Before you head to the Cineplex to behold The Marvels, TVLine has recapped a few of the things you need to know (or, remember) from the MCU TV series WandaVision, Ms. Marvel…. and, yes, even Secret Invasion.
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Captain Marvel, which came out in March 2019 (seven weeks ahead of the MCU Phase Three’s penultimate offering, Avengers: Endgame), followed Brie Larson’s “Vers,” a member of an elite Kree military unit called Starforce. Over the course of the 1995-set movie, Vers came to realize that she in fact was Carol Danvers, a mild-mannered U.S. Air Force pilot who after being exposed to the Tesseract-powered core of a light-speed engine was imbued with superhuman strength, energy projection powers, and the ability to fly.
At the end of Captain Marvel, Carol offered to help the Skrulls, led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), find a new planet on which to settle, seeing as the Kree had years ago viciously destroyed their homeworld.
In the Captain Marvel follow-up The Marvels, hitting theaters Nov. 10, Carol Danvers’ duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, where her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City superfan Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani) and Carol’s estranged niece-turned-S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (WandaVision‘s Teyonah Parris). Together, this unlikely trio will have to learn to work in concert to save the universe, as “The Marvels.”
The sequel also stars Zawe Ashton (Velvet Buzzsaw) as the villain Dar-Benn; Park Seo-joon (Itaewon Class) as Prince Yan; Gary Lewis (The Bay, Rig 45) as Skrull Emperor Dro’ge; Ms. Marvel‘s Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur and Saagar Shaikh as Kamala’s parents and older brother; and MCU vet Samuel L. Jackson as, of course, Nick Fury.
What few things do need you know about Monica, Kamala, and whatever went down between Nick Fury and Talos in Secret Invasion? Read on for TVLine’s easy-breeeeeezy primer….
1. A grown-up Monica Rambeau powered up in WandaVision
▸ As played by Akira Akbar in Captain Marvel, Monica was the 11-year-old daughter of Carol’s very best friend and fellow U.S. Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). Monica and “Aunt Carol” were thick as thieves back then.
▸ The fourth episode of Disney+’s WandaVision revealed via flashback that Monica had been sitting at her cancer survivor mother’s hospital bedside when Thanos’ Snap happened; Monica was among the dusted. Five years later, Monica “returned” in that same chair and promptly learned that her mother’s cancer had come back, and she died three years ago.
▸ Having been a S.W.O.R.D. agent prior to the Blip, Monica returned to work for that organization and was deployed to Westview, N.J., a town that had been trapped in a “Hex” created by a bereft Wanda Maximoff. In the course of discussing Wanda’s powers, a colleague brought up Carol aka Captain Marvel, to which Monica cooly replied, “We are not talking about her.” Hmmm….
▸ After failing to penetrate the Hex with an armored vehicle, Monica forced herself through the membrane, after which her eyes began flickering a weird blue color, giving her a sort of “X-ray vision” of the town inside. Then in the finale, when a baddie fired a gun at Wanda’s twin sons, Monica stepped into the bullets’ path to deflect them, while leaving herself unharmed.
▸ In the WandaVision finale’s first Bonus Scene, a Skrull posing as a federal agent pulled Monica aside, saying she was sent by “a friend of your mother’s” — meaning, Nick Fury. “He heard you’d been grounded, and would like to meet you.” “Where?,” Monica asked, and the Skrull pointed up, to outer space, where Fury was overseeing the build of the S.A.B.E.R. station.
2. Carol Danvers superfan Kamala Khan became Ms. Marvel
▸ In Disney+’s Ms. Marvel, Iman Vellani made her debut as Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American high school student — and Carol Danvers superfan — from Jersey City. While rummaging through a box of family “stuff,” Kamala found an ornate bangle. Wearing it to AvengersCon as part of a homemade Captain Marvel costume, Kamala most unexpectedly came to realize that the bangle gave her “hard light” powers.
▸ The powers afforded by the bangle are rooted in Kamala’s djinn background, from her mother’s side of the family, and are likely augmented by a discovered “mutation” in the teen’s genes. (If there was any doubt what that meant, the reveal was accompanied by the theme from the ‘90s animated X-Men series.)
▸ The origin of Kamala’s superhero name? Her father Yusuf explained how he and wife Muneeba had lost hope of having a second child, until Kamala finally arrived. Kamal in Arabic means “perfect,” while in Urdu it means “marvel.”
▸ In the Ms. Marvel finale’s mid-credits scene, a resting Kamala was roused by a flare of her bangle. As she stood up and curiously regarded the bangle, she was suddenly “yanked” through her bedroom closet door — from the debris of which rose Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Carol quickly surveyed the stranger’s bedroom and mumbled, “Oh, no, no, no, no…,” before dashing off… towards the movie sequel.
3. Oh, right. And in Secret Invasion….
▸ Disney+’s Secret Invasion largely revolved around the fact that Nick Fury had promised his friend Talos and the other Skrulls that he would find the displaced race a new home. (Captain Marvel had apparently come up empty…?) Yet between disappearing in the Blip and retreating to the S.A.B.E.R. space station afterwards, Fury flaked out on the deal.
▸ Talos wound up dying at the hand of the rebel Skrull leader Gravik.
▸ In the Secret Invasion finale, Talos’ daughter G’iah (now a young woman played by Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke) got herself turned into a “Super Skrull,” genetically imbued with the powers of Groot, Frost Beast, Hulk, Mantis, Korg, Extremis and any other heroes/villains who spilled blood in Endgame‘s Battle of Earth — including the OP Captain Marvel herself! G’iah in turn slayed Gravik.
▸ In the wake of the rebel Skrulls’ thwarted invasion, U.S. President Ritson (Dermot Mulroney) pushed through a bill that designates “all off-world-born species as enemy combatants.” MI-6 agent Sonya Falsworth (Olivia Colman) in turn met with G’iah to propose that they unite against the war Ritson had declared.
▸ Fury returned to S.A.B.E.R. with his secret, longtime Skrull wife Varra (Charlayne Woodard).
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