Welcome to the Mighty Marvel Viewing Guide, a new feature we’re trying at That’s Not Current, picking a specific Marvel character and diving into their entire on-screen history. With this series, we hope to bring people up to speed on certain heroes or villains, or to tell you where you can binge even more appearances of some of your favorite characters. Sometimes, we’ll highlight characters that haven’t been given much (if any) exposure in the films. To start, we’re picking a character who would have been an unexpected choice only a few years ago, but is now one of the biggest names in all of, well, Marvel.

    Thanks to her hit film earlier in the year and her appearance in Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel is one of the biggest heroes in the world right now. And as a longtime fan, it’s been amazing to see Carol Danvers go from being a deep cut (at least in the eyes of the general audience) Avenger to becoming a household name. With the character having just made her big screen debut, following it a month later with the highest grossing movie of all time, it’s only natural that people would be hungry for more Captain Marvel content.

    Luckily, there’s a whole lot out there, as Carol Danvers (both as Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel) has appeared in a fair amount of Marvel animated series over the years. In the past, these could be pretty hard to track down, occasionally streaming, usually available on DVD, but now almost everything is in one place. Nearly every on-screen appearance of Carol, both in animation and live-action, is currently streaming on Disney+.

    For fans looking to learn more about the character, these animated appearances can really come in handy, especially as some of them date back long before she was even a glimmer in the eye of the MCU. Want a more detailed dive into her origin and her ties to the Kree? You’ll get that. Want to learn her connection to the X-Men—Rogue, in particular? You’ll get that, too. And a whole lot more so strap in and let’s dive into a Mighty Marvel Viewing Guide for one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful heroes.

    “A Rogue’s Tale” – X-Men: The Animated Series

    Ms Marvel X-Men animated seriesCarol made her first animated appearance in the hit X-Men: The Animated Series. The episode saw Mystique try to get closer to her adoptive daughter Rogue by trying to force her to remember parts of her past that she had blocked out. To do this, she forced Rogue to remember the worst thing she ever did, the woman she held onto for so long that she permanently absorbed her powers and left her in a coma. That woman was Carol Danvers, AKA Ms. Marvel.

    Like the comics, it turns out that the animated series’ Rogue started out as a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, eventually taking on Ms. Marvel and absorbing her energy to the point of nearly killing her. Throughout the episode, there’s a battle going on in Rogue’s mind between herself and Carol, each of them fighting for dominance. At the end, Rogue wins, but in remembering what she did, goes to Carol’s bedside to begin to apologize for the irreparable damage she caused. (Streaming on Disney+)

    “And Lo… A Pilot Shall Come!” – The Super Hero Squad Show

    Captain MarvelCarol Danvers, again as Ms. Marvel, was a major player on The Super Hero Squad Show. The series itself was an animated comedy geared toward younger viewers and a self-aware parody of Marvel and The Avengers.

    If I had to pick one particular Ms. Marvel episode to highlight from this series, it would have to be the one where Enchantress’s spell to make Thor fall in love with her backfires and leads Ms. Marvel to fall in love with MODOK instead.
    (Available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon & Vudu)

    “459” – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

    Captain MarvelIn this excellent Avengers animated series, Captain Marvel is first introduced as the original Kree incarnation, Mar-Vell. Carol Danvers first appears in the same episode, setting up her eventual superheroic turn. Like some of the best superhero cartoons, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would play the long game with certain characters, allowing the audience to get to know them before they complete their transformation into the iconic characters we know.

    With Carol, it’s no different, and it’s nice to see Carol Danvers, working woman within the government, trying to do the right thing with what she has to work with, and to watch that bond with Mar-Vell form for the first time.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

    “Welcome to the Kree Empire” – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

    Captain MarvelCarol actually assumes her superhero identity in the second season Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode, “Welcome to the Kree Empire.” Mar-Vell has returned to Earth alongside Yon-Rogg and Ronan the Accuser (all characters who play prominent roles in Carol’s own movie) on a much less friendly mission: to welcome the planet Earth to the Kree Empire.

    Carol assumes the Ms. Marvel identity to stop the Kree invasion and even fight her old friend and mentor, Mar-Vell. At the end of the episode, she is offered a spot on the Avengers, which she happily takes, and she remains a core member of the cast throughout the rest of the series.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

    Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher

    Captain MarvelCaptain Marvel also makes an appearance in the 2014 Anime team-up film Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, in which she appears as a member of the Avengers, alongside Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor and War Machine.

