Captain Marvel may be meeting the MCU's greatest heroes for the first time in Avengers: Endgame, but her origin movie revealed that the Avengers were following HER lead from the very start. Some of Marvel's least subtle universe-building thus far, but more distressingly, the least cool change from the comic book lore that Marvel movies have made thus far.
That qualifier is important, since our issues with Captain Marvel's "Avenger" twist have nothing to do with changing from the comics, period. Captain Marvel sticks to the comic book source material for most of the film--and even does greater justice for the Skrulls than comics ever have - and like most other MCU films, changes what it must. But for a movie which, just like its heroine, doesn't care about earning approval, doesn't have anything to prove, and keeps the story simple, the "Avenger" connection defies that spirit.
But the biggest reason we can't get over Captain Marvel using the "Avenger" name to make Carol Danvers even cooler? That's because the comic book version of Carol explicitly says the twist goes completely against her character.
- This Page: Carol ‘Avenger’ Danvers Doesn't Make Sense
- Page 2: Carol's REAL Callsign Is Better, Without Trying So Hard
Carol ‘Avenger’ Danvers (Do You Get It?)
As the film revealed in its final scene, the repeated promises that Captain Marvel would be key to Avengers: Endgame, and easily the most overpowered hero in the MCU weren't quite enough. To demonstrate just how integral Carol Danvers was to the larger Marvel Universe this whole time, and prove that it only seemed like she was a long overdue character, Marvel Studios changed their history. Forget Captain America, it was Carol Danvers who was technically the first "Avenger" in name. Inspired by the discovery of alien warrior heroes, Nick Fury commits an idea to paper, presumably to submit to his superiors at S.H.I.E.L.D. proposing a new Initiative.
While filling out his brief, he notices a photograph of Carol Danvers back in her flying days, in the cockpit of her assigned aircraft. And there, emblazoned upon the fuselage in bright white letters, is her name and callsign: Carol "Avenger" Danvers. Deleting the placeholder title, Fury begins his first draft of The Avengers Initiative that will someday unite the MCU's greatest heroes. An incredibly cool twist… if you don't judge any of it too harshly. Like the fact that audiences know that ISN'T why the team are called the Avengers (that's just their name in the comics), and that the change makes for some incredibly weird MCU plot holes and inconsistencies in the movies, compared to the comics.
But even if worldwide audiences of Marvel movie are long past caring about the comics, the shaky logic behind an effective twist is hard to ignore. For starters, the twist means The Avengers aren't named after Captain Marvel, technically, but a woman she used to be, whom audiences didn't actually get to know. The film also states that both Carol and her best friend Maria Rambeau got into test flights because they weren't allowed in combat. Which opens the “Avenger” callsign up to some teasing as far more performatively ‘cool’ than Carol ever seems to be. And let's just stop ourselves from asking what could possibly be contained in Fury's Initiative at this point, besides “FIND GOOD ALIENS TO PROTECT US”.
Then most importantly, ignore the fact that it's basically the last callsign that the Carol of the comics would ever accept.
Page 2 of 2: Captain Marvel's Callsign is Better, Without Trying
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019