Captain Marvel is the hero we need right now. Why, you ask? We’re about to tell you! The newest addition to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain Marvel” releases in theaters on March 8th, 2019 and will make a big impact when it hits. As of right now, “Avengers: End Game” has not teased anything about the titular hero’s involvement, but it’s very likely she could play a major part in the fight against Thanos. Though, many unfamiliar with the comics have lingering questions about this powerful superhero. Why is she such an important character in the MCU? We’re here to answer your questions and then some. Here’s why Captain Marvel is the hero we need right now!
Be warned: Spoilers Ahead.
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She's been in the superhero game since the 1960's
Captain Marvel was originally the moniker of an alien Kree soldier named Mar-Vell who debuted in “Marvel Superheroes#12“ in 1967. The following issue of that comic introduced readers to Carol Danvers, a United States Air Force officer who knew about Mar-Vell’s alter ego. After a freak explosion that exposed her to massive amounts of energy, Danvers became a human-Kree hybrid and took on the mantle of Ms. Marvel. The “Ms. Marvel” series was a watershed moment for feminist comics and made Carol Danvers a staple in Marvel Comics for decades.
She's the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Although audiences haven’t seen Captain Marvel in action onscreen yet, Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, has already revealed that the cosmic superhero will stand above the rest of the MCU pantheon. Feige stated, “All of the Marvel characters have flaws to them, all of them have a deep humanity to them. With Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”
In the comics, Carol Danvers possessed superhuman strength, flight, and a whole host of other powers that made her a force to be reckoned with. It’ll be interesting to see how her powers stack up with characters like Hulk, Thor, and Thanos.
She's got powers that will look amazing onscreen
Speaking of powers, Captain Marvel will be the first MCU superhero to possess a diverse array of abilities. Besides her strength and flight which are pretty common traits among heroes, Danvers also has the ability to absorb energy and manipulate matter. The trailer for “Captain Marvel” hinted at these unique powers, showing Carol shoot energy blasts from her hands.
While that might not be visually groundbreaking, it’ll be interesting to see how her energy absorption ability will be used in tandem with the energy blasts. Beyond that, she can also create energy constructs similar to Green Lantern. Industrial Light and Magic is at the helm for the visual effects production on “Captain Marvel,” so fans can rest assured that the titular hero’s energy abilities will look gorgeous in an IMAX screening.
She's got a cute cat
There’s plenty that sets Captain Marvel apart from the rest of the MCU, but she’s the only hero whose cat even makes super spy, Nick Fury, giddy. Carol’s pet tabby is named Goose after the “Top Gun” character and a nod to her Air Force affiliation. He’s also based on Captain Marvel’s cat from the comic series, Chewie.
In the comics, Chewie is known to be a Flerken—an alien race that resembles domestic cats from Earth and hold pocket dimensions inside their mouths. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have been mum about whether or not Goose is a Flerken, but if he is, it could have some implications for “Avengers: End Game.” Whatever the case may be, who doesn’t want to see a cute kitty sidekick in a superhero movie?
She's from the '90s
Blockbuster Video, Nine Inch Nails t-shirts, and pagers are just a few of the ’90s things the “Captain Marvel” trailer reveals. For those who didn’t experience the sheer awesomeness of the 1990’s, Captain Marvel will surely not disappoint in transporting Gen Z’ers back to a time without iPads or Instagram.
Besides the obvious ’90s references, Captain Marvel herself will be part of a world that is devoid of superheroes and inter-dimensional conflict. Essentially, the movie’s setting will be, as executive producer Jonathan Schwartz says, “a place in the cinematic universe that she can carve out for her own, where she wasn’t one superheroine out of many.”
She'll introduce the infamous Skrull Empire
The Skrulls are a hostile alien race that have been around the Marvel Universe since the early 1960’s, making their first appearance in “Fantastic Four #2.” Up until now the MCU hasn’t dealt with the threat of these green-skinned, pointy-eared humanoid shape shifters. But that’s all about to change with “Captain Marvel” where Danvers thwarts an invasion of the Skrulls. The introduction of the Skrulls could have major implications for the MCU, since they can disguise themselves as anyone. Who’s to say a Skrull doesn’t end up impersonating a key Avenger that Captain Marvel will unmask in a later film? Only time will tell.
She'll open up a new area of the MCU
Besides the introduction of the Skrulls, “Captain Marvel” will shed new light on the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although movie audiences first witnessed the cosmic characters of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, Carol Danvers’ origin story will include much about the Kree civilization which has been largely overlooked up to this point.
There’s also the possibility that Captain Marvel’s cosmic power set will gain the attention of bigger players from the comics, like the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Nova, or Eternity. Overall, Captain Marvel will surely push the cosmic envelope further as the MCU enters Phase 4.
She'll turn the tables on Thanos
[Warning: Spoilers Ahead] In the closing scene of “Infinity War,” Nick Fury uses a pager to reach out to Captain Marvel before he dies. Everything is bleak for the Avengers and Earth at this point in the MCU, but Captain Marvel will be Fury’s Hail Mary play against Thanos.
Though there’s little information on how Danvers will undo the Mad Titan’s finger snap, there’s plenty of clues from both characters’ comic history that could impact “Avengers: Endgame.” Thanos and Mar-Vell dueled numerous times in the original “Captain Marvel” series and Marvel Studios might shed light on this rivalry with Danvers serving as the current Captain. Additionally, it has been hinted that Captain Marvel might be able to access the “Quantum Realm,” enabling her to travel through space and time. This would allow Carol to revert Thanos’ genocidal purge over half of the universe.
She'll have a huge impact on female superhero movies
Aside from the impact Captain Marvel will have from a story standpoint, she will undoubtedly set a new bar for female superhero movies. While DC’s “Wonder Woman” paved the way for strong heroines in 2017, that film was unfortunately tied with less successful DC Universe movies which, if we’re being honest, might have diminished its overall impact.
“Captain Marvel,” on the other hand, is being pushed by the production juggernaut Marvel Studios, with an undeniable, wildly successful, pedigree in the superhero genre. There is little doubt that Captain Marvel will be a smash hit at the box office and will propel more female-led superhero movies.
She'll be a great role model for young women
When Marvel Comics created the “Ms. Marvel” series in 1977, co-creator Gerry Conway had a specific purpose in crafting a female hero. “We were looking to expand our reach to a wider audience, and to reach young women and young girls as potential audience,” he said. Essentially, the creative team at Marvel wanted to give young women a superhero they could relate to just as young men looked up to heroes like Captain America and Iron Man.
In 2019, the goal for Marvel Studios is quite similar. Captain Marvel will be the first female-driven adventure from the production company and it will seek to empower young women just as “Ms. Marvel” did decades earlier. The tagline for the movie “Higher. Further. Faster” is not only a nod to the ongoing comic series, but also a statement that women should aim high like Captain Marvel.