Is the original Captain Marvel being resurrected? Marvel is still making us guess

Marvel has been playing around with the idea of a return of Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel in the upcoming ‘The Last of the Marvels,’ the latest story arc in writer Kelly Thompson’s Captain Marvel series starring Carol Danvers…

And they’re still playing around with it. 

The publisher continues to hint at his return without fully committing to it, its latest tease being this Stanley “Artgerm’ Lau cover to November’s Captain Marvel #34 (opens in new tab) variant cover. 

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Captain Marvel #34 cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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The story arc features a mysterious villain who targets past and present holders of the Captain Marvel mantle, and stars past Captain Marvels and heroes inspired by its legacy including the previously deceased Genis-Vell (Mar-Vell’s son), Kamala Khan (AKA Captain Marvel fangirl Ms. Marvel), and “perhaps even Mar-Vell himself” according to the publisher. 

One of Marvel’s last Silver Age heroes (created in 1967), Mar-Vell died of cancer in the 1982 original graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel (opens in new tab) by Thanos creator Jim Starlin. In addition to being Marvel’s very first original graphic novel guest-starring a who’s who of Marvel heroes at the time, the storyline juxtaposed superheroics with mature, relatable real-life tragedy (a unique approach at the time) and stood out as a landmark comic book event. 

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1982’s The Death of Captain Marvel (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Mar-Vell has technically been resurrected on two occasions, but wound up dying again in the same storylines he was brought back to life in, making his returns something of a story device. He’s one of the few comic book superheroes that hasn’t been brought back to life after their death and stayed that way indefinitely or permanently, which still somewhat accentuates the impact of the graphic novel. But it looks like his time may have finally come.

Marvel is openly asking if he’ll make his “grand return” to help combat the new threat and and “restore hope for Carol and the Captain Marvel name.”

Given the lengths it’s going through to tease the outcome, it appears this time he’ll be genuinely returning. 

For MCU fans, Mar-Vell was loosely adapted and gender-swapped in 2019’s Captain Marvel played by Annette Bening. 

Captain Marvel #34 with art by Sergio Davila, and covers by Iban Coello and Artgerm, goes on sale November 17.

Whether he does or does not, Newsarama takes a look at the comic book character deaths that still matter

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