Dr. Spiros Michalakis probably isn’t a name with which many fans of the MCU are familiar, but his work with the company helped define Ant-Man’s abilities and, according to him, will help explain how Carol Danvers gains her powers as well. In 2014 Marvel Studios consulted with Michalakis, a quantum physicist at the California Institute of Technology, over how to introduce what eventually became the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man. Scott Lang visited the Quantum Realm during the film’s climax and, due to some quick thinking, was able to come back. However, this time in that realm was disorienting and chaotic because, as Hank Pym explained, it was an entirely different reality in which our models of space and time are irrelevant. This new reality and its new physics, which were designed by Michalakis based on modern physics, was briefly glimpsed in Doctor Strange and will, apparently, play a major role in the upcoming Captain Marvel.
Though he couldn’t give much away as he is likely bound by a heavy duty non-disclosure agreement, Michalakas, in an interview with Inverse, did reveal that fans are going to get another opportunity to be confused by the Quantum Real all over again.
This is exciting for the future. There are different ways that some of these ideas appear on-screen in a few years. Not just for Ant-Man, but also for Captain Marvel and all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While he didn’t give away exactly how it might tie into the story of Captain Marvel, he did leave us some bread crumbs in his interview and if we combine those with some of the existing mythology of the Marvel comics, we might have an idea of what he is talking about.
Michalakis designed the Quantum Realm with its own set of laws. If one were able to come to understand those new laws, it could offer the potential to harness some incredible powers. Of course to utilize those powers outside of the Quantum Realm there’d have to be some sort of apparatus that allowed the user to utilize them in our world. Ant-Man’s suit is one such apparatus that allows its wearer to bend the laws of our reality. Marvel Comics have long spun some crazy sci-fi tales and are full of interesting gadgets that allow their users to do the same, to bend the laws of physics by harnessing the energies of other dimensions. Among them (and most relevant to this piece) are the Nega Bands worn by the Kree hero Mar-Vell and the Quantum Bands worn by Quasar. The bands allow the users all sorts of superhuman powers including flight, the ability to travel through dimensions and to both absorb and emit tremendous blasts of energy. Could these bands, or an amalgamation of them, be making their way to the MCU in Captain Marvel? It seems very possible.
In the interview, Michalakis may have given us a little hint as to how the powers of Captain Marvel, powers far more incredible than anything else we’ve seen in the MCU, like FLYING, might work:
Gravity, as Einstein said, is nothing but the curvature of space-time. The curvature of space-time is the curvature of something we call the manifold, like a 4-dimensional structure like the sphere, or a globe. So, if you understand that, and manipulate that, you can change the curvature of space-time. Hence, changing gravity.
So what happens if you possess and object, like a set of bands, that allows you to access extra-dimensional energies that can manipulate gravity? It seems like you’d be able to fly and be really friggin’ strong. While Carol’s powers in the comics come from an accident that alters her genotype, she’s always been able to manipulate energy. At one point, as Binary, she even possessed the ability to absorb the energy from a white hole. We have no idea if the MCU version of Carol will experience the same kind of accident as her comic book counterpart or, if like they’ve done in the past, they might borrow some bits from other characters and add them to her. If they go that route, perhaps Danvers could end up wielding Quantum Bands as the source of her powers. While it would diverge from the comics, it would line up with the world that Marvel Studios, and Dr. Michalakis, have created. It’s worth noting that when Marvel Studios allowed members of the press to tour their production studios during the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press open house, concept art of Carol Danvers was shown. According to Vanity Fair, this version of Captain Marvel had gauntlets, which could very well be the Quantum Bands:
In the concept art at Marvel Studios, the sash was gone and replaced with a thin, dark-red belt to match her red gauntlets and boots. And the star emblazoned on Carol’s chest read as more white to me than traditional yellow” and Larson’s hair “was a little above shoulder length, and appeared longer on one side than the other.
Of course they may totally follow her origins but still have the bands, and Mar-Vell, appear in another way.With so little out there about the film, it’s great to have something to chew on!