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Meet the Marvels - All of the Marvel heroes (and villains) of Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Marvel Boy, and more!
Captain Marvel & Captain Marvel
Marvel Comics

Marvel is more than a name, it’s a proud legacy. From masked mystery men to superpowered alien beings, the heroes and villains within the Marvel family have captivated readers for over 80 years.

With Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel premiering on Disney+ and the Marvels film hitting theaters in 2023, now is the perfect time to get to know the various Marvel-related characters from Marvel Comics.

Of course, with so many heroes, it’s understandable if you have some questions. What is the difference between Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel? How many Captain Marvels have their been? Not to worry, this handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about all the Marvel Universe heroes who have taken on the name Marvel.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)

Marvel hero
Name: Mar-Vell
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (1967)
Powers: Flight, energy blasts, teleportation, super-strength, and cosmic awareness
Other Codenames: None, but he did take on the human disguise of Dr. Walter Lawson
Bio: Mar-Vell was a member of the alien race known as the Kree. He was sent to Earth to spy on humanity for his homeworld, but developed a love for the planet. Mar-Vell protected Earth as Captain Marvel for years before dying of cancer.

Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)

Marvel hero
Name: Carol Danvers
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1967)
Powers: Enhanced strength, flight, speed, and energy manipulation
Other Codenames: Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird
Bio: Carol Danvers was an Air Force security chief when she first encountered Mar-Vell. Carol and Mar-Vell were caught in an explosion after a Kree device detonated, resulting in some startling changes for Danvers. Carol discovered that her body chemistry had been altered, giving her Kree physiology. Danvers used these powers to fight crime as Ms. Marvel before taking on the identity of Captain Marvel.

Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)

Marvel hero
Name: Kamala Khan
First Appearance: Captain Marvel #14 (2013)
Powers: Polymorphing, size alteration, and healing
Other Codenames: Mystic Marvel
Bio: Kamala Khan was a Muslim teenager that obsessed over superheroes. Kamala was exposed to a powerful vapor known as the Terrigen Mist, which gave her unusual powers. Taking inspiration from her idol Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan took on the identity of Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura)

Marvel hero
Name: Sharon Ventura
First Appearance: The Thing #27 (1985)
Powers: Enhanced strength and durability
Other Codenames: She-Thing
Bio: Sharon Ventura was a stuntwoman was agreed to undergo a special treatment from a shady individual known as the Power Broker. The treatment gave Sharon special powers, which led to her suiting up as Ms. Marvel and joining the Fantastic Four. After being exposed to cosmic rays, Sharon’s appearance was altered, giving her rocky skin, like her ex-boyfriend Ben Grimm.

Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)

Name: Monica Rambeau
Marvel hero
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982)
Powers: Light manipulation, energy manipulation, enhanced speed and flight
Other Codenames: Spectrum, Photon and Pulsar
Bio: Monica Rambeau was a harbor patrol agent whose body chemistry was altered after an encounter with a high tech weapon. The news media began calling her Captain Marvel, and for a time she led the Avengers.

Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell)

Marvel hero
Name: Genis-Vell
First Appearance: Silver Surfer Annual #6 (1993)
Powers: Enhanced strength, flight, power absorption, teleportation, and cosmic telekinesis
Other Codenames: Legacy and Photon
Bio: Genis-Vell is the son of Mar-Vell and a powerful Titanian called Elysius. As a Kree-Titanian hybrid, Genis-Vell is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. Genis-Vell’s heroic career was cut short when he was killed by the villainous Helmut Zemo.

Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell)

Marvel hero
Name: Phyla-Vell
First Appearance: Captain Marvel #16 (2003)
Powers: Enhanced strength, flight, energy absorption, and cosmic telekinesis
Other Codenames: Martyr and Quasar
Bio: Like her brother Genis-Vell, Phyla is the offspring of the Kree warrior Marv-Vell and the Titanian powerhouse Elysius . At one point Phyla tried to claim the Captain Marvel title, but eventually settled on the name Martyr. She fought alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy until she was killed by the villain Thanos.

