Jude Law's character in Captain Marvel could be a loose amalgamation of both Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg. Marketing for Captain Marvel has taken a strange approach. It's true that the film is one of the most hotly-anticipated of the year; it's a Marvel movie, expected to be a necessary prologue for Avengers: Endgame, so how could it be otherwise? And yet, Marvel's trailers and TV spots have acted as though they think the average moviegoer knows just who Captain Marvel is, and who her supporting characters are.
Symptomatic of this is Marvel's strange reluctance to admit just what character Jude Law is even playing in the film. Debate is raging in fan communities over whether or not he's the Kree hero Mar-Vell, or the villainous Yon-Rogg; Marvel seem rather entertained at this, doing everything they can to avoid settling the dispute. And yet, it's worth asking why the average moviegoer should care what Law's "Starforce Commander" is named. Mar-Vell may be beloved by comic book readers, but he's a completely unknown quantity to the typical ticket buyer for Captain Marvel. Yon-Rogg, meanwhile, is something of a deep cut in comic book lore; a Mar-Vell villain who was killed off decades ago in the comics and only recently (and briefly) resurrected. It's as though Marvel believe Carol Danvers, and her supporting characters, are already firmly established in the public consciousness. They're not.
Evidence is now building that Jude Law is indeed playing Yon-Rogg in Captain Marvel - but that the MCU version of the villain has been carefully reconstructed. It's possible one of the reasons for this confusion is that, when designing the big-screen incarnation of Yon-Rogg, Marvel Studios has drawn upon both characters. And that, in turn, raises the possibility that this upcoming superhero blockbuster is a lot more timely than Marvel has implied in its marketing so far.
- This Page: Everything We Know About Jude Law's Captain Marvel Character
- Page 2: Jude Law's Character Could Incorporate Elements Of Mar-Vell AND Yon-Rogg
What We Know About Jude Law's Captain Marvel Character
Although Jude Law is a big name in Hollywood and he's getting top billing as one of the stars of Captain Marvel, to date precious little is known about his character. He's been described as the leader of an elite Kree unit known as the Starforce, a crack team who are on the front lines of the war between the Kree and Skrull Empires. The Starforce Commander appears to be active in the field, and seems to have a strong bond with the members of his team; that's particularly the case with Vers, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel.
When Law was originally cast for Captain Marvel, the trades reported that he was playing the Kree superhero Mar-Vell - the man who, in the comics, inspired Carol Danvers to become a superhero in the first place. It made sense; Mar-Vell is closely tied to Carol's superhero origin, and she even took up her codename in his honor. And yet, for all this seemed reasonable, Marvel seemed curiously reluctant to confirm it. When one Disney website named Law's character as Mar-Vell, it was swiftly edited. Naturally, Marvel's reticence led many to believe Law had been cast for another role entirely.
The most popular theory has been that Law is really a Kree character named Yon-Rogg, who also has ties to Carol Danvers' superhero origin story. Unlike Mar-Vell, Yon-Rogg is a villain, and he was resurrected as part of Kelly Sue DeConnick's Captain Marvel run to plague the titular hero; significantly, he manipulated her memories, and ultimately gave her amnesia. When the first Captain Marvel trailer suggested the titular hero was amnesiac, then, it seemed to increase the odds Law is playing this particular part.
As we get nearer to the film's theatrical release, merchandise is beginning to flood the market; and both Funko figures and Hasbro's Marvel Legends figures have called him "Yon-Rogg." The Marvel Legends box even features a brief teaser describing his role: "Leader of the Starforce team, Yon-Rogg is a hero among the Kree and a key asset in the Supreme Intelligence's war against the Skrulls."
Who Are Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg?
It's vitally important whether Jude Law is Mar-Vell or Yon-Rogg; it defines whether he's a hero or a villain. In the comics, Mar-Vell is a character created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan back in 1967, a Kree warrior who was sent to Earth to monitor humanity, and who even betrayed his own people in defense of the human race. He was popularized by Jim Starlin, and in a strange twist is best known for an iconic and unforgettable comic book death. Where most superheroes die in spectacular fashion, "The Death of Captain Marvel" graphic novel saw the Kree hero die after losing his battle against an aggressive form of cancer. It's generally viewed as one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, a blend of real-world pain with fantastical, cosmic themes and concepts. In the comics, Mar-Vell was the first hero to call himself Captain Marvel, with Carol Danvers eventually taking up the identity in his honor.
In contrast, Yon-Rogg was Mar-Vell's greatest foe in his early days (Starlin substituted Yon-Rogg for Thanos himself, a far more powerful nemesis). Yon-Rogg was leader of the Kree Expeditionary Force team who headed to Earth, and was part of a sinister conspiracy to overthrow the Supreme Intelligence and return the Kree to their old warlike ways. He hated humanity with a bitter passion, and desired to subjugate the Earth under the Kree Empire. The escalating feud between Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg was, in the comics, what led Carol Danvers to become a superhero in the first place; Yon-Rogg attempted to use a Kree device known as the Psyche-Magnetron, and Carol - head of security at a NASA installation nearby - was too close when the device exploded. Yon-Rogg was believed killed, but was recently revealed to still be alive, his psyche bonded with Carol's.
These are two very different characters; but is it possible Marvel has blended the two to create the person Jude Law is playing?
Page 2 of 2: How Jude Law Can Incorporate Elements of Both Characters
- 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 02, 2019