Captain Marvel has proven to be yet another major hit for the MCU. The film helped to further expand the vast universe of these films while introducing a new hero in the form of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel.
The film also adapts a highly influential storyline from Marvel Comics, the Kree-Skrull War. The conflict between these two alien species was most famously seen in a nine-issue run in the early 70s which was a precursor to the big crossover event comics that became so popular. While the movie brings in a lot of elements from that comic, there are also a lot of changes. Here’s how Captain Marvel’s Kree-Skrull War compares to the comic books.
Though based in the comics, Captain Marvel cleverly twists elements of the story to surprise fans. The history behind the Kree-Skrull War is kept purposely vague for most of the film to allow for the third-act twist.
In the comics, the tensions between these two has a long and complicated history. The Skrull were initially the far superior race and even performed observational experiments on the primitive Kree. Eventually, the Kree overthrew the Skrull, turning them into a more war-minded society. And the conflict raged on ever since.
9 The Skrull
The Skrull have long been depicted as villains in the comics. Though they’ve had peaceful periods in their history and not all members of their race are evil, the Kree-Skrull War storyline shows them as deceptive killers.
In an inspired twist, the film made the Skrull victims of the oppressive Kree Empire. Not willing to live under the Kree rule, the Skrull are refugees seeking a new home. It was a fun reversal for the characters and gave the story some nice depth.
Ronan the Accuser made his debut in the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy as a Kree extremist and exile. He returns in Captain Marvel, seen as a younger, slightly more level-headed Kree military leader. Though a fun inclusion, his part in the film is not impactful.
Given how prominently Ronan is featured in the comic book storyline, his short appearance was surprising. In the comics, Ronan overthrows the Supreme Intelligence to rule the Kree Empire himself. He launches an attack on Earth which puts the events in motion.
Even though the Kree-Skrull storyline is jam-packed with heroes, Captain Marvel does actually play a significant role. However, the Captain Marvel in question is actually the original, Mar-Vell.
Mar-Vell is seen in the film as well, played by Annette Benning. Similar to the comics, Mar-Vell is seen as a traitor to the Kree Empire and targeted. The differences in the comics include the fact that Mar-Vell is a male Kree. Also, while he is at odds with his fellow Kree, he certainly doesn’t get along with the Skrull either.
6 The Avengers
While the Kree-Skrull War of the film is small enough to be boiled down to a solo film, the threat is on a much larger scale in the comics. So large in fact that it requires Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to resolve it.
Mar-Vell seeks help from The Avengers when arriving on Earth. The line-up of the super-team at this point includes Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, The Vision and, for some reason, Rick Jones. In a connection to the film version of the team, this is actually the storyline that first introduces the romance between Scarlet Witch and Vision.
5 Fantastic Four
Believe it or not, but the conflict of the Kree-Skrull War even proves too much for The Avengers to handle on their own and the Fantastic Four are brought in to help as well. Though there appearance is somewhat small, their inclusion makes sense given their comic book history.
Both the Kree and the Skrull were introduced within the pages of the Fantastic Four comics. Throughout the years, they have tangled with them on several occasions. It makes us wonder, if the MCU had the rights to the Fantastic Four at the time, would they have made an appearance in Captain Marvel?
Yet another group of superpowered beings get involved in the Kree-Skrull War. The Inhumans have strong links to the Kree as their powers are the result of the Kree experimenting on primitive humans.
In the comic storyline, the Inhumans provide a very small subplot in which villain Maximus overthrows Black Bolt as leader of the Inhumans after making a deal with the Kree. The Avengers quickly help defeat Maximus and restore Black Bolt.
Given the poor reception of the Inhumans television show, it’s doubtful we’ll see them in an MCU movie for quite a while.
3 Skrull Homeworld
Captain Marvel gives us our first glimpse of the Kree homeworld of Hala. The advanced society helps us dive deeper into the world of the Kree Empire. However, the Skrull are presented as a more scattered group with no home to speak of. While the refugee aspect of the Skrull is compelling, the comics does take us to their homeworld.
A Super Skrull abducts Mar-Vell, along with some of The Avengers, and takes them back to the Skrull planet. It is there we meet high-ranking members of the Skrull Empire, such as Emperor Dorrek.
2 Carol Danvers
Though not the first hero to take up the mantle, Carol Danvers is the most popular version of Captain Marvel and the perfect choice for the film version. Brie Larson does a wonderful job bringing the character to life and adding another memorable hero to the MCU roster.
Even though Mar-Vell is the Captain Marvel of the Kree-Skrull War comics, Carol Danvers does still make an appearance. Given her history with Mar-Vell, Carol is called upon to assist The Avengers when he comes to Earth. But in a twist, it’s later revealed Carol is a Super Skrull in disguise.
1 Anti-Alien Sub-Plot
As jam-packed as the Kree-Skrull War story is, the comic somehow finds time to add in another strange subplot. Once it’s revealed the Kree and the Skrull have come to Earth, a U.S senator announces the "Alien Activities Commission" – an allegory of Senator McCarthy’s House "Un-American Activities Committee".
The debate over which aliens can be trusted is an interesting one but seems a little crammed into this story. The whole thing is resolved by the end as the senator is revealed to be a Skrull himself. Definitely something that wasn’t needed for the movie.