Serving as a stopgap prior to the release of the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel is currently available to see in theatres around the globe. Starring Brie Larson as the titular hero, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's blockbuster blends elements from various Captain Marvel storylines, particularly 1971's Kree-Skrull War and Kelly Sue DeConnick's 2012 Captain Marvel.
As a character, Carol Danvers has been around since the late 60s, although she only inherited the Captain Marvel moniker during the current decade. Prior to this recent role change, Carol went through many different phases defined by unique alter egos. She has been known as Ms. Marvel, Warbird, and Binary.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe's first female-lead superhero movie has been a long time coming. While the film's pre-release marketing was marred by controversy, Captain Marvel has fared quite well at the box office and with critics. Primarily set in the 1990s, Disney's most recent origin story is packed to the brim with references to the eponymous superhero's storied history or Marvel's extended universe. Certain Easter Eggs should be relatively easy to pick-up for those somewhat familiar with the MCU, but Captain Marvel contains its fair share of subtle callbacks apt at flying under the radar.
Time to take a look at Captain Marvel's easy-to-miss tributes, nods, and allusions. Along with pointing out the many Easter Eggs, this list aims to shed light on a couple of plot elements likely to confuse those unfamiliar with the comics. Here are 30 Things Everyone Completely Missed In Captain Marvel!
Please note, Captain Marvel spoilers will be included.
30 Trust Me, True Believer!
Captain Marvel starts things off with a touching tribute to the legend responsible for making this all possible, Stan Lee. Towards the end of 2018, the famed comic writer passed away at the age of 95. In preparation of such a situation, Stan Lee recorded a slew of scenes to allow for posthumous cameos, including a sweet moment in 2019's Captain Marvel.
As the film is primarily set in the era of grunge, Stan Lee is shown reading the script for 1995's Mallrats, a film featuring a cameo by the comic writer. "Trust me, True Believer!"
29 A Marvelous Rival
Captain Marvel introduces Carol Danvers as part of the Kree's Starforce unit, which is quite a diversion from the character's comic book origin story. An expert sniper who is not particularly fond of Carol, Gemma Chan's Minn-Erva begrudgingly works alongside the human, although the character does a poor job masking her disdain.
The pair's mutual contempt should come as no surprise to comic readers. Minn-Erva (Doctor Minerva) is arguably among Carol's more prominent archenemies and plays a substantial role in the divisive Civil War II event.
28 Goose Wasn't Always Goose
Do not let Goose's adorableness fool you, this creature is far from an ordinary feline. Flerkens are aliens who share a striking resemblance to Earth's cats, although the former possess a couple of unique traits to help distinguish between the two species. For example, Flerken fire tentacles out of their mouths.
While Flerkens originated in the comics, the same cannot be said about Goose. For some indiscernible reason, Captain Marvel alters the animal's name from Chewie to Goose. Considering Disney owns Star Wars, the decision to omit this reference is strange. Now, in all fairness, Chewie is Captain Marvel's pet; conversely, Goose seems to prefer Nick Fury.
27 Starforce Consists Of More Than Captain Marvel
Speaking of the Kree strike force, Starforce is a unit created to defend the entire empire. Controlled by the Supreme Intelligence, former members include the likes of Ronan the Accuser and Doctor Minerva. Essentially, Starforce is a mix of the Avengers and Suicide Squad.
Captain Marvel does away with the team's colorful wardrobe and elects against dedicating too much screentime to characters who amount to little more than henchmen; nevertheless, the film bases the members' names on their comic counterparts.
26 What's With Ronan The Accuser?
Guardians of the Galaxy introduces a hulking antagonist in the form of Ronan the Accuser and promptly elects to allow him to accomplish nothing. Who is Ronan? What's up with the whole "Accuser" nickname? Is he an intergalactic lawyer? Ace Attorney in space sounds pretty awesome!
Captain Marvel brings back Ronan and, once again, elects to do absolutely nothing with the villain. At the very least, an explanation is provided for his name. As a Kree commander, Ronan has the power to cleanse planets by dropping bombs from the safety of space. Ronan accuses entire worlds.
25 Carol Danvers Is Not The First Female Captain Marvel
As Carol's closest human friend, Lashana Lynch's Maria Rambeau injects a touch of warmth into an otherwise cold experience. In the comics, Maria is a minor character, but the same cannot be said for her daughter. After being struck by an extradimensional energy blast – an origin story oddly similar to Brie Larson's Carol – Monica gains superpowers and eventually joins the Avengers as Captain Marvel.
