Captain Marvel will transport audiences back to the 1990s. That’s not only a setting that’s full of pop culture relics including Blockbuster video-rental stores and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts (Carol Danvers was a fan) but a time when the Kree-Skrull War impacts Earth. This intergalactic war spans thousands of years and fills a mammoth chunk of Marvel comic-book lore, but the long-standing conflict hasn’t materialized onscreen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until this movie. Yes, the Kree (through the characters of Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer, along with rejected Kree slave Yondu, who’s Star-Lord’s adoptive father) were actually introduced into the MCU in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. However, they’ve still largely been sidestepped in favor of showcasing extraterrestrial foes like the Chitauri until now.
That’s an interesting tactic and ties into how Captain Marvel has so far stayed absent from the MCU, beginning with 2008’s Iron Man. Suddenly, we’re staring down the Phase 3 capper, Avengers: Endgame, as it’s due to arrive on April 26, and Carol Danvers interfaces with Nick Fury to confront a “bad guy”/Skrull infestation on Earth. The possibilities for introducing this war are endless because the backstory is almost mind-boggling in its breadth, so it’s worth digging into and wondering whether the war will be confined to this movie, or whether it will hold implications for Endgame (and beyond). Let’s talk it out.
The Timing Of The Set Up
As seen above, there’s no love lost between Carol Danvers and her enemies while she furiously mocked a Skrull in this television spot, but it’s useful to consider the timing of when Captain Marvel surfaces on Earth. If this movie takes place in the 1990s, where has she been throughout the MCU? Given that Marvel chief Kevin Feige shut down Joss Whedon’s hope of introducing her in 2015’s Age Of Ultron, we can gather that Captain Marvel’s been purposely held back for a big reveal (because she’s a title character and deserves as much). Nick Fury didn’t call for her until right before he was dusted in an Infinity War post-credits scene, and she’s presumably been quite busy with a mystery task in outer space. She’s his secret weapon of sorts, and he knows that she could possibly be the only Avenger who’s powerful enough defeat Thanos.
Carol Danvers begins Captain Marvel with a strong identification to her Kree heritage. In fact, she very much believes that she’s 100% Kree, who she describes as a race of “noble warrior heroes.” She’s the first extraterrestrial on Nick Fury’s radar and sets out to figure out what the Skrulls want. In the process, she also learns about her own links to humanity. As for Jude Law’s character, he was originally believed to be Mar-Vell, the original incarnation of Captain Marvel in the comics, but he actually plays Yon-Rogg, the Starforce commander who trains Carol. Lee Pace returns to the MCU as Ronan the Accuser, and Ben Mendelsohn has been hailed as a surprise MVP while playing Skrull leader Talos, who arrives on Earth to hunt down Danvers. According to UPROXX’s Mike Ryan, Mendelsohn infuses the role with humanity. (Without spoiling anything here, this leads to other unexpected outcomes that don’t necessarily line up with comic book lore, but let’s do this anyway.)