Ms. Marvel (Karla Sofen)

Marvel hero
Name: Karla Sofen
First Appearance: Captain America #192 (1975)
Powers: Enhanced strength, flight, energy manipulation, and intangibility
Other Codenames: Moonstone, Meteorite, and Captain Marvel
Bio: Karla Sofen was a corrupt psychiatrist who was given powers from a Kree artifact known as the Moonstone. Dr. Sofen became the villainous Moonstone and embarked on a life of crime. During her time with Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers, Dr. Sofen briefly co-opted the identities of Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel (Khn’nr)

Marvel hero
Name: Khn’nr
First Appearance: Civil War: The Return #1 (2007)
Powers: Shapeshifting, enhanced strength, flight, and energy manipulation
Other Codenames: None
Bio: Khn’nr was a Skrull, a shapeshifting race of aliens who use their abilities for espionage. Khn’nr was sent to Earth disguised as the deceased Mar-Vell, but his mental conditioning went wrong, causing the Skrull to believe he truly was the Kree hero. When the Skrulls launched an attack on Earth, Khn’nr sided with humanity. Khn’nr gave his life protecting the planet, feeling that he honored Mar-Vell’s legacy.

Marvel Boy (Bob Grayson)

Marvel hero
Name: Bob Grayson
First Appearance: Marvel Boy #1 (1950)
Powers: Enhanced strength, gravity manipulation, light manipulation, and telepathy
Other Codenames: Uranian and Crusader
Bio: Bob Grayson was the child of a scientist named Matthew Grabshied who was horrified by the carnage in Nazi Germany. Grabshied built a rocket, and fled Earth with his son. Bob grew up on Uranus, where the generous Uranians helped him learn the secrets of their extraordinary abilities. After coming of age, Bob returned to Earth and used his Uranian abilities and technology to battle evil as Marvel Boy.

Blue Marvel (Adam Brashear)

Marvel hero
Name: Adam Brashear
First Appearance: Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1 (2008)
Powers: Enhanced strength, speed, flight, and energy manipulation
Other Codenames: None
Bio: While experimenting with a gateway to the Negative Zone, a military veteran named Adam Brashear was given special abilities. Brashear used his new powers to fight evil as Blue Marvel.

Marvel Woman (Marlene Brashear)

Marvel hero
Name: Marlene Brashear
First Appearance: Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever #1 (2015)
Powers: Positive and negative energy projection
Other Codenames: None
Bio: Marlene Brashear is an Avenger from the future who traveled back in time to prevent the rise of a deadly villain. Marlene is a descendant of Adam Brashear, but it’s unknown if she’s his child or grandchild.

Marvel Man (Wendell Vaughn)

Marvel hero
Name: Wendell Vaughn
First Appearance: Captain America #217 (1977)
Powers: Flight, energy manipulation, teleportation, and cosmic awareness
Other Codenames: Quasar and Marvel Boy
Bio: Wendell Vaughn was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who became a hero after donning a powerful weapon known as Quantum Bands to fight off terrorist A.I.M. agents. He took on the name Marvel Boy and continued his work with S.H.I.E.L.D. before going on a series of cosmic adventures as Marvel Man and Quasar.

Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr)

Marvel hero
Name: Noh-Varr
First Appearance: Marvel Boy #1 (2000)
Powers: Enhanced strength, super contortion, energy blasts, wall-crawling, and poisonous nails
Other Codenames: Captain Marvel and Protector
Bio: Noh-Varr is a member of the Kree empire with cockroach genes and nanobots injected into his body. Originally from another reality, Noh-Varr found himself marooned in the mainstream Marvel Universe. Noh-Varr initially declared war on the human race, but the dying words of Khn’nr inspired him to become a hero.

Marvel Boy (Martin Simon Burns)

Marvel hero
Name: Martin Simon Burns
First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics #6 (1940)
Powers: Enhanced strength, enhanced speed, and durability
Other Codenames: Hercules
Bio: When the god Hercules observed the rise of the Nazi empire, he decided to fight back. Reincarnated as a schoolboy named Martin Simon Burns, Hercules battled evil as the costumed adventurer Marvel Boy.

