Captain Marvel features a whole host of new and returning villains. Set in 1995, the debut for Carol Danvers is essentially a prequel to the cosmic side of the MCU; it tells a never-before-seen adventure of the young Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, as the two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents find themselves on the front line of a galactic war that's found its way to Earth.
The story of that galactic conflict in Captain Marvel is inspired by a classic comic book arc known as the Kree-Skrull War, written by Roy Thomas back in the 1970s. Widely considered to be a highlight of Marvel's entire comic book history, the story of the Kree-Skrull War saw Earth caught up in the battle between two alien empires. Neither the Kree nor the Skrull were heroes; Thomas envisioned both as "rapacious, galaxy-spanning races... at war in the far reaches of space." He saw Earth as "the cosmic equivalent of some Pacific island during World War II," with the Avengers desperately attempting to contain the chaos.
But that's the comics - who are the villains of the Captain Marvel movie? That's where it gets complicated. Here's our breakdown of the Kree and Skrulls, and who exactly MCU fans can expect Carol Danvers to take on when the film releases in March.
- This Page: The Skrulls Are The Main Villains of Captain Marvel
- Page 2: The Kree, Supreme Intelligence, Yon-Rogg, And Starforce May Be Captain Marvel Villains Too
The Skrulls Are Captain Marvel's Main Villains
First confirmed at SDCC 2017, the Skrulls are the villains of the Captain Marvel movie (at least according to Kevin Feige). In the comics, the Skrulls are shapeshifters who use their abilities to infiltrate a world's government and defenses, and bring it down from the inside; they're most famous for a 2008 plot called "Secret Invasion," where they came within a hair's breadth of conquering the Earth after they even managed to infiltrate the Avengers.
In the MCU, the Skrulls are locked in a war with the Kree when Captain Marvel begins, but are also enacting a plot to invade Earth. The movie will reportedly begin with the Kree Starforce engaging Skrulls while on a mission to the planet Torfa, which leads Carol Danvers to her home planet of Earth to investigate their new plot.
The Skrulls haven't been seen much in their natural green form in Captain Marvel's marketing yet, but they've certainly had a presence. The first trailer showed Carol Danvers belting an elderly lady with all her considerable strength; that woman was a Skrull in disguise.
Talos Is The Skrull Leader (And Nick Fury's Boss)
The leader of the Skrull forces on Earth is Talos, a master-spy with his own inscrutable purposes. Played by Ben Mendelsohn, Talos has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., and in his human form has taken on the role of Nick Fury's boss.
While the character is lifted straight from the comics, he appears to have been heavily adapted; the comic book version was a Skrull who was born without the ability to shapeshift, and who became even more ruthless in his efforts to prove his worth to his people as a result. Nicknamed "Talos the Untamed," he lost his reputation after he was captured by the Kree during the Kree-Skrull War, and was unwilling to commit ritual suicide rather than evade capture.
The Skrulls Were Involved In Captain Marvel's Origin
There are some clear differences between Captain Marvel's comic book origin story and the MCU version. In the MCU, it looks as though Carol Danvers was a USAF pilot who was sent to investigate UFO sightings. She stumbled straight into a dogfight of some kind between a Kree and Skrull spaceship, and it turned into a ground battle when at least one of the ships was shot down along with Carol's fighter. Stumbling through the wreckage, Carol was exposed to alien energies when an unknown device exploded - and her body was transformed.
It's a very loose adaptation of the comic book plot, but the most interesting detail is that the Skrulls seem to have been on hand to witness the explosion; trailers have shown a Skrull warrior striding through the wreckage, his weapon raised. This is actually quite a major change, given the Skrulls don't traditionally have anything to do with Captain Marvel's superhero origin. That said, it certainly explains why Talos claims he can tell the amnesiac Carol Danvers the truth about her past. Indeed, it's possible certain shots from the trailer - of Carol Danvers held upside-down, energy sparking into her temples - show the Skrulls attempting to restore those lost memories.
Page 2 of 2: The Kree, Supreme Intelligence, Yon-Rogg, And Starforce May Be Captain Marvel Villains Too
- 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 05, 2019