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Quote1 I strongly believe in the importance of each of the cultures that make up our country, and the pride we should each have in them. "I speak without concern for the accusations / that I am too much or too little woman / that I am too Black or too white / or too much myself / and through my lips comes the voices / of the ghosts of our ancestors / living and moving among us." That poem was written by an African-American lesbian -- but, in my opinion, the sentiment speaks to every American -- no one should have to be ashamed of their culture, or who they in large part are. Quote2
Captain Marvel[src]

Demonstrating light and energy manipulation at a young age,[14] Monica Rambeau hid and suppressed those abilities until she was bombarded with extra-dimensional energy emitted by a stolen device.[15] Rambeau, now a harbor patrol officer, then discovered an ability to convert her body mass into any form of energy of the electromagnetic spectrum, granting her the alias of Captain Marvel.[2] Unable to achieve success in the navy as she faced adversities as a black woman, Rambeau met recognition with the Avengers.[16] Her competence led her to become one of the most trustworthy members of the group and, in due course, their chairwoman.[17]

Succumbing to a tragic fate when the Avengers were betrayed by Doctor Druid, Rambeau was once gravely wounded in combat and lost her powers.[18] After a slow recovery,[19] she was welcomed back to the Avengers, sporadically assisting the team in times of need[20] under the name Photon.[9] In another dramatic turn of events, Rambeau was manipulated by the Beyond Corporation into commanding their super hero team, Nextwave. Upon learning their vile intentions, Rambeau and her team went rogue and dismantled Beyond. However, she was forever scarred by such an experience, having her personality drastically changed by it.[21]

As Spectrum,[22] Rambeau became a prominent super hero as a member of the Mighty Avengers,[4] the Ultimates,[23] and Strikeforce.[24] Having her power levels significantly augmented,[25] Rambeau struggled with feeling distant from her sense of humanity. Unexpectedly, after battling the goddess of the night, Nyx, her powers declined, allowing her to become human again.[26] More recently, she returned to her Photon identity and embarked on a self-discovery journey.[1]


Captain Marvel[]

Preschool Monica Rambeau, looking annoyed, using light powers from a window.

Pre-school Monica Rambeau fries a yapping dog

Monica Rambeau was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the daughter of Maria Rambeau, a successful seamstress, and firefighter Frank Rambeau.[27] At a very young age, Rambeau demonstrated power to control light,[14] however, as she got older she hid those powers in fear of being stigmatized as a mutant, and eventually suppressed the memory of them existing.[15] Rambeau worked as a New Orleans Harbor Patrol lieutenant and, as a black woman, faced difficulties to ascend to the rank of captain.[2][15]

Fate came upon her one day when she met Professor André LeClare, a friend of her late grandfather, who approached her seeking help in retrieving a energy-draining device which had been usurped by his rogue assistant, Felipe Picaro. Rambeau traveled with LeClare by bravely captaining a boat to a Roxxon oil rig on the Gulf of Mexico. She infiltrated the oil tower by gaining Picaro's trust via seduction and stripping down to her underwear. Regrettably, LeClare was found by security guards when trying to deactivate the dangerous mechanism, revealing their plan. When Picaro attempted to use the energy disruptor to obliterate Fort Benning, Rambeau destroyed the equipment with her bare hands and the extra-dimensional energy caused her powers to manifest.[2]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Annual Vol 1 16 003

Monica Rambeau inadvertently creates conditions for her powers to reemerge

With the ability to convert her body mass into any form of electromagnetic energy, Rambeau found herself back to New Orleans, where she designed a super hero costume by combining pieces of Mardi Gras outfits from a storage warehouse. With her new powers, she returned to the oil rig, rescuing LeClare and preventing the disruptor from damaging the fabric of the universe. Her actions caught the attention of the media, which referred to her as Captain Marvel. Finally, a captain by her own merit, Rambeau decided to resign from the navy.[2]


Weeks later, Captain Marvel visited New York City, seeking Reed Richards' help to keep her power levels stable. There, she was spotted by Spider-Man, whose spider-sense led him to believe she might pose a threat. At the Baxter Building, the Thing suggested her to contact the Avengers since Richards was not available. In the Avengers Mansion, after clearing up a brief misunderstanding with Spider-Man, Captain Marvel was finally assisted by Iron Man, who siphoned the excessive energy from her body.[2]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Annual Vol 1 16 001

Captain Marvel arrives in New York City

The Wasp then invited Captain Marvel to become an Avenger-in-training. Jarvis took this opportunity to introduce Rambeau to the history of the previous Captain Marvel, the Kree alien Mar-Vell.[16] Captain Marvel soon proved to be an inspirational addition to the team as seen in her first adventure against Egghead's Masters of Evil, during the trial of Hank Pym.[28]

Captain Marvel rapidly earned full Avengers membership and took part in several missions, such as saving Nick Fury and the president from Plantman,[29] helping the Hulk fight the Leader,[30] preventing Annihilus from invading Earth[31] and defeating Maximus the Mad alongside the Inhumans.[32] During this initial period of her super-hero career, she dwelt on not feeling worthy of Mar-Vell's mantle, especially because she was working with one of Mar-Vell's closest friends, the Avenger Starfox.[33] Regardless, as time passed by, Captain Marvel became a respected heroine, accomplishing additional victories over the Wizard,[34] Blackout and Moonstone,[35] Morgan le Fay,[36] and the Dire Wraiths.[37]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 233 001

Energy form

In between her activities as an Avenger, Captain Marvel also dealt with personal affairs. Being able to travel at the speed of light, she maintained residence in New Orleans. There, she managed to invest her money in a boat to satisfy her love for captaining ships and planned to set up a small naval business in the future.[35] Moreover, as being part of the group of Avengers that were unwillingly transported to Battleworld by the Beyonder, Captain Marvel found herself worried about keeping her parents ignorant of her dangerous double life as a super-hero.[38] Fortunately, upon learning the truth, her parents expressed how proud they were of their daughter being an Avenger, even though they worried deeply for her safety.[39]

