Captain Marvel's Best Friend: Chewie the Cat
Find out the comic origins of Carol Danvers' feline companion!
Just like in real life, pets are important in the Marvel Universe. The Inhumans have the teleporting dog Lockjaw, and Squirrel Girl has Tippy-Toe, who led an army of squirrels when her partner was studying. Captain Marvel has… a cat named Chewie! She’s so cute! Chewie doesn’t seem to be a threat, but looks can be deceiving – very, very deceiving. Let’s take a deeper look at the cat named after a certain furry co-pilot from a galaxy far, far away -- with minimal cat puns.
When readers were first introduced to Chewie, it was in GIANT-SIZE MS. MARVEL #1 (2006) in an unnamed appearance. It wouldn’t be until MS. MARVEL #5 (2006) that Carol would name her Chewie due to her resemblance to Chewbacca. She loved the cat and thought it was just a regular, domesticated cat.
Boy, was she wrong.
Release the Flerken
It wouldn’t be until 2014 in CAPTAIN MARVEL #7 while teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy that Carol would learn the true identity of her “feline” friend. In the beginning of the “Release the Flerken” story arc, Rocket recognized that Chewie wasn’t a house cat and saw her as a dangerous beast. Rocket tried to kill her, and, as a result, made Carol understandably furious at Rocket. Rule number one: You don’t mess with someone else’s pet. Rocket suggested selling Chewie on the open market for tons of money, as Flerken were extremely rare, but Carol wasn’t having it.
Carol believed Rocket was seriously mistaken about Chewie. She walked like a cat and meowed like a cat, which made her a cat in Carol’s eyes. Rocket didn’t even believe that he was a raccoon, so Carol definitely wouldn’t take what he said about Chewie as truth. Rocket, to Carol’s dismay, would turn out to be right after it was revealed that Chewie laid 117 eggs in the ship’s cargo stow. What?! Earth cats don’t lay eggs. And that was how Carol found out Chewie wasn’t as normal as she appeared.
Another characteristic to add to the list of what Earth cats don’t have: tentacles shooting from their mouths. Claws were bad enough, but tentacles? But when Rocket was under attack by alien goo, Chewie saved him by unleashing her tentacles and defeating the enemy. (Rocket was officially Team Chewie after this. And maybe flerken tentacles aren’t so bad after all.) Carol later took Chewie and her 117 offspring to the T. D. Polyviv Refuge and Relocation Center in the Tyvorn Cluster. Knowing the dangers of being a hero, she didn’t want Chewie, now a mother of “kittens,” to be caught in the crossfire. It pained Carol to let her furry friend go.
A Constant Companion
It wouldn’t be long before Chewie teleported inside Carol’s ship with Tic, an alien woman who tagged along with Carol in earlier adventures. Carol was happy to have Chewie back but she also commented on how Chewie was terrible for leaving her kittens. Chewie’s response? A simple “mrf,” signifying that Chewie could understand what Carol was saying and was fine with it. Goodness gracious, Chewie…
In addition to laying eggs, a tentacle mouth, and human intellect, Chewie has interdimensional travel as an ability, which could explain how she ended up on Earth. She could also hold pocket realities inside her body. Think of a hamster hoarding food inside their cheeks, but on a higher level and with time and space. This meant that Chewie could store and access various items at will.
Chewie may have revealed she was an alien, but she also showed she could help Carol and her friends when trouble arises. What adventures will the feisty Flerken get into next? Who knows, but wherever Chewie goes, she will definitely make it interesting.
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