"You are Carol Danvers. You are the woman on that black box risking her life to do the right thing. My best friend, who supported me as a mother, and a pilot when no one else did. You're smart, and funny, and a huge pain in the ass. And you are the most powerful person I know."
―Maria Rambeau to Carol Danvers[src]

Director Maria "Photon" Rambeau was a former United States Air Force pilot and the founder of S.W.O.R.D., as well as the single mother of Monica Rambeau. She became best friends with Carol Danvers, who was presumed dead for six years, after a plane accident. Maria was reunited with Danvers during the Kree-Skrull War and helped her remember her early life. She aided her, Nick Fury, and Talos in finding Mar-Vell's Laboratory and a group of Skrull refugees. Maria fought against the Kree there and managed to outmaneuver and kill Minn-Erva during a chase in the Mojave Desert. She returned to her home, where she celebrated the victory with her new allies. As Fury went on to become Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rambeau founded and became Director of S.W.O.R.D. In 2018, Rambeau was diagnosed with cancer. While undergoing treatment, her daughter succumbed to the Snap. Rambeau soon underwent remission, but two years later, her cancer returned and she passed away.


Early Life

United States Air Force

Maria and Carol Danvers walk from the airport.

Maria Rambeau began working for the United States Air Force as a pilot with the callsign Photon. She eventually had a child named Monica. She befriended Carol Danvers, and eventually made her Monica's godmother.[1]

Kree-Skrull War

Reunion with Carol Danvers

"And now you come up in here after six years, with your supercharged fire-hands, and you expect me to call you, I don't even know what, Vers?"
―Maria Rambeau to Carol Danvers[src]

Maria discussing Danvers' past

While Maria was working on a plane in her residence, she and Monica were both surprised to see her best friend Carol Danvers alive and well, as they had been told that her plane had crashed and she had been presumed dead. In a long talk with Danvers and her new friend Nick Fury, they explained to Maria everything that had happened to Danvers in the past six years since her crash, asking for her help as she was one of the last persons to see Danvers alive. Initially Maria had difficulty believing them, but Danvers demonstrated her powers by heating a kettle with her hands. Maria then helped Danvers remember some of her past.[1]

Arrival of the Skrulls

Maria playing the blackbox recording of Carol Danvers' plane crash

"Young lady, I have a special skill that kinda allows me to get into places I'm not supposed to be."
"Call me 'young lady' again, I'm gonna put my foot in a place it's not supposed to be!"
Talos and Maria Rambeau[src]

Maria, Danvers and Fury were interrupted by Talos, who had successfully tracked them to Maria's residence. Worried, Maria looked out the backdoor to see where Monica was, but to her surprise, she saw herself out in the yard playing with Monica. Talos convinced them that he was there not to fight but to talk. After a tense moment they decided to give him a chance. Maria sent Monica outside and played the blackbox recording of Danvers's plane crash.

Danvers recovered her memory of the crash and how she got her cosmic powers, lost and confused more then ever about her identity now that she realized that she had been lied to by the Kree for years. Maria saw the situation and comforted her, calming her down by reminding her who she was, how she always supported Maria and how she was already the strongest person she knew even before she had any superpowers. Danvers then decided to make things right with the Skrulls by helping them find Wendy Lawson's old lab, asking for Maria's help as a good co-pilot.[1]

Battle at Mar-Vell's Laboratory

Maria co-piloting a Quadjet with Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers, Talos, Nick Fury, Rambeau, and Goose arrived at the laboratory in a modified Quadjet, where they found more Skrulls as well as the Tesseract. However, they were soon ambushed and captured by Starforce, but Danvers eventually broke out and set them free. Rambeau stuck with Fury, and Danvers caught up with them and decided to buy them time to escape from the laboratory. Maria piloted the Quadjet to get Fury and the Skrull refugees to safety on Earth. Minn-Erva followed them in a dropship, leading to an air combat over the Mojave Desert. Maria used her piloting skills to out-maneuver Minn-Erva and shoot her dropship out of the sky, killing her. Yon-Rogg then arrived at the battle in his dropship and shot their Quadjet, slightly damaging it, but Danvers used her newly discovered flying capabilities to intercept him, saving her allies including Maria.[1]

Celebrating Victory

Returning to the Rambeau Residence to celebrate their victory over the Kree, Maria enjoyed dinner with her friends. Danvers then decided she would go help the Skrulls find a new home far away from the Kree, and she said goodbye to everybody on Earth, bidding Maria and Monica a farewell.[1]

Founding S.W.O.R.D.

Several years after 1995, Rambeau founded S.W.O.R.D. before she was diagnosed with cancer. When half of the universe fell victim to the Snap, she came up with a new policy within S.W.O.R.D. to ground snapped agents in case they ever returned. This was done to protect her daughter, Monica, who was a victim of the Snap.[2]

Death from Cancer

Two years after the Snap, Rambeau's cancer returned and she passed away shortly after. Her legacy was carried on by her daughter Monica after the Blip brought her back to life.


Maria was a brave and resilient woman, much like her best friend. She pursued her love of aviation when it was uncommon and unexpected for women, eventually becoming an expert pilot, while raising her daughter on her own. She adapted to new and unexpected situations very well, as she quickly got over her first extraterrestrial encounter with Skrulls, used her skills to co-pilot a Quadjet and travel to space, and later shot down an experienced space pilot such as Minn-Erva when thrown into combat. She also disliked derogatory compliments like 'Young Lady', as she was furious when Talos called her that.


"You know, I could use a good co-pilot."
Carol Danvers to Maria Rambeau[src]










  • In the comics, Maria Rambeau is the mother of Monica Rambeau who became a superheroine, codenamed Photon. The name "Photon" was also used as a superhero name by Monica.
    • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Maria shares similarities with the character Marina Renner, a single mother who is close friends with Carol Danvers.

Behind the Scenes

  • Earlier versions of Captain Marvel were structured in a more linear fashion and started with Carol Danvers' friendship with Maria Rambeau and her life on Earth.[3]
  • DeWanda Wise was originally cast in the role but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[4]
  • Lashana Lynch described Rambeau as "resilient" and "strong" saying, "Maria's got a strength that's undeniable, in that you don't feel like you need to help her. She is thrown into many a situation in this movie that she's never been a part of, never seen, never experienced — and she just learns it, immediately."[5]
  • WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer had Maria Rambeau killed off offscreen in the episode "We Interrupt This Program" so they could set Monica Rambeau up with a storyline of her own in a rough and meaningful way, feeling that Maria was a deep part of Monica's own character.[6]
  • Keisha Tucker was a stunt double for Lashana Lynch in the role of Maria Rambeau.


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