Captain Marvel is possibly the most well-connected movie in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set in 1995, the film is essentially a prequel to the entire MCU, and the post-credits scene confirms that it's essential viewing on the journey to Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel has finally made her MCU debut, and her power levels are off the charts.
But Captain Marvel is a particularly unusual film. The last time Marvel did a period piece was back in 2011, with Captain America: The First Avenger, and there was real concern that the Captain Marvel movie could cause major continuity problems. Although it's not without a few minor continuity issues, though, the film is remarkably well-connected. Unusually for the movies, it doesn't even contradict anything that's been established by Marvel Television's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; the Kree have been featured quite prominently in the TV series, so the potential for problems was most definitely real. But even the Kree technology shown in Captain Marvel dovetails perfectly with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
So here's your guide to all the MCU connections in Captain Marvel - from Nick Fury himself to examples of Kree science and technology, from Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. to the Quadjet.
- This Page: Nick Fury and the Secrets of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Page 2: Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and the Tesseract
- Page 3: The Skrulls, Ronan the Accuser and the Starforce
- Page 4: The Kree Science
Captain Marvel is essentially a back door origin story for Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, revealing just how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent began his meteoric rise through the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D.. One scene sees Captain Marvel interrogate Fury in order to prove he's not a Skrull; he reveals that he was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and that he joined the military as soon as he left high school. Fury left the military as a colonel, and became a spy during the Cold War; he references a number of key missions, including one in Budapest. This backstory dovetails pretty well with the Phase 1 tie-in comic Nick Fury: Spies Like Us, which was set before the end of the Cold War and actually featured Nick Fury on a spy mission to Budapest.
According to Captain Marvel, Fury had a slow start at S.H.I.E.L.D., and he was only a Level 3 agent by 1995. His encounter with Carol Danvers re-energizes him, giving him a personal mission that sees him rise to the position of S.H.I.E.L.D. director by 2008.
Nick Fury's Eye Patch
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury told Steve Rogers that "the last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye." Fans had expected Captain Marvel to play this straight, perhaps revealing that a Skrull impostor had slashed Fury's eye in the moments before he killed it. In reality, Fury lost his eye because of a Flerken scratch, which appears to be toxic. That subtly reinterprets The Winter Soldier, suggesting that Fury is quietly messing with Steve Rogers before deciding to take Captain America's objections seriously and reveal Project Insight to him.
Clark Gregg reprises the role of Phil Coulson, a key figure in Phase 1 who's gone on to become the star of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. According to the TV series, Coulson was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and he studied history in college, focusing on the importance of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Recruited into the organization, he trained at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Communication School, and was assigned to work under supervising officer Nicholas Joseph Fury. This fits perfectly with Captain Marvel, where Coulson is fresh out of S.H.I.E.L.D. training and has just been assigned to Fury.
It's easy to miss, but one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who swarms Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. looking for Nick Fury and Carol Danvers is Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill. She'd go on to become one of Fury's most trusted agents, serving as his deputy director by the time of The Avengers and continuing to work with him even after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Like Samuel L. Jackson, Smulders will reprise her role in this year's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Nick Fury's Pager
Carol Danvers confiscates Nick Fury's pager and adapts it so he can summon her in an emergency situation. This is the same modified pager Fury uses in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War. The post-credits scenes reveal what happened next, as well; it seems that in the aftermath of the Battle of Wakanda, the Avengers regrouped at Avengers Compound to watch in horror as the death toll mounted. They detected an unusual signal, and traced it to the pager; somehow they knew it was connected to Fury, and decided to rig it to keep transmitting, figuring he had to be calling for help.
It's unclear how the Avengers connected the pager to Fury; it may be that they checked CCTV footage and realized Nick Fury had been there. Alternatively, it's possible that Black Widow - who herself had been a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. operative - had seen Fury considering using that pager before. Interestingly, in a recent interview Kevin Feige suggested that Fury may well have used that pager before now. "How do we know he never pushed it before," he asked. "We’ve never seen him push it before. That doesn’t mean he never did."
The Avengers Initiative
Captain Marvel reveals that Carol Danvers was the inspiration for the Avengers Initiative. Fury believed that S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn't enough to protect the world from cosmic threats, and that the Earth needed another line of defense. He initially called it the Protector Initiative, but noted that Carol Danvers' callsign was "Avenger" and decided that was a better name. It's a brilliant scene, and plays with the Avengers theme swelling in the background.
The Avengers introduced a new term into the MCU; Level Seven. In the aftermath of Loki's attack, Director Fury called Coulson back to base and told him this was a "Level Seven" event. "As of right now," he added, "We are at war." The term was undefined by the film, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. explained it away by revealing that S.H.I.E.L.D. had a number of levels of seniority and clearance. The series opened with a resurrected Coulson stepping out of the shadows and telling a shocked Grant Ward, "Welcome to Level Seven."
Captain Marvel confirms this interpretation of the "Level Seven" reference, albeit in a very subtle way. When Nick Fury shows his S.H.I.E.L.D. ID, it identifies him as a Level Three agent. That confirms that, while he's been at S.H.I.E.L.D. six years by the time of Captain Marvel, Fury is still pretty low down in the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy.
Page 2 of 4: Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and the Tesseract
- 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