Well, Captain Marvel is finally upon us. Be warned that full spoilers follow for the movie as we discuss everything it left ambiguous or downright inconsistent about the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Any Marvel movie is going to have a couple of inconsistencies or plot holes, since this is a huge, interconnected universe in a medium unfamiliar with such a concept. Marvel would have to employ someone full-time to vet every single script to see if each scene, conversation, and throwaway line is consistent with every other scene, conversation, and throwaway line in every other MCU movie. For example, Nick Fury saying, “The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye,” in an earlier movie seemed to set up a knife fight where his only friend cut out his eye. However, as we’ve seen from Captain Marvel, it was scratched by an alien disguised as a tabby cat.
Naturally, with it being a prequel to twenty different movies, Captain Marvel was going to have a number of unanswered questions and plot holes. Considering how much it had to fit in with, it turned out pretty much airtight. Still, there are some inconsistencies and mistakes. So, here are 25 Unresolved Mysteries And Plot Holes Captain Marvel Leaves Hanging.
25 Why Does Nick Fury Trust Carol Immediately?
In the bar scene, Carol asks Fury a bunch of questions to determine whether or not he’s a shapeshifting Skrull. When Fury flips the script and asks her the same question, she just blows a jukebox to smithereens with her hands and says Skrulls can’t do that.
But Fury knows nothing of the Skrulls or their powers at this point. He does call the feds on her later, but he left her with plenty of chances to eliminate or emulate him if she was a Skrull, even letting her into a secure government location, and he did very little to make sure she really wasn’t one.
24 The Skrulls Aren’t Restricted By The DNA They Emulate
One of the things that makes the Skrulls so difficult to detect is that they can shape-shift and become anyone they look at. At one point in the film, it’s explained that they do this by copying their entire body, complete with their DNA.
But if this is true, then the Skrull posing as Ben Mendelsohn would need his glasses – and not just to “complete the look,” as he claims – because his bad eyesight is a part of his DNA. The old lady on the bus couldn’t suddenly do back-flips and drop-kicks, because her arthritis is in her DNA.
23 Nick Fury Doesn’t Really Lose His Eye At All
Losing an eye is a big deal. It’s something you might tend to notice if it happens to you. But Nick Fury gets his eye scratched so badly that it’s later completely gone and he says it’s fine. Later, during the final dinner scene, he claims his eye is getting better every second, heading towards a full recovery.
But then we cut to his office as he talks to Coulson about the possibility of other intergalactic threats and super-powered individuals (foreshadowing a bunch of stuff we’ve already seen,) and he’s wearing an eyepatch.
22 How Does Ronan Become A Radical?
In the months leading up to the release of Captain Marvel, Lee Pace said that back in the ‘90s when this movie is set, his character Ronan the Accuser wasn’t yet the “radical zealot” we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy. But apart from his dedication to wiping out his enemies, we didn’t see him become that radical zealot by the end of the movie.
We saw how Nick Fury lost his eye, where the pager came from, and why Captain Marvel has been absent for so long (sort of), so why not fill in a gap in Ronan’s character development while you’re at it?
21 Why Wasn’t Yon-Rogg In Guardians Of The Galaxy?
One of the biggest mysteries in Captain Marvel is why we ever thought the Kree Starforce were the good guys, because they have Korath the Pursuer on their side and we literally saw him doing the evil bidding of Ronan the Accuser in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
But there’s someone else we saw doing Ronan’s bidding in Captain Marvel: Jude Law’s character, who we thought would turn out to be Mar-Vell, the sinister Yon-Rogg. He devoted himself to Ronan, and Carol let him live, so why wasn’t he one of Ronan’s minions in Guardians of the Galaxy?
20 Where Is Goose Now?
At the end of Captain Marvel, it seems as though the title character’s pet cat/Flerken Goose has moved its loyalties away from her and onto Nick Fury, who’s been petting it the whole movie and weaponized it for the climactic battle against the Kree soldiers. But what happened after that?
Did Fury take Goose home and keep it as a pet? Did it go into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody? We saw it in Fury’s office after the credits, but it wasn’t being restrained or anything. It seemed to be roaming free. What happened to Goose when Fury was pronounced legally deceased and went off the grid?
19 Why Has Captain Marvel Never Returned To Earth?
What if Nick Fury was reaching for the Captain Marvel pager and then got terminated by a villain who was taking over the planet? Did Carol Danvers never get curious about how things were going on Earth? Didn’t she head back to see how her best friend Maria Rambeau and her daughter Lieutenant Trouble were doing?
If she’d headed back to Louisiana to ask how things were going, Maria could’ve told her about the cyborg who destroyed Sokovia and the superhero team that was getting demolished by the year and the Norse gods who brought their beef to Earth.
18 Is Stan Lee The Watcher Also Stan Lee The Guy?
Captain Marvel opens with a wonderful tribute to Stan Lee, the founding father of Marvel Comics, and his cameo appearance in the film is the perfect send-off, too, because he’s clearly playing himself. He’s on a train, reading the script for Mallrats, as himself.
