Always pushing boundaries as a young daredevil—whether she was playing on the beach, riding bikes, swinging a bat in softball, or racing go-karts—Carol Danvers seemed destined to join the U.S. Air Force. Told countless times by her father that she shouldn’t be doing “boys’ activities,” Carol became even more determined to prove others wrong, always getting up and dusting herself off every time she fell or crashed.
After growing up and officially joining the Air Force in the late 1980s, Carol became close friends with fellow flyer Maria “Photon” Rambeau and her young daughter, Monica. Together, with their catchphrase “Higher, Further, Faster,” Carol and Maria shared laughs, drinks, and nights of karaoke while flying test missions. Her base of operations, Project Pegasus, was led by Dr. Wendy Lawson, who championed Danvers’ abilities despite the fact that women weren’t allowed to fly actual combat missions in 1989. Having recently invented an experimental light speed engine, Lawson chose Danvers to test the plane by her side, but during a flight to Lawson’s orbiting space laboratory, they were shot down by a Kree ship.