Marvel Studios may have subtly used Captain Marvel to introduce a future superhero team who can replace the Avengers. The first film starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers introduced audiences to one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most powerful heroes, but also one of the most influential. Even though we are just now meeting her, Captain Marvel's connections to the larger MCU run deep.
One of the biggest reveals that comes in Captain Marvel's ending directly ties to Nick Fury's Avenger Initiative, the program he created to recruit the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor to become Earth's mightiest heroes. They may be the first members of the team, but they aren't the first heroes that Fury encountered. Captain Marvel shows how he met Carol Danvers back in 1995 and his mindset was forever changed. It was because of Carol's heroic ways and revealing to him that aliens exist that Fury quickly realized that Earth needs more super powered protection.
But, when Fury initially begins drafting up the Avenger Initiative, it doesn't include the Avenger name that has now defined the MCU. Fury only makes this change after discovering that Carol's callsign when she was a pilot was Avenger, so he decides to name the whole initiative after the woman who inspired the thought to begin with. If it wasn't for this discovery, Fury may have kept his original name idea, the Protector Initiative. While this may seem like a throwaway moment on the surface, this could also be Marvel Studios slyly setting up a new superhero team: The Protectors.
- This Page: The Protectors Explained
- Page 2: The Protectors Could Be A Phase 4 Team
Who Are The Protectors?
The Protectors are a rather new creation in Marvel Comics. The team first appeared in "Totally Awesome Hulk #16" in 2017 and were created by Greg Pak and Mahmud Asrar. The team consists of a lineup of some of Marvel's biggest and most prominent Asian heroes. Amadeus Cho aka Totally Awesome Hulk is the muscle of the group, but he is joined by Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, the Master of Kung Fu Shang-Chi, Jimmy Woo, Cindy Moon aka Silk, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jake Oh.
Although they don't immediately set out to be the super team of their own, a bond is quickly formed between them during a charity event in Manhattan. But, an unforeseen attack by the Imperial Guard of Seknarf Seven takes them and some civilians off world and is the birthplace of The Protectors name. Using their combined skills, they're eventually able to thwart the Imperial Guard and return everyone safely home, with the help of Alpha Flight. The Protectors may be less than two years removed from their comic debut, but some of these characters are already established in the larger universe in some way, and after this tease, could they be the future?
The Protectors Members Already In The MCU
Despite the notoriety of some of the other members of the Protectors, it's actually Jimmy Woo who's been most established. Comedian Randall Park debuted as the character last year in Ant-Man and the Wasp. He's far from the Agent of Atlas that Woo is in the comics, but there's room for him to get there. In the MCU, Woo is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is recruited by the FBI after the former's downfall. He becomes Scott Lang's parole officer and is determined to catch Scott in the act of breaking the law. This proves to be more difficult than Woo imagined, and now that Scott served his time on house arrest, Woo's future in the MCU is free to explore.
The rest of the team has yet to appear in any major way, with only Cindy Moon loosely established as existing in the MCU so far. Tiffany Espensen made her debut as the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but it has been a very small role so far. Espensen is returning for Spider-Man: Far From Home later this year, and even though there has yet to be any sign that she has Spider-Man powers of her own, the sequel could potentially tease this heroic future.
Related: Casting Shang-Chi In The MCU
And speaking of Far From Home, there's been plenty of speculation surrounding the role of Remy Hii's character, with Protectors members Amadeus Cho and Shang-Chi both being popular suggestions. However, with Fury and Maria Hill's involvement possibly pointing to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s revitalization, could it be that he's actually Jake Oh? Hii could fit in perfectly as an undercover agent posing as one of Peter's classmates who gives Fury an extra set of eyes on Peter.
If this theory is correct and Hii isn't Cho, there's still a small amount of set up already in place for his eventual debut. Helen Cho, his mother in the comics, appeared in a small but important role in Avengers: Age of Ultron. There was no mention of her having a near teenage son, so his MCU future has yet to be firmly established or hinted at, but her role could be the gateway to Amadeus joining the MCU.
Page 2 of 2: The Protectors Can Be MCU Phase 4's Team
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019