24 Believe The Propaganda
Warning! Huge spoiler incoming!
Captain Marvel quickly establishes the Skrulls as conquerors of worlds and the Kree as intergalactic heroes; however, this proves to be nothing more than propaganda spread by the latter. An interesting twist reveals the Skrulls are actually refugees seeking a place to call their own. It turns the narrative on its head and coincides with a noticable improvement in the film.
The Kree's propaganda is basically just describing the Skrulls in the comics. Infiltrating planets to gradually seize control, the shapeshifters are seldom presented sympathetically. The Secret Invasion event serves as a prime example.
23 Talos: Outcast To Savior
Even among the fundamentally unlikable Skrulls, Talos the Untamed is an especially frustrating fellow. Captain Marvel's decision to cast Ben Mendelsohn, an actor chiefly typecast as a villain, further helped sell the assumption that the movie planned to authentically represent the Skrulls.
Talos ends up being a sympathetic and amiable character, one driven solely by a desire to reunite with his family. You either retire as a villain or live long enough to see Ben Mendelsohn portray you as a hero!
22 Shapeshifting Is Not A Common Skrull Trait
In the movie, Talos states shapeshifting is a trait common among Skrulls, although some are more talented than others. Permitting they have an affinity for the act, any Skrull should be able to swap faces with a human or a Kree.
Technically, Captain Marvel sticks true to the source material; however, Talos left out a rather crucial detail. Shapeshifting started out as a genetic defect and only became common once the Deviant Skrulls eliminated the normies. Modern Skrulls are a byproduct of artificial selection.
21 The Story Of Dr. Wendy Lawson
In anticipation of Captain Marvel's release, fans speculated whether Jude Law would be portraying Captain Mar-Vell, a Kree warrior sent to Earth and partially responsible for driving Carol to a life of crime fighting. Crucially, he was the original Captain Marvel.
This proved to not be the case, as Marvel opted to gender swap the good doctor and introduced Wendy Lawson. In order to assimilate to life on Earth, Mar-Vell assumed the role of Dr. Walter Lawson, although Wendy's motivations are slightly more pure than her comic counterpart.
20 Carol's Super Powers
What circumstances lead to Carol's marvelous turn? Does Captain Marvel adhere to the superhero's comic book origin story? Yes and no. Mar-Vell and Jude Law's Yon-Rogg play crucial roles in both instances, but Carol's road to marvel is slightly modified.
1969's Captain Marvel #18 sees Carol obtaining powers after bumping into a Kree Psyche-Magnetron machine. Suddenly, the character goes from a normal person to one of the universe's most powerful characters. Captain Marvel's Carol has a more active role in the transformation and purposefully destroys a lightspeed engine to stop Yon-Rogg from taking it.
19 Project Prison Easter Egg
At one point, Carol and Nick Fury visit PEGASUS, a scientific base responsible for researching different energy sources. Comic fans should get a kick out of this particular sequence, even if the base's design lacks the comic's almost dystopian aesthetic.
Captain Marvel's PEGASUS resembles a fairly ordinary government bureau, but the facility also has a history of serving as a makeshift prison for particularly dangerous criminals. Whether the MCU references this detail remains to be seen, but the base's inclusion is a neat Easter Egg.
18 Nick Fury's Misplaced Trust
During a scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury credits his rather untrusting nature to an incident that resulted in the loss of the character's eye. Who could possibly be responsible for partly blinding the agent and potentially breaking Fury's heart? For better or worse, Captain Marvel provides an answer.
Basically, a space cat did it. Goose – Captain Marvel's breakout character – scratches Fury across the eye towards the end of the movie. In other words, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director has been hiding the truth out of embarrassment. You cannot trust anyone!
17 Swallow The Tesseract
Everything truly is connected! 2012's The Avengers set the ball rolling on many of the storylines explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's subsequent projects. As most presumably recall, The Avengers chiefly consists of the titular heroes trying to protect the Tesseract from Loki and, by extension, Thanos. In a seemingly throwaway line, Bruce Banner remarks whether Fury hopes the Hulk will be able to swallow the artifact.
