Captain Marvel is here. After years of hype, the first MCU film starring a woman (if you don't count Ant-Man & The Wasp) has hit theaters. While the film has elicited a variety of reactions, one reaction that seems universal is a desire to see more of Brie Larson as Carol Danvers — a need that should be satisfied with Avengers: Endgame.
However, while it is a ways off, Captain Marvel 2 seems like an inevitability. After all, the film has been grossing an incredible amount of money. There are many directions the film can take — either as a direct sequel to the first film, taking place at some point in the 90s or as a sequel to Avengers Endgame, happening in the present.
That said, Captain Marvel can offer fans some amazing treats...or it can offer some less-than-stellar plot points.
10 (Don't Want) A Catch-Up/Filler Story
Many MCU films, especially in Phase 1 and 2, spend too much time just trying to either show us what a character was up to in the intervening period of time. When time skips are incorporated, this becomes even more the case.
Carol Danvers spent over twenty years flying around space. Her movie shouldn't just be "Oh, and here is what she was up to during that time." The story should meaningfully advance Carol's arc and the arc of the MCU in some way that feels meaningful. A superficial Captain Marvel film that adds little to the expanded universe would be a waste of Carol's potential.
9 (Want) Maria Rambeau
While Nick Fury stole scene after scene in Captain Marvel, one of the biggest surprises of the film was Maria Rambeau and her relationship with Carol Danvers. How, despite all the time and distance spent apart, their friendship remained just as powerful as ever.
Captain Marvel 2 has the opportunity to play with time and distance the same way the Captain America trilogy, showing how relationships between heroes can be tested despite great boundaries of space and time. However, unlike in Captain America's trilogy, which dropped Steve Rodgers into Peggy Carter's twilight years, these two would have separately spent real time apart, only to see how, despite it all, their friendship might hold.
8 (Want) Another Buddy-Cop Dynamic
While Fury probably won't appear in the sequel, the buddy dynamic between Carol and another established MCU hero worked wonders in this film. Perhaps another MCU character can co-star in the film to serve the role Fury played in the prior film.
One character that comes to mind could be Thor or Valkyrie, as both are going to probably be wandering the cosmos following the fall of Asgard. Or, as we will explore later down, the buddy character could be a returning character from the first film...but more on her later.
7 (Want) A Further Exploration of the Cosmic MCU
At the end of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers is carting the Skrulls off to a new corner of the universe. The prior film took place primarily on Earth, linking the cosmic world of the Kree and Skrulls to the Earth. In the next film, it might be wise to show the full extend of the cosmic universe and Carol's relationship to it.
Most importantly, we ought to see how the Skrulls survive on their own, how the Kree Empire further spreads its fingers throughout the world, and, potentially, any new, extra material worth exploring. Perhaps we can see Carol come face-to-face with the Brood?
6 (Don't Want) More Superficial Cameos
While Fury and Coulson were welcome returns, the presence of Ronan the Accuser and Korath felt oddly lacking. While their characters can return in a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy version of Captain Marvel 2, it would be great if superficial cameos meant only to tease fans remain out of this film.
By the time we see Captain Marvel 2, the MCU will be deep into Phase 4. Audiences will want more than just superficial cameos to hold them over. We need meat with our fanservice. If an old character is to appear, hopefully it's in a capacity that leaves viewers with a deeper understanding of said character — or, at the very least, with a few good scenes to remember.
5 (Want) More Kree Lore
The Kree Empire has appeared in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD, yet there remains so much more the films can explore. We see brief snippets of the Kree Homeworld and their military tactics. However, it would be incredibly powerful to see Captain Marvel confront the lows and highs of their society.
A few questions left unanswered: how did the Supreme Intelligence form? What sort of damage have the Accusers done? What other planets and cultures have been assimilated by the Kree? Are any Kree good? Why did they start a 1000 year war with Xandar? So many questions remain unanswered about one of the MCU's most notable alien races.
4 (Want) Kamala Khan as a Civilian
Kamala Khan is one of the most beloved characters to be introduced in the Marvel Universe. Superhero fangirl and spunky teenage girl, Kamala, upon gaining the powers of the Inhumans, quickly won the fans' hearts as the incredible Ms. Marvel.
Kamala Khan, like Monica Rambeau in the first film, can appear in Captain Marvel 2 as an energetic young hero who looks up to Carol Danvers. For reasons we will get into shortly, it would be a little dangerous to rush into Kamala's evolution into Ms. Marvel in the film proper (perhaps a post-credit scene). In part because this film should focus on...
3 (Want) Monica Rambeau as Photon
Monica Rambeau only appeared briefly in Captain Marvel, yet she left a huge impact on viewers. Loving and energetic, Monica brought life and energy to every scene she was in.
It only stands to reason that, in the sequel, Monica will take her place as a hero in her own right. In the comics, Monica Rambeau actually takes up the mantle of Captain Marvel before Carol, but also took on several other names, such as Photon. It would be interesting to see Monica take on the role of a hero, inspired by her Auntie Carol.
And, even better, to see the dynamic between two powerful women, divided by years apart, out to save the universe.
2 (Don't Want) Carol's Powers Restrained
For the majority of Captain Marvel, Carol's powers seemed pretty restrained. This is in part due to Carol not understanding the full scope of her abilities, as well as suppressors the Supreme Intelligence planted on her to keep her docile and weak. By the end of the film, however, she's punching through spaceships and scaring off Ronan the Accuser — a character who took on the Guardians of the Galaxy without blinking one-on-five.
So by the time the sequel comes around, especially following her performance in Avengers: Endgame, Carol Danvers ought to be presented as a one-woman powerhouse. The training wheels are off. Let's see her take on entire armies of Kree on her own, fight Gods, fly through space, and blow up planets. Let's see the character Kevin Feige referred to as the strongest character in the MCU.
1 (Want) Carol Being Challenged
However, as much as Carol ought to be powerful, she needs to face a challenge worthy of her skills. While a confrontation with Yon-Rogg seems inevitable, Carol ought to be confronted with a threat worthy of her strength. The Supreme Intelligence, perhaps, or a legion of Accusers. Or, perhaps, the challenge can be more complicated in the form of a Brood Hoard.
Much like how Thor needed to be challenged in Thor Ragnorak, Carol needs to be challenged. She needs to fall so she can rise back up again. And after trading blows with Thanos, it's hard to imagine another fight that could push Carol further beyond.