When the organization known as P.R.I.D.E. attempted to steal Roxxon's Technafoil and New York Maritime museum's Windstone Jewel, Captain Marvel found herself teaming up with Spider-Man again to stop the robbers. At P.R.I.D.E.'s headquarters, the super-hero duo learnt that Dr. Paulson planned to solve Earth's overpopulation problem by banishing people to another dimension. Although the threat was eliminated by Captain Marvel and Spider-Man, the former found herself trapped in her light form after the battle for being exposed to P.R.I.D.E.'s technology.[40] With Starfox's help, Spider-Man travelled to the other dimension to deactivate P.R.I.D.E.'s generation and restore Captain Marvel's control over her powers.[41]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) and Eros (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 250 001

Praised by Starfox for her bravery

After Maelstrom and Deathurge struck against the Eternals and were defeated by the Avengers,[42] Maelstrom and his minions decided to target Earth's rotation patterns. Professor LeClare informed Captain Marvel about the dangerous consequences of this phenomenon, but, before she could contact the Avengers, she had her mind tampered with by Phobius. Ultimately, Captain Marvel managed to overcome her artificial fear and assisted the Avengers and the West Coast Avengers in defeating Maelstrom for good. Following this event, Starfox proudly shared that Monica represented an honorable tribute to Mar-Vell's memory.[43]

When the Avengers chairman, the Vision, was corrupted by the Titanian intelligence known as I.S.A.A.C., he tricked Captain Marvel into investigating a fake signal emanating from Thanos' starship, Sanctuary II, which was adrift in Pluto's orbit.[44] As she explored the dreadnought, she met a group of deceitful space pirates who teleported her to the Andromeda Galaxy, aiming to force her into their mercenary squad.[45] In order to protect herself, Captain Marvel learned how to create a hologram of herself using her powers, by staying in energy form but maintaining a powerless appearance.[46] However, she was unable to fool the crew's commander, the deadly Nebula, who blackmailed her into attacking a Skrull planetoid-base, as a part of a plan of conquering the Skrull Empire, recently weakened by Galactus' actions.[47]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 256 001

Creating a hologram of herself to fool Nebula

During the attack, Captain Marvel managed to contact the Avengers right before Nebula attempted to obliterate the planetoid using an anti-matter torpedo. The base was protected from destruction by Captain Marvel, who forged an alliance with Skrull General Zedrao and was eventually met by the Avengers, who had received her distress call.[48] The Avengers set their plan in motion to stop Nebula's invasion, with Captain Marvel being able to use her powers to power Sanctuary II's shields down. Unexpectedly, Nebula was teleported away by the Beyonder, who wished to assist the Avengers.[49] With the Skrulls' help, the Avengers tracked Nebula to Kral. The Avengers teamed up with the Fantastic Four to defeat the terrorist Zabyk, who detonated his Hyperwave Bomb, a device similar to the one which granted Captain Marvel her powers.[50] After this conflict, Captain Marvel was finally able to return to Earth with the Avengers.[51]

During a bizarre solar eclipse, the Avengers Mansion was infiltrated by the mysterious shadow parasite known as Mister E, Captain Marvel got infected, and her teammate Black Knight was gravely wounded, having his Ebony Blade stolen. The duo found unexpected help in the form of their enemy, Kang the Conqueror, and his ally Rocket Raccoon. Joined by Spider-Man, Captain Marvel and the unusual group followed Mister E to Knowhere.[52] There, Captain Marvel managed to hurt Mister E, separating it from its host, Alistaire Smythe. It was revealed by the Watcher that the Ebony Blade was an artifact capable of hurting Mister E's master, the king in black Knull. For that reason, the Watcher had sent Ulik the Troll to wield it.[53] Captain Marvel turned out to wield the Ebony Blade instead, under the Watcher's guide, managed to kill Mister E. Later on, Captain Marvel plunged the Ebony Blade into the darkness that covered the Sun, restoring its light. Knull, from his prison, felt her attack and swore revenge against his aggressor.[54]

When Captain America was captured by the Beyonder, the Avengers chairwoman, the Wasp, could not be found. Captain Marvel's tenability made her be chosen by the other Avengers to lead the mission.[55] The Beyonder was ultimately killed, but not before damaging Earth's core, leading Captain Marvel to ask for the help of the Silver Surfer and of the Molecule Man to restore it.[56]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 276 001

Trapped inside the Darkforce Dimension

Some time later, the Avengers confronted Kang the Conqueror, when Captain Marvel learned about some limitations of her abilities, such as her vulnerability to darkforce.[57] When the Avengers became targets of a variety of seemingly unrelated super-villains, Captain Marvel was put in contact with FBI agent Derek Freeman, whom she flirted with. Also, around this period, her teammate Black Knight helped her comprehend her powers better.[58] The recent attacks against the Avengers were revealed to have been orchestrated by Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil. In order to invade and destroy the Avengers Mansion, neutralizing Captain Marvel became one of their priorities.[59] She was tricked by Blackout, who trapped her in the Darkforce Dimension.[60] Captain Marvel only found her way out through another darkforce manipulator, the Shroud. She turned her attention back to the Avengers Mansion, where she took care of Blackout and Moonstone.[61] Captain Marvel then teamed up with the other Avengers to defeat and arrest Zemo, helping them to cope with the fact that their home had been violated by their enemies.[62]

Avengers Chairwoman[]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) and Steven Rogers (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 279 001