Technically, swallowing is a tried and tested method to maintain possession of the item. Captain Marvel's Goose consumes the Tesseract to ensure the Kree cannot get a hold of the device.
16 The Last Blockbuster
No, this entry's title is not related to Captain Marvel's impressive box office return. Any 90s kids are liable to incur a strong dose of nostalgia due to the studio frequently interrupting the story to remind viewers that Nirvana or Street Fighter II used to be a thing.
Carol launches her tour of Earth by crash landing into a Blockbuster Video and visiting a RadioShack. While hardly the subtlest of touches, Captain Marvel earns points for utilizing the last existing Blockbuster as the site for the protagonist's coming home party.
15 The Right Stuff
In a blink and its gone moment, Carol briefly picks up a copy of The Right Stuff after utilizing a Blockbuster Video as an unofficial landing strip. Released in 1983, The Right Stuff is a historical biopic about NASA's original group of seven astronauts who piloted a string of spaceflights during the early '60s.
The Right Stuff comfortably ranks among the best space-related films of all time, and Carol selecting this specific VHS suggests the brainwashed Captain felt a connection to the astronauts. Once a pilot, always a pilot.
14 Captain Marvel's Cool Mohawk
Carol Danvers may have celebrated her 50th anniversary in 2018, but the character was effectively reborn as Captain Marvel in 2012. Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Jamie McKelvie's revamp transformed the game, blessing a traditionally B-tier hero with an image suitable for the big leagues. Alongside a cool androgynous suit, McKelvie reaffirmed Carol's awesomeness by adding a mohawk to the equation.
Captain Marvel does not ask Brie Larson to accept a makeover, but the iconic hairstyle is referenced multiple times. The trailer even highlights the mohawk.
13 Paying Homage To Kelly Sue DeConnick
Viewed as the creator behind Carol's rebirth as Captain Marvel, Kelly Sue DeConnick set the foundation that serves as the basis for Brie Larson's version of the superhero. 2019's Captain Marvel would not exist if Sue DeConnick did not write her 2012 comic.
With the exception of Stan Lee, there is no other write more deserving of a cameo, and Disney delivered. Carol's run as the Captain has been rather hit and miss, but Sue DeConnick's issues stand the test of time better than many of Captain Marvel's later storylines.
12 Captain Marvel's Many Costumes
Captain Marvel spends the majority of the opening act in a bland green Kree uniform clearly designed to juxtaposition with the hero's traditional red and blue aesthetic. With the Kree's secret out of the bag, Carol asks Maria's child Monica to help choose a couple of new colors for the superpowered protagonist.
Prior to landing on Captain Marvel's official look, Carol goes through a handful of attires that pay homage to her various designs over the years. Out of all of them, Ms. Marvel's black and gold attire is the most likely to yield a reaction out of fans.
11 Some Fans Will Recognize Torfa
The planet Torfa serves as the location where Carol – identifying at Vers at the time – ends up falling in the hands of the Skrull. Initially, the Kree pretend the Skrull invaded the planet in an attempt to eliminate Torfa's indigenous inhabitants. Readers familiar with 2014's Captain Marvel #2 should have suspected that something was amiss since, in the comics, Torfa houses refugees.
Lo and behold, Captain Marvel's Skrulls are simply trying to escape Kree's tyrannical rule. Hopefully, this reference did not completely spoil the twist for anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel's universe.
10 Captain Marvel's Past
Carol spent a couple of years as Ms. Marvel before Rogue stole the superhero's powers. Following an exceptionally low moment in the character's history, Marvel desperately needed to perform damage control to save Captain Marvel from complete irrelevance. Salvation arrived in the form of Binary.
In short, insectoid aliens known as the Brood accelerate Carol's evolution, causing the hero to emerge as an extremely powerful mutant. Binary's defining feature is her fiery hair, which happens to bear a striking resemblance to Brie Larson's full-powered Captain Marvel.
9 Bridge Of Spies
Starforce are deployed to Torfa in order to investigate a compromised spy named Soh-Larr. Ultimately, Captain Marvel reveals the Skrull agent Talos as the signal's instigator and the real Soh-Larr fails to make an appearance. One could say Soh-Larr is both a Skrull and a Kree.
This small detail appears to pay homage to the original Soh-Larr, a Kree warrior who falls in love with a Skrull general named Ryga'a. The two abandon the war and start a life together, leading to the birth of the first hybrid in Dorrek Supreme.
