Quote1 You just saved my life, Dr. Brashear. It's Monica. Or Spectrum. If you're nasty. Quote2
-- Spectrum src

Early Life

Monica Rambeau was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the daughter of Maria Rambeau a successful seamstress and Frank Rambeau a Fireman.[8]


Monica was a lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor Patrol. Fate came upon her one day when she gained superpowers after being bombarded by extra-dimensional energy, produced by an energy disruptor weapon created by a criminal scientist.[2]


She was originally given the name of Captain Marvel by the media. After her initial appearance, Rambeau began experimenting with her powers. Early in her career, she met Spider-Man, who was kind enough to introduce her to the Avengers for additional training. As Captain Marvel, she joined and served in the Avengers.[9]

Her membership was a lengthy stint, during which she eventually became the team's leader.[10] Because of injuries, she was forced to leave the active roster.[11]

Monica was known as Captain Marvel for most of her Avengers career; however, she agreed to change her alias to Photon, conceding the Captain Marvel title to Genis-Vell, the son of the original Captain Marvel, out of respect for her predecessor. [4]

Monica Rambeau was recruited by the Black Panther to fend off a vampire outbreak in post-Katrina New Orleans, as part of an all-black team-up comprising Luke Cage, Blade, Black Panther and Brother Voodoo.[12]

Monica was angered upon learning that Genis-Vell has changed his name to Photon upon acquiring new powers. After a talk with him, she contemplated using the new alias of Pulsar.[1]


The Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, or H.A.T.E. (a subsidiary of the Beyond Corporation©) formed a team called Nextwave to fight the Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Members included Rambeau, a man known only as "the Captain", Boom-Boom, Aaron Stack, and Elsa Bloodstone. Monica annoyed all of her teammates by constantly bringing up her past experience leading the Avengers (which Aaron mocked by having his LMD of Monica repeat it in a weeping voice), and she had developed a penchant for shouting the names of her energy attacks.[13] It has since been implied that all of Monica's experiences with Nextwave were a fiction implanted in her mind by the Beyond Corporation, as Monica angrily claimed she spent a year remembering events that never happened. [14]

Marvel Divas

When Brother Voodoo asked for Rambeau's help in tracking down some evil sorcerers, she revealed a former relationship with Brother Voodoo to Black Cat, Hellcat, and Firestar. Despite her breaking it off, Voodoo still had feelings for Rambeau. She agreed to aid him, rekindling their relationship in the process.[15] She later attended Emma Frost's birthday party in Las Vegas where she helped solve a cosmic crisis involving Frankie Raye.[16] The group continued to meet partly over their support of Firestar, who had battled and defeated breast cancer.

Mighty Avengers

Having adopted the new alias of Spectrum, Monica was on her way to assist Blade in a mission against vampires when the Mad Titan Thanos launched an invasion on Earth. Having been caught in one of the places where Thanos' lieutenants made landfall, Spectrum decided to join the efforts against Thanos' forces, who were led by Proxima Midnight. Since the Avengers were off in space during this event, the heroes that confronted Proxima Midnight decided to band together as the Mighty Avengers.[17] Among this group of heroes was the Blue Marvel,[18] for whom Monica would develop romantic feelings. They would start a relationship not long afterward.[19]

Monica experienced a callback to her time with Nextwave after it was revealed a company with whom the Mighty Avengers butted heads, Cortex Inc., was being controlled by a Beyond Corporation member impersonating Cortex' CEO Jason Quantrell.[20] Spectrum confronted the fake Quantrell and distracted him for long enough that Blue Marvel was able to open a portal to the Exo-Space and send him back outside reality.[14]


Following the dissolution of the Mighty Avengers,[21] Spectrum joined the newly formed Ultimates at Blue Marvel's suggestion, serving alongside him as part of the team and further consolidating their romance.[22] After the second superhuman Civil War, the Ultimates were terminated by the government due to their differences on the source of conflict, the use of the precognitive abilities of the Inhuman Ulysses Cain.[23] Regardless of their dissolution, the Ultimates would later on reassemble in secret at the request of Galactus in order to investigate the mystery of who had chained the embodiment of the Multiverse, Eternity.[24] In the process of unveiling the mystery and helping defeat Eternity's jailer, the First Firmament, the Ultimates were absorbed into Alpha Flight, being reinstated as an openly sanctioned team.[25]


Spectrum was considered to be an Alpha Level Threat by Captain America (Sam Wilson) and Tony Stark.[26]

Energy Form: Due to bombardment by extra-dimensional energies, Monica can transform herself into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum. Among the many energy forms, she has assumed and is able to control are gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, electricity, infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves. She apparently accomplished this transformation by 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. Her mind remains in the dimension to control the energy-parcel that has taken the place of her body. By assuming an energy-form, she gains all of that energy's properties. Monica is apparently unlimited by the amount of time that she can remain in her energy-form. She can seemingly only transform herself into one wavelength of energy at a time, but she can transform between one energy-state and another in a fraction of a second. As noted above, the limit to the amount of energy she can transmit through her body at a given time is not known. Extensive energy transformation and manipulation can be physically taxing once she returns to her physical form.

