We had it all mapped out: Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) would pop up in Avengers: Infinity War before her solo film launched in March of 2019 and become a new force within the MCU for a next phase that might not be as Thor-y or Cap-y or Tony Stark-y. That was the theory, at least, but in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con today, Marvel threw a possible monkey wrench into that plan: Captain Marvel is going to take place in the early ’90s well before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) let the world know that he was Iron Man.
We also know that Samuel L. Jackson is going to definitely be around as Nick Fury and that we’ll see him with two good eyes… for a little bit, at least. What may be the biggest reveal, however, is that the shape shifting alien Skrulls are going to embody Danvers’ big challenge and that she’s going to be punching many of them in the face, if concept art is to be believed.
In the past, use of the Skrulls had been a sticky wicket, to use a legal term. Marvel didn’t have complete rights to the characters, so it’s nice to see that that got resolved, though their presence like the prequel detail raises questions: have they been lurking about, impersonating villains, seemingly inconsequential side characters, or maybe even heroes in the MCU all along? Maybe by 2019, we’ll be even more ready for a bit of backstory on the Skrulls. You know, after Steve Rogers turns out to be one. That’s wild and near meritless speculation… but it does have some basis in how the Skrulls have been used in the comic books, including in Secret Invasion. Maybe it won’t be Rogers, but it could be someone and it’s now, at least theoretically possible, that we might see the Skrulls start to destabilize the Avengers before Captain Marvel debuts with their predilection for shapeshifting and their secure place in the Marvel Studios toybox.
Jumping back to the ’90s thing, it’s probably a necessity to allow for a pre-Stark Skrull adventure and it’s a fun era that offers the chance to play with people’s memba-feels and maybe assemble a fun soundtrack (let’s have a collective rediscovery of Toad The Wet Sprocket, huh?). But of course, of course, Marvel is going to lay down some simple detail that allows Danvers (and Larson) to be a big part of the MCU without old-age makeup in modern day. It’s a comic book movie, maybe you age slower in space or some cosmic doohickey de-ages you. Regardless, Captain Marvel and the Skrulls are sure to make a big mark on the MCU. The question is: will it be on March 8, 2019 or sooner?