Accepting the offer to be the Avengers chairwoman

Following the battle against the Masters of Evil, the Wasp decided to take a leave of absence from the team[63] and Captain Marvel was nominated to become the new Avengers chairwoman. Under her parents' advice, she decided to accept the offer.[17] As her first crisis as a leader, Captain Marvel dealt with the disappearance of one of her teammates, the comatose Hercules. The Avengers were subsequently captured by Hercules' relatives as Zeus blamed them for his son's condition. Captain Marvel was knocked out by Artemis and Hermes.[64] Imprisoned by Pluto in Tartarus, the Avengers were liberated by Namor and went to the City of Olympus.[65] Personally confronting Zeus, Captain Marvel managed to wake Hercules up, and the Avengers defeated the Olympians.[66]

Captain Marvel's past came to haunt her when she was contacted by LeClare concerning her powers. This contact was in fact an ambush plan orchestrated by Picaro, who managed to affect Captain Marvel's energy form, causing it to be uncontrollable and hurt her. After messaging the real LeClare, Captain Marvel learned about the ruse. Picaro blackmailed Captain Marvel into transferring her powers to him by threatening LeClare's life. However, Captain Marvel managed to overpower Picaro's siphoning suit and incapacitated him.[67]

Avengers Vol 1 291 Promo

Leading the Avengers

Weeks later, Captain Marvel received from Derek Freeman information about the Fixer, one of the Masters of Evil. As the Avengers tried to capture the Fixer, Captain Marvel's actions as a field leader were secretly sabotaged by her teammate Doctor Druid, who tampered with the other Avengers' minds.[68] Discredited as a leader, Captain Marvel performed poorly in a following conflict against the Super-Adaptoid and his robotic allies, getting herself and the other Avengers kidnapped.[69] The group was ultimately saved by Captain America.[70]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 294 001

Powerless and debilitated after her accident

Doctor Druid's machinations to undermine Captain Marvel had severe consequences. When Namor's wife, Marrina, lost control over her abilities, Captain Marvel turned herself into lightning to boost an attack performed by Thor on the ocean. As a result she went missing in action.[71] A heavily injured Captain Marvel was then found by the Avengers. As her energy form scattered in the water, she found herself in a very debilitated state and was unable to activate her powers. Forced to leave the active roster, Captain Marvel was once more psychically manipulated by Doctor Druid and unwillingly appointed him as the new Avengers chairman.[18] Her dismissal ultimately caused the fall of the Avengers as a team.[72]


After a long recovering time,[73] Monica Rambeau started working as the captain of a cargo ship. When her ship was hijacked in the Caribbean Sea by Powderkeg and his minions, Captain Marvel witnessed the return of her energy-based abilities. Even though her powers behaved differently, she managed to overpower Powderkeg, but her actions caught the attention of Brazilian crime-lord Kristina Ramos. Captain Marvel learned about Ramos from her employer, Ron Morgan and decided to travel to Rio to recover a piece of Stark technology Ramos had stolen. In Rio, Captain Marvel found her former adversary, Moonstone, and a battle ensued. Although Captain Marvel was victorious, she was subsequently attacked by Ramos, who wore a Guardsman Armor. With the assistance of Jim Rhodes, Captain Marvel defeated Ramos. Able to rely on her powers once again, she was also put in charge of Morgan's shipping business.[19]

Captain Marvel Vol 2 1 Textless

Captain Marvel reborn!

Now recovered, Captain Marvel assisted the Avengers sporadically as a reserve member, such as when she fought in the battle to prevent the return of Set,[74] assisted other reserve Avengers to combat Awesome Android at the fallen Hydrobase,[75] and helped to destroy Terminus.[76] With the Avengers exiled in another dimension during a press conference, Captain Marvel even stepped in as chairwoman once again for a brief moment.[77] Captain Marvel also acted as a solo hero in New Orleans, where she managed to bond herself with more mundane issues of the world.[78]

When Earth was under threat due to the war between the Kree and the Shi'ar, the Avengers dispatched different teams to solve the conflict. Captain Marvel was assigned to lead the squadron sent to the Shi'ar Galaxy in order to convince the Imperium to stop using the Solar System Stargate.[79] Believed to be allies of the Kree, the Avengers were brutally attacked by the Shi'ar Gladiator, being ambushed by the Shi'ar armada.[80] As Captain Marvel attempted to negotiate with the Shi'ar Empire,[81] the Avengers learned about Shi'ar Majestrix Lilandra's intentions of detonating a Nega-Bomb in the Kree space by transporting it through Earth.[82]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) and Eric Masterson (Earth-616) from Mighty Thor Vol 1 446 0001

Leading the Avengers during the Kree/Shi'ar War

Unable to reason with the Shi'ar, Captain Marvel decided to assist them in fighting the Kree Starforce to gain their trust.[83] Captain Marvel's plans were foiled by her ill-tempered teammate Thor, leading to a battle against the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. After the combat, although Lilandra was convinced that Earth was at peril, the Nega-Bomb had disappeared, a ploy orchestrated by Skrulls.[84] With Quasar's assistance, Captain Marvel's team attempted to prevent the catastrophic explosion, with no success, as the bomb detonated in the Kree Empire.[85] As it was revealed that this annihilation had been planned by the Kree Supreme Intelligence, who wished to decimate of his own people by activating the Nega-Bomb in order to jumpstart Kree evolution, the Avengers suffered an ideological split-up. While Iron Man decided that the Intelligence should be killed, Captain America fought to spare his life. Captain Marvel sided with Captain America. However, the Intelligence was ultimately slain.[86]

Following the war, Captain Marvel operated both in New Orleans and New York City. One day, she found Asian immigrants being attacked by members of the racist organization known as the Sons of the Serpent at the Empire State University. Captain Marvel was then approached by her former partner, Derek Freeman, who asked for her help in protecting his nephew, an E.S.U. activist named Ray Washington, who was a potential target of the Sons of the Serpent. During an event, the Sons of the Serpent made their move. Captain Marvel intervened and defeated them, but was surprised by their leader, Skinhead. Teaming up with Rocket Racer, Captain Marvel managed to incapacitate Skinhead and diminish the prejudice-motivated movements at E.S.U.[87] Some time later, Captain Marvel had her former powers restored in an augmented form by the Stranger in order to help him fight the Starblasters.[88]


Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) and Genis-Vell (Earth-616) from Avengers Unplugged Vol 1 5 001

Meeting Genis-Vell

When the son of the original Captain Marvel, Genis-Vell, publicly adopted the name Captain Marvel to honor his father's legacy, he caught Rambeau's attention.[89] The two Marvels finally met when Rambeau was brainwashed and kidnapped by the super-villain known as the Controller, being forced to attack Starfox and Genis-Vell in Titan. Even though Rambeau was not in full control of her actions, she wisely summoned other Avengers to assist her, expecting them to stop the battle and free her. As the Vision released Rambeau from the Controller's influence as she had wished, the Avengers chased down and defeated the villain. Agreeing to concede the Captain Marvel title to Genis-Vell, Monica Rambeau adopted the alias Photon, a named that was suited to her abilities.[9]

When the Avengers reassembled after the Onslaught crisis, Photon reunited with her former team at the Avengers Mansion.[5] The group was attacked by Morgan Le Fay, who reshaped reality into a medieval setting which she ruled. The Avengers acted as her minions, the Queen's Vengeance, and Photon became "Daystar". Photon was one of the few Avengers to realize the true nature behind Morgan's illusion, alongside Captain America, the Wasp, Hawkeye, Thor, Quasar, and Justice. The small group eventually managed to attack the Queen's Vengeance, allowing the Scarlet Witch to restore reality.[90]

Back to New Orleans, Rambeau started a boat charter service business with her father. When the Wrecking Crew attacked New Orleans, Photon sought the Avengers for help, as she was unable to defeat them by herself. During the fight, Photon was incapacitated and taken as a hostage by the villains.[91] The Wrecking Crew used Photon's powers as battery to feed them, seizing control of the realm of Polemachus.[92] Photon eventually managed to overload the supply and break the circuit that maintained the Wrecking Crew's power, allowing Thor to knock them out.[93]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 3 16 001

As a boat charter captain, longing for her time as an Avenger

By working with her father, Photon realized she missed being a super hero. Much to her mother's dislike, she came back to Avengers duty when recruited by Quasar to confront the mysterious Infinites, which dangerously caused destruction in the galaxy. The Avengers, trying to protect the galaxy, found Jack of Hearts in R-76.[94] Photon then had disagreements with Thor regarding the actions of the team, as Thor recklessly dove into battles.[95] Venturing across the galaxy to solve the mystery regarding the Infinites, the Avengers summoned Eternity to help them. Their point of view as human heroes ultimately convinced the Infinites to stop their activities. Ultimately, Photon also made amends with Thor.[96]

In Selandiar, Photon and the Avengers learned that Earth had been quarantined and turned into a intergalactic prison. They approached Majestrix Lilandra about this decision with no success in reverting it. Attacked by the Kree Supreme Intelligence, the Avengers were told about his secret plan of eliminating life on Earth to serve his nefarious purposes.[97] Managing to escape from the Kree, the Avengers uncovered the truth and were successful in saving Earth.[98]

Back to Earth, Photon was summoned by Captain America to fight Bloodwraith in Slorenia.[99] Simultaneously, she also assisted the other Avengers in confronting Pagan and Lord Templar in Central Park. All three villains vanished after the Avengers overpowered them.[100] As a reserve Avenger, Photon keep aiding the group by operating the Avengers Deep-Space Monitoring Station alongside Quasar and Living Lightning.[101] She momentarily came back to active duty when Kang the Conqueror took over the world and the Avengers fought back.[102] After the Avengers disassembled, once again Genis-Vell took Rambeau's alias without her consent by rebranding himself as Photon. After a talk with him, she contemplated adopting the new alias of "Pulsar", although she never did.[103]

Agent of H.A.T.E.[]

When H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort), a subsidiary of the Beyond Corporation©, formed a super hero squad called Nextwave to allegedly combat terrorism, Monica Rambeau was hired to act as their field leader under General Dirk Anger's supervision. The unusual group comprised robot supremacist Aaron Stack, monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone, the ostentatious mutant Tabby Smith, and the mysterious Captain. Upon learning through Beyond Corporation©'s Marketing Plan that they were funded by illegal weapon testing activities, Rambeau went rogue on Anger and decided to use Nextwave to sabotage Beyond©.[14]

Nextwave (Earth-63163) from Nextwave Vol 1 5 Cover

Leading the Nextwave Squad

In their first operation, the Nextwave Squad attacked a Beyond© construction site in Abcess, North Dakota, that hid the gigantic monster Fin Fang Foom, which Beyond© intended to weaponize.[14] After killing the monster,[104] the Nextwave Squad went to Sink City, Illinois, to track more of Beyond©'s activities. There, they fought the cyborg cop Mac Mangel and kept on their journey to put Beyond© down.[105] In War Garden 6, Wyoming, Rambeau decided to annihilate Beyond©'s Human Resources crops when Anger, for the first time, had the chance to retaliate. Unleashing a burst of ultraviolet radiation, Rambeau incapacitated Anger's forces and then threatened him using X-rays. Anger eventually retreated when blackmailed by Stack.[106] Moving to Shotcreek, Colorado, Nextwave prevented a demonic invasion ordered by Beyond©, with Rambeau specifically torturing Rorkannu, the demon-lord responsible for it.[107]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Nextwave Vol 1 12 002

Beyond© is no more

Through their investigation, Nextwave found themselves in a ghost city, which was in fact a lure planned by Beyond© to capture them. After defeating their opponents, Nextwave was caught in illusions projected by the Forbush Man. Rambeau experienced visions related to the original Captain Marvel's adventures. Broken free by Tabby Smith, Rambeau decided to end Beyond© for good by invading their base in State 51.[108] Nextwave was followed by Anger, who perished before he could destroy his former employees. Then, they ultimately learned the identities of the masterminds behind Beyond©: Number None and Devil Dinosaur. Unable to touch Nextwave, the duo was defeated and slain. With the Beyond Corporation© dismantled, Monica Rambeau and Nextwave could do anything they wanted.[109] However, Nextwave's activities with Beyond© were claimed to their members to be delusional memories, causing the group to ignore their period as Agents of H.A.T.E.[110]

