Is There Anything Else Captain Marvel Can Do?
Captain Marvel will reveal a never-before-seen S.H.I.E.L.D. adventure from the 1990s, and there's evidence that the film will present a similar version of the agency as we've seen from the show. For example, in the scene above, you can clearly see that an alien spaceship - it seems to be a Kree vessel - is being approached by a human aircraft. The design appears to be that of an early Quinjet, and it's evocative of the Bus, the plane Coulson and his team used in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1. Appropriately enough, Coulson told the team that the Bus was a design that was pretty popular with S.H.I.E.L.D. back in the '90s.
No doubt we're going to get a lot of insights into just how S.H.I.E.L.D. operated in the '90s, and what kind of tech the espionage agency deployed. At the same time, the structure of S.H.I.E.L.D. could change significantly once Nick Fury has taken over; it's probable that Fury's clash with the Skrulls will make him consider a more secretive approach, where knowledge is compartmentalized so as to ensure nobody has access to everything. Ironically, that compartmentalized approach would probably make life easier for Hydra, as they'd be able to subtly manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D. programs without being noticed.
What Does This Mean for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6?
The last few years have seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. grow beyond the constant S.H.I.E.L.D.-Hydra infighting; seasons 4 and 5 have introduced android doppelgangers, complex theories of quantum mechanics, and even a new iteration of Ghost Rider. It's likely that season 6 will pick up where the last season left off. If that's the case, we're presumably going to see S.H.I.E.L.D. head into the depths of space to rescue Fitz, who's in cryogenic suspension aboard Enoch's vessel.
Season 5 introduced viewers to an alien Confederacy, a thousand-year-old alliance between alien races who are brutally militaristic and steal resources from other worlds. There are six members of the Confederacy; the rogue Kree house of Kasius, the Remorath, the Rajaks, the Kallusians, and the Astrans. Marvel carefully avoided identifying the sixth race, and as a result a common theory is that it's the Skrulls. That would certainly explain why dialogue suggested House Kasius had been ostracized from Kree society for generations due to their membership of the Confederacy; they'd have been working with the Kree's ancient enemy, viewed as nothing more than war profiteers.
If this theory is correct, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 could essentially follow on from Captain Marvel, developing the idea of shapeshifting aliens - but taking it in a completely different direction. It's interesting to note that Jeff Ward's Deke has been confirmed as a new series regular; he grew up in a timeline where the last survivors of Earth were ruled by the Confederacy, and thus presumably has met the sixth race. Meanwhile, the cast and crew are keeping very quiet indeed about whether or not Coulson will somehow return. If he did, he could well be armed with knowledge about the Skrulls that will prove essential for the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
Despite the MCU's lack of TV crossover on the big screen in recent years, it's normally not a major problem. The respective stories are separate enough that there are no major universal contradictions, just missed opportunities. That all changes with Captain Marvel, where much of what happens in the movie will either be playing in a sandbox established by the show and impacting characters and events that have over a hundred episodes of development already. Past precedent definitely gives fans cause for concern, but it may be too soon to jump to conclusions. So far, Captain Marvel appears to be embracing what has come before from the small screen, and hopefully that's the case for the rest of the movie.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019