  • Appearance Alteration: Monica can use her facility over light to modulate her energy and modify her appearance, and outwardly take the form of other people. However, when she does so, she doesn't actually change her physical shape nor can she emulate their biometrics.[19]
  • Flight: she is capable of flight in any of her wavelengths.[27]
  • Superhuman Speed: Monica is capable of moving and reacting at superhuman speeds ranging from the speed of sound to lightspeed while in her energy form.[27]
  • Intangibility She can phase through solid matter and certain energy fields depending on their wavelengths.[28]
  • Invisibility: She is often invisible in most of her forms but can make herself appear visible.[28]
  • Immortality: Monica is a being of pure energy which makes her functionally immortal. She doesn't age beyond her prime.[29]
  • Energy Duplication: When she encounters a new or unfamiliar energy, Monica can often duplicate it given enough time for analysis.[30]
  • Energy Absorption: She is capable of absorbing energy given her own energy form is of the right type and at the right wavelength.[30]
  • Energy Blasts: She mentally controls both type and quantity of energy she wishes to transmit. It is not known the maximum amount of energy she can transmit at a given time. Monica can also divert energy (hard light for example) for use as force beams, which have the equivalent of 300 tons of TNT of explosive force.[31]

Hyper-Cosmic Awareness: Blue Marvel mentioned that while she takes on a hard light semblance to resemble the human form, she does not process sensory reception like a regular being anymore. Her consciousness perpetuates approximate human senses allowing her to know just what she's seeing, hearing or feeling and translating it to something her physiology recognizes. To this extent she's also aware when something is grievously wrong with the universe as well, having prophetic dreams of a cage around the universe.[24]

  • Eidetic Memory: Ever since she acquired her powers, Monica's photographic memory improved, allowing her to have total recall of everything she sees.[19] Adam Brasher theorizes this is an effect of a latent cosmic awareness that she has due to being an energy consciousness.[24]


Skilled Leader: Monica has strong leadership skills and law enforcement experience.
Master Combatant: She is a master at hand-to-hand combat. Her skills are increased thanks to her law enforcement training.
Skilled Detective
Strong Swimmer
Nautical Expertise
Multi-Lingual Monica speaks French, Portuguese and English

Strength level

Normal human female with moderate regular exercise.


Avengers Quinjet. Various harbor patrol vehicles.

  • Monica has changed her codename twice because of Genis-Vell. He first objected to her using the name Captain Marvel, originally used by his deceased father, so she became Photon. Recently, he began using the name Photon, and Monica became Pulsar.
  • A flashback in Nextwave revealed that she blasted a dog when she was a child, contradicting Monica's established backstory of only receiving her powers as an adult. As contradictory to her established history, this scene was likely the result of the Beyond Corporation's unique influence on reality and her memories.[32]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 New Thunderbolts #9
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16
  3. Avengers Vol 3 #2
  4. 4.0 4.1 Avengers: Unplugged #5
  5. Avengers #236
  6. Nextwave #4
  7. Nextwave #9
  8. Avengers #246
  9. Avengers #227
  10. Avengers #279
  11. Avengers #294
  12. Black Panther Vol 4 #13
  13. Nextwave #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #7
  15. Marvel Divas #1-4
  16. Heralds #1-5
  17. Mighty Avengers Vol 2 #1
  18. Mighty Avengers Vol 2 #3
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #5
  20. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #6
  21. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #9
  22. Ultimates Vol 2 #8
  23. Ultimates Vol 2 #12
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Ultimates 2 Vol 2 #1
  25. Ultimates 2 Vol 2 #6
  26. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1
  27. 27.0 27.1 Avengers #232
  28. 28.0 28.1 Avengers #233
  29. Avengers No Road Home #1
  30. 30.0 30.1 JLA/Avengers #2
  31. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #2
  32. Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #5-7
  33. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #15
  34. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 9

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