Marvel Diva[]

After Louisiana was hit by Hurricane Katrina, Rambeau and her father worked hard to help people in need. She was then recruited by the Black Panther to fend off a vampire outbreak in New Orleans, as part of a team-up also comprising Blade, Luke Cage, and Brother Voodoo. Black Panther pushed Rambeau's powers to new limits, exposing her natural advantage against vampires due to her light-based abilities.[111] During this period, she started a relationship with Brother Voodoo, although it did not work well as Voodoo wished for a serious relationship while Rambeau did not.[112]

Erik Killmonger (Earth-616) and Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Black Panther Vol 4 38 001

Killing Killmonger

Rambeau joined Captain America's Secret Avengers to resist the Superhuman Registration Act,[113] where she once again worked with Black Panther, an opportunity for her to further explore her abilities.[114] Some time later, Black Panther's nemesis, Killmonger, took his sister Shuri hostage in Niganda. In order to assist the Panther, Iron Man sent Rambeau to Shuri's rescue. However, Killmonger subdued and captured her.[115] After being tortured by the Baboon,[116] Rambeau finally escaped and slayed Killmonger in a burst of rage.[10]

Patricia Walker (Earth-616), Angelica Jones (Earth-616), Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) and Felicia Hardy (Earth-616) from Marvel Divas Vol 1 4 (001)

Enjoying her friends' company

Back to America, Rambeau participated in a speed-dating event. Although she could not find a romantic partner, she formed a strong friendship bond with fellow heroines Hellcat, Firestar and Black Cat, who also attended the event. The female four constantly teamed up both to fight evil and to hang out. During Hellcat's book-release party, Rambeau revealed she was constantly being contacted by her former lover Brother Voodoo. Simultaneously, she also was struck by the revelation that Firestar had acquired breast cancer.[112]

Voodoo asked Rambeau's help in retrieving the legendary wish-granting artifact known as the Monkey's Paw. As she agreed to aid him, they rekindled their relationship in the process.[117] After acquiring the Monkey's Paw in an auction,[118] Rambeau used its powers to teleport herself and her friends to Hell to rescue Hellcat from her ex-husband, Daimon Hellstrom. Upon their return to Earth and Firestar's slow recovery, the four female friends celebrated their friendship.[119] Some time later, Rambeau attended Emma Frost's birthday party in Las Vegas, where she helped solve a cosmic crisis involving Frankie Raye alongside other female heroes.[120]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Captain Marvel Vol 7 7 001

Greeting Carol Danvers, the new Captain Marvel

When boats went vanishing in New Orleans, Rambeau contacted Carol Danvers, the newest Captain Marvel, to help her investigate as she preferred not to use her powers underwater again. Rambeau worked with Danvers' former coworker, the journalist Frank Gianelli. When Danvers and Gianelli were attacked by a giant robot designed by Dr. Hogarth Hamontree and responsible for the recent disappearances, Rambeau joined them to end the threat. By using her energy form to feed Danvers' powers, the enemy was destroyed.[121]

Mighty Avenger[]

Trying to rebrand her image to distance herself from the Nextwave Squad, Rambeau adopted a new alias of Spectrum, acting as a vigilante in New York City, arresting villains such as the Blue Streak. Around this period, she was approached by her former partner Blade. However, before he could share his intentions with her, they noticed that the city was being attacked by Proxima Midnight, one of Thanos' lieutenants. The Mad Titan Thanos took advantage of the absence of Avengers on Earth to launch an invasion. As a group of heroes formed by Spectrum, Blade, Luke Cage and Spider-Man banded together to protect the people, the Mighty Avengers were born.[4]

Mighty Avengers (Earth-616) from Mighty Avengers Vol 2 3 002

Spectrum and the Mighty Avengers

During the fight, Spectrum was infected with anti-photons from Proxima Midnight's Spear. Blue Marvel joined the group of heroes and saved Spectrum's life by infusing her body with additional photons. The infection was burned out and, as a side effect, Spectrum's powers were immensely augmented. Although the villainess retreated, the Mighty Avengers found themselves fighting Shuma-Gorath, who had invaded the mortal plane. The demon was ultimately fended off by Spectrum's new powers.[122]

The Mighty Avengers, led by Cage and based at the Gem Theater, offered their services to the local community. After the fall of Attilan, they went to investigate its ruins. There, the Avengers found many new adversaries in the form of the Deathwalkers, Cortex Inc. and even Spider-Man.[123] When Spectrum's teammate, White Tiger sought revenge against Gideon Mace, Spectrum tricked her in order to prevent a regrettable murder.[124]

Spectrum also started to have contact with characters from her period with Nextwave, causing her to question the veracity of her attack against the Beyond Corporation©. Meanwhile, Blade's intentions by contacting Spectrum were eventually revealed to concern the Deathwalkers, who wished to destroy the human world.[125] Spectrum then led the Mighty Avengers to save Blade, Cage and Blue Marvel from the Deathwalkers and the group finished them for good.[126]

When Cage and the new Captain America had their morals inverted by a spell, Cage attempted to sell the rights of the Mighty Avengers to Cortex Inc. much to the team's disappointment.[127] The Mighty Avengers were then forced to fight a group of inverted Avengers, with Spectrum leading her friends against Cage and Captain America.[128] After the inversion faded out,[129] Spectrum figured out with Blue Marvel's help that she had transcended humanity with her power-up, having become an immortal being made of light.[130]

Monica Rambeau (Earth-616) from Captain America and the Mighty Avengers Vol 1 6

Spectrum recollects her memories as an agent of H.A.T.E.

