Captain Marvel makes an MCU Phase 1 tie-in comic part of the official Marvel canon. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel is essentially a prequel to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe; it's even a back-door origin story for both Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson. Although there had initially been concerns that Captain Marvel could cause a lot of major continuity errors, it's becoming clear that Marvel has put a lot of effort into making everything tie together.
Unusually, that even appears to mean that Captain Marvel fits with the wider MCU, including the TV shows and tie-in comics. It's pretty rare for Marvel Studios to show too much concern for these other mediums; Marvel don't typically go out of their way to contradict them but they won't let a tie-in get in the way of a good story. James Gunn even made one of the official comics non-canon when he wrote the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. But in the case of Captain Marvel, Marvel seems to be taking a different approach. Kree architecture corresponds to designs seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, while Carol Danvers' origin story fits perfectly with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well.
A new Captain Marvel TV spot sees Nick Fury and Captain Marvel sat in a bar, each attempting to persuade the other that they're not a Skrull. The shape-shifting aliens can access recent and surface memories in order to impersonate a person, so Carol knows the secret to identifying a Skrull impostor is to quiz them on their personal history; she goes very personal on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Unsurprisingly, when Fury turns the tables she opts to demonstrate her powers instead of talk about her past; she's an amnesiac, after all.
It's a fun scene, particularly because of the amusing way it ends. But it's also significant in how it fleshes out Fury's backstory, revealing that he came from Huntsville, Alabama, and signed up with the military as soon as he left high school. That much is new information, but the rest is all from the Nick Fury: Spies Like Us tie-in released in 2009 between The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 that attempted to flesh out the mysterious Marvel figure. According to that comic, Fury left the military as a colonel, and became a spy during the Cold War; it tells the tale of an espionage mission Fury conducted in Budapest, where he exposed a mole. This matches perfectly with Fury's potted biography in the Captain Marvel clip, in which he mentions having conducted missions across the globe - including in Budapest. There's no way all this isn't deliberate; it looks as though Spies Like Us is definitely canon as far as the MCU is concerned.
Or mostly canon, anyway; the story may be, but the art clearly isn't. In Spies Like Us, Nick Fury is shown already wearing an eyepatch, whereas in Captain Marvel he's yet to lose an eye. Interestingly enough, that particular plot element also contradicts a photo from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which appeared to show Fury being sworn in as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. - and not wearing an eyepatch. Marvel clearly decided to ignore that particular detail, knowing they had too good a story to tell with Captain Marvel.
- 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 02, 2019