15. Nick Fury's 'Protector Initiative'
It's also worth pointing out that even though Nick Fury changed his famous Avengers Initiative to pay homage to Carol Danvers, the original name he had for his plan was an Easter Egg, too. Uniting superpowered people to act as 'protectors' might seem like an unimaginative moniker, but for fans of the Kree Empire, it's anything but a random designation. Because 'Protector' also happens to be the name of another Kree soldier... and eventually, another version of Captain Marvel.
Granted, it took place in an alternate reality, where Noh-Varr was just one of a larger group of Kree diplomats who faced catastrophe, and was eventually stranded on Earth. Noh-Varr eventually adopted a heroic persona in tribute to Mar-Vell, claiming titles like Captain Marvel, Marvel Boy... and yes, Protector.
14. The Alien Cat, a Flerken Menace
There’s no question which moment of the movie is guaranteed to be the biggest, most unexpected surprise. And for most older comic fans, they’ll be as convinced as the average moviegoer that Goose the Cat is… well, just a cat. And the irrational fear exhibited by Talos and the Skrulls? Nothing but a joke! But to those who have read Captain Marvel’s more recent comics--particularly her crossover with the Guardians of the Galaxy--the movie is all one big countdown to the Flerken doing what she does best.
Aside from changing the cat’s name from Chewie to Goose (one famous wingman to another), the abilities demonstrated by the Flerken, chiefly the explosion of killer tentacles from inside of its mouth, are exactly the same as the comics. By the end of the movie, Dr. Lawson selecting such a beast as her personal pet makes a lot more sense, knowing that the Kree will someday come calling. And the actual physiology of those tentacles helps explain Goose's later role, as well.
13. Lawson, The Original Captain Mar-Vell
The biggest twist of the film, and one guaranteed to enrage those already bristling at the feminist conversation surrounding Captain Marvel, is made to Carol’s mentor. To the American government she is simply Dr. Wendy Lawson. But to the universe at large… she is Mar-Vell, the original Kree superhero to bear the title ‘Captain Marvel.’ With a gender swap and some origin story re-imagining, of course.
Marvel Comic fans know that Carol Danvers is not the first to claim the title Captain Marvel, and actually took years to accept the moniker out of respect for its original owner. To her, it was the name earned and owned by Mar-Vell, the Kree hero who accidentally passed his superhuman powers onto her. The MCU ended up falling in line with our own theory that Mar-Vell would be Annette Bening’s character, but actually follows a less shocking re-telling than the latest comics. There, Carol’s Kree mother is the source of her powers. In the film, it’s Mar-Vell’s research that makes Carol superpowered, not her genes.
12. Mar-Vell's Lightspeed 'Asis' Aircraft
Before the mysterious power source at the heart of Mar-Vell’s research is revealed to be The Tesseract, the actual faster-than-light aircraft she was designing seems to be most important. In the end it’s simply one use of the Tesseract’s technology. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a terrific Easter Egg for Marvel comics fans. And it all starts with the test aircraft’s official name: ASIS.
The name isn’t random, but drawn directly from the Ultimate Captain Marvel version of the Kree soldier’s backstory. In that parallel Earth, whose costumes and designs have heavily influenced the MCU as a whole, the Asis aircraft was also the brainchild of Dr. Mar-Vell. Or as he's known in this parallel reality, ‘Geheneris HalaSon Mahr Vehl.’ In that version of the story, Carol Danvers was head of security for the entire project, with the Kree leader transforming himself into Dr. Philip Lawson to help complete the aircraft. A nice nod for the Ultimates fans, even if it will be missed by most.
11. Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Begins
Considering how long it has been since the first Avengers movie made good on Nick Fury's 'Initiative,' not to mention how much the state of the MCU has changed, audiences can be forgiven for not remembering every tiny detail about the team-up. For starters, the significance of Project Pegasus, the name of the top secret research group working on the Tesseract under Fury's supervision... oh, and the project originally started by Mar-Vell, to create technology capable of giving the Skrull refugees a homeworld well beyond the reach of the Kree Empire.
The name isn't brought up much after the opening scenes of The Avengers, but Captain Marvel reveals that Carol Danvers isn't just responsible for the team's eventual name, but making sure there was any promising work done by Dr. Lawson at all. Now we just have to wonder how quickly Fury moved from being completely stunned by the existence of alien technology to weaponizing it like Hydra did during World War II.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019