The first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to debut in 2019 was Captain Marvel, the origin movie for the titular superhero and (technically) a prequel to The Avengers. The movie tells how the defiant airforce pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) became Capt. Marvel – the strongest Avenger and possibly one of the most powerful beings in the whole universe.
But in her move from the pages of a comic book to the big screen, Capt. Marvel changed a lot and left a lot of interesting and important details in translation. While these changes aren’t detrimental to her presence in the MCU, their absences make certain events and abilities a bit hard to understand. Here are 10 things in Captain Marvel that only make sense if you read the comics.
10 The Kree-Skrull War
From the day that she started fighting for the Kree, Capt. Marvel was told that their duty was to exterminate the shapeshifting Skrulls. The Krees’ irrational hatred of the Skrulls is briefly mentioned in the movie – where it’s revealed that the Skrulls are war refugees being oppressed by the Kree – but the comics provide a different in-depth explanation.
The races have been at war for generations and their conflict hit a boiling point when the Kree attacked a Skrull solar system. Desperate, the Skrulls called the Avengers for help while the half-Kree Capt. Marvel begrudgingly sided with the Kree.
9 Goose’s Digestive Tract
Capt. Marvel’s cat Goose isn’t just an ordinary pet because it’s actually a Flerken: an alien that hides giant tentacles, fangs and hundreds of its eggs within its body. It also just so happens to look like a regular Earth cat.
Flerkens’ stomachs are also known to be pocket realities that can hold and digest pretty much anything, including objects and beings larger than it. This is how Goose can store her tentacles in her small frame and swallow the Tesseract before puking it out without suffering any major damage despite eating an Infinity Stone.
8 The Source Of Her Powers
In the movie, Carol Danvers becomes Capt. Marvel after an experimental engine powered by the Tesseract’s energies explodes in her face. Miraculously, she isn’t harmed and instead receives incredible superpowers.
Similarly, Capt. Marvel gets her powers from a Kree device in the comics but this time it’s from the Psyche-Magnitron - something designed to bestow superpowers to a designated target or user from the start. As a result, Capt. Marvel gained super strength, flight, enhanced senses, photonic blasts, and more following the life-threatening incident.
7 Her Inhibited Strength
Capt. Marvel is one of the most powerful superheroes in both the comics and the MCU. Her raw power surpasses even the cosmic scales, which is why a measly Kree inhibitor keeping her in check didn’t make much sense.
The only way this could be justified is if Capt. Marvel was brainwashed, which happened a lot in the early comics. To subdue her, villains like the Brood, MODOK, and Supreme Intelligence convinced Carol that she wasn’t that powerful. The Kree in the movie had it easy since Carol lost her memories in the blast, making her conditioning less troublesome.
6 Her Nigh-Invulnerability
Over the course of her movie. Capt. Marvel takes a lot of punishment from either Kree soldiers or ships and barely receives a scratch. This isn’t the result of luck, but her passive superhuman abilities in action.
Not only can she absorb energy and force before firing it back at its source, but she also has a quick-acting healing factor that allows her to recuperate in the heat of battle. This could help explain how she effortlessly wiped out a Kree war fleet while tanking Thanos’ Hulk-stopping punches and a Power Stone blast later in Endgame.
5 Her Photon Blasts
It’s unclear what exactly the Tesseract’s energies did to Capt. Marvel and how they gave her an assortment of powers, one of which is the ability to fire concentrated photon shots from her hands.
A possible explanation lies in the comics, specifically when the Brood experimented on her and gave her the ability to manipulate the stars’ energies into photon blasts. This is referred to as "The Binary," since the ability allows Carol to wield the energies of a binary star as a blast of yellow energy. Canonically, there are few beings who can surpass Capt. Marvel's Binary Form.
4 Her Military Background
Despite suffering from amnesia and being conditioned by the Kree, Capt. Marvel retains her combat prowess and even improves her skills with the addition of her newfound superpowers.
This is because Carol’s airforce training on Earth is heavily engrained in both her body and mind. While glimpses of her army days and some flight training are shown in the movie, her military background is a lot more grueling and extensive in the comics. This is also why she exudes leadership and commands respect wherever she goes – she’s military authority incarnate.
3 Capt. Marvel’s Network
By being born on Earth and being trained by the Kree, it’s established in the comics that Capt. Marvel networked around the universe. This may explain her expansive knowledge of the cosmos despite being a (temporarily) brainwashed Kree soldier with limited memories.
In her cinematic appearances, Capt. Marvel is familiar with the universe’s many planets and races, even guiding the Skrulls to their new homeworld. It’s implied that she knows exactly how to help different worlds affected by Thanos’ snap, though it’s never shown. Perhaps her many galactic connections proved useful during these off-world missions.
2 Her Seventh Sense
Capt. Marvel always seemed to appear at the right moment, coming in the nick of time to save the day. This was best seen in her Avengers appearances when she lucked into Tony Stark and arrived at the last minute to turn the tides of war against Thanos.
If Carol retained her Seventh Sense from the comics, her conveniently great timing would make a lot more sense. Simply put, this instinct allows her to feel major changes anywhere in the universe. This could also be why she left Earth post-Infinity War, sensing trouble on a cosmic scale.
1 The Real Carol Danvers
Despite being different sides of the same person, the stoic Kree fighter Vers and the rebellious human pilot Carol have overlapping traits that made it hard for some to differentiate the two.
Carol had a similar dual identity in her earlier comics, but it’s better laid out. Previously, Ms. Marvel was an entirely new persona that Carol could switch to – not unlike Billy Batson and Shazam. The trade-off was that Carol lost her emotions whenever she became the hot-blooded Kree warrior. If not for Prof. Xavier’s help, Carol would never have been able to feel anything as Ms. Marvel.
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