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Because Captain Marvel takes place in the mid-1990s, we'll be peeking in on the Marvel Cinematic Universe at a time when superheroes weren't in the spotlight. Sure Captain America was active during World War II and characters like Hank Pym were battling bad guys in secret, but even as we watch Carol Danvers get caught up in the conflict between the Kree and Skrulls, it'll be more than a decade before the likes of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and plenty more become household names. However, Carol isn't the only superhero from the Marvel Comics pages who's appearing in Captain Marvel. No, I'm not talking about Mar-Vell, who Jude Law is reportedly playing. I'm talking about Monica Rambeau, who has gone by several crimefighting monikers in the comics and who Marvel needs to make good on establishing as a powerhouse hero in the present day MCU.
It was revealed last week as part of Marvel's large Captain Marvel news drop (which I'm hoping was an appetizer for a soon-to-be-arriving trailer) that Carol Danvers' best friend in the movie, as well as a fellow Air Force pilot, is Maria Rambeau, who goes by the call sign "Photon" and is being played by Lashana Lynch. Maria is a single mother raising a young daughter named, you guessed it, Monica. Monica's age hasn't been revealed yet, but one would imagine she's quite young during the events of Captain Marvel. But once you jump forward more than 20 years, that puts Monica well into adulthood when all the present day MCU events are happening. With Phase 4 on the horizon, this new era is the perfect time for Monica to join Carol Danvers and many others in keeping Earth safe. After all, if she's a superhero on the printed page, then why not have her follow suit on the big screen?
For those unfamiliar with Monica Rambeau, she debuted in the comics in 1982's The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16. While serving in the New Orleans Harbor Patrol, Monica was forced to stop a dangerous weapon from being created, and during the process she was exposed to extra-dimensional energy that gave her the ability to absorb, project and transform into any kind of energy. Monica sought the Avengers' help with understanding these new powers, and eventually she became a full-fledged member of the team, even leading them for a time. Monica was the second individual to go by Captain Marvel in the comics, but as the years passed, she also went by Photon and Pulsar, and is currently known as Spectrum. Since Maria Rambeau goes by Photon while flying in Captain Marvel, it's a good bet this is the identity Monica will pick in the MCU. Monica hasn't made any appearances outside of the comics yet, so transitioning from minor/supporting character to full-blown hero in this franchise would be a great way to significantly increase her fanbase.
Since Monica Rambeau will be a child during Captain Marvel, obviously we won't see her kicking any alien ass. However, perhaps she goes through something during the movie that lays the groundwork for her superpowers fully awakening as an adult. Much like how Captain America: The Winter Soldier was set in the present following Steve Rogers being thawed at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger and helping ward off the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers, it's likely that Captain Marvel 2 will follow Carol acclimating to modern times after teaming up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers 4. Carol reunites with Monica, who she hasn't seen since she was a little girl, and during the sequel, Monica somehow becomes Photon and joins Carol in taking down the villains. From there, Monica can easily transition into being an Avenger. It would be a waste for the MCU to introduce Monica in Captain Marvel and not deliver that payoff later on. She has the potential to be another fan favorite in this shared universe, so ideally we'll see her switch from civilian to titan in the coming years.
Young Monica Rambeau will debut when Captain Marvel flies into theaters on March 8, 2019, and if there's any news regarding what the MCU has in store for her as an adult, we here at CinemaBlend will be sure to pass that along.