Captain Marvel, Photon, Spectrum & Beyond
In an effort to understand her newfound powers and figure out what to do the excess, Monica traveled to New York City. She was walking down the street when two guys tried to mug her. She handled them easily without using powers, but Spider-Man swung in and surprised so she blasted him. She then went to the Fantastic Four for help, but Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, was on vacation, so she zapped herself over to the Avengers. With some help from Janet Van Dyne, AKA the Wasp, and Spider-Man, Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, figured out a way to help her get rid of all the extra energy.
After testing her powers, the Avengers asked her to join on a probationary basis, which she accepted. Rambeau proved a quick study, both of Captain America's training exercises and the Avengers files, which she used to learn about Mar-Vell, AKA Captain Marvel. The new Captain Marvel (Danvers) showed leadership potential when she yelled some sense into Wasp, Captain America, and Thor Odinson, AKA Thor, when they were feeling particularly morose about troubles with Avenger Hank Pym.
Early in her tenure with the team, Captain Marvel encountered Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, Samuel Sterns, AKA the Leader, Elihas Starr, AKA Egghead, and his Masters of Evil. During their fight with Samuel Smithers, AKA Plant-Man, Cap was elevated to a full time member. During this time, she still lived in New Orleans and traveled back and forth at faster-than-light speed. Captain Marvel was instrumental in stopping Project PEGASUS from exploding after an outbreak and helped the Inhumans save Blackagar Boltagon, AKA Black Bolt, from his scheming brother Maximus. She also witnessed the return of Vision and fought to free Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman. Rambeau even got a taste of cosmic conflicts when she was whisked away with heroes and villains by the Beyonder and placed on Battleworld.
While helping Spider-Man on a case, Monica was stuck in her energy form for a while. The web-slinger and Avenger Eros, AKA Starfox, traveled to another dimension to get her back to normal. For a time, Monica struggled with how to tell her parents about her hero identity, but felt much better after coming right out and telling them. From there she battled the Dire Wraiths, met the Eternals and also proved herself against Maelstrom, Deathurge, Arnim Zola and Surtur's fire demons. Around this time, she also teamed with Spider-Man, Rocket Raccoon, AKA Rocket, and Kang to take on Knull's agent Mr. E. They also tangled with Ulik and visited Knowhere.
Rambeau went to visit LeClare at the Bern Institute of Science where he warned her that the Earth's rotation was slowing significantly which would be catastrophic for the planet and its inhabitants. While investigating, she stumbled upon Maelstrom's base and was attacked, leaving her shell-shocked. It took the combined might of the Avengers and their West Coast counterparts to defeat the villain. After the battle, Starfox encouraged her to keep the Captain Marvel codename as a way to honor Mar-Vell.
Monica began to grow concerned about Vision who, soon after, sent her on a mission to investigate the spaceship Sanctuary II. She was off-planet with the Ultron-infected synthezoid attempted to take over the world's computer systems only to be stopped by his teammates. In space, she was discovered by Nebula's crew and held there until she finally met the boss and found out about her desire to overtake the Skrull Empire. Rambeau managed to make contact with the Skrulls and call the Avengers for help before faking her death so she could reunite with her teammates and save the alien shapeshifters.
Namor McKenzie, AKA Namor the Sub-Mariner, joined the Avengers after that, though Rambeau did not trust him right away. However, Monica did begin conversing with FBI Agent Derek Freeman who would become an ally. She also found Jean Grey, AKA Phoenix's cocoon in the river and had another run-in with the Beyonder. Captain Marvel sought out Norrin Radd, AKA Silver Surfer, afterwards to help save the Earth. She also revealed her true identity to Captain America, but still did not trust Namor with the secret.
After fighting Kang, Captain Marvel asked her teammate Dane Whitman, AKA Black Knight, to help her get a better handle on her powers. He suggested she try and turn herself into neutrinos. When Baron Zemo planned to lay siege to the Avengers, he knew they needed to neutralize Captain Marvel's powers, so he enlisted Blackout to encompass her in Darkforce energy. She eventually escaped by way of Maximillian Coleridge, AKA Shroud, and then joined up with her teammates to shut the attackers down. During the ensuing fight with Moonstone, the villain nearly broke her neck, but Cap made sure to get her medical help.
Captain Marvel led the charge when the Avengers attempted to arrest Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, who had become a part of the X-Men at that point. Later, after the Wasp stepped down as the head of the squad, Captain America nominated Captain Marvel for the position and Black Knight seconded it. After much soul-searching Monica accepted the nomination. Immediately after, the team faced the enraged Olympian God Zeus because his son Heracles, AKA Hercules, had been gravely injured during the Masters of Evil attack. She even stood up to the father of gods himself to defend Thor. Under her oversight, the Avengers moved their headquarters to Hydrobase.
