Captain Marvel Photos Explained

Fans finally got their first look at Marvel Studios next film, Captain Marvel, with the exclusive Entertainment Weekly cover and photos. We covered the story here.

Let’s dig a little deeper and analyze the photos and the article to see what hints they give us about the 21st entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how this will be unlike any previous origin story we’ve seen yet.

Look At Me, I’m The Captain Now

First up is a look at Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel costume. She graced the cover but this is the first official photo of her costume within the context of the film. Looks straight out of the 2012 comic book run of the character. Since we see her wearing her traditional Kree uniform in other photos this outfit seems to be a symbolic one. She has shed image as part of the Kree establishment and gone rogue, her own free agent.

Mar-Vell Mystery?

Jude Law is about to have two back to back franchises open. Audiences will first see him as Dumbledore in Fantastic Beast the Crimes of Grindlewald and then in Captain Marvel. The article describes him as a mentor to Carol Danvers, but what is more interesting is what is not said. No where in the article do they describe him as Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel. When the casting news broke the first time they said Mar-Vell so one has to wonder why the article goes out of its way to not mention his characters name. Why is Marvel trying to keep his identity a secret?

Guardians of the Galaxy Begins

Director Anna Boden is seen directing Mar-Vell and Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy, again played by Lee Pace. While in Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan was a Kree fanatic separate from the empire, in this film he is a high ranking member of the Kree Empire.

A lot has been written about how Ronan the Accuser is one of the weaker Marvel film villains, lacking depth. Yet that was part of the appeal of that film and Ronan attributed to that. The film was a traditional space opera playing out with these Guardians acting as a virus disrupting the story’s narrative from taking itself seriously. Ronan works as the perfect villain for them since he is the perfect straight man. Serious, and when he finally meets the Guardians face to face he doesn’t know how to react. He is shocked and angered by their tom-foolery. That having been said it will be nice to expand Ronan’s history and serve as a mini-Guardians of the Galaxy prequel.

The Full Might of the Starforce

Carol Danvers will start the film as a member of Starforce, a Kree Military Strike Force. Ronan the Accuser and Jude Law’s character seem to be in charge of the strike team. The Starforce outfit is the green and teal suit that pays homage to Mar-Vell’s original costume from the Marvel comics. Carol’s team members include some interesting characters with major implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

First up is Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan as Minerva, the sniper of the team. In the comics she is known as Dr. Minerva, a Kree Geneticist. Since the film starts Carol Danvers with her powers and going on a journey to uncover more about her past, it is possible Carol will discover that Minvera might be responsible for giving her powers.

Another Guardians of the Galaxy character pops up, Korath the Accuser, again played by Djimon Hounsou. This seems to be a pre-cybernetic enhanced. This will be the actors third superhero film in a row. He will be first seen in 2018 in Aquaman as the Fisherman King, then here in Captain Marvel, and following those as the Wizard in Shazam.

Other members of the Starforce seem to include Minvera’s comic book partner Captain Atlas, and Bron-Char.

Secret Invasion

Fans were given a glimpse of the Skrull in concept art form at 2017’s Comic-Con, yet this is our first glimpse of them in live action. Like the Kree and many of the other aliens in the MCU they are brought to life with make-up instead of full CGI. The Skrulls first made their appearance in Fantastic Four Vol 1. Issue #2 and have been a force to be reckoned with in the Marvel Universe.

Their two most famous story lines seem to be forming the basis of this story. The Kree-Skrull War and Secret Invasion. Secret Invasion say the Skrulls infiltrate many key positions across the world to take it over. The Skrulls have probably come to Earth and the Kree suspect them of wanting to seize the Earth for their Empire. That leads the Kree to send their Starforce down to Earth and stop them, leading to a giant war on Planet Earth, but one in the shadows that man kind does not know about. Like the tagline for Transformers in 2007 “It’s our planet, their war”.

Villain Revealed

Ben Mendelsohn (Rouge One: A Star Wars Story) has cast as the villain of Captain Marvel about a year ago yet his role was left a mystery. It was finally revealed he will be playing the Skrull known as Talos. This major implication here is what has been changed from the comics. In the comics Talos is a Skrull who lacks the ability to shape shift, yet since Mendelsohn is shown without Skrull make-up, it is safe to assume this is a form he takes in the film. In this film Talos is the Skrull leader, possibly setting up the role of the Skrull Queen in future Marvel films.