    She, alongside her teammates, helps to bring down the terrorist organization LEVIATHAN that Black Widow and Punisher have been combating throughout the movie.
    (Streaming on Crackle)

    “Captain Marvel” – Avengers Assemble

    Captain MarvelAlthough she first makes a brief non-speaking cameo in “Avengers World” in a hologram, Carol truly makes her debut appearance in her self-titled episode, “Captain Marvel” during the Ultron Revolution arc. Honestly, it’s a great first appearance for the character, too. She already knows many of the Avengers, save for Falcon, who is kind of the audience surrogate on the show, a guy who’s still experiencing most of this crazy world with fresh eyes. She has a friendly rapport with Iron Man and Hawkeye, but a bit more of a rivalry with Cap. They call each other “Army” and “Air Force,” and it’s friendly enough banter, but he’s not as much a fan of her need to jump in and handle things herself without asking for backup, even if it’s usually because she knows she’s going to win.

    Not only does Carol provide a boost of energy, but this version of the character has a great swagger and a very casual kind of cool, pretty much making her the Han Solo of the show, pilot and all. Like the previous series, Captain Marvel is invited to become an Avenger at the end of the episode and becomes a central character on the series soon after.(Streaming on Disney+)

    “Stayin’ Alive” & “Evolution Rock” – Guardians of the Galaxy

    Captain MarvelCaptain Marvel, as a member of the Avengers, makes an appearance in two episodes of the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series. In the first episode, the Guardians team up with Carol, Captain America, Ant-Man and Iron Man (after stealing from them) in order to stop an out of control satellite. In the second episode, Captain Marvel is abducted by the High Evolutionary alongside Rocket and Groot for study and experimentation.

    Which is fitting, in a way, as Rocket and Carol kind of have a lot in common, particularly in the fact that they’ve both been experimented on and tampered with on a primal, genetic, molecular level. That, and they’re both snarky space pilots.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

    Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors

    Captain MarvelCaptain Marvel appears in the animated film Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, in which she serves as an idol and mentor to young teenager Kamala Khan, who has taken on the mantle of the new Ms. Marvel. Kamala forms a team (mostly out of circumstance) consisting of herself, Squirrel Girl, America Chavez, Quake, Patriot, Inferno, and the Inhumans’ teleporting dog, Lockjaw.

    Captain Marvel really shows up to provide an assist to the fledgling team of (mostly) teenagers when they need it. But she doesn’t go without imparting wisdom on the young Ms. Marvel either, telling the girl to carve her own path rather than following in someone else’s footsteps. Carol also appears in the related Marvel Rising shorts.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

    Captain Marvel

    Captain MarvelFinally, Carol made her feature film debut in her own movie, after tease at the end of last year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Not only was it amazing to finally have this character on the big screen, but Marvel did the unthinkable by not only making the entire world aware of Carol Danvers, but making her upcoming appearance feel like an event. That, I think, is amazing. The movie itself is also very strong, far from just the ‘90s nostalgia fest so many were afraid it was going to be. It’s a clever sidestep of the traditional superhero origin story, one that deeply speaks to a female experience as opposed to the male perspective so many of these films have, even often when the lead is female.

    Most comic book origin stories are about learning the cost of power, about gaining power and realizing how strong you really are and ultimately proving yourself. Conversely, Captain Marvel is a movie about Carol’s realization that she doesn’t have anything to prove. She’s been told for years that she is so much less powerful than she actually is, and so she just accepts it before realizing just how much she’s been held back by a patriarchal system.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

    Avengers: Endgame

    Captain MarvelJust a month after Brie Larson’s debut in Captain Marvel, she appeared again in Avengers: Endgame, almost bookending the movie, in a way. The opening of the film is likely set almost immediately after her flick’s post-credits sequence that briefly showed Carol’s introduction to the grieving Avengers. After hearing Thanos’ location, Captain Marvel immediately decides to just go and take him on herself, which is a perfect way to introduce her to the team as a whole. She presents a totally new dynamic, seeing a woman on the team who is this unwaveringly confident in their ability.

    Of course, she also gets in on the action in a big way during the third act. Where Carol could go from here is unclear. We know that a Captain Marvel sequel is coming, but we don’t know when. It seems unlikely she’d make an appearance before that, but it would certainly be a welcome surprise if she did.
    (Streaming on Disney+)

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