Inverse Codex

Captain Marvel story, plot, release date, trailer, and comics

It’s time to fly the skies with Carol Danvers, the strongest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Originally Published: 
Marvel Entertainment

This article about the film Captain Marvel was originally published on February 4, 2019 and updated on April 26, 2021 following the release of the movie. Read on for the original article, with some new changes to reflect the latest updates on this topic.

In the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs more heroes. Enter: U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers, who flies through the cosmos as Captain Marvel. No, not that Captain Marvel.

In March 2019, Marvel Studios premiered its first movie starring a female protagonist in Captain Marvel, from co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Mississippi Grind). As the third-to-last film in Marvel’s “Phase Three,” Captain Marvel had the important job of introducing fans to Carol Danvers before she can sock Thanos in his big dumb purple face.

Here’s everything you need to know about Captain Marvel.

When did Captain Marvel premiere in theaters?

Captain Marvel was on March 8, 2019. That’s a little over a month before Avengers: Endgame, which hit theaters on April 26 and featured Carol Danvers.

Is there a trailer for Captain Marvel?

Yes! The first trailer for Captain Marvel, which aired in September 2018, can be found below.

What is the plot of Captain Marvel?

Captain Marvel is the story of Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force Officer who becomes the superhero Captain Marvel. On Earth, Carol is a hot-shot pilot, but when she’s flung deep into space, she joins Starforce, an elite military force of the alien Kree empire. The Kree were first seen in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy via Ronan the Accuser, a Kree extremist.

In the process of joining Starforce, Carol Danvers’ biology melds with Kree DNA, effectively turning her into a hybrid. She loses her memory, and Captain Marvel will partially be about Carol rediscovering her human heritage.

The following is the official plot synopsis released by Marvel Studios:

“The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

In a red carpet interview at the Britannia Awards on October 26, 2018, Marvel boss Kevin Feige explained that Captain Marvel is a “different” superhero origin story than fans of the genre have seen before, even from Marvel.

“While it is an origin story of our hero, it is a very different origin story,” Feige told Variety.

Brie Larson, in costume as Captain Marvel in 'Captain Marvel' (2019).

Marvel Entertainment

When in the Marvel timeline does the film take place?

Captain Marvel is set in 1995, as confirmed by Disney’s Japanese website. The movie follows 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and the canceled ABC series Agent Carter as another period piece in the Marvel franchise. The events of the film will take place more than an entire decade before 2008’s Iron Man.

What are Captain Marvel’s superpowers?

Aside from flight and super-enhanced strength and speed, Carol Danvers is capable of energy projection and absorption.

Is she related to the other Captain Marvel?

No. That Captain Marvel, better known as Shazam, is a character in the DC Universe who made his debut in 1939 with Fawcett Comics. Due to his semblance to Superman, DC successfully sued Fawcett for infringement in 1953. In 1972, DC reintroduced Captain Marvel, under a new line of comics titled Shazam to avoid confusion with Marvel, which had introduced its own Captain Marvel in the late ‘60s. DC would own Captain Marvel/Shazam outright by the ‘90s, and in 2011 DC officially renamed the character Shazam.

Coincidentally, Shazam’s movie starring Zachary Levi (Chuck) arrived in theaters just two months after Captain Marvel, on April 5.

Brie Larson in 'Captain Marvel.'

Marvel Entertainment

Has Captain Marvel appeared in any other Marvel films?

No. The post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War teased her arrival, but it did not actually feature the character onscreen.

What’s this about a phone sex number?

Oh man, this is a great story. Strap in for this one.

On November 5, to encourage voting in the mid-term elections, Brie Larson shared on Twitter a new image of Captain Marvel in front of a phone booth surrounded by vintage “Rock the Vote” posters. The booth had a number, which used to belong to Disney as a “prop” number; it was once used for the Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. But when enterprising fans on Reddit called the number, they discovered it led to “America’s hottest hotline.” Yes really.

So you don’t have to, we called the line, and you can listen to it below.

Is Captain Marvel the first female Marvel superhero?

