MCU Fans Shut Down Concept of Captain Marvel Being a ‘Mary Sue’ Character

One of the newest, and most powerful, additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the human test pilot turned noble space-warrior hero Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel. The hero has superhuman strength, the ability to fly through space, and a pretty cool costume. Many Marvel fans, however, seem to have issues with Captain Marvel. This is not true for all Marvel-lovers, as many fiercely defend the hero who always gets up to fight, even when facing the toughest odds. Who is Captain Marvel, and what do the fiercely loyal fans of the MCU say about her? 

Brie Larson smiling, turned slightly to the side wearing white
Brie Larson | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Who is Captain Marvel?

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Captain Marvel, Earth-name Carol Danvers, is played by Brie Larson and has appeared in her self-titled debut Captain Marvel and Avengers: EndgameIn the films, Danvers is an Air Force test pilot who receives her power following a plane crash. She is taken by an alien race named the Kree, and renamed “Vers.” She is given powers by the Kree and becomes a member of the elite Starforce group. After a series of flashbacks while on Earth with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and her friends Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and her daughter Monica (Akira Akbar), eventually, “Vers” remembers who she truly is, and becomes the hero she was born to be. After leaving Earth to help alien races in trouble, Captain Marvel returns 23 years later to once again save her home planet, by helping The Avengers in their fight against the powerful and ultra-devastating Thanos. Larson’s portrayal of Captain Marvel is meant to combine elements of comedy and inspiration, but it is not enjoyed by all members of the MCU fandom. 

Why have people called Captain Marvel a Mary Sue character?

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Larson has received a fair amount of unfair criticism for her portrayal of Captain Marvel. According to ScreenRant, MCU fans have knocked Larson for a variety of reasons concerning the character. Some complain the Oscar-winning actress does not have the correct physique to play the superhero, or that the delivery of her lines do not fit the character. Larson seems to brush the criticism aside, and focus on the many passionate fans who adore her character and see her as an inspiration.

One of the most popular criticisms hurled against the character is that she is a “Mary Sue” character. This term is commonly used as a reference is to a female character that is considered so powerful that she is ridiculous and lessened. This character is said to have no flaws or weaknesses, which takes away from their believability. “Gary Stu” is the male equivalent for the term, but it is not as popular in the discourse surrounding popular characters. Many people believe that “Mary Sue” is a sexist term used by fans who cannot a powerful woman character or superhero. 

Fan reaction and defense of the character

Not all fans feel that Captain Marvel is a “Mary Sue” character. For the number of fan complaints against the hero, there is also a great deal of loving fans who defend Carol Danvers and her powers. These supporters have taken to Twitter and Quora to defend the hero. These fans note that in Captain Marvel, Danvers receives her powers as a result of the Tesseract exploding, and residual energy fusing with her body. She also trains with the elite force of Kree warriors and holds the power of the Supreme Intelligence, an additional source of incredible strength. These combined sources create a hero of intense power, which is why she can do things that other Marvel characters cannot dream of. Many fans point out that male Marvel heroes like Thor and Iron Man exhibit similar characteristics to Captain Marvel, but do not receive the same criticism. It will be interesting to see if Captain Marvel’s character will receive any changes in the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, as well as future Avengers films.