But wait, if Stan Lee exists in the MCU, who have all the doormen and bus drivers and FedEx guys been all these years? Remember, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 confirmed the fan theory that Stan Lee was a Watcher, essentially playing the same guy in all of his cameos. So, is that Watcher also the real Stan Lee?
17 Does Marvel Comics Exist In The MCU?
But this is the world of the MCU, in which Spider-Man and Iron Man and Thor and the Hulk and all of the characters Lee created that made him famous actually exist. Which would mean there’s no such thing as Marvel Comics in that world. If there’s no such thing as Marvel Comics, why would Kevin Smith want Stan Lee to appear in his movie?
16 Why Is Nick Fury So Cynical Now?
In Captain Marvel, we see a Nick Fury who is young, ambitious, and naive as he sets up the Avengers Initiative. In Iron Man onwards, we see a jaded Nick Fury who has become cynical towards bureaucracy. This is the same bureaucracy that allowed him to chase superheroes for over a decade after he went on an adventure with a glowing part-alien.
He was so grumpy when every Avenger fell into his lap over a three-year period, even though he’d dedicated his life to chasing them. What made him so cynical?
15 What’s Up With The Skrulls’ Memory Technology?
Captain Marvel doesn’t mess around with the traditional origin story structure. It dives right into the middle of the action and works its way backwards with revealing the origin story, one piece at a time. One of the opening scenes gives us a montage of early Carol moments as the Skrulls search her memories and watch them like little home movies on a giant TV screen.
This technology isn’t fully explained and is never mentioned again, but it’s like something out of Black Mirror and could be applied to future situations. Imagine that tech in the hands of Shuri, Bruce Banner, or Tony Stark.
14 How Did Nick Fury Know Howard Stark?
In Iron Man 2, Nick Fury tells Tony Stark that he knows his father Howard better than he does. Howard was one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, as such, Fury had come to know him as a close ally.
But Howard Stark was eliminated by the Winter Soldier in 1991, as revealed by Captain America: Civil War, and Fury is a low-level agent in Captain Marvel, which is set in 1995. So, how did he get to know Howard Stark if he had no power or high-level security clearance?
13 Why Has Carol Not Aged Between 1995 And Today?
In the mid-credits scene of Captain Marvel, we see the surviving Avengers freaking out after the catastrophic events of Infinity War. They’re trying to figure out what’s going on with Nick Fury’s pager and what the symbol on it means. When it finally stops buzzing, Captain Marvel shows up directly behind them all and asks, “Where’s Fury?”
But she doesn’t seem to have aged between 1995, when Captain Marvel takes place, and the present day, when Avengers: Endgame takes place. All we can gather is that her superpowers make her live longer, but that’s the same cop-out answer we got about Wonder Woman’s lack of aging.
12 Did Ronan Ever Go After Carol?
We only get a brief appearance from Ronan the Accuser, but he does vow to track down “the weapon” (meaning super-powered Carol Danvers.) Did he ever go after her? Obviously, this is a good few years before Ronan wouldn’t survive the events of Guardians of the Galaxy. And as the Avengers movies have shown, Captain Marvel didn’t reappear until after that.
So, there’s plenty of time between Carol flying off into space to find the Skrulls a home and Ronan’s demise in Guardians of the Galaxy to put together a Captain Marvel sequel. It would be a shame if that never happens and this never gets paid off.
11 What’s With All The Anachronisms?
Captain Marvel is explicitly stated to take place in 1995, but there are a number of blatant historical inaccuracies. A copy of First Knight can be seen in the video store, but this movie wasn’t released in theaters until the summer of 1995, so it wouldn’t be in a video store yet.
“Only Happy when it Rains” by Garbage plays on the jukebox in the bar, but this single wasn’t released until the fall of 1995, and a calendar in Nick Fury’s office stipulates the movie takes place in June. Also, the Smashing Pumpkins poster shows an album that wasn’t released until October 1995. The Windows 95 operating system wasn’t on the market until late 1995, and that is also seen in the CD scene.
10 Are The Skrulls The Good Guys?
For months, we’ve been under the impression that the Skrulls would be a villainous force in Captain Marvel. However, halfway through the movie, we realize Carol’s only heard one side of the story and they’ve just been misunderstood refugees all along.
While this is a gold mine of sociopolitical commentary, it debunks a number of fan theories about which Avengers have been a Skrull all along and also changes the course of the “Secret Invasion” comic book storyline to be much smaller-scale. Perhaps there are some malicious Skrulls out there – we just don’t meet any of them in Captain Marvel.
9 Why Did Nick Fury Put Goose Right Next To His Face?
After finding out exactly what Talos meant when he said Goose the cat wasn’t a cat at all, but rather a Flerken, why did Nick Fury go and put Goose right in front of his face? He’d just seen he was a ravenous tentacle monster who could devour people’s entire bodies, and then he went and held the cat right in front of his face.
