The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already blown itself up into intergalactic proportions with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor movies. It’s adding a little more space spice to the bunch with Captain Marvel, which digs into the conflict between the Skrulls and the Kree (the latter of whom have already featured as villains in the Guardians movies and appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
In other words, Marvel’s latest franchise entry is expanding the scope of things, bouncing between Earth and outer space as it sheds light on the nature of the Kree and the origins of S.H.I.E.L.D. (No, really, this movie is Origin Story Central.) The answers it provides, however, prompt just as many follow-up questions about almost everything.
Though we can’t promise that we have all the answers, here are, at least, 10 questions we had after watching Captain Marvel.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for Captain Marvel follow.]
Does American Beauty exist in this timeline?
One of the fun things about the MCU is placing pop culture references we’re familiar with within the universe — see: Steve Rogers’ notebook of things he has to catch up on, including the album Troubleman, Star Wars, and Star Trek. Captain Marvel doubles down on this kind of thing by loading the soundtrack with ’90s hits (No Doubt, anyone?) and really relishing its time period — which begs the question of whether or not one of the most well-known movies to come out of the period, 1999’s American Beauty, exists in this particular version of Earth.
Under most circumstances, this wouldn’t really bear wondering, but Annette Bening is in the film’s cast. Does Wendy Lawson just bear a striking resemblance to one of the best actresses of our time? (What about Pulp Fiction? Is there some alt-Samuel L. Jackson in this universe? Does Quentin Tarantino exist? Does he have some other favorite actor now?)
How many Flerken are on Earth?
I feel like this is probably answerable — or will be answered in some one-shot — but how many Flerken are out there? Goose is just hanging out at the hangar (I guess because of Lawson?) but are there more? Are Flerken an invasive species? Is it just S.H.I.E.L.D. that has to take care of this stuff or is there a Men in Black equivalent that’s silently been cleaning up Flerken messes left and right? Do Flerken know to keep themselves hidden? There’s obviously been shady nonsense happening on Earth since the beginning of time (the whole Cap debacle went down during the 1940s!), so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Flerken have infiltrated Earth, right?
Can Flerken communicate with regular cats?
I know cats don’t really hang out with each other the way dogs do (at least not as frequently), but if you were to hypothetically put Goose in a room with a regular cat, would the regular cat know that something was up? Can they talk to each other? Would a Flerken eat normal cats with impunity?
Would NASA really just not have noticed a spaceship floating in Earth’s orbit for 6-7 years?
Science internet, where you at? We went to the moon in 1969 (shout-out to the stunning documentary Apollo 11, in theaters now, go see it in IMAX if you can), and we just have satellites up there. Wouldn’t Lawson’s lab have registered even just a little bit? I understand that Kree technology is light years beyond what we’ve got, but, like, it’s just floating up there unattended! It’s a big hunk of junk in space! What is it being powered by? What is keeping it invisible?
Can you really hack phones and pagers that easily?
Carol’s facility with technology feels kind of in line with “Disney makes sure all of its contemporary heroines show off a little STEM curriculum” insomuch as she just sort of … does it. What’s the Kree educational system like? Is it that easy to hack into payphones or pagers and make them transmit over galaxies if you have some Kree tech handy?
How intuitive is Earth fashion?
The Skrulls being able to blend in makes a little sense since they copy pre-existing looks, but what about Carol getting by? She spends a chunk of her time on Earth in her Kree duds, but she changes things up when she steals a bloviating bro’s motorcycle. Yes, she steals the outfit wholesale off of a mannequin, but — never mind that it all fits perfectly — does she have a sense of that particular aesthetic looking cool? Is it a residual cool-ometer from her pre-Kree days? Is there no universe in which she wouldn’t pick something more Kree-y, like a scuba suit or something? Speaking of which, what is Kree leisurewear like?
This question is in kind of the same vein, but would Earth songs make sense and/or be pleasant to Kree ears? Again, there’s the possibility that Carol’s into it — or rather, recognizes it — from being human, but what would a through-and-through Kree think of it? What is Kree music like? Is there some function on the universal language doohickey that also makes music a little more comprehensible if it’s a completely unknown genre? How does Carol know “Come as You Are” when she was off-Earth when that song came out?
How old is Coulson supposed to be?
De-aged Samuel L. Jackson is pretty convincing. De-aged Clark Gregg, not so much! Coulson is, what, in his late 40s/early 50s (I’m just assuming he’s Gregg’s age) during most of the present-day Marvel movies, which would put him somewhere in his early 30s for the events of Captain Marvel. He looks … 40? He looks waxy, anyway, and his hairline has been noticeably moved up, but he doesn’t look de-aged so much as he looks digitized.
In fairness, Coulson is a total cipher at this point, as he’s died and also become Ghost Rider (?) and then dying again (???). Maybe Coulson has just been 40 forever!
Are we cool with Carol just killing a bunch of people?
The thing about Carol being really, really superpowered is that she can wreak a lot of havoc, which in Captain Marvel includes taking down an entire Kree starship, presumably killing everyone on board. Is that … okay? Yes, there is a war on, and yes, Ronan the Accuser is an extremist who must be stopped, but that’s a lot of dead Kree. Is that fine? Is this an “ends justify the means” thing? Is Carol not concerned about killing a lot of people who would ostensibly otherwise be her pals? At what point does she become a war criminal?
One of the big motifs in Captain Marvel is the way that war can corrupt people on every side of it (a lot of Talos’ character arc has to do with this) which makes the wanton destruction Carol leaves in her wake later come off as a bit glib. Et tu, Brute?
Where is the Skrull follow-up movie?
The Skrulls are the standouts of Captain Marvel, not least because they’ve been posited as Marvel villains ever since The Avengers. As it turns out, they’re mostly good folks, and Captain Marvel ends with them going off to find somewhere to live. I want to go to there! Where’d they end up? What was the colonization process like? They’re too fun (and arguably too big a part of Marvel lore) not to come back, and, really, the sooner the better. Talos stans rise up!