Captain Marvel arrives in theaters next year, and while it has to be assumed that a lot of Carol Danvers’ comic book history will be trimmed for the movie, we think it will have a nod to another of her superhero mantles: Warbird. While Carol probably won't appear in the Warbird costume from the comics, the fact that her Air Force callsign hasn't been revealed yet makes us think that "Warbird" will actually be her callsign during her military career.
Carol Danvers didn't start out as Captain Marvel in the comics, but instead has gone through a few different superhero mantles.This includes initial stints as a costumed hero going by the name Ms. Marvel, in which she acted as a sort-of sidekick to the original Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Mar-Vell of the alien Kree (who may or may not be played by Jude Law in the movie). After becoming a full-fledged member of the Avengers, Carol would also take on the codenames Binary (following exposure to certain cosmic abilities) and Warbird (reflecting her prior career in the US Air Force as a pilot).
The identity crisis Danvers has gone through over the years was only recently settled a few years ago, thanks to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s influential run on the title. The character finally received the blessing she didn’t know she needed, when Captain America advised her that taking up the mantle of Captain Marvel and honoring his legacy was something that the deceased cosmic hero would’ve wanted. Short-cutting to Danvers assuming the mantle of Captain Marvel in her upcoming solo pic means getting rid of a lot of arguably needless backstory, but there are still opportunities to pay homage to her convoluted character history.
Maria Rambeau's Call Sign is Photon
Thanks to EW's coverage of the Captain Marvel movie, fans received a number of set photos released just before the highly-anticipated trailer dropped. Their on-set coverage revealed that glimpses of Carol Danvers' time serving for USAF will be featured (later confirmed by the teaser trailer), and she has the Iceman to her Maverick in the form of Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch). Fans of Captain Marvel might recognize Maria Rambeau as the name of the mother of Monica Rambeau, who would grow up to become another inheritor of the mantle of Captain Marvel in the comics.
In EW's set photos, we see Maria Rambeau's fighter plane decked out with her call sign - 'Photon'. Marvel Comics fans will recognize this as another codename belonging to once-and-future Captain Marvel, Monica. Whether or not Maria is the Rambeau family member that ultimately gains her own cosmic powers remains to be seen, but the EW coverage does reveal that Maria is "a top-notch Air Force pilot" with "a young daughter."
Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck can go one of two ways with this: Maria could be saved for future Captain Marvel sequels and shown being imbued with powers of her own, or a present-day version of her daughter (bear in mind, Captain Marvel is set in the 90s) might step into the role in the future, as dictated by the comics. With Carol Danvers set to join the remaining present-day Avengers in the fight against Thanos, the likelihood of running into a grown-up Monica Rambeau seems even likelier.
Carol’s Plane Doesn’t Have a Call Sign
Rambeau's call sign being Photon in very obvious set photos - splashing the designation across the side of the plane - leads to questions regarding Carol's call sign. In the photos garnered by EW, the same space on Danvers' jet fails to designate her name or call sign, implying that the filmmakers are hiding the nugget of information for the time being.
What better way to pay tribute to Carol's comic book history than by giving her the call sign 'Warbird' in the movie? It explains why the information would have been removed from the promotional still, so as to keep the tidbit a surprise for fans in the theater. Of course, the reason for the lack of a paint job on her jet is that she may have just received it, or had yet to earn any kind of nickname. It's curious, though, that the painted box should be there, without a name or call sign inside of it.
Alternatively, the filmmakers could use "Binary" as her call sign, paying tribute to another of Danvers' costumes and power-sets. This one would make less sense, however, as the codename Warbird is more in-keeping with Carol's military background, and Binary was a moniker representing her new (at the time) cosmic powers, wherein she could access the power of a 'white hole'. To be given the name Binary before it has any distinctive meaning would be a nonsensical move.
If the Boden & Fleck are going to name-drop Binary, it would most likely be as some explanation of her powers given in the film, sprinkled into conversation. Think back to when a belligerent, drunk Tony Stark said to Rhodey, "You wanna be a War Machine?" in Iron Man 2.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019