Powered up with photonic energy, Captain Marvel is far and away the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, capable trading blows with Thanos in Avengers: Endgame with strength above Thor and the Hulk.
When charging up in her Binary form in her solo film and the Avengers sequel, Carol Danvers' appearance has drawn direct comparisons to the popular Dragon Ball Z protagonist Goku as he powers to up to his Super Saiyan transformation, complete with golden hair and aura. According to Marvel Studios Visual Effects Supervisor Christopher Townsend, however, the popular anime series was not a direct inspiration on developing Captain Marvel's look in the film.
"We did look at anime, certainly, but it wasn’t the strong influence," Townsend revealed in an interview with Inverse. "I’ve seen Dragon Ball, I know what it looks like, but it wasn’t the intent.”
Instead, the visual effects team looked at both comic book depictions of Captain Marvel powering up and real-world science references, including charged Tesla coils, for inspiration.
"Out there references of using Tesla arcs, using oil on water, powerfilm being lit up, fireballs, lightning, photon energy photographed on a microscopic level," Townsend explained of the real-world references used for the Binary transformation. "Every aspect of reality and trying to figure out, ‘How do you capture this energy field?’”
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, 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 the Supreme Intelligence. The film is now available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.