And that’s how he ended up losing an eye. He got out lucky with a little scratch that led to an irreparably infected eye – he could’ve been eaten whole.
8 Nick Fury Had Two Eyes When He Was Sworn In As S.H.I.E.L.D. Director
When Nick Fury was sworn in as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., he had two eyes. We saw a photograph in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that depicted what we can only assume is the ceremony in which he is sworn in as Alexander Pierce’s replacement, and in it, he had two eyes.
Yet, in Captain Marvel, when we see him wearing his eyepatch for the first time and he’s still a lowly S.H.I.E.L.D. agent working on his proposal for “The Avengers Initiative.” He has his own office, but he’s certainly not the Director of the agency.
7 How Did Mar-Vell Get A Hold Of The Tesseract?
The Tesseract has made a number of appearances in the MCU over the years. It made Red Skull mad with power in Captain America: The First Avenger, then Loki used it as part of his master plan in The Avengers, and then Thanos took it from Loki in Avengers: Infinity War.
So, sometime between Howard Stark recovering it from the bottom of the ocean – and then giving it to S.H.I.E.L.D. – and Loki stealing it from them, Mar-Vell managed to get permission to experiment on this dangerous alien artefact under the guise of Dr. Wendy Lawson.
6 Why Wouldn’t Nick Fury Call Captain Marvel During The Battle Of New York?
There are a number of battle sequences in the MCU where Nick Fury could’ve used Captain Marvel’s help. At the end of Captain Marvel, when Carol returns the reprogrammed pager to Fury, she tells him to only call her when it’s an emergency. But there have been plenty of situations in the MCU that qualify as “emergencies” besides Thanos snapping his fingers.
Namely, the Battle of New York, in which the Chitauri began invading the Big Apple through a wormhole they ripped in the sky and the U.S. government decided nuking the whole city was the only viable option – Captain Marvel’s “light show” would’ve come in handy around then.
5 How Will Captain Marvel Defeat Thanos?
For a while now, we’ve been told that Captain Marvel and maybe Adam Warlock are the two characters with an established presence in the MCU who could be a match for Thanos. Their powers are the only ones that hold a candle to his. But as we’ve seen from her origin story, the Captain Marvel of the MCU got her powers by unleashing a fraction of the power of the Space Stone.
Meanwhile, Thanos barely grazes his hand when he uses all the Infinity Stones at once to create universe-wide devastation. How’s she going to defeat him in Endgame? Or will she, even?
4 So, Thor Wasn’t Really The First Alien S.H.I.E.L.D. Encountered?
In the first Avengers movie, Nick Fury explains that he moved into Phase 2 of the Avengers Initiative because the arrival of Thor informed S.H.I.E.L.D. of the possibility of alien life. He said, “Last year, Earth had a visitor from another planet, who had a grudge match that leveled a small town. We learned that not only are we not alone, but we are hopelessly, hilariously outgunned.”
But as we’ve seen from Captain Marvel, he learned about the existence of alien life and visitors from other planets way back in 1995.
3 Captain Marvel Wasn’t The First Alien S.H.I.E.L.D. Encountered Either
In ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we learn that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been in possession of an alien corpse since World War II. So, not only we were lied to when Nick Fury said Thor was the first alien life form he ever encountered – we’ve even been lied to in Captain Marvel, because Fury is taken aback by the idea of aliens, and yet S.H.I.E.L.D. has had proof of extra-terrestrial life for decades.
It could be that the Fury of 1995 doesn’t have the security clearance to see the alien corpse, but still, Captain Marvel being the first alien Earth encountered is the whole basis of Fury’s Avengers Initiative, which became his whole job for over two decades after that.
2 Why Was Goose Allowed To Just Roam Around The S.H.I.E.L.D. Office?
In the second post-credits scene of Captain Marvel, we see Goose alone in Nick Fury’s office, regurgitating the Tesseract onto Fury’s desk. This seems to fill in the plot point of how the Tesseract ended up back in the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D. in time for Loki’s grand evil plan in The Avengers.
But why in God’s name is Goose allowed to just wander around the S.H.I.E.L.D. office? Fury isn’t even in the room. Who let a dangerous alien creature known to devour people just roam around a government office building?
1 How Did Captain Marvel Get Her Powers?
In the comics, Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel when she and the previous Captain Marvel (the male one) get stuck in the Psyche-Magnitron as it explodes, combining Carol’s human DNA with the other Captain Marvel’s Kree DNA and turning her into a superhero.
However, in the movie, Carol somehow becomes a superhero when she blows up Mar-Vell’s powerful engine that Yon-Rogg was after. Neither Mar-Vell or Yon-Rogg lose any of their Kree DNA in the explosion. Carol just seems to have her body infused with Tesseract energy. By the laws of MCU science, Carol should have passed away in that explosion.