As the Avengers investigated Cortex Inc., they learned that the company was a mere façade for the Beyond Corporation©. Spectrum came to the realization that her memories as an Agent of H.A.T.E. with the Nextwave Squad were genuine and sought for revenge.[110] Confronting the CEO of Cortex, Jason Quantrell, Spectrum learned that many of her memories and even her personality had been manipulated by Beyond© in the past. With Blue Marvel's assistance, Quantrell was banished to outside reality and Spectrum found some peace.[131]

When the incursion crisis that caused to the early end of the Multiverse became public, Steve Rogers came to the Mighty Avengers for help. Under Spectrum's advice, the group joined him in fighting the Illuminati, who had taken care of the problem for months in secrecy by employing dubious methods. Blue Marvel and Spectrum confronted Reed Richards and the Black Panther about their irresponsible actions and decided to act where they failed, by being open about their actions.[132] During the final incursion, Spectrum prepared herself to obliterate the opposing Earth and prevent the end of the Multiverse, but hesitated and was intercepted by Maker and the City.[133]


Following the death and rebirth of the Multiverse and the dissolution of the Mighty Avengers,[133] Spectrum joined the newly formed Ultimates at Blue Marvel's suggestion, a proactive group that would fill in the vacuum left by the Illuminati.[23] As one of their first actions, the Ultimates transformed Galactus into a being of creation, a lifebringer.[134]

The Ultimates' proactive nature led them to become interested in the use of the precognitive abilities of the Inhuman Ulysses Cain. When Captain Marvel predicted that Thanos would invade a Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. base for a Cosmic Cube, the Ultimates intervened. Their action costed the life of Jim Rhodes. Affected by this loss, Spectrum and Blue Marvel found comfort by exploring romantic feelings for each other.[135] Due to their differences on predictive justice, the Ultimates fought among themselves and ultimately were dissolved right after their last fight against Thanos.[136]

Ultimates 2 Vol 2 1 Textless

The problem solver Ultimates

Regardless of their dissolution, the Ultimates later reassembled in secret at the request of Galactus in order to investigate the imprisonment of the embodiment of the Multiverse, Eternity.[137] After unveiling the mystery by fighting the Troubleshooters, the Ultimates were reactivated and incorporated into the Alpha Flight program.[138] Spectrum and other Alpha Flight operatives dealt with a Chitauri invasion on Earth orbit while the locked-down planet was controlled by Hydra.[139] Later, with Eternity's jailer, the First Firmament, finally defeated, the Ultimates disbanded. Spectrum and Blue Marvel decided to focus on their relationship and to dedicate their lives for scientific research.[140]

In the Dark[]

When the Greek goddess of the night, Nyx, and her children returned and massacred their fellow Olympians, Spectrum was one of several heroes assembled by the would-be heroine Voyager to stop this new threat before she could reclaim her godhood and remake the universe in her dark image. One of Spectrum's companions in this journey was the Vision, who was being assisted by her and Blue Marvel as his body was malfunctioning.[141] Spectrum's light-based powers proved to be exceptionally effective against Nyx[142] and, teaming up with the Scarlet Witch, she was able to counter Nyx's darkness.[143] Moreover, due to Nyx causing the Sun to blackout, Spectrum used her powers to provide Vision an alternative source of solar energy to counter-attack the villainess.[144]

During this battle, Spectrum was particularly worried about the loss of her humanity, as her extremely high power levels caused her to be essentially an immortal being made of light rather than a human being made of flesh and bone.[145] However, at the end of the battle, the Avengers reached entry point to the House of Ideas, a plane of existence which was the core of all of creation. Spectrum burned out most of her power helping Vision reach inside the House of Ideas, as he was the only hero capable to follow Nyx and stop her. Due to this exertion, Spectrum returned to her former power levels, essentially becoming human again. Joining Blue Marvel and his Avengers World, she decided to enjoy her mortal life.[26]

Soon after, Spectrum was part of a random group of super-human beings who got impersonated by the shape-shifting monsters known as Vridai, who had stolen a set of deadly diseases from a research compound. The Avengers restrained the group of heroes for investigation, but Blade, knowing about the Vridai's nature, freed Spectrum and the others from the Avengers and asked for the group's help to stop the knowledge about the monsters from spreading out.[146] In Las Vegas, Spectrum used the electric energy of the city to counterattack the Vridai, although they managed to kidnap her ally, Wiccan.[147] In Indonesia, Wiccan was rescued, while the Vridai's leader, Count Ophidian, was found and captured instead.[148] The group of heroes decided to make their alliance official and started to call themselves Strikeforce under Blade's suggestion.[24]

Strikeforce Vol 1 5 Textless

Spectrum vs. Ghost

After Spectrum started to manifest unexplainable seizures, it was soon revealed she was being manipulated by the Ghost. The Ghost was tracked down by Strikeforce to a Health Center in Lakeside County, Michigan. As Spectrum infiltrated the hospital, she learned that the Ghost had been experimenting with resurrection. Additionally, the bizarre project's head doctor was revealed to be Moonstone, who tricked Spectrum into using her powers to stabilize the method of raising the dead.[24] As Spectrum temporarily nullified Moonstone's powers and defeated her, she collected and released the life energy of the dead patients, allowing them to rest in peace.[149]

The quest to stop the Vridai led Strikeforce to the monsters' former home, Svartalfheim, in order to attack the true mastermind behind their invasion, Ophidian's advisor Birgit.[150] With Birgit defeated, the Vridai found asylum on Deadpool's Monster Isle. Given the success of their mission, the Avengers offered Strikeforce an official status as a task force. They unanimously refused the offer but realized that a friendship bond had been formed regardless.[151]

