood dream of exploring the cosmos instead.

CAPTAIN MARVEL LEAVES THE X-MEN

While Carol considered her future as Binary, Professor X allowed Rogue to join the X-Men to help her deal with her powers and the mental trauma of absorbing Danvers' mind. When Binary learned all this, she attacked Rogue before formally cutting off ties with the team in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #171 by Chris Claremont and Walt Simonson

Instead, Binary joined the Starjammers, a group of space-faring pirates and X-Men allies that included Corsair, Cyclops and Havok's father. Despite all this, Binary still saved the New Mutants, a group of X-Men trainees, and stayed with the Starjammers when Xavier joined the group. 

While Carol Danvers explored space, Rogue struggled to deal with the memories she absorbed from her. Eventually, Carol's memories evolved into a Ms. Marvel persona that haunted the young mutant and occasionally took control over her body. 

After Rogue went through a mystical portal called the Siege Perilous, these aspects of Ms. Marvel's psyche were placed into a separate body in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #269 by Claremont and Jim Lee. As their powers started interfering with each other, this Ms. Marvel entity attacked Rogue while under the influence of an evil psychic called the Shadow King. After this ersatz Ms. Marvel told Rogue their shared life force could only sustain one of them, Magneto killed the fake Danvers and stabilized Rogue.

CAPTAIN MARVEL AND ROGUE

After several cosmic conflicts, Captain Marvel's connection to her Binary powers started weakening, so she returned to Earth, where she rejoined the Avengers. As Danvers' identity evolved from Warbird to Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel, she had a few run-ins with the X-Men that reflected her history with Rogue. 

When the Brood abducted several heroes and made them fight each other, the Brood Queen took over Rogue's body in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS II (1999) #5 by Chris Claremont and Óscar Jiménez. After fighting the Brood Queen, Danvers ultimately saved Rogue, told her that she had earned her respect as a hero, and started to forgive her for absorbing her powers.

As Rogue lost the powers she absorbed and Danvers' original abilities returned, the heroes teamed up or faced off on several subsequent occasions. When an alternate reality Danvers attacked Rogue, the heroes worked together to defeat her in MS. MARVEL (2006) #9 by Brian Reed and Mike Wieringo

During AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, the heroes faced off again after five X-Men accepted the overwhelming power of the Phoenix Force and effectively took over the world. When Danvers tried to discuss the situation with Rogue in X-MEN: LEGACY (2008) #269 by Christos Gage and David Baldeón, the mutant hero attacked her. After a fierce battle, Rogue ultimately realized that Carol was right, and the two reached a new level of mutual understanding. 

When the Nuclear Man took over Rogue's body in CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) #10 by Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero, he forced her to fight Captain Marvel again. To stop him, Carol allowed Rogue to briefly absorb her powers and mind, a sign of trust and respect between the heroes.

CAPTAIN MARVEL AND THE X-MEN NOW

After a few recent team-ups, Captain Marvel and Rogue's friendship has reached a healthy new level, as has her relationship with the X-Men as a whole. When the Brood abducted Rogue, Captain Marvel joined Gambit and several other X-Men on a mission to investigate and rescue her in CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) #43 by Kelly Thompson and Sergio Dávila

Although the heroes saved Rogue from the Brood Empress, the new Binary—an energy being created by Captain Marvel's powers—died in the process. In her grief, a distraught Captain Marvel attacked the Brood Empress and came close to creating a black hole with her powers. However, Rogue saved Danvers by absorbing half of her power and half of her grief. After commiserating with each other, Captain Marvel and Rogue parted ways with a reaffirmed sense of mutual respect for each other.

Ms. Marvel and the X-Men

Captain Marvel's protégé, Kamala Khan, has also embraced her newfound status as a mutant and joined the X-Men as Ms. Marvel. Although Ms. Marvel's 'embiggening' powers are Inhuman, she is also a mutant with undisclosed abilities. 

After Kamala was killed in battle, the X-Men were able to use the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols to revive her in a cloned body with a telepathic copy of her mind. Although Ms. Marvel initially hesitated to embrace her mutant identity, she changed her mind after most of the world's mutants vanished during an attack by the mutant-hating group Orchis

Just as the X-Men went underground to hide from Orchis' mutant-hunting Sentinels, Kamala decided to join the team. She started fighting Orchis in MS. MARVEL THE NEW MUTANT (2023) #1 by Iman VellaniSabir Pirzada, Carlos Gómez, and Adam Gorham. Even though Captain Marvel never officially joined the X-Men, Ms. Marvel proudly carries on her legacy alongside the mutant heroes.

Carol Danvers' adventures continue in CAPTAIN MARVEL (2023) #1, now on sale! Meanwhile, mutantkind fights for survival in X-MEN (2021) #28, also on sale!

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