WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel, in theaters now.
Captain Marvel has been among Marvel Studios' most-anticipated films, in no small part because Brie Larson's Carol Danvers has been characterized as the strongest character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as the equalizer to Thanos following the epic events of Avengers: Infinity War.
As such, the new solo film was widely expected to offer some clues to Captain Marvel's role in Avengers: Endgame, arriving April 26, and, at the very least, reveal why she hasn't been present in the MCU before now. Here's what we
THE SIGNAL HAS BEEN ANSWERED
The biggest mystery wasn't when, but how, Carol would enter the fray. In the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) used a pager to send a signal call, just as he turned to dust. We learn that Captain Marvel modified the device, emblazoned with her starburst emblem, so it could contact her across the galaxy.
In the Captain Marvel mid-credits sequence, as the remaining Avengers try determine who Fury was attempting to contact, the signal ends, and Captain Marvel arrives at the facility, wondering what was so dire that Fury needed to reach her.
It's unclear from the brief scene whether Captain Marvel is aware of the scale of the "Decimation," the name given to the devastating effects of Thanos' finger-snap, as she ends her film by accompanying the shape-shifting Skrulls in their search for a new home. But Carol is clearly ready to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes. What this also means is that, when the Avengers launch their plan to defeat Thanos, they'll already have the MCU's heaviest-hitter on board.
CAROL IS LINKED TO THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
Fan theories that Captain Marvel was displaced in time, in suspended animation, or living within the Quantum Realm were all off. In the aforementioned post-credits, we see she's been given a power upgrade, which allows her to simply teleport to the New Avengers Facility, seemingly out of thin air.
In Captain Marvel, Carol gains her powers as the result of an explosion of a light-speed engine powered by the Tesseract, the containment vessel for the Space Stone, so she's basically imbued with the essence of one of the Infinity Stones. We know the artifact teleported the Red Skull across the universe to Vormir, so clearly Captain Marvel's been unlocking more powers. Seeing as she's so intrinsically linked to the Tesseract, studying her energy signature and physiology may provide a key to undoing Thanos' snap.
Apart from Carol's off-the-chart power levels, now that we see she can galaxy-hop, it's possible she can provide secrets to time travel, without the need for the Time Stone.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as the commander of Starforce, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass, McKenna Grace as a young Carol Danvers and Annette Bening as Mar-Vell/the Supreme Intelligence.