If you’re a Marvel fan that has seen Avengers: Infinity War, it’s likely that you’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time thinking about what could be next for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It’s OK, there’s a pretty strong consensus that the movie was awesome.
We’re under a year away from Avengers 4, with this summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and 2019’s Captain Marvel as the only MCU movies standing between us and the already-hype-filled conclusion. Here’s our early warning that spoilers for the end of Infinity War are ahead!
With Thanos having collected all the Infinity Stones and making half the universe disappear with the snap of his giant fingers, how can Tony Stark, Thor, Steve Rogers, and the rest begin to make things right? One major fan theory has Captain Marvel at the center of it all. Let’s take a look at that theory, what we know already about this character, and her upcoming movie.
Paging Captain Marvel …
After the credits roll on Infinity War, there’s one major after-credits scene that fans need to see. It starts with Nick Fury and Maria Hill driving in New York City in an SUV. They’re aware of what’s going on around the world, but have failed in their attempts to get a hold of Tony Stark. Suddenly, cars begin to crash. A helicopter falls from the sky directly into a building. People are disappearing into thin air.
Fury rushes to an old, ’90s-style pager to send out a message just before dissolving into dust himself. The camera slowly zooms down on the pager to show the Captain Marvel symbol just before the scene ends. It’s clear from this that Captain Marvel is out there, somewhere, and Fury knows how to contact her for some help.
If that’s not enough of a tease for the character heading into Avengers 4, how about her own movie?
Next: About the Captain Marvel movie …
The movie that precedes Avengers 4
Captain Marvel is set to hit theaters just months before Avengers 4, leaving it as a perfect lead-in to the battle with Thanos in the way that Black Panther left the final breadcrumbs to Infinity War. But it’s also going to be different. That scene at the end of Infinity War with Fury paging Captain Marvel leads us to the film as a flashback, taking us back into the 1990s. That means no Iron Man, no Hulk, and Captain America is still chilling on ice.
Brie Larson will star as the title character, while Lee Pace will return to the MCU as Ronan with Djimon Hounsou back as his right-hand man. Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg will appear as younger versions of their Marvel characters, Fury and Agent Coulson. New additions to the MCU will be characters played by Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Benning, and Jude Law.
Next: What is there to know about Captain Marvel?
What you need to know about Captain Marvel
In the comics, Captain Marvel is kind of the Superman of Marvel Universe. She can fly, she’s really strong, and she can shoot energy rays from her hands. OK, she’s actually more like Iron Man in that way, minus the titanium alloy suit. The origin story in the MCU is likely to find Air Force Captain Carol Danvers somehow acquiring her superpowers and, in the process, becoming somewhat of a super-sized version of Steve Rogers in an era where Captain America has been thought dead for 50 years.
It’s possible that her powers will come from Ronan and the Kree, as in the comics her powers were granted to her from aliens. We know from the earlier seasons of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD that the government had used and experimented with Kree technology — even Kree blood. It’s through shady Kree methods that Coulson is brought back to life after his apparent death in The Avengers.
The guess here is that Captain Marvel won’t just be an origin story for the character. It’s going to be a movie to tie together much of the missing links of the entire Marvel Universe, including both the movies and the TV series. And maybe it’ll also be the link to taking down Thanos.
Next: An interesting Avengers 4 theory
A Reddit user’s theory
One Reddit user has a theory on how Captain Marvel is going to be the key to defeating Thanos, and it’s a doozy. Here is an excerpt from a post by TruthOfAlecius:
It is said that she is able to absorb/control a massive amount of energy and is what connects Earth and the multiverse. She is even believed to have a 7th sense. That’s very interesting, because there is an actual 7th infinity stone in the marvel comics “the Ego stone”. This stone is known to be incredibly powerful and I have a feeling she might have it and be harnessing it’s power somehow …
It would be fun to find out that have been, in fact, seven Infinity Stones all along. It’s not a perfect theory, of course. Thanos collecting the six Infinity Stones is what made him powerful enough to make half the universe disappear, so having a seventh stone that nobody is aware of would be kind of a plot hole.
Not to mention, a little bit of a cheap trick to pull on the audience. But that doesn’t mean this theory isn’t worth exploring.
Next: The seventh Infinity Stone
The Ego Stone
Many Marvel fans have been wondering where Captain Marvel has been hiding all this time, and how (in theory) she’ll return for Avengers 4 without having aged. After all, her movie is set in the ’90s. But much of what is involved with Captain Marvel deals with multiple universes, which is how things kind of tie with Thanos. What if all those characters that “died” at the end of Infinity War just went to an alternate universe?
In the comics, the six Gems (the MCU’s Infinity Stones) exist in the known universe, while the Ego Gem is in a place known as the Ultraverse. This Gem holds the consciousness of an ancient being called Nemesis, and once returned to the other six Gems will return her to her full form. It’s a bit hard to wrap your mind around, but remember that these are movies based on comic books.
The MCU doesn’t directly follow the comic book storylines, but the movies do take inspiration from the comics. Bringing in Captain Marvel at this point in the overall story, with such an apparent importance, leads us to believe that some of this theory may end up being true.
Next: A second cool fan theory
Another fun Thanos theory
Of course, there is more than one theory about Thanos and Avengers 4. Another Redditor by the name of accountfornerdstuff put out a theory that makes a whole lot of sense. Here are a few relevant passages:
The idea of a multiverse was already introduced in the Dr. Strange movie, and was hinted at by Kevin Feige as a focal point for the MCU. Ant Man dealt with the Quantum Realm where time and space becomes irrelevant … There is a reason why Ant Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, the only two movies that come between IW and A4, have to do with the Quantum Realm.
I believe that in searching for Hank Pym’s wife in the quantum realm, ant man and co. Found out that the quantum realm provides doorways to alternate universes. Hank then creates the devices needed for them to safely enter these alternate universes … Ant Man then lends the OG Avengers the quantum tech for them to travel to a parallel universe where the NY attack has not happened yet or has just ended (explaining leaked set photos showing them on NY set) … so they can create another Infinity Gauntlet to take on Thanos.
This is a lot to take in, but it sounds like an amazing twist for Avengers 4.
Next: Captain Marvel won’t take down Thanos alone.
Can Captain Marvel defeat Thanos?
Given that we know Captain Marvel has a major role to play in Avengers 4, it’s fair to ask whether she alone is powerful enough to defeat Thanos. And unfortunately, the answer is a very clear “No.” Otherwise, what would be the purpose of the rest of the Avengers existing to fight the good fight? But accountfornerdstuff may be onto something in that the existence of this character helps to introduce the MCU to the idea of the multiverse, and that could lead to a way to bring down Thanos.
A lot of this stuff sounds pretty ridiculous, but try to recall some of the other topics that have been touched on already in the MCU. Loki and Thor are gods that use a magical rainbow bridge to travel between realms. The Hulk is a giant, green, radioactive creature that lives inside Bruce Banner. There are colorful rocks that essentially control the universe.
Is the notion that Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, and the Avengers will travel to another dimension to build their own Infinity Gauntlet, defeat Thanos, and return all the lost souls so crazy? Don’t answer that.
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