'Captain Marvel's Powers Explained

The events of Captain Marvel add new wrinkles to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, showing an unexplored era in the history of the superhero franchise.

The movie also twists the comic origin of Carol Danvers, paying homage to the original stories while also making it fit in the larger tapestry of Marvel Studios. With the inclusion of an Infinity Stone, it looks like Captain Marvel will play a large role in the future.

Warning: Minor spoilers for Captain Marvel below.

Over the course of Marvel Comics history, Captain Marvel has been shown to be a character with similar power levels and abilities to Superman from the DC Comics universe, including super strength, flight, and the ability to project energy blasts (Superman has heat vision, Captain Marvel shoots energy out of her hands).

The movie further defined her power set, however, showing that she cannot fly at will much like other heroes in the MCU, and that she either has to use her hands much like Tony Stark uses the gloves on his Iron Man suit to guide his repulsor blasts. That, or she goes binary, making her a beacon of energy and giving her near-limitless power.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Carol Danvers does not have super speed, she cannot travel through time, and she is not invulnerable. But she does have super strength, she can project energy blasts, and she does absorb energy which enables her to power up in her binary form, allowing her to fly without focusing her hands AND blast projectiles at the same time.

In the comics, Carol Danvers' powers are the result of an explosion of a Kree device called the Psyche Magnetron, causing her genetic structure to match that of Mar-Vell's, the original Captain Marvel. The movie makes a twist on that origin, with Carol destroying a light-speed engine that derives power from the Tesseract AKA the Space Stone.

But Mar-Vell's dead body is also caught in the blast, and fans speculate that Carol is given both Mar-Vell's abilities as well as energy control stemming from the Space Stone.

We'll likely find out more of what Captain Marvel can do, and the limits of her powers, when Avengers: Endgame premieres next month.

Captain Marvel is now playing in theaters.

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