Increasingly, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at its best when focusing on teams of heroes. This isn't just about the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Captain America: Civil War was an Avengers movie in all but name, Thor: Ragnarok had fun with its "Revengers" and Black Panther's wide cast of wonderful supporting heroes frequently outshined King T'Challa himself. Captain Marvel is the next MCU film giving its protagonist a team to play off of. A few teams, in fact! While the interplanetary Starforce will likely garner the most attention, Carol Danvers also has friends in the Air Force and allies over at S.H.I.E.L.D. backing her up as well.
The choice of the Starforce as Captain Marvel's main team is an interesting one as no incarnation of Captain Marvel was ever involved in the Starforce in the comics. It's not completely out of left field choice, however. The Starforce are part of the Kree Empire, integral to Carol Danvers' origins, and several of the members have connections to various Captain Marvels over the years. This decision does raise the question of how close to the original comics this incarnation of the Starforce will be. Will it be a similar story with the addition of a new heroine, or will this Starforce be unrecognizable? This list will tell you both things we know will be in the movie's portrayal of the characters and details which are significant to the comics which may or may not inform what will happen in the movie. Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8, 2019.
Starforce was introduced in Avengers #346, written by Bob Harras and drawn by Steve Epting. This was part of 1992's "Operation: Galactic Storm" storyline, in which the Avengers attempted to mediate a war between the Kree and the Shi'ar. The Starforce team was envisioned as the Kree's answer to the Avengers, a super team of their top warriors.
While the Avengers came to the Kree homeworld of Hala in hopes of peace, Starforce mistakenly believed the Avengers were out to attack the Kree emperors. Naturally, the two super teams ended up fighting each other. What could it possibly mean for presumed future Avenger Captain Marvel to be on the Starforce's side in the movie?
There was a malevolent force at work manipulating the Starforce and the whole Kree-Shi'ar War: The Supreme Intelligence. This artificial intelligence, also known as Supremor, worked within the Starforce as a member but kept its motive secret to all but Minn-Erva. Its evil plan: annihilate the majority of the Kree with a Nega-Bomb under the belief the survivors would evolve into superior forms.
This all too successful crime warranted some sort of punishment. While the majority of the Avengers opposed executing the Intelligence, Iron Man disagreed and took the matter into his own hands. There's no news of the Supreme Intelligence appearing in the MCU, though it seems like it could make a good surprise twist.
With the Kree Empire in ruins, the Shi'ar ultimately won the war. Shaken by the tragedy they'd unwittingly caused, the remaining members of the Starforce made their peace with their conquerors. Shi'ar ruler Deathbird took control over the former Kree territory and made the Starforce her royal guard.
This is one aspect of the Starforce story which will absolutely not be included in Captain Marvel, at least for the first movie. FOX holds the rights to the Shi'ar, given their ties to major X-Men storylines. The Disney-FOX merger means the Shi'ar might be on the table for sequels but it would be way too soon to include them in a movie that's already completed filming.
In addition to Supremor, two members of the original Starforce line-up are seemingly excluded from the Captain Marvel movie cast list. The missing members are Shatterax (pictured above) and Ultimus. Shatterax is a Kree cyborg who fought Iron Man in the Kree-Shi'ar War. Shatterax almost won the fight, but Iron Man surrendered before he could be defeated.
Ultimus is both Kree and an Eternal. Given the rumors of Eternals being a major Phase 4 event, perhaps Marvel's saving him for future movies. He was the last of the Kree Eternals to remain on Earth. He was frozen in suspended animation for 3,000 years but freed by Thor.
Other than the Supreme Intelligence, Minn-Erva is the most purely villainous of the Starforce in the comics. She was a long-time enemy of Mar-Vell, and uncomfortably tried to convince him to mate with her for the sake of "genetically superior" offspring. She willfully went along with the Supreme Intelligence's scheme because it fit her twisted beliefs.
Actress Gemma Chan's description of the movie version of Minn-Erva is a bit more innocuous-sounding. Chan told Entertainment Weekly that her character was the "star of Starforce" before Carol and is "slightly threatened by someone else who has come in and is also very talented." Just a normal team rivalry, or is something more sinister afoot?
Like Minn-Erva, Att-Lass also has a connection to Mar-Vell that predates Starforce. Att-Lass and Mar-Vell never met, as Mar-Vell was already deceased when Att-Lass first became an operative for the Supreme Intelligence. Att-Lass did, however, rob Mar-Vell's grave! What what the purpose of this plot? To steal the Nega-Bands and gain access to greater powers!
Using the Nega-Bands, he was able to switch places with Rick Jones (a human who shared powers with Mar-Vell). This allowed him to battle Wonder Man on Earth, though he lost that battle and ended up a captive. The Shi'ar took away the Nega-Bands from him.
Of all the Starforce members, Att-Lass took the news about Supremor's manipulations the hardest... at least, that's what it looked like! Minn-Erva tried to stop him, but got caught in the blast when he activated his battle suit's self-destruct protocol in Avengers #347.
