In the many years since the superhero first showed up (and remember, prototypical guys like Zorro, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Mandrake predate the Man Of Steel, some by several decades), there have been literally thousands of guys fighting for truth, justice and the almighty buck.  Naturally, there has been some overlap of abilities, costumes and names in the intervening century, which has occasionally led to some tap-dancing around intellectual property.  Marvel Comics Kree Captain Marvel has often been known by an obnoxious portmanteau of his real name, Captain Mar-Vell, while Fawcett/DC’s big red cheese has recently had his name changed to Shazam.  As for Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau, she has had more costumed identities than Henry Pym, in a much shorter timeframe, and has recently changed again to call herself Spectrum, but that’s not important right now…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would like to stress that we’re NOT talking most powerful, best or most iconic, ’cause I think the Batson kid will sweep those categories easy, asking: Who’s your favorite Captain Marvel of all?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Ricco
    July 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    1 word, seven letters: SHAZAM!

    He predates Superman for Pete’s sake, plus the “outer a word then turn into a super hero” is a classic trope.

    • July 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm — Reply

      Captain Marvel does not predate Superman. His first appearance was in Whiz Comics #2, about 18 months after Superman’s June 1938 debut.

      Check it out here:

      • Ricco
        July 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm — Reply

        Oh, that’s odd I was going from your own info. You have said in the past how he existed before Superman and it was one of the reason Superman was vulnerable to magic.

        Something about the original been a foil for the copy or something like that, but I have heard pretty much every podcast in majorspoilers forums multiple times.

        For all I know I have several pieces of comments slapped together into a comment you actually never said…

        • July 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm — Reply

          I do believe that you’ve conflated several things into one, but in any case, Superman predating Captain Marvel is a large part of the reason Fawcett Comics doesn’t exist any more…

          • Ricco
            July 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm — Reply


  2. Oldcomicfan
    July 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm — Reply

    Billy Batson/Captain Marvel – he’s the original, for Pete’s sake, and everything else was just an attempt to cash in on the name of a (nearly) defunct classic character by publishers who didn’t own the rights. You can’t beat Captain Marvel for pure, unadulterated silliness, and I believe that we probably wouldn’t have gotten a “Superman Family” if Captain Marvel didn’t have a Captain Marvel Junior and a Mary Marvel. Not that the whole “Superman Family” schock from the fifties and sixties was a good thing.

    Admittedly, I liked the fake Captain Mar-Vel when Jim Starlin drew him, but then again, Starlin’s Adam Warlock was essentially the same character only without the Nega Bands or Mega Bands or whatever they called them. His Death of Captain Marvel was a classic. Either DC or Marvel should either sh!+ or get off the pot and buy (or sell) off the rights so there’s only one.

  3. Russ Catt
    July 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Definitely Mar-Vell of Kree. His battles against Thanos are legendary. His battle against cancer was extremely moving.

  4. July 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    Billy Batson because he’s the one living the dream we all had as kids. Say a magic word and turn into a superhero? Is there anybody here that hasn’t dreamed they could do something like that?

  5. July 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm — Reply

    It may have been Billy Batson for me if I had head of him AS a kid – it would have been the ultimate fantasy. But by the time I had heard of him it was just another interesting new spin on superpowers and alter egos amongst a great, great number of the same.
    So, for me, my favourite one is the current Captain Marvel – Carol Danvers, but only because i’ve gotten to know her better than any of the others.

  6. Troy
    July 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm — Reply

    I liked Genis Vell. Even though his name was kinda dumb, he looked really awesome. Plus Rick Jones’ girlfriend was a total betty.

  7. Ian
    July 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm — Reply


  8. Luis Dantas
    July 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm — Reply

    I’m not sure Billy should be considered best or even most powerful among the Captains Marvel. He is usually written as quite the underarchiever, and Genis-Vell is a considerably better character.

  9. July 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm — Reply

    He was more popular than Superman in the 40’s. He is the earliest stuntcasting that I know of as well. Fred MacMurray was the basis of Captain Marvel. His protégé Captain Marvel Jr. was then one of the biggest comics of his time and influenced the jumpsuit of Elvis.
    From a hero standpoint, he is the total package and will mop the floor with that Mar-vell poser.

  10. July 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm — Reply

    I’ve never been a big Captain Marvel or Mar-vell fan.

  11. Zombi
    July 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm — Reply

    Monica Rambeau, and it still sticks in my craw that the title was taken away from her by some hacks. Glad someone is finally remembering that she actually LEAD the Avengers for a spell

  12. July 7, 2013 at 12:47 am — Reply

    Am I really the first person to name Carol Danvers as their favorite Captain Marvel? Granted she’s been Ms Marvel for most of her career (when she wasn’t in space or rightfully drinking her ass off), but I’ve loved her current ongoing.

    Now if only a consistent artist could be maintained.

    • July 7, 2013 at 2:11 am — Reply

      I feel so invisible.

  13. Luis Dantas
    July 7, 2013 at 1:18 am — Reply

    It sure beats her previous series, although to be fair that was an editorial / writing failure as opposed to a character issue. The stories simply rarely had Carol as a particularly engaging character in her own series.

    • July 7, 2013 at 10:38 am — Reply

      Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 suffered from a serious case of “Hey, this jerkass emotionally abusive character works in Green Lantern!” The new series has been a good read, but, as many have pointed out, an artistic rollercoaster.

  14. bob
    July 7, 2013 at 8:03 am — Reply

    I have to go with the original, Billy Batson. I grew up on DC, and in the early 70’s there was the live action Shazam/Isis show. That kept me on many DC characters, even when my friends were raving over things at Marvel.
    The fact that DC let the copyright run out, allowing Marvel to scoop it from them is probably one of the biggest mistakes they ever did.
    Creating Zero Hour and wiping out a lot of hero histories is still the biggest and the reason I stopped buying comics.

  15. aerohalen1
    July 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm — Reply

    Carol Danvers

  16. Lee Goldberg
    July 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm — Reply

    There will only be one Captain Marvel. The original is still the best!

  17. July 24, 2013 at 11:46 am — Reply

    This is even a question? As much as I loved Mar-Vell I hated them using that name. It’s always been Captain Mar-Vell to me since few people in the Marvel U ever really called him Captain Marvel. I am still upset that the current version is not Captain Marvel but is instead Shazam. It’s just not the same despite the great art in that backup series.

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