HomeMoviesThe Future Is Female: 5 Ways Captain Marvel May Change the MCU

The Future Is Female: 5 Ways Captain Marvel May Change the MCU

Captain Marvel
Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Sorry to all the trolls out there, but Captain Marvel is here and kicking the butt of everyone in her way (including the box office). Now that the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe headlined by a woman is in theaters, it’s time to consider how exactly Captain Marvel will change the landscape of the ever-expanding MCU. And make no mistake, Captain Marvel is a game-changer. From both business and narrative standpoints, the film ushers in some exciting developments that will set the stage for the next decade of comic book movies.

Warning:  spoilers for Captain Marvel ahead

1.Who Runs the World?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has featured badass women throughout its decade-long run in theaters. Peggy Carter, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, half the cast of Black Panther. The list goes on. Yet it wasn’t until the twenty-first(!) film in the MCU that we got to see a woman in the starring role. Despite the sexist and weak criticisms thrown against her, Brie Larson owns the role of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel as she breaks through the glass ceiling of superhero films (even if that ceiling was already significantly shattered by the Distinguished Competition in the form of Gal Gadot’s Woman Woman).

Now that Captain Marvel has finally made her debut on the silver screen, more superheroines are sure to follow. A long overdue Black Widow movie is currently in development and will no doubt be a box office boom given Scarlett Johansson’s star power and strong supporting performances in the MCU. Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind Marvel Studios, has also recognized fan interest in a Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel movie and expressed a desire to eventually bring the character to life. And when Disney gets full ownership over the rights to X-Men and the Fantastic Four, the studio will be able to give top billing to even more superheroines. Rest assured:  Captain Marvel is just the beginning of a wave of comic book movies with women in the title role.

2. O Captain, My (New) Captain

As hinted at in the credit scenes of both Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel, Carol will have a key role in the fight against Thanos. After discovering her favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and others have been dusted, she will no doubt be out for blood in Endgame.  Considered by many fans to be the strongest hero in the universe (apologies to Thor), Captain Marvel will automatically become the Avengers’ secret weapon.

But more than that, the hero formerly known as Vers could also rise quickly through the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If fan speculation can be believed, the avenging days of both Tony Stark/Iron Man and Steve Rogers/Captain America are almost over (thanks in large part to Chris Evans’s contract ending). With them gone, the Avengers will likely be under new management. As the most powerful hero with military and cosmic experience, Captain Marvel would be a solid candidate for head Avenger. Moreover, as the Earth becomes further entangled in intergalactic struggles, Carol’s dual citizenship could make her a good ambassador and bridge between worlds.

3. Skrull Me By Your Name

Like many people who saw Captain Marvel during its opening weekend, my knowledge of the Skrulls was limited to the “Secret Invasion” storyline (in which the shapeshifting aliens infiltrated Earth and impersonated many of its heroes). Going into this film, I thought the movie may set up a film adaptation of that famous comic event. Well, I was all kinds of wrong.

As refugees persecuted by the Kree Empire, the misunderstood Skrulls actually continue a running theme in Phase 3 of the MCU (that is, the current slate of Marvel Studios films kicked off by Captain America: Civil War). Like Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther before it, Captain Marvel rejects isolationism and displays that true heroes build bridges rather than barriers, protecting immigrants and those individuals without a proper home of their own.

While earth may be secretly invaded eventually, the storyline likely won’t be coming to theaters in the near future. Instead, the Skrulls could be important allies for Captain Marvel and the Avengers in their battles against Thanos and other interstellar baddies.  Wild theory: a Skrull will impersonate Gamora to distract Thanos while Carol and company strike a killing blow. Unlikely? Yes. But fun to consider.

4.Kree-p Show

On the other hand, the Kree just shot up to number one on the list of cosmic threats to Earth (other than everyone’s favorite purple giant). As climactic as Endgame will be, the MCU will continue on after the next Avengers film and will need another set of villains to test and unite Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If you’re looking for the next Thanos-level antagonist for Phase 4 and beyond, look no further than the Kree Empire.

Ronan (Lee Pace) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) may be dead, but the Supreme Intelligence, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), and most of Starforce are still alive at the end of the movie and have a bone to pick with their former comrade and her human allies. You can be sure that revenge is on their minds. Plus, since Captain Marvel takes place in 1995, the empire has had more than two decades to scheme and develop a plan to punish Vers and those pesky earthlings.

We have not seen the last of the Kree.

5. You Look Young for Your Age

Disney has either found the Fountain of Youth or perfected time travel technology. Nothing else can explain how good Samuel L. Jackson looks as young Nick Fury. Marvel’s de-aging technology has been exceptional over the years (particularly in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp), but Captain Marvel takes the game to another level. Disney sure has come a long way since Rogue One got lost in the uncanny valley. To have a de-aged actor look so authentic and be on-screen for so much of the movie is a testament to the wizardry (and money) of Disney.

This technology opens so many doors to future storytelling in the MCU. Any existing character can now have a prequel with the same actor. More films can now be set in past decades. Flashbacks can be shot without even needing to hire a young lookalike. The possibilities are staggering.

Bonus.  Troll Hunter

Don’t expect Marvel and Disney to take the troll campaign against Captain Marvel lightly. Following the largely amplified and fabricated backlash against The Last Jedi, Disney is likely reeling that two of its biggest properties have been at the center of so much online scrutiny. Rotten Tomatoes and YouTube have already taken steps to address pre-release criticism and other online sexism, and Disney will likely use its massive influence to convince other review aggregates and forums to shut down the trolls in anticipation of future releases.

Josh Sarnecky
Josh Sarnecky
Josh Sarnecky is one of Pop Break's staff writers and covers Voltron: Legendary Defender, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things. His brother, Aaron, also writes for the website, but Josh is the family’s reigning Trivial Pursuit: Star Wars champion.


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