My Name Is Carol Danvers
Captain Marvelestablished some important touchstones in Marvel Cinematic Universe history – but in doing so, it also left numerous questions about the hero, her alter-ego Carol Danvers, and the future of the MCU unanswered.
WithAvengers: Endgameon the horizon, we’re examiningCaptain Marvel‘s implications for the end of the Avengers saga, and examining the lingering questions Marvel’s latest blockbuster leaves in its wake.
Heavy Spoilers for Captain Marvel ahead.
What’s Next for Yon-Rogg?
When we last saw Yon-Rogg, Carol’s former mentor turned enemy, Carol was loading him into a ship to travel back to Hala, the Kree homeworld, to face Kree justice for his failure in capturing Carol.
But then what? AsGuardians of the Galaxy’s recurring Ronan and Korath showed, there are plenty of Kree warriors still around from Carol’s era. So where’s Yon-Rogg?
It’s possible he’ll beCaptain Marvel’s easy-come-easy-go villain in the sense of many MCU baddies, making his mark on his film not to be seen again – though we can’t say we’d be sad to see Jude Law play the menacing Kree warrior again.
Will Talos be in Avengers: Endgame Wildcard?
Speaking ofCaptain Marvel’s “villains,” the Skrull general Talos is emerging as a fan-favorite character in the film, and an unexpected hero and friend and ally to both Carol and Nick Fury. And given his talents (and the talents of actor Ben Mendelsohn), we’re now wondering if Talos could have a surprise spot inAvengers: Endgame.
Given thatEndgameshooting went on for some time afterCaptain Marvelwrapped, it’s possible that Mendelsohn made it in there in a cameo shout out to Carol’s history. And who better to embody one of the film’s many purported secrets than a character who can look like anyone?
How Soon Will Monica Rambeau Become a Superhero?
Speaking ofAvengers: Endgame, we’re now also wondering if there’s a place in the film for an older Monica Rambeau (and if not, why the heck not?). Considering how magnetic Carol and Monica’s aunt/niece chemistry was inCaptain Marvel, we’d be shocked to learn there aren’t plans for how to incorporate Monica somewhere into the future of the MCU.
In comic books, Monica Rambeau is technically Carol’s predecessor as Captain Marvel, though Carol herself predates Monica as a character and a hero. But with powerful energy abilities of her own, and a consistently loyal (if small) fanbase, we’d expect she might take up her mom’s callsign Photon as a hero sooner or later.
What, Marvel Worry?
Marvel Studios know their business, and it’s probably safe to assume they anticipated some of the manufactured ‘controversy’ that surrounded the release of the film. But not only did they appear not to be the least bit frightened by it, they seemed to triple down on not giving a damn.
Forget just foregoing Mar-vell the original (male) Captain Marvel for Carol, they changed the character into a woman herself for an extra how-do-you-do and went even further by adding the cherry on top that Carol is the namesake inspiration for the Avengers.
Captain Marvelmay be the funniest, most appropriate and most welcome middle finger in a Marvel movie since Star Lord inGuardians of the Galaxy.
If this is a sign of the Marvel future, bring it on!
What Happened to Goose?
Captain Marvel’s post-credits scene closed the loop on the Tesseract’s journey to Nick Fury’s hands (more on that later). But what happened to Goose – the cat/flerken that helped Fury purloin the Tesseract to begin with?
Fury sure has an affinity for the flerken (even though he has one glaring reason not to trust it). Cat owners may feel retroactive sympathy for the bitterness in Fury’s voice when he says his big line about losing his eye inCaptain America: The Winter Soldier– and they may also understand just how short lived cats (and perhaps flerken) are, compared to humans.
What we’re saying is, 20 years is a long time for a cat-like being who is already an adult. Still, we’re holding out hope for a moment between Goose and Rocket inEndgame.
Was Carol Danvers Removed From That Avengers: Endgame Trailer?
Thanks toCaptain Marvel’s mid-credits scene, it’s now clear that Carol Danvers will be among the Avengers much earlier than previously anticipated inAvengers: Endgame– like, right from the get-go.
So what does that mean for trailers we’ve already seen that appear to be from early scenes in the film, where she’s not present in group shots? It seems like anInfinity War-Wakanda-Hulk situation, where the actual Hulk was seen in trailers for the film in scenes where the Hulkbuster actually appeared.
