Friends, thanks to my fellow co-workers at the arcade as well as Shea Mathis – I was able to alter my plans from going home early and getting a bite to eat to racing to the movie theater and catching Marvel Studio’s latest film Captain Marvel… and scarf down some delicious hot dogs while I was at it. Because grilled hot dogs at the Razorback and getting the opportunity to catch a new movie with my friends is quite simply marvelous. Now my review for Captain Marvel will have very basic and minor spoilers but I’ll give you a heads up before I start talking about all of that – because first we need to talk a bit about the history of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel.
Carol Danvers made her debut in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes #13 way back in 1968, courtesy of Roy Thomas and Gene Colan – Thomas I talked a bit about on the Starman episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast. Gene Colan though is probably best known for working on Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula, in addition to being a co-creator for the characters of the Falcon and Blade. Danvers’ character at this point was an Air Force officer at a secret military installation where she became a cohort of Captain Marvel – or Mar-Vell – an alien of the Kree race sent to Earth to spy before he accepted Earth as a worthy home world. Carol is harmed during an explosion with Captain Marvel and in the first issue of Ms. Marvel from 1977 we learn that her DNA has fused with Mar-Vell thanks to that explosion, from a device known as the Psyche-Magnetron – making Carol Danvers a hybrid – part Human and part Kree.
Since then she has had dealings with The X-Men, Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and even the Guardians of the Galaxy to name just a few of the organizations and teams she has been affiliated with. While Carol has been known by a few different alias as an adventurer and even some changes in her original abilities – as Captain Marvel she can fly and produce blasts of energy from her hands as well as possessing superhuman strength and toughness!
With a little bit of the rather vast history of the character under your belt – I’ll start to talk a bit about the brand new Captain Marvel film. Directed by both Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck it stars Brie Larson as the titular character, with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury and newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Jude Law as the Kree known as Yon-Rogg and Ben Mendelson as a Skrull known as Talos. I’m going to share this teaser trailer that gives a tip of the hat to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that came before and where it is headed with the release of Captain Marvel. Besides this will serve as a break before I begin to discuss some MINOR SPOILERS and synopsis afterwards!
Okay, if you’ve watched any of the actual theatrical trailers for the film you will probably realize this is in fact a movie that takes place in 1995 – so this is obviously a prequel to the other Marvel films so far and in a way I suppose it retroactively becomes one of the most important movies in the series. Add to all of that the movie is quite fantastic – when you get down to it’s something of a buddy picture between Danvers and Fury – I might even describe it as a road picture. There is quite a bit of humor to it too – not to the level of Thor: Ragnarok – but some really good laughs nonetheless. The real key to the success of Captain Marvel is the fact that Larson and Jackson imbue their characters with a great deal of charm and personality – to be fair we get our first complete backstory for Nick Fury and it is quite entertaining.
Now then, when we are first introduced to Larson’s character she is part of a group of skilled Kree Starforce warriors, led by Law’s Yon-Rogg they are dispatched to rescue a deep cover agent who has infiltrated a terrorist group of Skrulls. One of these members is Talos, the Skrulls and Kree have long been locked in a centuries long war – while the Kree might possess military might – the Skrull have the ability to shape change… and use this to infiltrate where they will.
When the operation the Starforce group is sent on goes awry, it leads to Danvers being captured by the Skrulls – long forgotten memories shaken loose thanks to a mind probe – results in an escape where the young Woman find herself crash landing on Earth. There she becomes acquainted with one Agent Fury – who has no idea how much his life will change thanks to this encounter. In addition the Skrulls have given chase – with Danvers’ fellow Starforce members on the way. With none of the factions involved realizing that the young woman’s scrambled memories of her past are the key to the outcome of the war between the Kree and Skrulls.
I think that is more than enough of a synopsis – hopefully keeping with what I said about it containing minor spoilers. As the film does take place in ’95 – I can assure you that there is some nods to the more popular music of those days as well as plenty of other retro surprises. Captain Marvel really delivered – entertaining and a great adventure – with many ties to other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. All in all a great introduction to the character and I eagerly look forward to seeing how things will play out in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame – in just a little over a month!