8 Monica's Future
Monica replaced Mar-Vell as the Avengers' defacto Captain Marvel and lasted in the role until 1996's Avengers: Unplugged #5. Deciding to gracefully allow Mar-Vell's son, Genis-Vell, to appropriate the position, Monica rebranded herself as Photon. Captain Marvel knows its lore.
Funnily enough, Monica ends up having to change her alter ego again after Genis decides he prefers Photon to Captain Marvel. Nowadays, she mostly goes by the name Spectrum and rarely accomplishes anything of note. Carol might be enjoying the good life, but the original female Captain Marvel is a forgotten relic.
7 Lieutenant Trouble
Serving as a precursor to April's Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel sought to establish a link between Nick Fury and Carol. After accomplishing this objective, Captain Marvel instantaneously flies off into space and disappears for more than two decades. Consequently, Carol is a nobody on Earth.
Carol's support group starts and ends with Maria and Monica, who are essentially a culmination of various comic characters. For example, Carol playfully describes Monica as Lieutenant Trouble. This nickname was originally awarded to Captain Marvel's biggest fan, Kit Renner.
6 The Cheeseburger Initiative
Marvel face the arduous task of introducing a critical player during the final act of a storyline that began approximately a decade ago. Captain Marvel's power ceiling has yet to be truly ascertained, but the superhero definitely ranks among the universe's more competent members. Captain Marvel retroactively jams Carol into the Marvel Cinematic Universe's lore, going as far as to credit the character with inspiring Fury to opt for the name "Avengers."
After Captain Marvel saves the day and travels back to the Kree homeworld, Fury tributes the hero by naming the initiative after Carol's Air Force call sign. If the film stuck to the Captain's original call sign, the operation would have been called "Cheeseburger."
5 Fury's Past
Skrull infiltrate planets by shapeshifting into prominent figures capable of destabilizing societies. Due to copying the target's short term memories, a Skrull is nearly indistinguishable from the real model. As a way to confirm Fury is himself, Carol asks the agent to provide a quick rundown of his past. Among other things, Fury mentions working as a spy during the cold war.
Putting aside the fact Carol cannot possibly know Fury's backstory, this moment primarily serves as a snapshot of the future director's history. Obviously, the film condenses decades of lore into a couple of lines, but Fury's summary is largely on the money.
4 Fury's Future
Once Carol lands on Earth, Captain Marvel becomes a buddy-cop flick starring a special agent and an overpowered alien. Along with supplying pages of exposition – a duty shared by the entire cast – Fury and Carol's banter succeeds in being both informative and entertaining.
One funny and ultimately crucial exchange involves Nick explaining that everyone calls him Fury, even his future children. Captain Marvel is subtly referencing the director's descendent and son, Nick Fury, Jr. Both characters prefer to be identified by their surnames.
3 Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is a huge entity consisting of thousands of moving parts. Unsurprisingly, some are more crucial than others. Depending on their clearance level, agents are granted access to certain sensitive information or allowed to participate in high-risk operations.
Director Fury is a Level 10, but the operative worked his way up to the agency's highest official rank. As a Level 3 agent, Captain Marvel's Fury spends the majority of his days behind a desk. Considering the character's background in espionage, this seems like a terrible case of wasted potential.
2 Fury & Carol's Past
Captain Marvel is more than justified in questioning Nick Fury's legitimacy. Ms. Marvel has experienced quite a few run-ins with the Skrull and they are seldom pleasant. The Secret Invasion left the Avengers incapable of trusting each other, and paranoia causes people to act in strange ways. Nobody is above a mistake or two.
One does not simply forget the time Nick Fury mistook Ms. Marvel for an undercover Skrull agent and promptly shot the hero. Luckily, bullets are just an annoyance to Carol.
1 Fury Obtains The Tesseract
A Marvel movie is not complete without a post-credit scene or two. Captain Marvel's credits contain a pair of additional moments; the first shows Carols answering Fury's pager and the second involves Goose. The latter answers a question dating back to 2012's The Avengers, concerning Fury's ownership of the Tesseract.
Earlier in the film, Goose swallows the artifact to stop the Kree soldiers from finding it. Once the dust settles and Fury loses an eye, the Flerken coughs up the Tesseract on the agent's lap. Basically, Fury got lucky.