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Binary explained - powers and abilities of the MCU’s new cosmic hero

Binary is one of the most impressive cosmic heroes in Marvel Comics, and The Marvels just opened the door for her in future MCU movies.

Binary from the Marvels explained

The MCU just keeps growing, pulling in characters you know and plenty you don’t from the thousands of pages of Marvel Comics history. So we’re here to tell you about Binary, now that she has become the latest hero to step off the page and into the blinding spotlight of the biggest movie franchise on the planet.

Binary – or a version of her, at least – made her MCU debut in The Marvels, which blasted into cinemas this week. The movie already united three of the coolest MCU characters for a body-switching action tale, and then added another hero to the mix. Crucially, this new arrival could have big implications for upcoming Marvel movies, so let’s find out what exactly makes her tick.

Binary in the Marvel Comics explained

Binary is an even more powerful cosmic identity of Carol Danvers in the Marvel Comics, created when scientists experimented on her using the power of a “white hole”.

This version of Carol Danvers first showed up in a 1982 issue of Uncanny X-Men, in which Carol was kidnapped by The Brood. These Marvel villains wanted to access the power of her unusual genes. Ultimately, they succeeded and she merged with the fabric of the universe. That was very bad news for the Brood, who fell victim to her new abilities.

She eventually lost her vast cosmic powers after she was drawn to an unstable white hole, later becoming known as Lady Marvel and Warbird.

In a 2021 issue of Captain Marvel, we got a new version of Binary. While trapped, Carol shaped her photon blasts into a duplicate form, which has many of Captain Marvel’s powers and the cosmic abilities of Binary.

Carol Danvers became Binary in the Marvel Comics

Binary powers and abilities explained

Binary is able to access unlimited cosmic energy, which allows light-speed travel and enables full control of heat, radiation and light. So she’s about as powerful as it’s possible to be. 

You wouldn’t want to mess with Binary. She is one with the very fabric of the universe, which means she can manipulate all of its elements in her favor. She was essentially all-powerful and could power a Stargate single-handed. At one stage, she punched her rival Rogue into orbit with a single hit.

Eventually, Carol over-exerted herself with these powers, having used her abilities to stabilize a collapsing sun during the Kree/Shi’ar War. As you do on a normal Wednesday morning at the office.

When she ultimately lost her powers and ditched the Binary name, Carol hid her weakened status as much as she could and also became addicted to drinking. It’s fair to say that Carol always looked back on her Binary days as being her at her most powerful and confident. We have to admit that, if we’d lost the infinite power of the universe, we’d probably be pretty upset about it.

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Is Binary in the MCU?

Binary shows up in the post-credits scene at the end of The Marvels and the movie version of her appears to be a variant of Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau.

MCU fans spotted this cameo early thanks to shot in the final trailer for The Marvels, in which someone walks in front of Monica Rambeau. That someone was wearing a suit very reminiscent of Binary’s red-and-white outfit. Some fans thought it showed that Storm is in The Marvels, but we now know it’s not.

We’re sorry but the Storm theory was always doomed. You’d think that, if Marvel were pulling the trigger on one of the most beloved X-Men characters for real, they’d be more careful about what they put in their trailers. The teasers for Marvel’s new movies are among the most paused and screenshotted things on the internet (guilty!) and fans will spot every single detail.

Sorry X-Men fans, but this is Binary. That’s very exciting indeed, though, given how much power Binary wields and how important she could be for the future.

MCU fans think they spotted Binary in the trailer for The Marvels

Will Captain Marvel become Binary in the MCU?

Captain Marvel could eventually become Binary in the MCU, especially in the multiverse era, but for now, it’s Maria Rambeau who is wearing that famous suit.

The MCU version of Carol already has incredible powers that are vastly superior to just about any of the other Avengers. So it’s way more intriguing that somebody else has assumed the moniker, especially as the multiversal storytelling of Marvel’s Phase 5 leaves the door open for multiple versions of Binary. This stuff plays havoc with our Marvel movies in order list, but it makes for some unpredictable storytelling, too.

It’s a great way to get the brilliant Lashana Lynch back in the MCU. She appeared in Doctor Strange 2 as a variant who had become Captain Marvel and served as part of the Illuminati, but she didn’t last long there before Scarlet Witch got violent. This could give us plenty more time spent with Lynch as Rambeau.

For more on the newest Marvel adventure, read our interview with the producer of The Marvels and learn why Kamala Khan has a bright MCU future. You can also find out how to watch The Marvels ASAP.

Elsewhere, look ahead to the best movies and Marvel series to come with our guides to Deadpool 3 and, beyond that, Marvel Phase 6.