Warning: SPOILERS for Captain Marvel #42Marvel’s Captain Marvel liberally “borrows” a classic move from the Incredible Hulk – and in the process, may commandeer said attack as her own in the MCU. Carol Danvers is one of the strongest superheroes in both the comics and the MCU, and as such has multiple attacks that can stun, injure or even kill her many enemies. But Captain Marvel #42 strongly hints that Carol’s best attack is one she herself never created.
It is important to note that Captain Marvel’s powers frequently change (along with her name; she has only held the Captain Marvel name for roughly a decade). Carol Danvers was granted powers via an alien Kree device which allowed her to fly and fire energy blasts, but those powers were lost when the mutant Rogue absorbed her abilities in The Avengers Annual #10, causing Carol to lose her status as a superhero for some time. She eventually regained her powers as Binary, then used the name Ms. Marvel again, before finally becoming Captain Marvel (after the original male Captain Marvel had died). The Captain Marvel-Rogue story has yet to appear in the MCU, but as far as the Hulk’s Thunderclap is concerned, the technique has only been seen twice: once in 2008’s Incredible Hulk and again in 2022’s She-Hulk.
In Captain Marvel #42, written by Kelly Thompson with art by Andrea di Vito, Captain Marvel has only recently emerged from a magical prison; she was being tested by a magical tribunal including Agatha Harkness, the Enchantress and the Scarlet Witch. The city is overrun by humans converted into mindless zombies, but Carol can’t permanently harm any of them (for fear that the original human is still trapped inside). Finally, she has an idea, but admits she may not be up to the challenge. “I don’t really have the hands for this, but let’s see what we can manage,” she thinks to herself, before tentatively saying “Carol smash?” Immediately after, Carol smashes her hands together, mimicking Hulk’s iconic Thunderclap attack.
Captain Marvel Beats The Hulk At His Own Game
The attack is astoundingly successful, knocking the zombies off their feet. This move, admittedly, does not exactly adhere to physics (even with large hands and powerful muscles, the Hulk could only produce pressure waves a few feet from his hands at most). Even so, Carol clearly uses her Captain Marvel powers in conjunction with the Hulk’s Thunderclap here. Captain Marvel has only appeared a few times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; does this mean that her cinematic incarnation will use the Hulk’s attack?
Only time will tell regarding Captain Marvel’s Hulk-inspired tactics, but when it comes to the comics, the move proves Carol has an iron will. In Captain Marvel’s magical test, Carol was forced to burn her arms down to the bone in order to release herself from the magical restraints. This action caused her considerable pain – and yet a few (relative) minutes later, she uses her hands to save the day. Captain Marvel may not have the raw physical strength as the Hulk, but she certainly shares his fighting spirit.