Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, has been a staple across several Avengers teams from shortly after her debut as Ms. Marvel back in 1977. Since then, Carol has been a mainstay of the team as she has taken part in several pivotal stories across the Avengers' history. Due to her importance, it is odd that she hasn't been brought in sooner. Despite that, we're more than happy to see her debut and even happier still that it's going to be in her own movie. Carol has more than enough value and substance to carry a compelling story.
Carol occupies so many different spaces in the comics that her potential within the MCU is almost limitless, both in terms of her power-set and her narrative value. When she's not doing her part on the Avengers' roster she might be forming Alpha Flight, traversing dimensions with The Ultimates or even putting Tony Stark in a coma after a heated disagreement about predetermination. Marvel also has a chance to further flesh out the expansive universe it has been building. Carol's origins link heavily to the Kree race, first seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Seeing Captain Marvel finally grace our screens is a prospect that is more exciting than anything else. However, it is not without some apprehension. In this list, we'll look into the aspects of Captain Marvel and her lore that we'd love to see translated to the cinematic universe and the elements we'd rather not have included.
20 WANT: MONICA RAMBEAU
One of the most important aspects of Marvel's cinematic outings is the supporting casts. Supporting characters can enhance a hero's story, either by providing background for their origin or by bringing some lightheartedness to the proceedings. For Carol, one of the characters that we'd like to see as part of her world is Monica Rambeau, a friend and a former Captain Marvel herself. Though Monica now goes by the name Spectrum, she could provide Carol with someone to confide in and receive support from, similar to Ned in Spider-Man: Homecoming or Malcolm in Netflix's Jessica Jones.
Aside from their friendship, including Monica could foreshadow the formation of the Ultimates. Whether Monica would have her powers from the off or whether she would gain them during the course of the plot, or even at all, is up to Marvel. There's no doubt that her electromagnetic, light-based powers would provide an aesthetically impressive spectacle.
19 DON'T: MEMORY LOSS
In 2013, during a story entitled "The Enemy Within," it is revealed that Carol has lesions on her brain that become worse as a result of using her powers. To top it all off, extended stress on these lesions cause memory loss. There is an argument for this subplot being carried over into the MCU in that it would prevent Carol from being too overpowered as the lesions would act as a limitation. However, having it as part of the film wouldn't really be appropriate this soon in her cinematic tenure. The caveat of the lesions limits the exploration of her powers, which could hinder her origin story.
The lesions and the cost of using her powers isn't entirely a bad thing. Given the fact Captain Marvel hasn't been seen in MCU canon since the '90s, it may be that the brain trauma is the reason she didn't step up in Infinity War. So, while the lesion plot thread has potential, it would be better for it to be left out for now.
18 WANT: ALPHA FLIGHT
Alpha Flight is Canada's answer to the Avengers. Since appearing in Uncanny X-Men in 1979, the team never really shared the same prestige as Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In recent years, however, they've found their stride in space under the leadership of Captain Marvel rather than in the Great White North. If Infinity War taught us anything, its that heroes in the MCU have to hold their own on the intergalactic stage.
Alpha Flight never enjoyed the same spotlight as other super-teams, likely the result of their geographical gimmick. Introducing them as a space-based team would help distance them from these limitations. Having Alpha Flight slot into the MCU as interstellar liaisons to S.H.I.E.L.D wouldn't be too far-fetched. The Canadians would give Carol some allies to call on before her introduction to the Avengers. It would also give Carol the chance to show off her leadership acumen.
17 DON'T: BINARY
Carol became Binary when she was exposed to the raw power of an interstellar phenomenon known as a white hole. The white hole gave her an array of enhanced powers, which made her far stronger than before. Her new powers as Binary included control of various energies and even the control of gravity itself. An additional result of the change was her physical appearance, which became far more alien.
The concern with having Carol become Binary at some point in the film is that she will peak too early. Binary is an intensely powerful being and once Carol reaches the lofty heights that this power allows, there's not much up-scaling afterwards. We'd rather see Captain Marvel's peak power saved for a conflict with the appropriate stakes and gravitas. It wouldn't have the same impact when used in her origin movie owing to the fact we'd need to get to know her base powers better to have a frame of reference for the change.
