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The Real Reason Captain Marvel Wears A Star On Her Chest

The superhero costume is one of the most important design elements for any comic book character. Aside from the obvious tactical advantages of certain suits (ahem, Batman), a character's uniform can be used to relay important details without relying on exposition. For instance, it only takes a glance at Captain America's starred-and-striped battle fatigues to know where the character came from and what he believes in.

But unless you've seen the movie, there is one Marvel character whose design seems kinda arbitrary. Despite being one of the most powerful and popular Marvel heroes in the entire canon, Captain Marvel dons a uniform that doesn't reveal a lot of obvious information about her character. In particular, the star-shaped insignia that Danvers flaunts on her chest is a mystery to the uninitiated, even though it is one of the most prominent symbolic aspects of her suit. As it turns out, Captain Marvel's star does have important meaning, but you have to dig into the outfit's backstory to find it.

Even the uniform has an origin story

Captain Marvel's star is the insignia of the Kree military. This is fairly evident in the live-action "Captain Marvel" movie, in which Carol Danvers alters the existing Kree uniform she had been wearing throughout the film after realizing that the Kree had manipulated her into fighting for their cause. In a show of defiant independence, Danvers changes the color scheme of her uniform from black and green to blue, red, and gold.

The story in the comics, however, follows a slightly different path, since Danvers is not the original Captain Marvel in that universe. The original Mar-Vell (a male Kree warrior in this timeline) also wore a Kree military uniform during his time as a hero on Earth and beyond. When Carol Danvers takes up the mantle of Ms. Marvel, she dons a uniform inspired by Captain Marvel's own duds.

Like Captain Marvel's original Kree uniform, Ms. Marvel's outfit bears the signature Kree star on its chest. Over the years, Danvers would drop the star twice, once when donning a new costume, and once after becoming a new hero named Binary. Eventually, however, she did return to the "Marvel" name after the original Captain Marvel died. Following this event, Danvers paid respects to Mar-Vell by taking up the mantle of Captain Marvel and donning his signature uniform.