In Silver Surfer #79, however, both Att-Lass and Minn-Erva turn out to be still alive. While Att-Lass pretends that he doesn't want to live in front of the Surfer, in secret he and Minn-Erva are biding their time living together in hiding with plans to breed genetically enhanced offspring. It seems that self-destruct sequence was actually a teleportation sequence.
Att-Lass would make his big return, and what would seem to be his ultimate goodbye, in the 2014 "Infinity" crossover event. Posing as a new version of Titanium Man, he teamed up with a number of Iron Man's greatest foes for a heist at Stark Tower to steal Iron Man suits.
Att-Lass and Spymaster ultimately tried to double-cross the other villains. Iron Man was actually able to team up with his slighted rogues in order to take down the double-crossers. Att-Lass almost crushed Iron Man, but got vaporized by Unicorn. This demise would seem more permanent than the "self destruct" fake-out, but you never know in comics.
Bron-Char, played by Norweigan actor Rune Temte, is easily the odd one out among the Captain Marvel ensemble cast. Though in the movie he's a member of the Starforce, the comics version has no such association with that organization. Instead he's a member of another Kree army, the radical Lunatic Legion.
Bron-Char has only appeared in three Marvel Comics issues. His introductory appearance, and his only particularly notable one, was in Captain America #8 where he destroyed the Smithsonian's replica of Cap's shield. The movie version will likely be changed and fleshed out a lot, but it wouldn't be too surprising to see that iconic image show up in Avengers 4.
Of all the characters you might expect to return to the MCU, Ronan the Accuser and Korath from Guardians of the Galaxy might be among the last you'd think to see. They were both clearly offed, for one thing, and neither was a super popular character. As original members of Starforce, however, their inclusion makes sense in Captain Marvel.
Set around 20 years before Guardians, this younger version of Ronan is going to be quite different. He's still a respected member of Kree society and not yet the outcast radical. Korath's been described by actor Djimon Honsou as similar to his Guardains characterization, but "at his infancy."
Both Minn-Erva and Korath have the distinction of being expert geneticists. The two characters' powers come from genetic enhancement. Minn-Erva was mutated by the Psyche-Magnetron, the same machine which granted Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers similar powers. Korath experimented on himself to gain abilities, using a mutation pattern originally used on a cockroach! He also uses many cybernetic implants.
For Minn-Erva, genetic enhancement is an obsession that enters into full-on eugenics territory. All of her villainy is motivated by a desire to enhance her species, and she's fine with wiping out "inferior" members of her own species! Korath fortunately doesn't go down that path, rightfully disturbed by the Supreme Intelligence's evil scheme.
Here's a power from the comics you might not be aware of just from watching Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only does Korath have exceptional tracking abilities, but he is actually able to psionically track people based purely on their brainwaves! No wonder he has the title of Korath the Pursuer.
This is pretty unusual as far as superpowers go. It's possible it might be deemed too weird, extraneous or simply un-cinematic and not play a role in the Captain Marvel movie. However, it is an ability that could be extremely useful and it wouldn't be shock for it to come up.
For the longest time, everyone assumed that Jude Law's "male lead" role in Captain Marvel was going to be as Mar-Vell, the original "Captain Marvel" and Carol's mentor. Now, it's not so certain. In the Entertainment Weekly issue on Captain Marvel, everyone is keeping the identity of Jude Law's character a secret.
Either everyone's pulling a Star Trek Into Darkness on us and trying to pretend something obvious is a secret, or this character is not who he appears. Law says his character is "almost a devout warrior — unquestioning, conservative, but inspirational." Some are speculating he's the villain Yon-Rogg, while others guess Rick Jones.
One character many fans were hoping to see in Captain Marvel was Monica Rambeau, the first woman to use the "Captain Marvel" name back when Carol was still "Ms. Marvel." It turns out in the movie, Monica is still a child and not yet a superhero. One character who is going to have a bigger role, however, is Monica's mother Maria Rambeau.
Maria's a fairly minor character in the comics. It seems she's getting an upgraded part for the movie. Played by Lashana Lynch, Maria is one of Carol's closest friends in the Air Force. Her call sign is "Photon," a name comics fans will recognize as the name Monica used after giving up the "Captain Marvel" moniker to Genis-Vell.
Marvel's experimented with digital make-up to make its stars look younger. The technique was used on Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeifer for flashbacks in the Ant-Man movies as well as on a hologram version of Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War. Captain Marvel, however, marks the first time this technique is being used for a whole movie.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) will play significant supporting roles in Captain Marvel. Since the movie's set 25 years ago, the effects will be making them look 25 years younger. From the brief scenes of him shown in the trailer, the digital make-up job for the younger Fury is extremely convincing! Regardless, could the Starforce team be what convinces Fury and Coulson of the need for a team of superheroes? Time will tell!