16 WANT: S.W.O.R.D.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to trend towards space, S.W.O.R.D. might make an appearance. We'd love to see the intelligence organization create a link between Earth and the politics of the galaxy. Either as an extension of S.H.I.E.L.D. or not, S.W.O.R.D. could be the agency to facilitate Carol's contact with the Kree. In the comics, Carol often works closely with their director Abigail Brand to protect the earth. They could build on this mutual respect similar to the way Nick Fury and Captain America interact.
Following the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn't quite been the same. S.W.O.R.D. could be the organization that steps in to replace S.H.I.E.L.D. and pull resources from all over the cosmos. With the destruction of the Nova Corps mentioned in Infinity War and Knowhere in flames, the galaxy needs a new governing body on intelligence. We'd also love to see The Peak, their imposing base of operations, orbiting Earth in phase four!
15 DON'T: CLASH WITH IRON MAN
During the events of Civil War II in the comics, Captain Marvel went head-to-head with Iron Man. It began with a heated and contentious debate over predetermination, and ended with a costly conflict, leaving Tony Stark in a coma. Although it would be quite the sight to see Iron Man and Captain Marvel slug it out, it is far too soon to rehash the Civil War format in the MCU. Not to mention Civil War II wasn't a patch on the original.
We've been treated to films in the MCU that combine multiple major events. Thor: Ragnarok was a mix between "Planet Hulk," "Fear Itself" and "Ragnarok," and it worked wonderfully. However, Civil War II is not something that should be pulled from. The MCU needs time to distance itself from the original conflict in Captain America: Civil War before the story can be told in a fresh light.
14 WANT: REFERENCE TO ROGUE
The X-Men won't appear in the MCU for quite some time, but that doesn't mean they can't be referenced! Marvel Studios loves dropping easter eggs, references and homages to the wider lore. A large part of Carol's past is her rivalry with Rogue, so a quick reference to her wouldn't go amiss. The altercations with Rogue could have taken place in her absence from the MCU until now. Even so, we'd love to see some flashbacks of the battles.
Not only would it give a nod to the approaching inclusion of the X-Men, it would sow seeds for future conflict. With the X-Men joining the MCU, it's hard not to want a cinematic retelling of Avengers Vs. X-Men. Lightly building the foundations of the rivalry will help Rogue feel more important when she does debut. Just one line in the dialogue alluding to a conflict with the absorbing mutant would be exciting!
13 DON'T: RELATIONSHIP WITH RHODEY
There's nothing inherently wrong with portraying the relationship between Carol and Rhodey. The issue comes with the fact there are no existing foundations for it. The two briefly shared a relationship in the comics leading up to Civil War II and although the pairing made sense in the context of their adventures, it still felt like it was done to add weight to War Machine's death at the hands of Thanos. Rather than a relationship, it felt like another vehicle to drive a wedge between Captain Marvel and Iron Man.
Should the relationship be translated into the MCU, it runs the risk of feeling just as forced. Marvel looks to be moving away from these sorts of relationships following the mixed reception of Black Widow and Hulk's pairing in Age of Ultron. The aforementioned considered, with so much ground to cover in Carol's origin, there simply isn't time for this subplot.
12 WANT: A BETTER LOOK AT HALA
We've been treated to a tour of what Marvel's cosmos has to offer so far. The most noticeably scarce and unexplored planet, however, has been Hala, homeworld of the Kree. In the comics, Hala's been involved in the majority of galaxy-based stories, from Annihilation: Conquest to The Black Vortex. We should get a more focused look at Hala in Captain Marvel's debut. Carol's ties to Mar-Vell and the Kree race run deep and she even shares some of their physiology herself.
Xandar, home to the Nova Corps, was impressive but Hala will give us a true intergalactic superpower. As Hala is integral to a lot of what's happening in the universe in the comics, it could provide a nexus for dozens of plots in the future of the MCU. Why didn't Ronan have his fellow accusers? Will the MCU ever tackle the Kree-Skrull War? We have questions and Hala has answers!
