Captain Marvel's Comic Origin is a Problem For MCU
There are sure to be many comic book fans ready to petition Captain Marvel's theatrical release if it makes any changes to the comics - such is the reality of superhero filmmaking. But it's possible to hold the classic story in high esteem... and acknowledge that adapting it to a modern movie in Marvel's formula raises some problems. The most significant of them being that Carol Danvers becomes a superhero because an alien soldier got between her and an alien explosion.
Mar-Vell, the original Kree superhero named Captain Marvel (another hero the movie would have to introduce somehow) was caught up in a catastrophic explosion involving vague alien technology (which the movie would have to make plausible and clear to the audience), and gained powers of the Kree when Mar-Vell's body was blasted through Carol's somehow transferring genetic "stuff" (again, all of which would need to be sold to the audience in a clear, believable way). And all of that is just to cover the first chapter of Carol's origin story... which Marvel has made clear the Captain Marvel movie will not be covering.
The limits of 1980s comic book logic and a modern superhero movie may not be too different, but The Life of Captain Marvel shows that even in the comics, that story is one Marvel would prefer be streamlined. By having a half-Kree mother, Carol's genetic uniqueness speaks for itself. When Carol asks her mother what the explosion that "gave her powers" actually did, if anything, Marie confirms that the alien energy essentially activated her Kree half, enough to awaken all of her Kree abilities (overcoming the limitations caused by her human half).
And if we're using this new comic book origin as the new, canon origin Marvel has come up with, then we know why they sought out an actress like Annette Bening to play Carol's mother - or as she may soon be known, the closest thing the MCU gets to the original Mar-Vell.
Captain Marvel is Better as a Mother-Daughter Story
It should be easy to see why Margaret Stohl's story is the one Marvel would want to show to the world, as the first solo movie in the MCU with a woman in the title role. A story between a mother and daughter, driven apart by secrets kept out of love, not a lack of it. A story of Carol realizing her powers are not an accident but her own, passed from mother to daughter. A story of a daughter carrying on her mother's rank, mission, and legacy like so many men in the MCU. And if the movie decides to fully change Marie's Kree name from Mari-Ell to Marv-Ell, then Carol will be carrying on her mother's name as the one known across the Marvel movie universe.
That's a story that Annette Bening and Brie Larson could make one of the most emotional and powerful in the MCU so far, and helping fans forget just how long it took to make women a key part of the Marvel movie universe.
It's still just our theory, but for reasons clear to every Marvel fan, not just the mothers and daughters, it's one we hope Captain Marvel will bring to the movies, and not just the comics.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019