Marvel Boy (Martin Oksner Burns)

Marvel hero
Name: Martin Oksner Burns
First Appearance: U.S.A. Comics #7 (1942)
Powers: Enhanced strength and speed
Other Codenames: None
Bio: Martin Oksner Burns was a high school student whose life was changed during a trip to a museum. When the casket of Hercules fell onto Martin, the blood of the ancient god spilled onto his open wound, altering the boy’s body chemistry. Gifted with the powers of Hercules, Martin suited up to fight crime as Marvel Boy. Although his identity and origin are similar to Martin Simon Burns, All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update #4 (2007) confirmed that they were separate characters.

Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik)

Marvel hero
Name: Vance Astrovik
First Appearance: Giant-Size Defenders #5 (1975)
Powers: Telekinesis and flight
Other Codenames: Justice
Bio: During his teen years Vance Astrovik was visited by an older version of himself from the future . The encounter triggered Vance’s latent telekinetic abilities. Vance decided to use his mutant abilities to become a superhero, and adopted the identity Marvel Boy. He later helped form the superhero group the New Warriors, and rebranded himself as Justice.

Marvel Boy (David Christopher Bank)

Marvel hero
Name: David Christopher Bank
First Appearance: Justice: Four Balance #4 (1994)
Powers: Flight and energy blasts
Other Codenames: None
Bio: David Christopher Bank comes from a bloodline where each firstborn son develops powers after puberty. David’s father tried to force his son into superheroics, but his aggressive coaching caused Justice to intervene. After defusing the situation, Justice gave David some advice and encouragement. A few days later, he sent David a Marvel Boy costume, passing the mantle onto him.

Minister Marvel

Marvel hero
Name: Real name unknown
First Appearance: Secret Avengers #26 (2012)
Powers: None
Other Codenames: None
Bio: The unnamed Kree was the nephew of Mar-Vell. He adopted the persona of Minister Marvel, hoping it would redeem the name for the Kree race. Minister Marvel ruled the planet Hala, and hoped that the powerful entity known as Phoenix would lead the Kree to greatness. Minister Marvel took his own life when things didn’t go as planned.

Black Marvel (Daniel Lyons)

Marvel hero
Name: Daniel Lyons
First Appearance: Mystic Comics #5 (1940)
Powers: None – but he was a good fighter
Other Codenames: None
Bio: The Black Marvel was an identity passed on through generations within the Native American Blackfeet tribe. Although Daniel Lyons was an outsider, he participated in the trials to repay his debt to their chief. Lyons passed, earning the costume and identity of the Black Marvel. Lyons operated as an adventurer for years before retiring. He later mentored a group of young heroes known as the Slingers.

Masked Marvel (Adam Austin)

Marvel hero
Name: Adam Austin
First Appearance: Young Avengers #12 (2006)
Powers: Flight, energy projection, and atomic punch
Other Codenames: None
Bio: Masked Marvel is a superpowered being who is secretly a freelance comic book writer named Adam Austin. Seeking to raise his superhero profile, Austin successfully pitched a Masked Marvel series to Marvel Comics . As of this writing Masked Marvel’s origin hasn’t been chronicled.

Honorable Mentions

Marvel hero
Jean Grey and various characters within the X-Men franchise have gone by the name Marvel Girl. Although they aren’t closely associated with the cosmic Marvel family of characters, this list wouldn’t be comprehensive if we overlooked Jean.

Marvel Mania

With Marvel Studios releasing a film called The Marvels in 2023, we can’t help but wonder if we’ll be introduced to more live-action versions of characters from this list. Whether they make it to the big screen or not, these characters have a legacy that one can’t help but admire. Whether it’s cosmic odysseys or crime noir, it has been nothing short of – well – marvelous.


Can't get enough? Make sure you've read all our recommended best Marvel Comics stories of all time.

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About the Author

Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.

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