11 DON'T: JOINING THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Captain Marvel is a great fit for the Guardians, she occupies the unique space between interstellar hero and earthbound hero. The issue with her joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU is that it would limit her usage during crossover blockbusters if she is tied to a particular group. The great thing about Carol is that she's got her fingers in so many pies and can move through teams at will, depending on where she's needed. She's a real super-powered Swiss army knife!
Captain Marvel needs to enjoy a modicum of free-agency in order to be best used. She cannot be everywhere at once but she can be versatile for varied usage throughout the MCU. With ties to the Avengers, Ultimates, Alpha Flight and Guardians, she could be the glue that keeps them all together. Not to mention, both the Guardians and Avengers rosters are already pretty stacked.
10 WANT: SUPREME INTELLIGENCE
One of the strangest, most interesting beings in the Marvel Universe is The Supreme Intelligence. Created from the finest minds the Kree Empire has to offer, this amalgamation of brains forms one enlightened being. The Supreme Intelligence looks like a green, tentacular head floating in a large jar, but its mental prowess is far above most in the known galaxy. It was brought into existence in order to try and create a Cosmic Cube for the people of Hala.
However, the Supreme Intelligence refused to create a cube for the Kree, rationalizing that the cube would be far too dangerous. Despite not fulfilling its intended purpose, it was allowed to continue living on Hala. Over the years, as the Kree used the being as a consultant, its wisdom gained it a following of the most fanatical sort and it is revered as a pseudo-religious leader among a large portion of the Kree.
9 DON'T: MS. MARVEL COSTUME
Carol Danvers is coming into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain Marvel. With that comes the prospect of her never being Ms. Marvel prior. It'd be best to forego Carol as Ms. Marvel altogether, including her old costume, and save the title for Kamala Khan. Although Carol's original costume is iconic, her Captain Marvel suit is more recognizable and is already confirmed for the debut film itself.
The original costume could be referenced or shown in passing as a suggestion to Carol, similar to the way a version of Jessica Jones' original costume appeared in her Netflix series as a joke between herself and Patsy. Fans might like to see Carol's original sash flowing in the wind, but it wouldn't hold the same importance in the context of the MCU. To properly utilize the original mantle, Carol will have needed to start as Ms. Marvel and progress into Captain Marvel. But that is just not gonna happen. Nor should it.
8 WANT: RONAN'S DESCENT
One of the more surprising aspects of the MCU regarding villains was having Ronan become one. While it's true that Ronan has been an antagonist in the past, he's usually on the right side of history. On occasion, he's defied the Supreme Intelligence's cold hard logic to do what is right for the Kree and the universe. Portrayed in the comics and a devout servant to the Kree Empire and leader of the Accusers, it was odd to see him head up a fanatical splinter faction in the MCU.
As Captain Marvel's first outing is set in the past, we may explore Ronan's past too. The exploration of Hala could also be the exploration of what drove Ronan to villainy. It could happen in the background of the movie or even be explained in a few references. Having some context for Ronan's alignment would help give closure to some threads previously unanswered.
7 DON'T: CAROL FIXES EVERYTHING
Captain Marvel is incredibly powerful, but not omnipotent. One thing we don't want from Carol is a hero that can overcome everything. Heroes are best when flawed and vulnerable at their core, in spite of their power. This gives fans something to relate to, even when presented with superhuman characters. Captain Marvel's inclusion should be one piece towards a greater puzzle, rather than her being the answer to all problems.
Luckily Carol has a great base in reality as she was a capable pilot before becoming a hero. This is how we know she is reliable and more than up to the task bestowed upon her by Mar-Vell. Her powers, while awe inspiring, shouldn't be able to stop everyone. Finding her place in the MCU power rankings is crucial. To round Carol out correctly, we'd want to see her leverage her skills from her human life.
6 WANT: THE ULTIMATES
Where does the Marvel Cinematic Universe go after space? Other dimensions! The Ultimates are unique in that they are a super-team that explores the Marvel multiverse. Carol enjoys membership alongside the likes of Blue Marvel, Spectrum and America Chavez in the comics. Perhaps the group's biggest feat was converting Galactus into a life-giving being rather than a life-consuming one. Given Carol's links to the other teams in the MCU, she could bring them along for the ride also.
