Five Things We Learned From The New Captain Marvel Trailer

Carol's full powers are displayed, Skrulls are unmasked, plot details revealed, and her cat gets a name-change.

by | December 4, 2018 | Comments

Marvel released a new trailer for Captain Marvel on Monday night and it demonstrated the power Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) can wield when faced with Skrulls, space battles and S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjets. It also hinted at the character’s sarcastic streak with a few choice bits of dialogue. And, finally, the trailer offered a few sneak peeks into the story with Carol’s apparent return to Earth in pursuit of some wayward Skrulls inspiring a search for her real identity.

Of course, the trailer still favored its need to tease over explicitly telling us much, but we gleaned some great info from the 2 minute and 18 second preview. Here are five things it made clear.

Captain Marvel
(Photo by © Marvel Studios)

The Lady On The Train Is A Skrull

In the wake of the first trailer, many were concerned by the shot of Carol punching an older woman on the train – which we established last time is the Los Angeles Blue Line – but others surmised the woman would in fact turn out to be a Skrull. And those who were correct did not have to wait until March to have their suspicions confirmed. In the new trailer, we see the moment after Carol makes contact in the train car. The Skrull, while remaining in the form of an older woman, fights back in what we hope will be a slightly longer fight scene in the finished film.

The Skrulls themselves date back to 1962’s Fantastic Four #2. The race of alien shape-shifters saw Earth as a key strategic vantage point in their war against the Kree. Unfortunately for both sides, the arrival of superheroes on Earth tipped the balance and eventually led to the Avengers becoming involved in the conflict. After thousands of years, the Kree-Skrull War ended thanks to Earth’s heroes, but the hostility of both races never abated.

In the realm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems the Skrulls are nowhere to be seen in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity Warsuggesting the Kree-Skrull War ended sometime before the first Iron Man. Of course, their ability to mimic other shapes and powers may mean they are still around today, lurking in secret and waiting for the moment to advance their agenda.

That was the plot of the 2008 Marvel Comics crossover event Secret Invasion, in which heroes like Carol’s good friend Spider-Woman turned out to be Skrull agents embedded sometime before the full Skrull plan was set into motion. The story was controversial, but the premise could form a solid overarching plot going into the MCU’s fourth phase. It remains to be seen if this is the direction the Avengers films will take after the fourth film, but if we had to bet on someone being a secret Skrull, we’re saying its Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). He’s too well adjusted to be a real Marvel hero.

Captain Marvel
(Photo by © Marvel Studios)

Carol Has Amnesia

While the previous trailer strongly hinted at the loss of Carol’s memories, this trailer makes it text. From what we can glean, her life on Earth was likely her true history with a second life superimposed on her memory when she made it to Kree space. The previous trailer left people wondering if she was completely an invention of the Kree who merely dreamed she was human.

But learning the truth will still have wide-reaching implications as her loyalty will come into question by the likes of Jude Law’s still unnamed character. Skrull commander Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) may be the primary target, but the Kree Empire may not like the Carol Danvers who comes back from Earth after completing the mission.

Maybe that’s why she’s been missing in the years between the film and the modern MCU. Returning to Earth could put the planet in jeopardy as the Kree are not exactly the friendliest humanoid species in the cosmos. Consider Ronan’s (Lee Pace) refusal to honor the treaty signed between the Kree Empire and the Nova Empire in Guardians of the Galaxy. The Kree like making war and, perhaps, Carol led them on a 25-year wild goose chase to keep them away from the planet she suddenly discovered was her real home.

Captain Marvel
(Photo by © Marvel Studios)

“Longer, Stronger, Superior”

The line, uttered by Annette Benning in the trailer, is a direct callback to the 2014 Captain Marvel story by Kellysue DeConnick and artist David Lopez known as Higher, Further, Faster, More. The story saw Carol move back into space, form a team of her own, and face the precarious state of interstellar politics.

That may turn out to be the rough arc of the film as well. Carol’s attempt to recover her memories as an Air Force pilot may uncover a secret both the Skrulls and the Kree want to remain hidden, even if Talos appears to offer it to her during one moment in the trailer. But should she learn the truth, it may lead her back into space for a long time to deal with the fallout.

Captain Marvel
(Photo by © Marvel Studios)

Mohawks In Space

This one may have been a given, but the new trailer finally revealed that Carol’s space Mohawk will be featured in Captain Marvel. The notion that Carol’s space helmet would allow for a Mohawk-shaped slice of her hair to peer through was part of artist Jamie McKelvie’s 2012 redesign for Captain Marvel’s costume – though he admitted early on that Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada suggested the idea. The Marvel executive thought it would be Carol’s take on the traditional fin atop a Kree helmet.

On the page, it reflects her rebellious streak while the rest of the costume indicates her dedication. Also, as McKelvie saw it, the helmet tells you things are about to get serious when she makes it appear. On screen it looks … well, it looks a little big hokey, but it certainly feels right in the trailer’s later moments when Carol takes the fight back into space.

Come to think of it, the entire red-blue-gold color scheme of her costume in those scenes looks great, even if they’re less saturated than the colors of her comic book counterpart. It also appears to serve as a visual divide between the Kree, the Skrulls, and whatever Carol turns out to be after he trip to Earth.

Captain Marvel
(Photo by © Marvel Studios)

Carol Has Her Cat

At the end of the trailer, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) kneels down to pet a cat named Goose. While the S.H.I.E.L.D. records facility appears to be its home, the feline is an obvious reference to the comics, in which Carol owns a small cat named Chewie – itself a reference to Carol’s love of Star Wars. Of course, once she heads back out into space in Higher, Further, Faster, More, Carol discovers Chewie is also an alien. According to Rocket Raccoon, who ends up on Carol’s ship, the cat is a really a Flerken. The species takes the form of Earth cats, but can also sprout tentacles and even generate pocket universes. He’s none-too-pleased to see a Flerken on board, but the two eventually come to an accord.

It remains to be seen if Goose is also an alien, but it represents a fidelity to the source, even if the production still had to change the name. And by featuring it in the second trailer, one can expect the cat will be more than a throwaway gag.

Unless, of course, the cat’s true form will be the focus a post-credit stinger.

Captain Marvel is in theaters everywhere March 8, 2019.

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

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