The 1990s were a pivotal decade for the Marvel Cinematic Universe - and Captain Marvel is only part of that story. Though the MCU officially kicked off with 2008's Iron Man, many key events in the lives of Marvel's heroes - both in the movies and on the television side - happened during the 90s, and continue to have major ramifications throughout the MCU.
Captain Marvel is the first MCU film set entirely in the 1990s, and it will not only reveal the life story of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) - who was summoned from parts unknown by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) at the end of Avengers: Infinity War - but will also be an origin of sorts for Fury himself. The film will portray the beginnings of Fury's tenure with S.H.I.E.L.D., long before he rises to become the spy agency's tough and secretive Director. Captain Marvel will also show how Fury met Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and tell the heretofore unknown story of a Skrull invasion of Earth.
However, the events of Captain Marvel are just one of many seismic MCU happenings that occurred in the 1990s - the decade that introduced the Internet, grunge music, and DVD players into our lives. Here are some of the major moments that set the stage for the turbulent lives led by the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Defenders.
- This Page: The Nine Realms, and Several Major Deaths
- Page 2: Thanos Kidnaps Gamora, Black Widow's Origins & More
1990 - Hubble Telescope Captures First Images Of The Nine Realms
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low-Earth orbit by NASA on April 25, 1990. When the Hubble entered service on May 20th, it captured the first images taken by humans of the Nine Realms - though no astronomer knew it at the time.
In Thor, the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) arrived on Earth in 2011 and met astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). He retrieved her journal for her, which was confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. along with her scientific equipment. Thor explained the existence of the Nine Realms to Jane by sketching the World Tree Yggdrasil into the pages of her journal. Flipping the pages, Jane showed Thor that she had replicas of the photos the Hubble took of the Nine Realms, which match Thor's drawing and confirmed Earth's status as the realm of Midgard.
1991 - Howard And Maria Stark Assassinated By The Winter Soldier
As revealed in Captain America: Civil War, the car crash that killed Howard and Maria Stark on December 16, 1991 was no mere accident. The Starks were assassinated by the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in Long Island, NY while en route to the Pentagon. The parents of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) were targeted so that Hydra could obtain samples of the Super Soldier Serum, which the Winter Soldier recovered after staging the murder to look like a car accident. The revelation during Civil War of the truth behind the Starks' deaths drove a final wedge between Tony and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) that resulted in the break-up of the Avengers in 2016.
1992 - King T'Chaka Kills His Brother Prince N'Jobu
In the prologue of Black Panther, King T'Chaka (Atandwa Kani) of Wakanda arrived in Oakland, CA on January 15, 1992 and killed his brother Prince N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown). The prince was deployed in the United States as a War Dog to spy for Wakanda, but upon seeing the injustices people of color endure in the U.S., he made a deal with Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). N'Jobu gave Klaue means to access the vast storehouse of Vibranium in Wakanda in exchange for smuggling him Vibranium weapons, but T'Chaka learned of his brother's betrayal thanks to Zuri (Daniel Whitaker), who was also undercover in Oakland to monitor N'Jobu.
When T'Chaka executed his brother, he left behind N'Jobu's orphaned son N'Jadaka, also known by his American name Erik Stevens. This terrible act was kept secret by King T'Chaka and Zuri for 26 years, until the grown N'Jadaka, now known as Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), exacted his revenge and (briefly) supplanted his cousin T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as King of Wakanda.
- 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