It’s a simple way to maintain a fun surprise forCaptain Marvel’s big stinger scene, and that’s probably the end of it. But there’s one other possibility – with the Time and Reality Stones (and the Quantum Realm) in play, there’s a chanceEndgamecould feature multiple versions of the same scene with different characters in different timelines.
A small chance to be sure, but in a universe with, well,infinitepossibilities at the snap of a finger … Who knows?
Light Speed Travel?
The vaunted Tesseract – the cube that houses the Space Stone – is the Merry Marvel MacGuffin at the heart ofCaptain Marvel, a midgame reveal that gives the MCU version of a Cosmic Cube more film appearances than some members of the Avengers.
And this time, the Tesseract is the key to an experimental light speed drive that Dr. Lawson/Mar-Vell is developing and which Carol pilots during the accident that gives her powers – powers indirectly derived from the Space Stone, one of the few established ways to travel instantly across the galaxy in the MCU (previous movies have all shown such travel through individual cosmic power or via wormholes/gates).
That level of power certainly explains how Carol Danvers could survive in space and return to Earth so relatively quickly after Fury’s page.
And – we may as well point it out – could provide a much more plausible scenario for bringing Tony Stark home to Earth.
How Did Lawson/Mar-Vell Get The Tesseract?
One question that remains unanswered inCaptain Marvelis how Wendy Lawson/Mar-Vell obtained the Tesseract in the first place. Its MCU provenance is surprisingly clear – to a point. Red Skull found it on Earth (how it got here is admittedly still its own mystery) inCaptain America: The First Avenger, with Howard Stark retrieving it at the end of that film.Iron Man 2establishes that Howard Stark studied the Cube for years – well into the time he was founding S.H.I.E.L.D. – as its seen while Tony Stark studies his dad’s journals.
And that’s where the direct chain ends – with the Tesseract in Howard Stark/S.H.I.E.L.D.’s hands, where it remains under study at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. inAvengers. And thanks to this recent development, we know Fury got his hands on it directly from Lawson’s lab. So … Where didsheget it?
Well, the simple answer is, Howard Stark probably gave it to her when establishing Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. (more on that in a moment). It’s shown inAnt-Manthat Howard Stark is directly responsible for S.H.I.E.L.D. working on developing a version of Pym Particles and other experimental tech in 1989 – the same year Lawson was operating at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and Carol’s crash happened.
Even though that does easily establish a chain of events for Lawson to get the Tesseract, the question of how she managed to secret it away to a hidden orbital lab in a Kree ship manages to linger…
What is Project Exodus?
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., the facility that houses the Tesseract and Dr. Lawson’s experimental light speed drive, is established to be one of three such projects inIron Man 2(a little-loved film that is nonetheless proving to be vital to MCU history) – the other two being Project Goliath and Project Exodus.
We know what Project Goliath is – that was Hank Pym and Bill Foster’s aborted experiments with growth serum, which led to their falling out at S.H.I.E.L.D. attempting to recreate Pym Particles.
So what’s “Project Exodus”?
It’s the only one of the three established secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities in the MCU that doesn’t have an obvious comic book counterpart. In fact, in Marvel Comics, the most prominent “Exodus” is a mutant villain with ties to the Black Knight and the Eternals.
Now, we’re not gonna go so far out on a limb and suggest Marvel was trying to seed an obscure X-Men subplot way back in 2010 – long before Disney was planning to purchase Fox and bring the X-Men film rights to Marvel Studios.
But if it’s a blank that needs filling in … well … did you read those other names we mentioned alongside Exodus?
What is the Future of the Skrulls?
It seems pretty clear that any notions of aSecret Invasionstyle long-game subplot in the next phase of the MCU are out the window followingCaptain Marvel(perhaps the writing would have been too clear on the wall for a later Thanos-style reveal for the Skrulls in such a story). But that begs the question – is that it for Skrulls?
This seems unlikely. They’re too integral a part of Marvel lore to ignore entirely from now on. And with the Fantastic Four film rights coming back to Marvel as soon as Disney’s buyout of Fox’s assets is complete, the MCU could now have room for characters like Super Skrull and Empress Veranke – and that’s saying nothing of the Skrull’s comic book ties to the Externals, the Deviants, and yes, even Thanos.
Here’s a possibility. Even if the Skrulls are relegated to a new hidden homeworld in the modern day MCU, could an FF movie set in the past focus on the Skrull empire at its height – perhaps including Super Skrull and Veranke?