The trips that the Ultimates embark on will be unlike any others seen so far. Even though Doctor Strange briefly touched on the passage between realms, the Ultimates can explore them fully. Opening up other universes allows for countless possibilities. Annihilus of the negative zone could become a threat, or the Ultimates could find themselves in the Micro-verse. With the Ultimates, Carol has the opportunity to take part in the most interesting adventures yet.
5 DON'T: FORMULAIC ORIGIN
One thing that could harm Carol is the stock formula for superhero origins. Getting powers, meeting the villain, learning powers and dispatching the villain is all well and good, but it's been done. The number of superhero films means origins themselves are not fresh. A hero's origin needs to break the mold and be presented in an interesting format in order to stand out. Avoiding tropes and innovating ways to tell classic stories through new lenses will sustain the flow of new heroes if done right.
Marvel Studies were able to provide a debut movie for Spider-Man without touching on his origin at all. This is down to everyone already knowing Peter Parker's story from countless retelling. Captain Marvel doesn't have this benefit, so her origin needs to be fleshed out. The MCU's producers has a chance to switch up how they handle origins going forward into Phase 4 with Carol; let's hope they do!
4 WANT: KAMALA KHAN
Kamala Khan is best known as Ms. Marvel in the comics, taking up the mantle after Carol became Captain Marvel. Kamala is a thoroughly likeable and endearing character who would be a great addition to the MCU. She wouldn't even have to be Ms Marvel yet in order to make her start among the other characters. Due to her love of superheroes, Kamala is shown as an in-universe fangirl.
Kamala could begin as a young girl who is a die-hard fan of Captain Marvel or even just be seen observing Carol's heroics in a few scenes. Marvel Studios are in for the long haul, sowing seeds for Kamala's future should begin here. It would also provide a look into how heroes' actions inspire the youth of the MCU. If done right we may even see a Ms. Marvel movie down the line, maybe even a Champions one.
3 DON'T: THROWAWAY VILLAIN
One criticism of Marvel movies is that their villains don't stick around for long. Where Loki has enjoyed extended success, most villains have been a one-shot deal. We hope that for Captain Marvel's first outing that we get a new villain with staying power. There is a wealth of villains to pull from the Captain Marvel lore and even Kree lore by extension. The universe is a big place, after all.
Marvel Studios could plant the seeds for the Kree-Skrull war with the inclusion of the Skrull Queen Veranke. They could also choose Captain Marvel's arch-nemesis, Yon-Rogg. Regardless of the film's direction or the final choice, the villain needs to be able to return later on. Having recurring villains paid off in the past with Thanos and Loki, so Marvel would definitely benefit from another. A credible, looming threat to keep heroes on their toes is always welcome.
2 WANT: LINKS TO NICK FURY
The first substantial link to Carol Danvers was in the after-credits scene of Infinity War. It came when Nick Fury sent a distress message which returned the Captain Marvel symbol. While this is an indication Nick has contact with Carol somehow, it did not provide much context. What we would like to see is how the two know one another, and why Nick didn't contact Carol sooner. She would have been a great initial addition to the Avengers.
This should be addressed in Captain Marvel's journey to becoming a hero. We'll get to find out if she knew Nick prior to becoming a superhero, during her military career or if she met him later, after her powers put her on his radar. It would also be worth exploring why Nick has the ability to call upon Carol. It may be that she is obliged to respond to Nick, or owes him a favor.
1 DON'T: PASSING THE MANTLE
We know Mar-Vell is going to be in the Captain Marvel movie, whether he will be the first Captain Marvel remains to be seen. It would be cool to see Mar-Vell in his classic costume protecting the universe, but it isn't necessary. Marvel appears to be skipping past Carol's Ms. Marvel phase and starting her as Captain Marvel, which gives them the opportunity to make her the first in the MCU.
In order to have the Captain Marvel mantle-passing hold any weight, Mar-Vell will need to be Captain Marvel first, and be that way for a large portion of the movie. In order to do that, a considerable amount of time would need to be spent on him, rather than Carol. At best, a montage of his exploits could be shown at the beginning to add gravity to the passing of the title. This wouldn't be a constructive use of time in an origin movie for Carol Danvers.