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We’ve seen a lot of superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during its decade-plus existence, and even more when you factor in the wider comic book movie genre, so it takes a lot for a hero to stand out. In one short week, audiences will be introduced to a new hero in the MCU: Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. In a conversation with CinemaBlend’s own Sarah El-Mahmoud, Brie Larson spoke about what sets Captain Marvel apart, saying:
I love that she’s flawed. I love the fact that because she’s a risk taker, you watch someone who also then falls on her face because they’re swinging big, that feels very relatable to me. I love that you see someone who doesn’t always make the right judgment call. A lot of the time with action heroes and superheroes, they’re always perfect, they always make the right call and I think it’s important to watch people make mistakes and atone for those mistakes.
For Brie Larson, Carol Danvers’ imperfection is what makes her interesting and also what sets her apart from many other superheroes. She’s not an all-powerful Boy Scout like Superman or even someone like Captain America who is almost always in the right. Captain Marvel is bold, brash and she takes big chances trying to do the right thing, and sometimes she screws up royally.
Those kinds of failures, making the wrong decision, suffering the consequences and then trying to fix things, is a very human trait that we can all relate to and clearly what appealed to Brie Larson about the character. Those lessons are how people grow, and with Captain Marvel, we are not meeting someone that is a perfect, fully formed individual, but someone who is still figuring things out and will stumble along the way.
That humanity, the fact that these superheroes have problems and flaws just like any other person, is a hallmark of Marvel characters, and while I wouldn’t say it is exclusive to Captain Marvel (Tony Stark’s screw ups have been a driving story of the MCU), in some ways it is more necessary for her.
Captain Marvel is so powerful that it will be rare that she comes up short in terms of ability or firepower. That makes her badass and an exciting addition to the MCU, but a character that is too powerful and always makes the right call could come off as boring. Yet with Carol Danvers, her Achilles heel is that she is a flawed person who makes mistakes and bad choices.
Having a huge gun like Captain Marvel in the fight against a big villain is great, but only if you can count on her to make the right calls in the moment, otherwise she’s a liability. That makes Captain Marvel compelling because those flaws can have serious consequences, just look at the results of Peter Quill’s poor choices in Avengers: Infinity War.
You can see Brie Larson talking with Sarah about what sets Captain Marvel apart from other superheroes in the video below: