What you need to know about Captain Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest hero

by Brandon Russell | May 5, 2018May 5, 2018 9:00 am PDT

Note there are spoilers ahead

The ending of Avengers: Infinity War was a gut punch to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After ten long years of anticipation, the arrival of Thanos saw the Mad Titan collect the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of the universe, including several members of the Avengers. It was a shocking end to a movie filled with jaw-dropping moments.

But never fear, Marvel fans, as Avengers 4 is set for a May 2019 release, so that big cliffhanger won’t last forever. While many questions about the MCU’s future remain, we know one thing for certain: The tides are about to turn in the Avengers’s favor. Thanos won’t be able to enjoy retirement for long.

If you stayed for the post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War, you will have seen an exciting—albeit brief—tease of what’s to come. As Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) were disappearing from existence, Fury was able to send an emergency distress call to Captain Marvel, who will make her long-awaited debut next year.

Why is Fury just now calling on her? And why is she so important?

She has an interesting origin

Brie Larson was announced as Captain Marvel all the way back 2016, though a movie has been in development since at least 2014. Needless to say, her arrival has been a long time coming, and with DC’s incredible success with Wonder Woman, her arrival is significant for more reasons than one. So, who is she?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Captain Marvel will introduce audiences to Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who is later endowed with superhuman strength and durability after her DNA is scrambled with the DNA of an alien named Mar-Vell, who is a member of the alien Kree.

You remember the Kree, right? We met one in Guardians of the Galaxy: He went by Ronan the Accuser, and was one of the universe’s more delightfully fun villains. Ultimately, he was thwarted by Star-Lord’s hypnotic dance moves. On a side note, Ronan will appear in Captain Marvel’s upcoming movie, which is scheduled for a release on March 8, 2019.

Danvers was first introduced back in 1968, later becoming Ms. Marvel in 1977, when she was a counterpart to Captain Marvel, otherwise known as Mar-Vell. It was then her DNA was fused with his following an explosion, providing her with superhuman powers.

Captain Marvel’s solo movie is set to take place in the 1990s, well before the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The idea is to slowly introduce the audience to her character before she heroically arrives in Avengers 4. It’s unclear how closely the film will stick to her comic origins, or how they’ll explain her in-universe absence over the last ten years, but we do at least know Ronan is set to appear in her first live-action film, as will Mar-Vell.

Another familiar face set to appear in Captain Marvel will be Nick Fury. Apparently, we’ll get to see Fury with two good eyes, finally providing audiences with an explanation as to why he wears an eyepatch.

Marvel previously confirmed a big part of Captain Marvel will be based on the comic book storyline “The Kree-Skrull War. Here’s what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told IGN last year:

“Captain Marvel will be our 21st film in the cinematic universe, and we’ve never seen the Skrulls,” Feige said. “How come? We thought it would be fun. There’s an entire section of our comics that deal with the Kree/Skrull war, and we haven’t tapped into that at all, and we thought that would be an amazing, huge part of the mythology to belong to Captain Marvel.”

She’s the most powerful Avenger

Feige has already confirmed Captain Marvel will be the strongest Avengers by far, even more powerful than Hulk and Thor. Here’s what Feige had to say about Captain Marvel shortly after Larson’s getting the role:

“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. It’s important, then, to counterbalance that with someone who feels real. She needs to have a humanity to tap into, and Brie can do that.”

Obviously, she will be a formidable opponent to Thanos, but she still won’t be able to stop him by herself. It will be interesting to see how she’s integrated into the Avengers, especially now that the team is in such dire straits.

She’s the future

As we’ve already said, Captain Marvel will be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as other major characters, such as Iron Man and Captain America, are phased out. But it won’t just be about how Captain Marvel integrates with heroes on Earth. Her arrival, as Feige already pointed out, opens up a lot of new mythology.

It’s a natural evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences have responded incredibly well to Guardians of the Galaxy, while Thor: Ragnarok was praised for its cosmic weirdness. Captain Marvel is another important piece to Marvel’s plans to further explore the cosmos.

We’re not entirely sure how Captain Marvel will be translated onto the big screen. But Fury’s distress call is incredibly important, not only for the survival of the Avengers, but the larger MCU.

Captain Marvel is set to hit theaters on March 8, 2019.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...