SPOILERS: We’re going to assume you’ve already seen Captain Marvel if you’re reading this. If you haven’t seen it, be warned that some of the big twists in the movie will be discussed in this article.
Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel did well enough over the past week, grossing more than $600 million globally in its first week, that Marvel and Disney would be crazy not to already be thinking of a sequel. Of course, Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers will be back for Avengers: Endgame, as revealed in the new trailer, but only a few people will know where things go from there. More than likely those privileged few work for Marvel Studios.
It would make sense for Marvel Studios to be planning a sequel to Captain Marvel, but also to have the woman warrior involved in future Avengers adventures. In some ways, it’s the latter where things get interesting, because Carol Danvers has been a far more active and prominent member of the team in the comics over the past five years.
As you probably know, much of the Captain Marvel movie was based on the version of the character that was written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Dexter Soy when Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel in 2012. Many aspects of that retconned incarnation of the character were included in the plot of Captain Marvel instead of the convoluted history of the Carol Danvers character since being introduced in the original Captain Marvel comic.
After the events of Endgame, the most obvious answer to where things can go is the famed “Kree-Skrull War,” a classic Marvel storyline that pits the two alien races against each other with the Avengers caught in the middle. There’s certainly still enough loose ends in the relationship between the two races to explore in a future Avengers or Captain Marvel movie. Granted, we can safely assume that the battle has been ongoing in the 20 years since Carol Danvers arrived and then left earth in 1995, and so far, she hasn’t had to call upon any of Earth’s heroes to help her. Heck, she might not even know they exist before receiving the page from Nick Fury at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. There are still many questions that need to be answered in Endgame, although those answers could be saved for a Captain Marvel sequel, which could easily take place before the events of Infinity War.
Another less obvious choice for storyline would be “Secret Invasion,” a comic storyline in which it was discovered that a number of Marvel superheroes were actually Skrulls for quite a few years. This is probably a more practical decision, since it would add even more drama to the saga of the Avengers after the resolution of Infinity War and Endgame if we learn that some of the heroes are actually Skrulls in disguise.
The problem is that both of these ideas have more or less been covered in Captain Marvel with the Skrulls coming to earth, so either one of those ideas would have to be handled in a way that doesn’t seem forced and obvious. For instance, using Ben Mendelsohn’s Tallos as an intermediary could mean that the Avengers would be more on the side of the Skrulls than the Kree, which would put an interesting twist on a “Kree-Skrull War.”
Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg is still alive at the end of Captain Marvel, which will allow that character to continue to plague Danvers, although “The Enemy Within” storyline in the comics that pits the Avengers against Yon-Rogg is also something that’s already been folded into the plot of Captain Marvel.
One of the bigger recent Marvel storylines featuring Captain Marvel was “Civil War II,” when a group of heroes led by Captain Marvel went up against another group led by Iron Man. That storyline involved an Inhuman named Ulysses who was able to see events from the future, and the superheroes disagreeing with each other on whether to use him to stop future invasions like the ones by Thanos.
Imagine if the Avengers knew about Thanos years earlier and could be ready for his arrival? Sure, the invasion of New York in the first Avengers movie probably should have been a giveaway, but the superheroes still seemed surprised by Thanos’ invasion of Wakanda in Infinity War. It definitely seems like Robert Downey, Jr. is on his way out of the MCU after 10 years of carrying it, but one could easily replace Iron Man with Black Panther for a movie version of Civil War II. (In the comics, Captain Marvel and Black Panther have generally been on the same side as a team, so that would be a pretty major twist.)
A Captain Marvel sequel could also bring in more of Marvel’s intergalactic characters as she has been a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics as well as the Avengers. It would make sense that the Guardians (at least the original group seen at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2) may have encountered Captain Marvel during her outer space adventures.
This could also be a good way to develop a “Secret Wars” storyline in the movie, because we have already seen how well superheroes fighting against each other worked in Captain America: Civil War. The difference with Secret Wars, at least the first one, is that it involved superheroes being taken from Earth to fight against each other at the behest of cosmic beings. In some ways, that idea has already been explored in Thor: Ragnarok, even if that was more based on the “Planet Hulk” storyline.
One interesting idea might be to incorporate some of the ideas from the more recent “Secret Wars” spin-off series Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps into a future movie where Danvers leads a group of female fighter pilots, although that might be better remaining as an alternate Marvel universe that few outside the diehards will care about.
Thinking even further outside the box, Captain Marvel could be used to introduce moviegoers to the idea of the Eternals, who are getting their own Marvel movie, as they are also considered cosmic or galactic heroes. At this point, it looks like an Eternals movie might be released before a second Captain Marvel movie, but if not, it would be easy enough to tease them.
There’s also the “none of the above” option, as Marvel Studios has been good at surprising viewers with the comics they tap into and sometimes merge together for the MCU movies.
We’ll see how the Captain fares by the end of Avengers: Endgame, but you can bet that Marvel will be relying heavily on Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers to keep bringing fans of Captain Marvel back to Marvel’s movies long after Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans have moved onto other things.
Let us know what you think of these ideas and share some of your own thoughts on where you’d like to see Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel go over the next few years in the comments below.
Edward Douglas has been writing about movies and other forms of entertainment for over 25 years, so he’s probably older than you.