Captain Marvel 2: What We Want to See

Carol Danvers has just broken the box office, so when Captain Marvel 2 inevitably happens, here's what we hope to see...

Captain Marvel has quipped, flown, and blasted her way into our hearts, not to mention fantastic box office numbers. If her inclusion in Avengers: Endgame is any indication, we should be seeing a lot more of Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. And while we don’t expect any kind of official announcement about Captain Marvel 2 to get here until after Spider-Man: Far From Home has arrived in theaters, here’s some of what we would love to see in a Captain Marvel sequel.

Getting to know her life on Earth

One shortcoming of Captain Marvel is that we got a very limited view of Carol Danvers’ life here on Earth. We only saw her father and brother in brief flashes, and we never even saw her mother.

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Did her brother die, like in the comics? Was her father abusive? Was she denied an education based on her gender? Was that what ultimately drover her to join the US Air Force? All of these are formative experiences that help us feel close to her. It might even be fine if some of these details change, but the longer the vast majority of her back story remains a blank slate, the harder it will be to connect with her.

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Carol Danvers and Helen Cobb in Marvel Comics

Friendships with older women

Leading up to Captain Marvel, the identity of Annette Benning’s character was a surprising. Many were hoping she might portray Tracey Burke, a venerated writer Carol hired at Woman magazine in her 1970s comic who returned as an older friend in the 2012 run, or Helen Cobb, a fellow fighter pilot who broke the gender barrier decades before Carol. Both of these relationships were highlights of Carol’s comics and show the importance of multigenerational friendships. As a young, hotshot hero, Carol could stand to learn a lot from groundbreaking women who have come before her in their respective fields.

Expanding Carol’s characterization

An unfortunate side effect of “Vers” not knowing her real identity is that it was harder for us to get to know her. Carol Danvers showed us her sarcasm and confidence in Captain Marvel, as is only right. But much like her friend Tony Stark, underneath all of that brash impulsivity there is a vulnerability. Many of her best story arcs have a deep emotional core that make them pack a bigger punch than her fists alone could deliver.

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While Carol is a member of the US armed forces, she has a rebellious streak a mile wide and often disagrees with their methods and/or aims. In all that military promotion of the film the messaging around how poorly Carol was treated in the military and Mar-Vell’s efforts to end the Kree’s genocidal campaign got a bit lost. We got a taste of Carol flouting authority when she deemed necessary, but it would be great to see that better articulated on screen.

Captain Marvel and Captain America in Marvel Comics

Calling her Captain Marvel

In case Carol manages to go another movie without someone actually saying, “Captain Marvel,” out loud, this needs to be handled. In the comics, her good friend/coworker Captain America suggested the title and basically tricked her into it by leaking it to the press.

How will the MCU handle it? There’s something inherently goofy to using the name of the brand in her title, but with the loss of her friend Mar-Vell the writers can keep the idea of honoring her fallen friend without having to worry about her “stealing” Wendy Lawson’s title in-world. Of course there will always be a certain segment of fans who bring up Shazam and the various other Captain Marvels, but I’m more interested in how the MCU will establish Carol’s moniker. Perhaps Cap can do the honors again, as a ceremonial passing of the baton?

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Captain Marvel punching dinosaurs

Punching a dinosaur

According to screenwriters Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, we almost got to see Carol punch a dinosaur in Captain Marvel. It’s understandable why it wasn’t included – that would mean working a dinosaur into the plot and the first movie already had enough to get done. But with a second movie there’s less exposition necessary and more opportunity to swing for the fences with these big, weird, winking showpiece moments.

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Other classic Carol Danvers moves that would be great on the big screen include taking on Dr. Minerva (AKA Minn-Erva), fighting a copy of herself (either Mim or herself from another timeline, dealer’s choice), and taking on The Grapplers, a women’s wrestling duo – please hire Alison Brie for this and make Alison Brie Larson an on-screen reality!

A classic team-up

Carol Danvers raised her profile within the Marvel comics world largely by appearing in other people’s comics. She joined the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even led the Avengers. Obviously she’s got the Avengers covered with her upcoming appearance in Avengers: Endgame, but what about the Guardians? Rocket is a particularly frequent flyer and his sense of humor is a good match for hers. Their space-faring ways and the character’s voice-over-only quality makes it easy for a quick appearance. And what about the X-Men? By the time any potential future Captain Marvel 2 comes out, the X-Men license will have reverted back to Marvel, making it possible for Carol Danvers to reunite with the group that many see as responsible for her best character development.

Mystique and Ms. Marvel in Marvel Comics

A face off with Rogue/Mystique, or an adventure with Logan

Speaking of which, there are three members of the X-Men universe who Carol has been particularly closely tied to. Mystique first appeared in the pages of Carol Danvers’ titles, and a battle between these two formidable women would be a blast. Rogue, Mystique’s adopted daughter, is responsible for one of Carol’s greatest traumas in the form of robbing her of her powers and memories. Carol, in turn, is the reason why Rogue can fly, but Rogue also had to live with the a second set of (particularly disturbing, thanks to Carol’s rough life) memories. That’s certainly a rich history worth mining.

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Then there’s Logan, who was a Canadian intelligence officer with Carol back before he became Wolverine…and the two have hinted at sharing something more. Read more about the connection between Captain Marvel and the X-Men here.

Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel in Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel mentoring younger heroes

We got a small taste of Carol’s capacity as a mentor in Captain Marvel when she spent time with Monica Rambeau, but she has some fantastic (and beloved) mentors in the comics world in the form of Kamala Khan and America Chavez. Kamala Khan took on the mantle Ms. Marvel after Carol Danvers vacated it, in honor of a hero she so admired. It would be great to bring two of the more diverse young heroes into the MCU, and two of the most popular ones to boot.

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As Marvel enters its next phase, they need new, younger heroes to carry the brand. Peter Parker’s enthusiasm is infectious and Kamala Khan has a similar fangirl-level love of the OG heroes.

Jessica Jones and Carol Danvers in Marvel Comics

Carol Danvers’ disdain for dating

In the comics, Captain Marvel has been linked with Ant-Man, Wonder Man, Spider Man (less relevant in the MCU context), James Rhodes, and more, but other than Rhodey, she took very few of them seriously. Her friends Jessica Drew and Jessica Jones tried to get her on a superheroes-only dating app, which failed spectacularly. Captain Marvel has rarely had the time or inclination to date, and when she does, she often takes to the sky, her extended time in space ending whatever fledgling relationship was brewing.

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One of the best decisions in Captain Marvel was to preserve all available minutes for Carol’s mission and relationships with people like Maria, Monica, Fury and Mar-vell, rather than wasting it mooning over some guy who would try and steal her show (looking at you, Ant-Man).

The #WomenofMarvel Poker Game

Okay I don’t necessarily need to see the literal card game (although that would be cool) but Carol Danvers has amassed one of the coolest squads in comics history. Monica Rambeau as an adult was a member, of course, her BFF Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Jessica Jones, her lawyer Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), Kamala Khan, America Chavez, and Alpha Flight scientist Wendy Kawasaki have all participated. These women are all talented, funny, and interesting in their own right, and the fact that they kick back, tell jokes, and problem solve each other’s regular and caped lives together brings a grounding element to the story that all women recognize.

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Lt. Commander Abigail Brand is another woman I’d love to see, as she and Captain Marvel went from professional frenemies to trusted advisors and friends, contradicting many problematic tropes about women’s friendships. Carol is even friends with Inhuman royalty Medusa, and often serves as the bridge between the Avengers/all of humanity and the Inhumans. We get to see the men of Marvel go for falafel or bro out about science – why can’t the women?