Carol Danvers may be the first solo female superhero to headline a Marvel Studios film, but believe it or not, she actually isn’t Marvel Comics’ first female Captain Marvel.
That honor actually belongs to Monica Rambeau, a hero with energy powers who took the codename Captain Marvel in the early 1980s. Though she was a major player in the Avengers through the 80s, Monica Rambeau hasn’t been a household name in some time. But all that could change if she plays a role in Captain Marvel.
So who is Monica Rambeau, and how might she factor into Captain Marvel?
In comic books, Monica Rambeau is a member of the New Orleans Harbor Patrol who gains the power control energy of different wavelengths after being exposed to an experimental weapon.
Taking the name Captain Marvel (the previous bearer, Mar-Vell, having recently died), Monica joined the Avengers, eventually even becoming the team’s leader. After losing her powers, Monica briefly retired as a superhero. By the time her powers returned, Genis-Vell, the son of Mar-Vell, had begun using the name “Captain Marvel.” Changing her name to “Photon,” Monica became a superhero once again, eventually using the codenames “Pulsar,” and eventually “Spectrum.”
So far, Monica Rambeau hasn’t been confirmed to appear in Captain Marvel, but even if she doesn’t, she’s got a direct connection to the film.
A set of newly released images from the Captain Marvel reveals that, in her days as a fighter pilot, Carol Danvers flew alongside a pilot named Maria Rambeau, played in the film by Lashana Lynch. In comic books, Maria Rambeau is actually Monica’s mother’s name – which means its likely no coincidence that Entertainment Weekly describes Maria as having a young daughter.
What’s more, Maria Rambeau’s pilot callsign is none other than “Photon” – the second codename used by Monica Rambeau. Could this mean that Monica will appear as Maria Rambeau’s young daughter in the film – and if so, does this mean an older, contemporary Monica could show up in a present-day MCU film? Time will tell.
Captain Marvel is due out in theaters March 8, 2019.