The team sought to find a missing Captain American while also facing a group of high-tech threats that included the Super-Adaptoid, X-51, AKA Machine Man, Tess-One, and Kree Sentry 459. The Adaptoid got a boost from a Cosmic Cube, but the Avengers had some help from Steve Rogers in his new Captain identity as well as Kubik, a living Cosmic Cube. While facing Leviathan, Captain Marvel turned herself into lightning and was not seen again, leaving Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk, Anthony Ludgate Druid, AKA Doctor Druid, Black Knight, and Thor wondering about her whereabouts. She zapped herself back to Avengers HQ and regained her physical form, but she had practically withered away. Thor got her to a nearby NYC hospital where she woke up. Monica took a leave of absence from Avengers and flew back to New Orleans to heal. Much of this proved to be the fault of Druid who was being manipulated at this time as well.
While staying with her folks, Monica thought she had lost her powers, so she got a job as the captain of a cargo ship called Tea Cake. When Powderkeg and his minions attempted to overtake the ship, Rambeau donned her costume and tried to scare the pirates off. During the conflagration, her powers returned, but they acted differently. After Reed Richards ran her through a battery of tests, he hypothesized that her powers gave her a body a boundary of dimensional interface that shunted energy aimed at her to the dimension she drew her powers from. This allowed her to fly and survive physical attacks, but otherwise her powers had been greatly reduced.
Powderkeg had been hired by Brazilian crime lord Kristina Ramos who was looking for circuits created by Tony Stark. When the first attempt failed, Ramos sent Moonstone to recover the tech, leading to a rematch with Rambeau. From there Captain Marvel faced off against Ramos in Guardsman armor. During this mission, she met James Rhodes, AKA War Machine, for the first time and also re-established herself as a Super Hero. From there, Rambeau got involved with some Quasar-led space encounters and responded when the Runner called the world's fastest beings, she was disqualified from the race since she flew more than she ran. Shortly after she rejoined the Avengers as a reserve substitute along with Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon (later Captain America), Hercules, Spider-Man, and Black Knight.
The reserves were immediately put to the test when the primary squad was kidnapped by the Tetrarchs. In their absence, Monica became the acting chair-being until the others returned. A bit later, Rambeau joined back up with the Avengers during a war between the Shi'Ar and the Kree which threatened Earth. She was chosen as part of the diplomatic squad visiting the Shi'Ar. There, she and Miguel Santos, AKA Living Lightning, uncovered Skrull involvement as well. Ultimately, Captain Marvel sided with Captain America on the side that was against the idea of killing the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence.
While visiting New York City, she ran into the Sons of the Serpent. After meeting with Agent Freeman, Rambeau agreed to keep an eye on their activities on the Empire State University campus. That turned out to be a good move as the Sons started a riot which lead to a major brawl between Rambeau and Skinhead. In the wake of that adventure she was captured by the Controller who sent her after Genis-Vell—at this point, he started using the Captain Marvel name to honor his father. While the Marvels fought, Rambeau managed to send a distress signal to the Avengers who broke her of the mind control. Afterwards, she took on the name Photon, making Genis the only Captain Marvel.
It's unclear what Monica did for a time after that, both during and after Onslaught's attacks which lead to the dissolution of the Avengers. During that time, it seems as though her powers returned to their original state with her turning into various forms of energy. She did respond when the Avengers returned and wound up fighting sorceress Morgan le Fay. From there she went back the Big Easy and established a charter boat business with her dad. When the Doomsday Man tasked the Wrecking Crew with finding Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), the criminals mistook her for Photon and made their way to New Orleans. After a battle, Rambeau called on the Avengers for help and they responded quickly. During the fight, the Crew go the drop on Monica and went to escape, but Scarlet Witch's powers sent them to Polemachus where they used her power to take control until the Avengers showed up and Photon managed to overpower the villains so they could return home.
After a conversation with her dad, Monica considered returning to the Avengers, though her mom was worried about her doing exactly that. At the same time, Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar, spotted a problem in space and requested she join a group consisting of Thor, Moondragon, Greer Nelson, AKA Tigra, Starfox, and Paul Spade, AKA Jack of Hearts. This squad came together to stop the Infinites from destroying reality by briefly taking on the power of Eternity. These space Avengers also opposed the Intergalactic Council's decision to not just cut Earth off from the rest of the galaxy, but also turn it into a prison planet. They were kidnapped by the Supreme Intelligence for their efforts, but escaped to join the fight that got the planet back to normal.
Back on Earth with the Avengers, Photon helped take on Pagan, Lord Templar, and Sean Dolan, AKA the Bloodwraith, before working alongside Quasar and Living Lightning on a Deep-Space Monitoring Station. That group immediately got involved when Kang sought to conquer the planet with his son, Marcus Kang, AKA Scarlet Centurion. Later, she appeared to defend her team when Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, tried to destroy them all, leading to the teams disassembling.
