Nearly a year after Captain Marvel hit theaters and proceeded to collect over $1 billion worldwide, it’s finally been confirmed that a sequel is indeed moving forward. Last night, it was reported that Captain Marvel 2 will be written by WandaVision’s Megan McDonnell, and the search for a director to succeed Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck is underway. It was also mentioned that rather than being another period piece, the next solo adventure for Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers will be set in the present day.
Similar to Captain America, the MCU’s Captain Marvel is a hero out of time, at least when it comes to her life on Earth. As such, because Captain Marvel 2 is opting to pick things back up with her in contemporary times rather than tell another story set in the past, it’s important that the sequel highlight this aspect of the character rather than ignore it, and I’ve laid out some reasons why.
Captain Marvel Has Spent A Long Time Away From Earth
Unlike Captain America, Captain Marvel wasn’t frozen in a block of ice for decades and reawakened to a drastically different world. Instead, her old life on Earth ended on around 1989, when she was struck by the Tesseract’s energy and gained her incredible powers, and then subsequently taken back to Hala by Yon-Rogg to be turned into a human-Kree hybrid and have her memories surpassed. Carol spent the next six years as Vers, an operative for the Kree empire, and even when she ended up back on Earth in pursuit of the shapeshifting Skrulls, it still took her a while to regain her memories.
While Carol missed a fair amount on Earth between 1989 and 1995, the differences in Earth society between those years aren’t terribly different. However, rather than stick around Earth, Captain Marvel ended with Carol going back into space to help the Skrull refugees find a new home and protect others along the way. There’s no indication she returned to Earth in between the end of Captain Marvel and the movie’s 2018-set mid-credits scene, so that’s 23 years away from her home world.
Now throw in the five year time jump in Avengers: Endgame. While Carol might have spent a sprinkling amount of time on Earth during that half decade (more on that later), it seemed like she was keeping busy with protecting other areas of the universe post-Decimation. So add it all up, and that’s 34 years since Carol’s really called Earth her home, and life in 2023 is definitely much different to life in 1989.
There’s Room For Her To Experience Culture Shock
While The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier didn’t dedicate too much time to Steve Rogers’ acclimating to modern day life, it was at least touched upon, like how he kept that list of things to watch, listen and read about. As stated earlier, Carol Danvers’ circumstances are different since she’s been conscious the entire time she’s been away from Earth, but there’s still room to explore her particular culture shocks.
From major technological strides to simple evolution in slang and fashion, it would be interesting to see how Carol Danvers is handling present day culture. Has it been easy for her? Are there still some areas where she’s having trouble acclimating, even if they're not necessarily as daunting as what Steve Rogers went through? Just because you’ve traveled to other corners of the universe, met numerous alien species and witnessed a lot of weird sights doesn’t mean you can’t have some trouble getting used to how things are different on the planet you were born.
We Haven’t Seen Her Reunite With Anyone From Her Old Life
When Carol Danvers returned to Earth in 1995, she crossed paths again with her best friend, Maria Rambeau, and Maria’s daughter, Monica. The reunion was welcome, but short-lived since Carol went back into space, and while she and Nick Fury were near each other at Tony Stark’s funeral, we never actually saw them reunite with one another.
Captain Marvel 2 offers the opportunity for Carol Danvers to finally get some much-needed time with people from her life before she was an Avenger. More importantly, because of the Kree blood transfusion she received, Carol now ages much more slowly, meaning she looks the same as she did three decades ago, while Maria Rambeau is closing in on sixty and Monica is around the same age Carol was when she got her powers.
This age gap isn’t quite as jarring as Steve Rogers waking up to discover the people from his 1940s life (aside from Bucky Barnes) were either elderly or dead, but it would still be interesting to see how Carol’s relationships have changed, it at all, with this new dynamic. I imagine her dynamic with Nick Fury is about the same, but what about with Maria? Do they still have that same energy with each other, or are they now more distant? Are Carol and Monica closer since they’re now around the same “age”? These are all things worth considering.
(Side note: I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention that including Monica, who’s already set to appear in WandaVision, in Captain Marvel 2 is the perfect platform to set her on the superhero path, whether she calls herself Photon, Pulsar, Spectrum or something else.)
While the first chunk of Avengers: Endgame was primarily set around three weeks after Thanos snapped his Infinity Stones-powered fingers, the rest of it was set five years later, when the surviving heroes had adjusted to their new lives, or at least attempted to do so. As a result, Carol had plenty time to travel across present-day Earth, so perhaps the Captain Marvel 2 filmmakers won’t feel any inclination to explore if Carol is out of touch/having trouble with present day Earth life.
If Carol Danvers gathered all she needed to know about how things are on Earth in those offscreen years, then it would make sense for Captain Marvel 2 not to touch on this. It’s one thing for Steve Rogers to still be acclimating during The Avengers or even Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but five years is a long time, and Carol might’ve looked done enough internet reading to catch up to speed.
Plus, Carol clearly has her hands full protecting other planets, so her connections to Earth might not matter as much anymore. For all we know, Earth might not even be a major set piece in Captain Marvel 2. Like Thor: Ragnarok, maybe it’ will only pop up for a little bit and Carol will spend the rest of the movie elsewhere in the cosmos. Maybe Earth won’t appear at all. The MCU is exploring more cosmic corners than ever, so maybe it’d rather keep Carol out in space rather than restrict her to Earth.
Nevertheless, it feels like a wasted opportunity if Captain Marvel 2 doesn’t take advantage of the unique way Carol Danvers is a ‘woman out of time.’ It was understandable that this couldn’t be done during Avengers: Endgame, but now that she has her own platform again, it could be a good way to offer personal introspection when she’s not fighting whatever adversaries will get in her way this time around. The ship has seemingly sailed on going down this path with Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord (who was also taken from Earth in the late ‘80s) since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will carry on with visiting other alien words, but it doesn’t have to be set aside for Carol.
Captain Marvel 2 is reportedly aiming for a 2022 release, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on how it’s coming along. You can also browse through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else is coming in the near future.