Captain Marvel Crash Course: 12 Things You Need To Know Before Watching

2019.03.04
Captain Marvel Crash Course: 12 Things You Need To Know Before Watching
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Dexian Wang
by Dexian Wang
Captain Marvel Crash Course: 12 Things You Need To Know Before Watching

For many fans, it’s just one more movie until Avengers: Endgame. But for many others, Captain Marvel is the movie they’ve been waiting for since Marvel dropped their Phase 3 slate way back October 2014. There were even murmurs of disappointment when Marvel pushed back Black Panther and Captain Marvel to slot Spider-Man: Homecoming back into the fold. Just who is this Captain, exactly??

1. She’s Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan. She first appeared as an officer in the United States Air Force and a colleague of the Kree superhero Mar-Vell in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968).  She’s had a rank as high as Major in the comic books, so technically... she outranks Steve Rogers.

2. The Battle for the Name

Believe it or not, Captain Marvel wasn’t always a Marvel thing. The name first belonged to a Captain Marvel by Fawcett Comics. In the character’s heyday of the 40s, he was the most popular comic book character, even outselling Superman! Eventually, because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics, he became property of DC Comics in 1953. However, DC Comics did not do anything with the character for a while.

Unbeknownst to DC, Marvel Comics published a Captain Marvel series of their own in the late sixties and gained the trademark to the name… and haven’t given it up since. DC’s Captain Marvel is now more commonly referred to as Shazam and has his own movie coming out later this year!

3. A bevy of monikers

Carol Danvers’ comic book origins is forever linked with Mar-Vell, the Kree superhero and Marvel’s first Captain Marvel. After an explosion of a Kree device known as the “Psyche-Magnetron” (the 60s were a wild time, guys), Carol's genetic structure melded with Captain Marvel's, effectively turning her into a human-Kree hybrid.

She would then be known as Ms. Marvel, which at the time was a very progressive move in line with the feminist movement. Carol even fought for equal pay in her civilian identity. Over decades, Carol would be known other monikers such as Binary and Warbird, but remained most closely associated with the Ms. Marvel moniker, becoming a long-tenured Avenger. In 2012, Carol would finally assume the moniker of Captain Marvel, with Kamala Khan, a teenage Pakistani American from Jersey City, New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities who idolises Carol, assuming the Ms. Marvel mantle.

4. No skirts on set

Ms. Marvel’s iconic costume is essentially a one-piece bathing suit with knee-high boots. Fortunately for Brie Larson, both her and Kevin Feige were on the same page regarding the costume… going with the redesigned Captain Marvel outfit from 2012. Besides, it’s got the badass “combat mode” mohawk helmet.

5. She’s pretty dang powerful

Captain Marvel’s powers do come across as pretty Superman/generic overpowered person at first glance: superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, physical durability, a limited precognitive "seventh sense", and a perfectly amalgamated human/Kree physiology that rendered her resistant to most toxins and poisons. Her trademark power is probably her ability to absorb other forms of energy, such as electricity, to further magnify her strength and energy projection, up to the force of an exploding nuclear weapon. She has previously displayed the ability to withstand the pressure from a ninety-two-ton weight, and strike with a similar level of force when sufficiently boosted by energy.

6. She has a cat!

In the comics, Carol has a pet “cat” named Chewie, a reference to Chewbacca from Star Wars. However, Chewie is a Flerken, an alien creature that resembles Earth's house cats. Flerken lay eggs to produce offspring (they can drop over one hundred at a time), have tentacles that extend from their mouths, and possess human-level intellect.

In the movie, Chewie has been renamed to Goose, a reference to Top Gun’s loyal wingman. Goose is portrayed by four different cats, Reggie, Archie, Rizzo and Gonzo.

7. Royalty

Brie Larson joins an exclusive group of actors, as she will be the 19th Academy Award winner to play in the MCU sandbox.

The full list: Cate Blanchett (2x!), Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, Matt Damon, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas (2x), Anthony Hopkins William Hurt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben KingsleyLupita Nyong'o, Natalie Portman, Robert Redford, Sam Rockwell, Tilda Swinton, Marisa Tomei, Forest Whitaker, Brie Larson.

Room

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8. Nineties!

The film will be set in the nineties… something we can already see with Carol rocking a Nine Inch Nails’ shirt. It’s a chance for us to learn more about Nick Fury, and his life before he lost an eye.

9. Don’t call it a comeback…

Other than Nick Fury, we’ll also have the pleasure of watching creepy deaging technology be used on a few returning characters: Agent Coulson, as well as Guardians of The Galaxy’s rather forgettable villain, Ronan The Accuser, and Korath (Ronan’s right-hand man).

10. Not your typical origin story

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has stated on numerous occasions that Captain Marvel will not be your typical origin story. The movie will seem to begin with Carol already part of Starforce, an elite Kree military unit, and reconciling with her past on Earth as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot.

11. Shapeshifters!

Whenever the Kree are involved, you can bet that their arch-rivals, the Skrulls, are not far behind. The Skrulls are green aliens who possess the ability to shapeshift. They are known primarily in Marvel Canon for two things: their endless battle with the Kree, and the “Secret Invasion”, a storyline where Skrulls replaced superheroes, and then revealed themselves Order 66-style to stage an invasion of Earth. A seed planted by Marvel Studios, perhaps…?

12. A fond memory

Stan Lee, a co-creator of the original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), will make a posthumous cameo in the movie. Excelsior, Stan!