This year’s SDCC had many people amazed when it was announced that Captain Marvel was not, in fact, taking place in current time, but goes back in time to explore the 90s. While Phase 2 of Marvel Studios film tried their best to stay in a chronological order, they are starting to not stick too much to a specific timeline so that their stories can be told in creative ways. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actually followed shortly after the events of the first film, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a direct sequel to the events from Captain America: Civil War and at this point, Thor: Ragnarok could take place at any time throughout the franchise’s timeline between the events of Age of Ultron and upcoming Infinity War. Yet, there is something very unique that this 90s setting offers for fans of the franchise and this article will explore exactly those opportunities.
Nick Fury’s Eye & Famous Iron Man Line
Let us get the obvious one straight out of the way. It was confirmed that Nick Fury will have a significant role in Captain Marvel and he will in fact still have both of his eyes. This most certainly confirms that we will finally find out what happened and who it was that betrayed him to end up losing his eye. Captain America: The Winter Soldier did confirm that he was betrayed in some way and, as a result, lost his good eye. The easiest theory was that out on a mission as a spy he got backstabbed by one of his friends, but with the latest reveal, this backstory might be much more complex than at first believed. We now know that the Kree-Skrull war will be part of this film, which will finally bring the shape-shifting aliens into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This would hint at one of his allies turning out to be an enemy that will cost him dearly and turn him into the untrusting man we all love seeing on screen. It also does not bode well that every time Fury takes a larger role the main story line involves not being able to trust people.
There is another aspect of Fury that this 90s setting reveals. Back in 2008, we got our first look at Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in the first ever after-credit sequence. He reveals to Tony Stark that he is part of a much bigger world and many believed that he was referring to the events from Captain America: The First Avengers, but with him being involved with the events that give Carol Danvers her powers, it makes a lot more sense. He may have been a good friend of hers and her potential disappearance at the end of the film may have been another reason why he kept the Avengers initiative alive all these years. This actually also could have an interesting tie-in with another important character.
Coulson, Reporting for Duty!
As a fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there is always a small slither of hope that we could see Agent Coulson once again stand among the Avengers on the silver screen. While we may not see him involved with the events of Avengers: Infinity War or its sequel, it would make a lot of sense for him to be around during the events of Captain Marvel. Take one step further and it would make sense to include the character Melinda May from SHIELD, as they were co-workers for quite some time. Even if it is just for a split second, her inclusion would make a lot of sense and be a great tie-in to the ever-expanding universe that it rightfully needs to allow fans to know their favorite shows are also acknowledged.
Back to Coulson, his inclusion could actually be a great way to expand upon Fury’s own friendship with him. While Danvers is taking out Skrulls and Krees with her powers, Fury and Coulson end up getting stuck in a bunker where they cannot trust anyone. Imagine an MCU version of The Thing, as they try to figure out which one of them is real. It would be a silver screened version of what Daisy and Simmons went through with the LMDs. On a side note, this could also be a reason why Fury would fund a look into that type of technology, which would not only tie into SHIELD, but also explain how Stark knew of it in The Avengers, as in the end, knowing they are the only non-Skrulls in the building, they work together and forge the friendship that would last a long time.
There is also an interesting connection that could be established through Coulson and the reason why Danvers adopts the name, Captain Marvel. We know that the character of Mar-vell, who held that title in the comics, will make an appearance in the film and we might not see him hold that title. This opens up the question how she adopts the name? If there is a romantic connection between the characters, it would make sense that she’d adopt the name Marvel as part of her hero identity, as she will share some of his DNA. Captain America fan boy #1 Coulson would seem like the perfect fit to add that title to her name in tribute to the fallen hero he admires. It certainly seems like something that he would do and gives enough reason to have the character involved in the film. His involvement also includes another part of the MCU that might make a return to theatre.
One Cameo after Another
It is a given that we will most likely see the famous spy organization return alongside Nick Fury’s role in the film. This does open up many possibilities of characters making a variety of cameos throughout the film. It takes place in the 90s so we will most likely see the Triskelion finally being finished, as we saw it being constructed int he 1989 sequence from Ant-Man. This does take out two potential characters, as Howard Stark was killed in September 1991, so we might have references to his son starting his career, and Michael Douglas‘ Hank Pym has left the organization. They still could be mentioned in some way, as we could see articles talking about his up-and-coming Pym Technologies and another with a young Tony Stark starting his career.
Speaking of Stark, there is one character that could be involved with the company. This is a perfect opportunity to bring back Obediah Stane, as it would make sense that he would be selling new arms to the air base that Danvers is stationed at. This would potentially reveal how Stane took over the company after Howard’s death and have them discuss young Stark’s time at M.I.T. Him as a supporting character could also be a great running gag that the shady guy is always considered a Skrull, but in reality is just what he is, a shady guy.
If they cannot find a way to get Coulson to return for the film, or to add another Captain America fan, Peggy Carter would be a perfect fit. If one talks about the strong woman of Marvel, the strong 1940s spy has left quite an impression and as we know she lives until the events of Civil War, it would make sense for her to appear in some capacity. We could get an off-hand cameo on her witnessing aliens trying to take over the planet and missing the simpler times fighting the Red Skull. She alongside other S.H.I.E.L.D. staff members like a younger Sitwell, who could even turn out to be a Skrull that ended up working for HYDRA in The Winter Soldier, an older Dum Dum Dugan or even have Robert Redford return as Alexander Pierce. Throw in a younger Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross building up his position in the army at the air station, who as a result of these events finds his true hatred for green-skinned people.
There is one more major character that would be interesting to see a return from one of the existing films, Ronan the Accuser. We will see the Kree and Skrull battle each other with Danvers thrown into the middle. This would seem like a time when Lee Pace‘s Ronan would develop his hatred towards Xandar, as we could see the Nova Corp getting involved to end the war that might cement his personal vendetta, which would then turn him into an outcast as soon as the peace treaty is signed. The events of Captain Marvel could effectively be one of the reasons why we see Ronan turn to the villainous side completely in the first Guardians film.
Many Possibilities to Connect
These are just a few ideas that could potentially be used in the upcoming film and whatever direction Marvel Studios takes, Captain Marvel could potentially be one of the most connected films in the entire universe. The fact that the Skrulls are involved could even lead into Infinity War and its sequel in some way. If Marvel Studios goes the extra step we could finally have the TV show connect, as unlikely as that may seem, and subsequently truly connect everything together. There are so many possibilities that there might be things I missed or have not even considered, but that is the greatest thing about watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What do you think? What and who would you hope to see make an appearance?