“Could Captain Marvel Beat The Avengers In A Fight?”
When it comes to heavy hitters in Marvel Comics, few characters are at the level of Carol Danvers. The current holder of the Captain Marvel name (excluding that SHAZAM kid over at DC), the former Major in the US Air Force has a long history of battling intergalactic threats—and becoming more and more powerful with each adventure.
Her many exploits in Marvel Comics have gifted her a pantheon of powers and abilities, so many in fact that some fans have suggested she may even be more powerful than all the Avengers combined. The question that has popped up among nerd circles since her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (played by Brie Larson) is could Captain Marvel beat the Avengers in a fight?
It is not an easy question to answer, as there have been MANY incarnations of the Avengers since their first appearance in 1963. For the sake of this debate, only certain team members will be included and examined; specifically the first two incarnations of the MCU cast, their first appearance in comics, and several other top-tier super-humans who have served on their roster.
While some nerds may scoff at the idea of any single hero being able to take on the entirety of the Avengers, it cannot be denied that Captain Marvel is powerful to a near god-tier level. Even Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige declared Carol to be the MCU’s most powerful character (though he has since walked this claim back a bit). On top of being a trained military vet on Earth, Carol’s DNA was also fused with that of a great Kree warrior named Mar-Vell, her predecessor.
This transformation gave her an enhanced immune system, a healing factor, toughened muscle tissue, and enhanced perception. On top of having Kree blood, Danvers also received a stacked list of additional cosmic powers courtesy of an encounter with a white hole space anomaly; those powers include flight, energy manipulation, and the ability to channel the force and gravity of a star. Her ability to absorb and convert any form of energy also means she almost never runs out of juice (unless she’s saving a sun or performing some other psychics-breaking feat).
Carol’s prior experience as a pilot makes her a force to be reckoned with in the air, with or without a vehicle. While her top speed when flying is clocked somewhere between three to six times the speed of sound, her “Binary Form” grants her faster-than-light travel and the ability to survive in space. This makes Captain Marvel not just a worthy adversary against the Avengers, but against most of the cast of the Dragon Ball franchise as well.
When looking at which roster of the Avengers could square up against Carol Danvers, it becomes clear that Captain Marvel has the odds in her favor more often than not. Against Joss Whedon’s original roster in 2012’s Avengers? Carol would murder them. Hawkeye and Black Widow would be the first casualties, blown to pieces by photonic hand-blasts. Next she would hurl Captain America into space, where Steve would likely turn back into a “Capsicle.”
The combined might of Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk would be a problem, but eventually, she would outlast them. Tony’s suits can only take so much heat and pressure before they break, and with him out of the way Thor and Hulk would have to close the distance on her as she flew circles around them while raining down nuclear hellfire.
Of course, that’s not to say that Hulk and Thor are pushovers. The Hulk is essentially immortal (and once held together a tectonic plate) while Thor, when imbued with the power of the Odin Force, is essentially the strongest being in the universe. But being unkillable and being unbeatable aren’t the same thing, and wielding the Odin Force is highly conditional (for starters, Odin has to be dead for it to pass onto another Asgardian).
Without the Power of the All-Father, Captain Marvel’s speed would prove to be too much for Thor to handle. Although Thor’s legendary hammer Mjolnir allows him to travel near light-speed while in space, his speed while traveling in Earth’s atmosphere is estimated to be roughly the speed of sound, significantly slower than Carol.
And even though the Hulk claims to be the strongest being in the universe (he’s not), his inability to fly would make it nearly impossible for him to deliver a knock-out blow, especially considering Carol’s body can absorb kinetic energy. Also, her ability to control gravity and electromagnetic energy would allow Captain Marvel to simply fling the Hulk Magneto-style straight into the sun, taking him out of the fight.
Add in the additional Age of Ultron cast to the fight, however, and Carol would have a big problem on her hands. Though Quicksilver wouldn’t be much of an issue for Danvers, his sister could definitely go toe-to-toe with Princess Sparklefists. Although Quicksilver’s top speed clocks in higher than Carol’s, that won’t help him in this fight since Carol’s hyper perception grants her precognition and cosmic awareness.
Using her own version of the “spider-sense,” she could predict his path before he even took a single step, and unlike Quicksilver she isn’t stuck on the ground. Eventually, she would explode the earth from right under his feet. That said, Pietro’s sister Wanda wouldn’t go down so easily.