I Got My Eye On You

“Last time I trusted somebody I lost an eye” line from Captain America: The Winter Solider might have just been a throwaway line in that film which has now become a major plot point in Captain Marvel. One can gather from that line that somebody close to Fury (maybe even Carol Danvers herself) in one scene will be revealed as a Skrull which results in Fury losing his eye.

Now while that line from The Winter Soldier has been expanded, it appears another has been retconned. Alexander Pierce told Steve Rodger’s that it was in the 80’s when Nick got appointed to Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., yet in Captain Marvel which takes place in the 90’s, will feature Fury as a desk jockey. Now maybe Fury got demoted, wouldn’t be unheard of for him, given his history. If not though this wouldn’t be the first time Marvel has rewritten their own history in order to tell a better stand alone story (see also in the first Iron Man how it appears S.H.I.E.L.D. is this relatively new thing yet we later find out its been around for decades).

Marvel has been experimenting with digital de-agining their actors for a while now. First in 2015’s Ant-Man with Michael Douglas, then a year later with a teenage Robert Downey Jr. for Captain America: Civil War. Most recently in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp they de-aged Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer. Marvel now seems confident in the technology to feature an actor in a major role throughout the movie with this effect.

Wing Woman

Lashana Lynch stars as Maria Rambeau, one of Carol’s oldest friends who’s an ace Air Force pilot with the call sign “Photon.” Maria is a single mother to a young daughter Monica, and Marvel comic fans should recognize that name. Monica Rambeau is one of the many characters to take on the alias ‘Ms. Marvel’ in the comics, but also took on other superhero code names including Pulsar, Spectrum, and most importantly…Photon. Photon here is a nice reference to the comics but also might come back in a future Marvel movie. If Monica does become a superhero in her own right, she could take her mother’s call sign as her superhero name.

I Feel The Need For Speed

When this film begins Captain Marvel will already have her powers, and throughout the course of the film will discover more about her past. That is a break from the traditional origin story Marvel does that sets the character up in their regular world before bringing them into the larger universe like Ant-Man or Doctor Strange. But unlike Black Panther or Spider-Man: Homecoming, which had their characters first introduced in a prior film, this movie will introduce Captain Marvel to an audience for the first time and get her origin out of the way. It is possible we will see flashbacks in a style similar to Batman Begins. Or it will be a mystery in the vein of Blade Runner 2049 that starts her in one place and goes on a mission that gets her to question her history?

A lot of discussion will be about comparing Captain Marvel to Wonder Woman, because they are both superhero movies with women and that is enough for the internet. Even though nobody would really compare Man of Steel to say, Thor, since they are both such different movies. The DC property Captain Marvel does have similarities to is Green Lantern. Both were fighter pilots who end up getting alien based superpowers. The writers of the film have even commented how they had to alters Carol’s origin story to make it different from Lantern’s. They are keeping the hot shot air-force pilot angle inspired by Top Gun, but most of this film will focus on Carol’s duties as an intergalactic peace keeper.

90’s Kids Will Remember This

Finally, the shot that pretty much broke the fandom internet. Carol Danvers being a true 90’s kid (or 90’s adult) rocking the Nine Inch Nails t-shirt. The shirt is a nice callback to the first Avengers teaser trailer which featured Nine Inch Nails ‘We’re In This Together’. Somebody at Marvel really loves 90’s rock bands (which we can’t blame them for) since the Avengers featured an original song ‘Live to Rise’ from 90’s grunge band Soundgarden. The Defenders used Nirvana’s ‘Come As You Are’ predominantly in their marketing. Since Captain Marvel is going to be drawing inspiration from 90’s action films one can only hope as a nice call back to Terminator 2: Judgement Day they play ‘You Could Be Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses.

The Nine Inch Nails shirt itself may also give us a time period for when the film takes place. It has already been stated it is the 90’s but at what point? Is it before or after December 16th, 1991 when the Winter Solider killed Howard Stark? While Nine Inch Nails first album Pretty Hate Machine was released in 1989, it was 1994’s The Downward Spiral that really shot the band into the public spotlight and a force in the 90’s music scene. The film most likely will take place post 1994.

Let us know what you think? What are your thoughts on the Captain Marvel photos? Are you excited for the movie? What do you want to see?

Captain Marvel opens in theaters on March 8, 2019.