Genis-Vell once more took Monica's codename by renaming himself Photon. After another conversation, she contemplated changing her own moniker to Pulsar. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home town, Rambeau used her powers and her boat to help survivors. She also uncovered a nest of vampires. Luckily, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Eric Brooks, AKA Blade, and Jericho Drumm, AKA Brother Voodoo (later Doctor Voodoo) were also around to help take them out. Monica's ability to turn herself into vampire-killing sunlight proved highly effective, but did weigh heavily on her afterwards. Around this same time, Monica became entwined with the Beyond Corporation and the Nextwave team. Rambeau went on adventures with Machine Man, Elsa Bloodstone, Tabitha Smith, AKA Meltdown (later Boom-Boom), The Captain, and Dirk Anger, though it has been revealed that some–potentially all–of those were false memories implanted by the evil company.
Monica attended the wedding of Black Panther and Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm and sided with Captain America during the Super Hero Civil War. She tried helping take out Erik Killmonger, AKA Killmonger, but the villain captured her and her energy was used against Wakanda until she figured out a way to escape. Rambeau then decided to phase her body right through Killmonger's, killing him. Later, she moved to New York City and met Black Cat, Hellcat, and Firestar at a speed dating event. They became close friends who helped Firestar during her bought with breast cancer. When Patsy agreed to spend a night in Hell with her ex Daimon Hellstrom, AKA Hellstorm, in exchange for curing Angelica's cancer, the others jumped to help her, leading to a different deal with that devil.
After witnessing the return of Frankie Raye, AKA Nova, Monica confronted Carol Danvers about taking over the Captain Marvel name. To stop a giant robot, Monica allowed her energy form to be absorbed by Carol. Shortly after, she joined a new squad called the Mighty Avengers. She took on a new costume and started going by the codename Spectrum. The group included Luke Cage, Victor Alvarez, AKA Power Man, Spider-Man (with Otto Octavius, AKA Doctor Octopus, in control), Ava Ayala, AKA White Tiger, Dr. Adam Brashear, AKA Blue Marvel, Falcon, and Blade in disguise.
During their first fight with Proxima Midnight, Rambeau was injured. When Blue Marvel saved her, her power levels were increased just in time to fight Shuma-Gorath. While taking on the Deathwalker Prime, the team merged into Avenger Prime with help from new member Kaluu. Shortly after, Sam Wilson became Captain America and Peter Parker regained control of his body. Together they faced the inter-dimensionally powerful Beyond Corporation who were working through Cortex Incorporated CEO Jason Quantrell. While facing this being, Monica came to understand that her time with Nextwave had been at least partially fabricated by them. The Mighty Avengers came to an end when the Incursions destroyed reality only to be saved by Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, and put back together by a group of heroes.
In the wake of the second Secret Wars, Spectrum joined Alpha Flight's Ultimates program, a group of heroes looking to solve some of reality's biggest problems. Along with Blue Marvel, America Chavez, Black Panther and Captain Marvel, they helped evolve Galactus, traveled outside the Omniverse, helped incapacitate the Mad Titan Thanos, struggled through the Second Super Hero Civil War, mourned James Rhodes, saved reality from the First Firmament and were captured outside the Planetary Defense Shield–which they helped create and test—during Hydra's Secret Empire. During their time together, Monica and Adam Brashear began a relationship.
When darkness fell across not just Earth all at once, but several others, Voyager brought together Spectrum, Hercules, Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hulk, and Rocket Raccoon to take on the goddess Nyx and her Children of Night. During the battle, Spectrum used her powers to save Vision and burned off a great deal of her energy, making her less powerful. After that, she worked with Bucky Barnes, AKA Winter Soldier, Spider-Woman, Billy Kaplan, AKA Wiccan, Aldrif Odinsdottir, AKA Angela, and Blade to take on Vridai, plant-based shapeshifters. Strikeforce also encountered Moonstone and Ghost before finally taking care of the true Vridai threat Birgit.
Spectrum lent her considerable abilities to the cause during the Empyre, Knull and the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda invasions. When Vox Supreme began hunting Captain Marvels, he managed to capture Spectrum for a time and use her against Danvers. She and the others were eventually freed by Carol and Phyla-Vell, AKA Quasar, and they defeated their enemy. Back on Earth, Monica helped Carol try to acclimate the new Binary. When the Beyond Corporation began programs to create new heroes and villains, Monica teamed up with Machine Man to destroy the New York facility. She also recently turned down Luke Cage's offer to oversee a new group of Thunderbolts, not wanting the public scrutiny that would come with it.
Whatever the mission–or the codename–might be, Monica Rambeau is always willing to use her fantastic powers to keep the innocent safe.