Didja Know... The Mesmerizing Myth of Mar-Vell
Didja Know digs into downright delightful details from across the merry Marvel Multiverse!
Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!
Sure, you look at MARVEL TEAM-UP #4 and you can’t wait for the all-new adventure pairing Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel found therein, True Believers, but…ah, ah! You know how this goes by now! Yep, there’s an amazing aspect to the team-up that makes fearless fodder for us Didja Know Diehards, namely none other than the original Captain Marvel!
We know—or rather knew—him as Mar-Vell, and though he’s gone, his larger-than-life legacy lives on in the two heroes of the aforementioned all-new adventure.
That said, let’s take a dizzying dive into his peerless past and see what sort of cosmic shenanigans we can serve up for our own entertainment and edification, eh?
Didja know… Mar-Vell first came to Earth as a soldier, not a super hero?
To be very precise, he came here as a spy, bunky. See, As MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #12 explained, Mar-Vell stood as a captain in the alien Kree forces and sent to our plucky planet to gather info on just how we managed to beat a Kree robot called a Sentry and one of their big, high muckety-mucks with the moniker of Ronan the Accuser. Mar-Vell didn’t like (nor want) the job, but he was a good soldier and followed orders...
Settling in, the captain adopted the identity of an Earth guy called Walter Lawson in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #13 and proceeded to infiltrate one of our military bases. Little did he know he’d been set up to fail by his commander, the capricious Colonel Yon-Rogg, and he'd take the blistering blame for a whole slew of situations and so forth! Over time, Mar-Vell became known as, you guessed it, Captain Marvel, and entered into engagement with one menace after another.
He also—and here’s where this thing really swings, pals—met a lovely, likable lady named Carol Danvers in that same ish, who just happened to be the head of security on the military base in question. How’s that for the Marvel Age of Sizzling Synchronicity?
Didja know… Mar-Vell bonded with a well-known super hero sidekick?
Hmm, maybe bonded’s not the right word—how about banded? What do we mean? Follow along, friend—and try to keep up, wouldja?
After many harrowing battles with the forces of evil, in CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #16, Mar-Vell found himself in the presence of the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence—kind of like a living internet, ‘kay? He’s lost everything by that point, and been betrayed by everyone around him…but, the ol’ Supreme Intelligence was keen to grant him a boon (that’s like a big favor, dig?) and that took the form of a brand-spankin’ new outfit and a new mission: get Yon-Rogg and have some fun doing it!
Unfortunately, in CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #17, our hero got immediately stuck in the Negative Zone and had to psychically lead teenage titan Rick Jones to pick up two little keepsakes called the Nega-Bands and put them on. What happened then? Quicker than you can shout Shaz—or, uh, well, something—Rick exchanged places with Mar-Vell and the newest Marvel match-up was born!
And of course Yon-Rogg got what-for and all that.
Didja know… Mar-Vell died of cancer?
You’d think a crazy cosmic crusader like Captain Marvel would eventually be felled by the Creeping Space-Crud or by Blasting Bumper Beams or the like, but in the end, the big guy was diagnosed with cancer after exposure to a deadly nerve-gas some time before.
MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL (1982) #1 told the terrifying tale of “The Death of Captain Marvel,” and how his Nega-Bands served to sustain him but also resisted cancer treatments. Mar-Vell finally accepted his fate and received all manner of visitors in his last, dying moments—including surprise! A squad of shapeshifting Skrulls who came bearing a medal for their old foe and their undying respect.
And here’s a little bonus Didja Know for you, because you’ve been so good all through this: Mar-Vell’s last visitor answered to the name of Thanos. Look it up for yourself, Charlie; truth’s stranger than fiction, y’know...
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