Rambeau became close friends with Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel, casually visiting her from time to time to hang out.[152][153] When Vox Supreme, one of Danvers' nemeses, started capturing and brainwashing previous holders of the Captain Marvel, Spectrum was among the many "Marvels" who were turned into his lackeys, being forced to battle her friend in the Pama System.[154] Inspired by Rambeau's energy form, Danvers was able to generate a Binary duplicate of herself. Subsequently, Vox Supreme was defeated with the combined efforts of Rambeau, Danvers, Binary, other "Marvels", the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and King Hulkling. Celebrating their victory, Rambeau and the other "Marvels" returned to Earth,[155] where Rambeau and Danvers fought the Snatmen while helping Binary adjust to her new existence.[156]

From Beyond[]

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 92

In possession of the Heartstar

Upon learning Beyond© resumed their activities with superhuman experiences and sponsored their own Spider-Man to act as their private superhero, Rambeau decided to secretly intervene in their operations. Rambeau hired the Daughters of the Dragon to infiltrate Beyond© as one of the agents in their superhero program. In one of their assignments, the Daughters of the Dragon acquired the Heartstar. Instead of retrieving it to their employer at Beyond© Maxine Danger, they handed it to Rambeau.[157] Rambeau stroke at one of Beyond©'s installations, finding a brokenhearted Aaron Stack there as part of their supervillain program. Rambeau convinced Stack to join her in her assault and they were contacted by Maxine Danger, who destroyed the base in an attempt to eliminate Rambeau and Stack. Using the Heartstar, Rambeau managed to evade the attack and shared her intentions of insisting on bringing Beyond© down once again.[158]

With the fall of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, as the mayor of New York City, Luke Cage was elected as the new mayor. Cage wished to revamp the Thunderbolts, who had been corrupted into brutal anti-vigilantism law enforcers by Fisk. While deactivating the Thunderbolts' crooked operations, Cage invited Rambeau to be in charge of a reframed super hero team under public relations specialist Helen Astrantia's suggestion. Rambeau refused at first, not wishing to be part of a publicity stunt.[159] Nonetheless, she came to realize she could be of help and thus decided to join the malfunctioning team. Rambeau shared she did not wish to be the team's leader, a position that befell upon the enthusiastic Hawkeye,[160] who she chose to supervise.[161] This led to animosities, as Spectrum was harsh on Hawkeye's decisions.[162] In secrecy, the team had been manipulated by Nightmare, who trapped them in illusory dreams about their personal limitations. As the Thunderbolts overcame the conditioning, they defeated the villain. Spectrum and Hawkeye then amicably recognized the differences in their leadership skills.[163]

Readopting the alias of Photon, Rambeau cooperated with S.W.O.R.D. in an assignment to return the stolen artifact known as the Stone of Hala to Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. During the ordeal, she confronted the erratic Yesenia Rosario, who accused her of being responsible for destabilizing the universe. Following this incident, Photon dealt with her emotional struggles, namely her parents' excessive care, her recent break-up with Blue Marvel and issues her dear, but distant, cousin Caleb faced. To cope with these struggles, she flew to outer space[1] only to emerge on an alternate Earth, being greeted by a Beyonder and meeting a version of the Avengers from the period she led them. The Beyonder informed Photon they were drawn by her energy signature and the cosmic disruption it caused.[164] After noticing inconsistencies in the reality she was, Photon returned to the Sanctum Sanctorum, run by Sorcerer Supreme Wong, to employ the Stone of Hala to solve the situation. In outer space, with the afflicted alien community of Charos, Photon realized she had a connection with the shifts. Back to Earth, Rosario and Moonstone approached Photon again, informing her she was the cause of the problem.[165] Running away with the Stone of Hala, Rambeau was able to connect her emotional condition to the universe's destabilization, while at the same time, finally accepting that she'd had abilities her whole life.[15] With the Beyonder's help, they went to Starfox in order to examine her subconscious. After coming to terms to her own insecurities, Monica Rambeau was able to correct the rifts. Back home, she reconnected with her cousin Caleb.[166]


Power Grid[190]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Multiple Types:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Regenerative:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Speed of Light:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Learned


Enhanced Physiology: Ever since childhood, Monica Rambeau has been able to to change her body mass into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum.[2]

  • Energy Form: Among the many energy forms Rambeau has assumed and is able to control are visible light, radio waves, electricity, X-rays,[2] microwaves,[16] infrared radiation,[167] ultraviolet radiation,[168] cosmic rays, gamma radiation,[31][169] and a wide variety of high-power lasers.[168] It has been theorized that this transformation occurs by Rambeau mentally shunting the matter of her body into the dimension from which she draws her energy, and replacing it with a corresponding amount of energy.[41] Rambeau is apparently unlimited by the amount of time that she can remain in her energy form.[45] In the past, she could seemingly only transform her entire body into one wavelength of energy at a time, being able to transform between one energy-state and another in a fraction of a second.[16] However, with experience, she has demonstrated the ability to convert only parts of herself into sentient energy.[170] Many derivative abilities are achieved in Rambeau's energy form.
  • Flight: In her energy form, Rambeau is capable of flight in any of her wavelengths.[2] With experience, she has shown the ability to flight in her human solid form as well.[104][112]
  • Superhuman Speed: Rambeau is capable of moving at extremely high speeds while in her energy form. When converted into a beam of light, she is able to travel at lightspeed.[16]
  • Intangibility: In certain energy forms such as X-rays, Rambeau can phase through solid matter and even certain energy fields depending on their wavelengths.[167]
    • Invisibility: When changed into wavelengths that are invisible to the naked eye, Rambeau renders herself visually imperceptible.[167]
  • Energy Blasts: Rambeau is able of releasing blasts of pure electromagnetic radiation without compromising her body mass integrity.[2]
  • Energy Absorption: In her energy form, Rambeau is able of rechanneling energy and absorb it to her own form.[2]
  • Appearance Alteration: With due practice, Rambeau eventually managed to use her facility over light to modulate her energy and create holograms.[46] She has also been able to modify her appearance as a hologram, and outwardly take the form of other people. However, when she does so, she does not actually change her physical shape, nor can she emulate their biometrics.[130]
  • Hard Light Form: After recovering her powers, Rambeau has shown the ability to turn herself into a solid light form, allowing her to stay in energy form but physically interact with matter if she wishes so.[9]
  • Size Alteration: Using her facility over light, Rambeau is able to change size. She has been shown both to be capable of shrinking[171] and growing significantly in size if needed.[131]
  • Energy Source: Having the ability to become a being of energy, Rambeau has been able to join her force with other super-human beings' energy signatures in order to empower their attacks like a live battery. In the past, she used her powers to boost Thor's Mjolnir,[172] the Wrecking Crew,[93] Carol Danvers,[173] and She-Hulk.[169]