Though the cinematic version of Scarlet Witch would definitely lose in a fight with Captain Marvel, comic book Scarlet Witch wields god-tier powers of her own. In 2005’s House of M limited series, Wanda suffered from a mental breakdown that led to her altering the fabric of reality. It should also be noted that Feige once claimed that Scarlet Witch could kill Thanos.
A fight between Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel is a tough battle to call. It has been suggested that Carol has the ability to alter reality in her own ways thanks to the “Psyche-Magnitron,” which granted her all the powers and abilities of her benefactor Mar-Vell. Among these abilities is a universal awareness so great that it allows her to bend events to her will. On top of this, Mar-Vell also had the power to teleport and cast illusions, so it is likely Carol possesses these powers as well.
In a battle with Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel would need to strike quickly and decisively since much of her defensive strength would be negated by Wanda’s use of magic. Carol’s “star powers” include absorbing all forms of energy including heat, the electromagnetic spectrum, and other forms of radiation. This also sometimes includes powers emitted from cosmic beings, but she has had difficulty against magic in the past.
Scarlet Witch’s ability to warp reality through chaos magic is likely one of the few things that could potentially bring down Captain Marvel. But given that Carol can essentially go Super Saiyan in her Binary Form it’s unlikely that even chaos energy would be enough to stop the force and gravity of a supernova.
But even if Wanda failed to K.O. Carol, there’s still the Vision to contend with. Though his infrared and microwave beams wouldn’t be enough to even tickle Captain Marvel, his ability to manipulate his own density would be a pesky power to overcome, even for someone with the power of an exploding star at her command. One signature move of the Vision’s is to phase an intangible hand into an enemy and then rematerialize it, thus incapacitating them.
Though this alone wouldn’t be enough to bring down Carol, the tactical strength of Wanda/Vision would likely overwhelm her. If Vision could keep Carol busy as Wanda tossed spells her way, she would eventually drop out of the fight simply from sheer exhaustion.
It’s fairly certain that the comic book versions of the AoU roster could beat Carol in a 1v9 battle, but taking on the original comic book team wouldn’t require much of a challenge at all. The first roster of the Avengers still had the Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor (and later Captain America), but also included size-shifting heroes Ant-Man and the Wasp.
In most circumstances their mass-altering powers give them a major advantage in a fight, going microscopic to enter their target’s body and then growing to incapacitate them, but this wouldn’t work on Carol. Part of her energy manipulation powers include the ability to control her own body temperature. Should Ant-Man or Wasp invade her body, all she would have to do is internally roast them while they’re swimming through her bloodstream.
As previously stated, the Avengers have recruited many super-powered beings into their club; including Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, the Sentry, and even Captain Marvel herself. If the Avengers were to stack their team with nothing but their previous A-listers, then Danvers wouldn’t stand a chance.
Doctor Strange holds the title of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, meaning he is considered the mightiest magician in the cosmos. With a long list Satanic powers at his beck and call, Robbie Reyes (AKA Ghost Rider) can conjure portals, regenerate, wield nearly unbreakable demonic chains, banish people to hell, and cook people with their own karmic backlash using his penance stare. As for the Sentry, his stacked list of abilities is so hilariously overpowered that he makes Superman look like a wimp.
And there is one former Avenger to have thoroughly defeated Carol early on in her career, X-Men’s Rogue. The old feud between the two characters began in 1981’s Avengers Annual #10 and was fleshed out in greater detail in Marvel Super-Heroes #11. Long story short, Rogue attacked Carol, using her power-absorbing abilities to knock her out and throw her off the Golden Gate Bridge. However, she held onto Carol for too long and ended up stealing not only her abilities but all her memories as well. Mind-wiped of her past, Carol was taken in by Charles Xavier, who slowly helped her recover.
Any of these heroes could prove to be a challenge to Captain Marvel in a solo flight, but combine any one of them with Scarlet Witch and Carol’s goose is cooked. Looking at the various rosters over their near 60-year tenure, it becomes clear that the question isn’t so much “could Captain Marvel beat the Avengers,” but rather “how many of the their members could Captain Marvel beat up?”
The answer to this question is quite a few of them, with a few big exceptions such as Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Doctor Strange, the Sentry, and Ghost Rider. Lesser-known Avengers such as Sersi, Hyperion, and Blue Marvel could also take on Captain Marvel in a 1v1 fight, and could easily defeat her when teaming up.
But having the most raw power doesn’t always make someone the greatest warrior. Though she may not be the strongest being in the universe, Captain Marvel is a force to be reckoned with even without the Kree DNA transfusion or the encounter with a white hole phenomenon. To put it plainly, Carol Danvers is one of the most proficient ass-kickers to ever serve on the Avengers.
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