Captain Marvel Mar-Vell

We know Oscar winner Brie Larson is playing the super-powered Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Captain Marvel movie, and now a new rumor indicates that the original holder of that title, a Kree warrior named Mar-Vell, will also be appearing in the new film. Strap in for a brief history lesson and to see what this character’s appearance could mean for the movie.

According to MCU Exchange (who, as BMD notes, broke the story of Thanos’s children standing in as his Black Order well before that news was confirmed at Comic-Con), Mar-Vell will indeed be making an appearance in the film – but who is he, and what does that mean for Captain Marvel?

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A Brief History of Captain Marvel, Including Mar-Vell

I haven’t read any Captain Marvel comics, but through a combination of Marvel’s extensive wiki page and the insight of /Film’s resident comic book expert Jacob Hall, here’s a quick primer on Mar-Vell and how he relates to Carol Danvers.

Mar-Vell is a Kree warrior who, in the comics, is unknowingly chosen to be the centerpiece of a highly complicated plan to eradicate the Earth. A very condensed version of the plot is as follows: an entity known as The Supremor realized that Inhumans had begun to manifest superpowers on Earth, so it aimed to find the most powerful human and force a psionic link between that person and Mar-Vell, with the intention of then harnessing the Inhuman’s power through a mind-controlled Mar-Vell and wiping out the rest of the Earth so no other, potentially more powerful Inhuman could pose a threat later. Still with me? Good.

After traveling to Earth, Mar-Vell takes on the identity of a Cape Canaveral scientist and there he meets Carol Danvers, with whom he eventually falls in love. When one of his treacherous Kree companions attempts to kill Mar-Vell, he appeared in costume and onlookers heard his name spoken aloud, assuming he was an Earth-born hero operating under the alias “Captain Marvel.”

During an explosion, a Kree weapon is detonated close to Danvers and she’s bombarded with Mar-Vell’s DNA, giving her superpowers like flight and increased strength. She spends the next few decades of Marvel Comics history fighting as Ms. Marvel (in a skimpy black costume), and much later – after Mar-Vell dies – Danvers assumes the moniker of Captain Marvel and gets her current, much more practical costume.

If this rumor turns out to be true, the inclusion of Mar-Vell in the film indicates that Carol Danvers’ big-screen origin story may be play out in the same way as it does on the page, and that Mar-Vell will most likely die, passing on the title to her. Feel free to drop casting suggestions into the comments section.

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Where Has Carol Danvers Been Since the ’90s?

We know Captain Marvel is a prequel that takes place in the 1990s, so why haven’t we seen or heard from Carol Danvers in any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films thus far? MCU Exchange points to the quantum realm as a possible answer for where she’s been for all these years, and maybe why she won’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War when clearly the team needs all the help they can get trying to take down Thanos – especially from one of the most powerful heroes in the entire MCU. There’s a good chance that Janet Van Dyne (the recently-cast Michelle Pfieffer) has been trapped in the quantum realm since Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) lost her there (as seen in a flashback in Ant-Man). If Carol was also trapped there, it’ll be interesting to see how they get out and if those two characters managed to meet each other while inside.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Mississippi Grind, Half Nelson) are directing the film, which will co-star Samuel L. Jackson as a pre-eye patch Nick Fury. It’s notable for being the first female-led superhero movie in the MCU, and for being the first MCU movie to feature a female (co)director.

Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019.

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