It’s here: the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Well, all us Marvel Comics fan geeks have been waiting for, anyway. Darken the room, turn up the speakers, pause the Krypton Radio stream using the handy controller at the top of the page there, and watch. Preferably full screen. We’ll wait.
Brie Larson shows off exactly why directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck decided to cast her in the title role of Captain Marvel.
The opening shot shows a Kree warrior falling out of a crippled ship and gliding gracefully to Earth. Okay, not so much gliding, as falling. Straight down. Hard.
The first time we get a close look at her, she’s crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster video store (which cleverly and instantly establishes the film’s time frame as the mid 1990’s). She’s dazed and confused, and wandering the Earth looking for purpose – or herself. That’s when an extremely young looking Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) finds her and brings her into the fold.
She has memories of a life, of growing up on Earth, but she’s not sure if they’re hers or not, and neither are we. She’s on an alien machine getting energy fed into her temples. Is this the energy that gives her her amazing powers? Is it overlaying memories of Earth onto her Kree brain? Or is she a conscripted native of Earth, abducted and reprogrammed to serve as a soldier for the mighty Kree empire?
Keep an eye out for a boyish Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson – and we do see what looks like Mar-Vell (Jude Law), complete with mohawk. In comics lore, Mar-Vell is a Kree warrior, sent to Earth to evaluate the threat that humans may or may not represent. He goes native – and, Carol Danvers gets her powers by accidentally fusing her DNA with that of Mar-Vell’s during an explosion. If they’re going with this idea, that explosion could presumably be the same one that destroys the ship she’d been on, so we’re in for a pretty wild ride. Ka-BOOM. Welcome to the world.
Of particular note is Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance. He hasn’t looked this good in a lot of years, and the fact that he does is a tour de force in visual effects, demonstrating that with enough reason to do it, an actor can be made to look as young as needed for a role.
The original Captain Marvel was from Whiz Comics, in Whiz Comics #2 (there actually was no #1) in 1940. The title was produced by Fawcett Comics until 1953, and in the 40’s Captain Marvel outsold even Superman for a while.
There were a number of lawsuits about intellectual property and infringement that went back and forth, eventually resulting in the character being licensed back to DC Comics in 1973. By that time, though, Marvel Comics’ character Captain Marvel had already been using the name for seven years.
Interestingly, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), who made her first appearance as the hero in 1977, has the same name as Carol Danvers (Supergirl) in the comics, though they’ve been calling her Kara Danvers in the CW TV series. Law suits and copyright issues have marred the history of Captain Marvel in his – and her – various incarnations, and the original was, in fact, male.
The original Captain Marvel probably deserved a better fate than he got – but the new Marvel Comics version has a valid history too, and we’re very happy to see it playing out before our eyes. This is going to be good.
Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson, Gemma Chan, Mckenna Grace and Samuel L. Jackson, and makes its big screen debut on March 8, 2019.