It’s been a quiet couple of months for the typically boisterous Marvel Studios; not only has the company not released a feature film since July’s Ant-Man and the Wasp (October’s Venom and December’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are Sony-made movies), it also hasn’t unveiled a fresh trailer since September, when viewers got to see Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel in action for the first time. With the calendar about to flip over to 2019, Marvel is making sure this year ends with a super-powered bang. For weeks now, there’s been a steady drumbeat of rumors suggesting the imminent arrival of an Avengers 4 trailer. But seeing as how Carol Danvers’s alter ego is presumably going to be instrumental in undoing Thanos’s Snapture, it only makes sense that we’d spend a little more time getting to know her first. With that in mind, Marvel dropped a second Captain Marvel spot on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, one that’s guaranteed to break the internet for real. (Watch the trailer above.)
Set during the ’90s — thus making it the first Marvel feature since Captain America: The First Avenger to take place entirely in the past — Captain Marvel will thrust the titular heroine directly into a war. Not a Civil War or an Infinity War, naturally; both of those conflicts are still two decades away. Instead, she’s at the center of a conflict between the Kree and Skrull, two long-warring alien races who have made Earth their current battleground. As the younger Nick Fury (played by a de-aged and two-eyed Samuel L. Jackson) helpfully explains in the early part of the trailer, “Skrulls are the bad guys, and you’re a Kree — a race of noble warriors.”
OK, so it’s a bit more complicated than that. For starters, the Skrull possess the power to shape-shift, which means they don’t necessarily look like bad guys. And let’s not forget that we’ve already encountered a few Kree who aren’t so noble, including Guardians of the Galaxy foe Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace, who reprises the role in this film). But at first glance, Carol does appear to fit the “noble warrior” description. Plucked from a near-death experience, Carol was transported to the Kree homeworld where she was remade in their image. “We made you one of us,” explains her alien “mother” (played by Annette Bening), “So you could live longer, stronger, superior.” With that kind of positive parenting, it’s no wonder that Captain Marvel is one of the most well-adjusted heroes in the MCU. “I think she has an ego, but in a healthy way,” Larson told Yahoo Entertainment during our Captain Marvel set visit. “She just owns that she’s really good and really skilled. She also has an incredible sense of humor, and has no issue if someone makes fun of her.”
That’s not to say that she’s completely without personal problems, of course. See, Carol is plagued by inscrutable memories from a forgotten past, and only the Skrull — specifically Talos the Untamed (Ben Mendelsohn) — seem to able to offer her an explanation about her actual origins. Unable to trust either side, she buddies up with Fury to get to the bottom of her history and become her own warrior. “I’m not going to fight your war,” she promises. “I’m going to end it.” Larson indicates that Carol’s crusade tests both the character’s limits and her own. “This is probably the most dynamic character that I’ve ever played. I’ve had to go through every emotion possible with her. That’s what I want: I want to see complicated characters. I want to see myself.”
Carol’s certainly got the power levels necessary to single-handedly end a war. Already teased by none other than Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige as “the strongest character we’ve had yet,” Captain Marvel’s abilities — and multiple combat suits — are showcased extensively throughout the trailer. Not surprisingly, those are also the scenes that are driving Twitter wild.
— 𝓈𝒶𝓈𝒽𝒶 saw tcog (@scxrlet_carter) December 4, 2018
captain marvel is gonna be single handedly responsible for saving the marvelverse and i dont want to HEAR it from you misogynists
— alfie ☕️ (@_96uri) December 4, 2018
— Andrea (@Waverlysolano) December 4, 2018
— Sasha Fierce (@QBey12) December 4, 2018
— Let’s Go! Zunher (@Flyerfennex) December 4, 2018
Hardcore Marvel fans are even happier about a certain cameo that comes towards the end of the trailer. In the comic books, Carol is the proud owner of an adorable tabby cat named Chewie. (Chewie later turned out to be an alien, but never mind that for now.)
— Brandon Tanimoto 🐜2439🐜 (@BrandonTanimoto) December 4, 2018
— God is A man and his name is Loki Odinson (@uwu_of_mischif) December 4, 2018
i would die for captain marvel’s cat pic.twitter.com/jMf4UchDxi
— keely falalalalaherty (@keelyflaherty) December 4, 2018
It’s worth noting that the feline has been rechristened as Goose for the film version, named after Maverick’s doomed pal from Top Gun. But he’s still just as adorable, as evidenced by Fury’s delighted reaction when he spots him in a hallway. Gotta say, “cute” is one four-letter word we never expected to hear coming out of Nick Fury’s mouth.
Captain Marvel flies into theaters on March 8.
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