Nick Fury could have called Captain Marvel countless times through the history of the MCU - but why didn't he? Set in 1995, Captain Marvel was something of an unconventional origin story for the most powerful hero the MCU has seen to date. By the end of the film, Carol Danvers had tapped into her full power and was able to take down a Kree capital ship single-handed. Nick Fury was so impressed by Captain Marvel that he dedicated his life to combing the planet to find other superheroes, founding the Avengers Initiative. He rightly understood that Carol had headed off into the stars, and that he couldn't depend on her getting back in time to help in a crisis situation.
But that doesn't change the fact that Fury had a pager to call in heavyweight backup all these years. No doubt he wouldn't even consider using it to call Carol in for a basic mission; but there have been several occasions in the MCU where he should really have used it. Indeed, Kevin Feige has actually hinted that perhaps he did. "How do you know he never hit it," he asked. "How do we know he never pushed it before? We’ve never seen him push it before. That doesn’t mean he never did." Some of these occasions could have been before Tony Stark became Iron Man, dealing with crises that are hidden in the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the MCU. But the Avengers have dealt with everything from a full-scale alien invasion to an extinction level event, so why didn't Carol Danvers ever show up to help?
Here, we're going to look through the known history of the MCU and explore the key moments when Fury could have used an assist. Then, we'll explore the question of why Carol never met the Avengers before the events of Avengers: Endgame.
- This Page: Every Time Fury Could Have Called Captain Marvel
- Page 2: Why Didn't Captain Marvel Turn Up Before In The MCU?
Loki's Theft of the Tesseract
The first incident was at the beginning of The Avengers, when Loki arrived on Earth and stole the Tesseract. This led Fury to initiate the Avengers Initiative, but in truth, he should surely have also sent out a cosmic Mayday to Carol Danvers straight away. After all, like Fury himself Captain Marvel knows just how powerful the Tesseract is; it's the source of her powers. She was the one who'd asked Nick to keep it hidden, and she'd definitely want to know that it had been stolen by a mysterious alien who'd destroyed Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. Meanwhile, Nick knew from the events of Captain Marvel that Carol's energy signature is identical to the Tesseract's, and that she could be used to track it down.
The Battle of New York
If Nick Fury hadn't called Carol Danvers in at the very beginning of The Avengers, he most certainly should have done so when Loki opened a wormhole over New York. Fury knew that he was dealing with a full-scale invasion of the Earth, with a terrifying army sweeping down upon the city from the heavens. He had no guarantee that the Avengers would be able to defeat the Chitauri hordes, and the World Security Council was even pushing him to nuke Manhattan. This was probably one of the greatest crises Fury had ever dealt with, and yet his faith in the Avengers remained unshakable, in spite of the fact the team was divided and fractious. Meanwhile, the fact that this wormhole was opened using Tesseract technology should have caused Nick to call in Captain Marvel; her powers operated on the same frequency, meaning she could potentially have disrupted it. This is definitely an incident when Fury should have used the pager.
The Winter Soldier's Assassination Attempt
Nick Fury should have certainly called in Captain Marvel in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. S.H.I.E.L.D. was on the verge of launching Project Insight, three Helicarriers that would monitor the entire planet and eliminate threats in an instant, and he'd learned that his organization was compromised. Worse still, matters swiftly escalated, with an almost-successful assassination attempt. Fury was forced to go into deep cover, with no idea who to trust, desperately hoping that Steve Rogers and Black Widow could run interference and uncover the truth about this mysterious conspiracy. For perhaps the first time in years, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. was completely out of his depth.
Again, this is just the kind of scenario where you'd have expected Nick Fury to call in Captain Marvel. He needed someone he could trust to help him discover the truth, and Carol would have been ideally suited; unlike Steve Rogers she wasn't already part of S.H.I.E.L.D., caught in a web of lies and deceit. Added to that, should Project Insight be compromised, Carol Danvers had the kind of power needed to take the three Insight Helicarriers out at speed. Even their firepower wouldn't be able to neutralize her.
The Threat of Ultron
The final example is the threat of Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Although this was after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury was kept in the loop by Maria Hill, and he knew that the Avengers were out of their depths. He knew that Tony Stark had created a dangerous artificial intelligence, one that was going on a rampage and had already proved able to turn the Avengers against one another. Worse still, Ultron had acquired Vibranium, a rare metal that S.H.I.E.L.D. had worked with before and Fury presumably understood to a degree. Fury considered the stakes to be high enough that he needed to reveal himself to the Avengers, even if it meant exposing Maria Hill as his asset. He should surely have been calling Captain Marvel in by the time of the Battle of Sokovia.
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