Skilled Leader: Monica Rambeau has strong leadership skills being the leader of different incarnations of the Avengers and other super-hero teams. She also has law enforcement experience as a former harbor patrol agent.
Master Combatant: She is a master at hand-to-hand combat. Rambeau's hand-to-hand combat skills are increased thanks to her law enforcement and Avengers training.[176]
Nautical Expertise: As a former harbor patrol enforcer and boat charter businesswoman, Rambeau has advanced nautical knowledge, being referred to as "Mon Capitaine" by Professor André LeClare for her expertise and bravery.[2] Moreover, she has been shown to be a strong swimmer.[33]

Multilingual: Rambeau speaks fluent English and French.[177] She was shown to be able to communicate in Portuguese.[19]


In her energy form, Monica Rambeau has shown to have some weaknesses and limitations:

  • After acquiring her powers, Rambeau was unable to interact with the physical world in her energy form, being restricted from becoming tangible.[17] Apparently, after mastering the ability to become solid light, this limitation stopped being a problem.[9]
  • When converting herself into lightning and hitting the ocean, Captain Marvel could not keep her cohesion and was severely damaged by the experience.[178] Following this episode, Rambeau has expressed her trauma of using her powers underwater.[170]
  • Her energy form has been shown to be particularly vulnerable and inefficient against darkforce in several occasions.[179][180][181]



Rambeau is frequently seen captaining different ships, especially boats. When travelling for long distances, she usually relies on her super-speed powers; formerly Shockwave Rider, Avengers Quinjet, and various harbor patrol vehicles.


  • With the publication of Nextwave, writer Warren Ellis presented a psychological depiction of Monica Rambeau that contradicted her previous representations. Rambeau was portrayed as a ruthless, cynical and angry operative as opposed to her more tender attitude from her period as an Avenger. This put the canonicity of the events that took place in Nextwave as part of the 616-reality continuity into question.[182][183] Her adventures with Nextwave were eventually confirmed to have been factual and the uncertainty of their occurrence as well as her personality change were explained to be the result of Beyond©'s machinations.[110] Following the Nextwave series, most representations of Rambeau are somewhat an amalgamation of her classic more serious nature and Ellis' satirical interpretation.
  • After her accident in the open ocean, followed by a period of being powerless, Captain Marvel had her powers drastically changed upon their natural return. Unable to convert her mass into energy any longer, she became able redirect mechanical energy to another dimension, which in practice granted her abilities such as flight and super-human strength and durability.[19] The new power set was soon dropped.[88]
  • While retconning Rambeau's abilities to have existed her whole life and not upon due to the accident with the energy-draining device, it is hinted that she suppressed her abilities in fear of being stigmatized for being something she's unwilling to name.[15] Regular Marvel readers would assume "mutant", although it isn't stated clearly. In a response with a fan on her Instagram account,[184] Eve Ewing, who wrote the mini-series, effectively confirms it on a post for issue 5 as follows:

(Fan) I love it and please make her a mutant. Please tell more stories (eve.ewing) @Fan thank you!!! On the mutant question….. hope you saw #4 … 👀👀👀.


  • Monica Rambeau's creator, Roger Stern, gradually gave prominence to the character in his long-term run in the Avengers series, ultimately making her the leader of the team. Such a decision conflicted with editor Mark Gruenwald's plans of characterizing Captain America as the competent leader of the group. Gruenwald planned to portray Captain America as a more efficient leader than Captain Marvel, a decision that Stern refused to perform, leading him to abandon the Avengers book in issue Avengers #287. Subsequent writers followed Gruenwald's suggestions and Captain Marvel was depicted as an unexperienced and limited leader. The character was eventually written out of the book in issue Avengers #294.[185] Tragically, the original allegory for the character explored how a black woman found herself unable to level her rank up as a Harbor Patrol Officer despite of her competence, but met recognition and equity with the Avengers. However, in the end, she turned out to be underestimated in the Avengers as well.
  • Rambeau has changed her codename twice because of Genis-Vell, the son of the original Captain Marvel. Accepting that Genis-Vell had rights over his father's legacy as Captain Marvel, Rambeau adopted the name Photon.[9] After Genis-Vell began going by Photon, Rambeau contemplated calling herself Pulsar.[3]
  • A photon ([ˈfoʊ.tɑːn] FOH-ton) is an elementary particle corresponding to a quantum of light or any other type electromagnetic radiation. The codename was chosen by Rambeau for being considered well-suited to define her abilities.[9] The name was mocked once by Aaron Stack, who defined it as an insignificant and undetectable particle.[14]
  • Pulsar ([ˈpʌl.sɑːɹ] PUHL-sahr) stands for "pulsating radio source" and designate compact stars that emit beams of electromagnetic radiation out of their magnetic poles.[186] Rambeau contemplated adopting Pulsar as her super-hero name,[3] although she has never been effectively referred to by it.
  • The name spectrum ([ˈspek.tɹəm] SPEK-trəm) refers to the electromagnetic spectrum, i.e. the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.[187] The name, similarly to "photon", is a direct reference to Rambeau's power set, which includes the ability to convert her body mass into any frequency of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Spectrum was once considered to be an Alpha-Level Threat by Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Tony Stark.[188]

See Also

Links and References


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