What kind of superhero would punch a sweet old lady in the face? Well, Carol Danvers would, but only because that's (probably) not a sweet old lady that we see in the first trailer for Captain Marvel. It's actually a Skrull - a member of a green-skinned shapeshifting alien race who can disguise themselves as humans.
Starring Brie Larson in the title role, Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s and finds Carol Danvers working with a Kree military team called Starforce. The Kree are a race of blue-skinned aliens that was first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, and that movie's villain - Kree religious fanatic Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) - will return in Captain Marvel. One of the most famous storylines from Marvel Comics was about a war between the Kree and the Skrulls, and Captain Marvel will incorporate elements of that story arc, with Captain Marvel herself caught up in the war.
From this trailer, we can roughly piece together the sequence of events immediately preceding and following Captain Marvel punching the Old Lady Skrull in the face. Based on the fact that she's still wearing her Starforce uniform when it happens, it looks like Carol is engaged in a space battle with the Skrull and the fight brings her crashing down to Earth, where she continues the hunt. We see Captain Marvel at a train station, and later in the trailer we see her fighting someone on the roof of the train. The old lady disguise is presumably the Skrull's way of trying to lose its tail - but Carol isn't so easily deterred.
The old lady could simply be a random Skrull, but she could also be Ben Mendelsohn's character, Talos, in disguise. We recently learned that Talos arrives on Earth and goes undercover with S.H.I.E.L.D., disguised as a human, so it would make sense for Captain Marvel (in her capacity as a Kree soldier in the galactic war) to be tasked with hunting him down. However, while on Earth she will start to recover her memories of a life before she joined the Kree, and perhaps even start to question where her loyalties should lie.
In the comics it's notoriously difficult for characters to tell the difference between a disguised Skrull and the person they're impersonating, so it's unclear how exactly Captain Marvel knows that the old lady is a Skrull just by looking at her. It's a skill that could prove essential if Marvel incorporates the Secret Invasion storyline into Phase Four of the MCU, with the revelation that Skrulls have been infiltrating Earth for years.
Of course, there's a slim outside chance that Captain Marvel is wrong about the old lady being a Skrull - in which case she's going to have to make quite a big apology.
- 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