Carol Danvers is the first superhero Nick Fury ever meets in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios built their universe on the back of Iron Man, and teased the never-ending possibilities with one fateful line at the end of that film. It was during the post-credits scene that Samuel L. Jackson made his first appearance as Nick Fury, saying, “You think you’re the only superhero in the world?”
While that line was used to tease audiences of what was to come, it also showed that Iron Man isn’t the first hero Fury’s encountered. Thats what made the announcement that Captain Marvel is set in the ’90s more exciting, and that the future director of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be part of it. Now we know for sure that Carol Danvers is going to be Fury’s gateway into this world.
As part of their ongoing coverage for Avengers: Infinity War, EW spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about the future of the MCU. When he was asked about the decision to place Captain Marvel in the past, Feige revealed why that decision is exciting – and confirmed Brie Larson’s ultra-powerful hero is the first one he ever meets.
We wanted to explore a period before Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury had any idea about any of the other heroes and crazy stuff going on in the world. You know, we first met Nick when he told Tony, “You’re part of a big universe. You just don’t know yet.” Well, we want to go back to a time when he didn’t know it yet, and really showcase and announce that Carol Danvers was that first hero that Nick came across. That meant she could be the singular hero, but place it within timing of the MCU. It also got us talking about different genres, exploring this notion of sort of the ‘90s action film. We hadn’t necessarily done anything like that before either, so there are definitely homages to our favorite ‘90s action films within Captain Marvel.
Feige also elaborated on what he meant by “’90s action film” and emphasized that Captain Marvel will expose Fury to the larger MCU in a pretty literal sense:
Well, not necessarily talking about any particulars of the story, but the action elements Terminator 2. That’s about as iconic as you get, looking at kind of those cool street level fights, street level car chases, and fun stuff like that. That being said, much of the movie takes place in outer space, as you might think a Captain Marvel movie would. Like all of our genre inspirations, there are bits and pieces here and there.
This idea of Fury learning about these greater threats and purposes through Captain Marvel is one fans had theorized before, but its great to know that is exactly what is going on. The MCU’s never really explained much about Fury’s past, so being able to see his younger self go through these early experiences will be fun. It’ll also add further weight to the previously mentioned tag, so upon rewatches of Iron Man, fans will know that Fury is talking about his younger days meeting (and likely fighting with) Captain Marvel.
What is interesting about this detail is what it means for heroes Fury didn’t encounter. Outside of the early days of Captain America fighting Red Skull, the earliest heroes that Fury could’ve come into contact with would be Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, the original Ant-Man and Wasp. We know thanks to Ant-Man that they did missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. during the ’80s, right up until Janet was lost to the Quantum Realm in 1987. Maybe Fury just didn’t have the clearance at that point to know about these superheroes. Whatever the case may be, we now know for sure they didn’t meet prior, and that Carol Danvers is Fury’s first superhero encounter.
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