A lot of MCU characters are returning for prequel Captain Marvel. The prequel may see a totally new hero enter the MCU, but despite being set in the past, there's still plenty of room for crossovers and cameos.
The 21st film set in the MCU stars Oscar winner Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a former United States Air Force pilot who, following an accident, becomes half-Kree and develops superpowers that make her the most powerful hero in the universe. When Captain Marvel begins, Carol is an amnesiac member of a Kree military unit called Starforce going by the name of Vers, but soon returns to Earth to discover her past - and more secrets besides. Being set in the 1990s, this sees her run into several familiar faces (a couple of them are deceased in the present day).
You can always expect cameos in Marvel movies, but this time they're doubling as surprise backstory. Here are the existing MCU characters who return in Captain Marvel.
Last updated: March 7, 2019
Captain Marvel is an origin story of sorts for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Long before he was the enigmatic, trenchcoat-wearing director of S.H.I.E.L.D., at this point in his life, Fury has a full head of hair, two eyes, and wears the standard black suit and tie of a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent. By his own admission, Fury was a desk jockey about to quit the agency. This was before Carol Danvers crashes to Earth, whom Fury in his voice over recognizes as "a renegade soldier" who "comes from above", when he helps her out by bringing her into S.H.I.E.L.D.
This meeting provides Fury with the motivation and opportunity to become S.H.I.E.L.D. Director and, eventually, found the Avengers, with his interactions with Captain Marvel adding nuance to his future encounters with the superheroes he helped assemble into the Avengers. As well as explaining where the eye-patch came from, Captain Marvel also marks the first appearance of Fury's beeper, which he used to contact Carol before he faded to dust in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
Though his life and career continued for five seasons on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as far as most of the people in the movies' MCU are aware, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) was killed by Loki during The Avengers. Captain Marvel brings Gregg back to show Coulson in his rookie years with the spy agency (and sporting a fuller head of hair); in the movie, he's a new recruit but one who shows immense loyalty to Fury and an more personal approach to cases.
For fans of the show, however, it goes a bit deeper: meeting the half-Kree Carol Danvers is a major foreshadowing of how Coulson will be resurrected via Kree technology two decades later.
Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) was the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy, a powerful but insane zealot who allied with Thanos and wanted to use the Power Stone to wipe out the Kree's enemy, the planet Xandar. Though Ronan died in that film, Captain Marvel brings him back to his earlier years as a high-ranking and influential member of Kree society.
Two decades before Guardians, Ronan already wields his war hammer, the Cosmi-Rod, and has a penchant for carpet-bombing planets.
Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) is another familiar face fans will remember from Guardians of the Galaxy. He was a mercenary working for Ronan and first encountered Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) when Star-Lord unearthed the Orb, which turned out to be the Power Stone.
In Captain Marvel, Korath is a member of Starforce and one of Carol Danvers' teammates in the elite Kree version of Seal Team 6. While his role in the movie is light, there's hints at how he begins to doubt the mainline Kree creed and will eventually side with Ronan.
- 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