Although Marvel announced Captain Marvel as part of their film slate a number of years ago, it’s only been more recently that the Brie Larson-led movie has fleshed out its cast and crew. And along with those announcements, more information has arrived regarding the plot of the film and just where it will take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
During this past summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, the first concrete details surrounding Captain Marvel came out. Joining Larson in the movie will be Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury – but with a twist. The film will feature a younger Fury who still has both of his eyes, as Captain Marvel will take place sometime in the early ‘90s. Beyond those clues, nothing else is known about the timeline or the involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the plot, but a number of possibilities are likely.
As exciting as that news was, however, the word that the film would tackle the infamous Kree-Skrull War from the comics set fandom abuzz. First occurring in the ‘70s before being returned to in the early ‘90s, the Kree-Skrull War saw two of the universe’s biggest alien races going to battle and putting the original Captain Marvel in the crosshairs. Carol Danvers played key roles in both conflicts as Ms. Marvel, so the MCU version of the battle certainly has a number of directions to go in.
We’ve already seen teases of the Skrulls in concept art, and even heard that Mar-Vell may appear in some fashion. But while everyone from Marvel fans to James Gunn are primed for the emergence of the Skrulls in the MCU, the continued involvement of the Kree opens up a number of exciting opportunities for antagonists.
Ronan the Accuser
Like much of the Marvel Universe, Ronan was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Debuting in 1967’s Fantastic Four #65, Ronan would go on to serve as an antagonist for many of Marvel’s cosmic heroes. He came into prominence, however, during the Kree-Skrull War in 1971 and 1972. A skilled Kree warrior, Ronan would go on to join the soldier/juror class of the race known as the Accusers. Eventually, he’d even come to be the third most powerful member of his entire race.
With his prowess in battle, years of conflict with the galaxy’s mightiest heroes, and his powerful Universal Weapon, Ronan has been a fan-favorite for decades. His profile has increased even more thanks to his noble roots and a number of stories that have positioned his as more of an anti-hero than an outright villain. All of this made it incredibly frustrating for fans when his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy reduced him to a one-off antagonist.
Despite the character’s rich backstory and the skills of Lee Pace as an actor, Ronan in the MCU didn’t get much to work with. Still, his look was exquisite and an interesting history was hinted at. While he’s assumed to be dead in the present day of the MCU, could Captain Marvel’s ‘90s setting and Kree-focused plot bring the rogue back into the fold?
The MCU has only utilized flashbacks and period stories a number of times. As such, there’s a lot of backstory that could be filled in for various characters. With Captain Marvel herself, things will start from scratch. Nick Fury, meanwhile, will get more light shined on his early years. Likewise, Marvel has the chance to redeem one of it’s one-and-done villains with Captain Marvel.
In Guardians, Ronan was presented as a religious zealot with a murderous devotion to his people and a vendetta against the rulers of Xandar. All of this would provide perfect fodder for backstory, and Marvel already has Pace in their pocket. Given how central Ronan is to the Kree-Skrull War, and much of the cosmic Marvel pantheon, Captain Marvel could easily introduce a younger version of the villain as a struggling anti-hero tasked with protecting his race at all costs. We could see him provide Carol with a link to the Kree blood running through her veins and he could serve as a shaky ally as the two battle against the invading Skrulls. We could even see the seeds sown for his unstable nature and the future trauma that will send him over the edge.
Marvel has often wasted the potential of its great supervillains, but Captain Marvel provides them with the chance to redeem a central comic book character in a natural way. But Ronan is hardly the only MCU antagonist the film could reintroduce.
Korath the Pursuer
Like Ronan, Korath is a member of the Kree’s most elite warriors. In the comics, he’s mostly a scientist, working with cybernetics to build a race of warriors for his people. He also uses his tech to augment himself, something alluded to in Guardians of the Galaxy with Korath’s implants. First appearing in 1992’s Quasar #32, Korath the Pursuer is another character primed for a return to the MCU. While it’s unclear if he died after his defeat by Drax, the ‘90s setting of Captain Marvel means his fate doesn’t even need to be addressed.
As the right-hand of Ronan, it makes sense to bring back his fellow Kree warrior. And while he’s a villain to the Guardians, he’s not outright antagonist. Joining with Ronan and Carol in their fight against the Skrulls, Djimon Hounsou would finally get the chance to put his acting skills to the test. While Korath was fun in Guardians, both the character and actor were severely underutilized. With Hounsou joining Larson, Jackson, and Pace, Captain Marvel would be primed for an all-star cast with deep connections to the wider MCU.
We know that James Gunn is currently spinning out the cosmic side of the Marvel movie universe, meaning both Ronan and Korath could return in some fashion. But rather than worry about whether they survived Guardians, Captain Marvel could bring back both characters and flesh out their backstories. Not only would this provide the actors with better roles and fans with better stories for the characters, but it would give Gunn more to work with if he ever decided to revive the fallen foes.
Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the MCU is full of Kree characters that could appear in Captain Marvel. With the race having been peppered throughout film and TV so far, the upcoming movie has the opportunity to further explore the race and their key warriors. By doing so, Captain Marvel could redeem a number of MCU villains, offer deeper connections to the larger universe, and take advantage of some great Marvel characters and actors.
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