No, but that doesn’t make Carol Danvers any less important. From the very beginning, Carol has represented progressivism and gender equality in the Marvel Universe. When she starred in the series Ms. Marvel in 1977, it was an echo of the modern feminist movement when Gloria Steinem used it for the name of her magazine, Ms.

But in spite of a strong beginning, there were some very terrible storylines that plagued Ms. Marvel throughout the ‘80s (read Carol A. Strickland’s essay “The Rape of Ms. Marvel” to get a full picture). Yet writers in subsequent years have corrected course, allowing Carol to grow into an even more inspiring hero than her original creators, Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, could ever have anticipated.

Who stars in Captain Marvel?

The big star of Captain Marvel is Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for her performance in Room in 2016. Her first comic book movie role was the goth pop rocker “Envy Adams” in 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The rest of the cast is made up of returning MCU actors reprising their characters as well as newcomers to the franchise. They include:

Samuel L. Jackson, still a bad motherfucker, in 'Captain Marvel.'

Marvel Entertainment
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, who confirmed in an interview with The A.V. Club that the film’s time period means a much younger Nick Fury than we’ve seen before. That also means he still has both eyes.
  • Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, a rookie agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. Like Jackson, Gregg was digitally de-aged 25 years. Captain Marvel will be the first time since 2012’s The Avengers that Coulson is seen on screen. (Though fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have seen plenty of Coulson since then.)

Jude Law (left) and Brie Larson (right) in 'Captain Marvel.'

Marvel Entertainment
  • Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, a Kree military officer and villain responsible for turning Carol Danvers into Ms. Marvel. For awhile, popular speculation was that Law would play Mar-Vell, Danvers’ mentor in Starforce and the first to hold the Captain Marvel mantle. But an alleged leaked image of the film’s Funko POP toy line apparently confirms that Law is Yon-Rogg, an arrogant Kree soldier who at some point gains a telepathic link to Carol, which eventually causes her to lose her memory. Yon-Rogg may be how Carol loses memories of her human life in the film.

Lashana Lynch as "Maria 'Photon' Rambeau' in 'Captain Marvel.'

Marvel Entertainment
  • Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, one of Carol’s closest friends in the Air Force who goes by the call sign “Photon,” a major Easter egg to the comics. The Captain Marvel cover story in Entertainment Weekly revealed Maria is a single mother to Monica Rambeau. In the comics, Monica was the first woman to hold the mantle of Captain Marvel when she was doused with extra-dimensional energy in 1982’s The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16.

The Skrulls are coming.

Marvel Entertainment
  • Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One) as Talos, the leader of the Skrulls who infiltrate Earth thanks to their shape-shifting powers. Talos has two identities: A “buttoned up” human persona that Mendelsohn compared to Donald Rumsfeld, and a “laid back” and “nastier” Skrull, his natural self.
  • Djimon Hounsou as Korath, the same role Hounsou played in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, the same role Pace played in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, a Starforce sniper. Chan told Entertainment Weekly that Minn-Erva is jealous of Carol’s presence. “Before Carol joined the team, Minn-Erva was the star of Starforce,” she said. “So she’s slightly threatened by someone else who has come in and is also very talented.”

Cover of 'Captain Marvel' #1, illustrated by David Lopez.

Marvel Entertainment

What Captain Marvel comics should I read?

  • Captain Marvel Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2012): In 2012, Carol Danvers inherited the Captain Marvel mantle, and this series from Kelly Sue DeConnick follows Carol’s first run as the red and blue hero. This is the series where her costume was introduced. Designed by Jamie McKelvie, he told Newsarama the suit was “a result of us trying to create something that came out of her character and background in the military.”
  • Captain Marvel Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 (2014): A sequel volume to the 2012 series, DeConnick continues Carol’s adventures by finally taking her out into space after spending her first year mostly in and around New York.
  • Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps: Set against Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover in 2015, Carol Corps — co-written by DeConnick and Kelly Thompson — follows Carol lead a squadron of female pilots in Hala Field. The series later continued into G. Willow Wilson’s A-Force, published in 2016, where Captain Marvel joins a team of all-female Avengers, including She-Hulk, Dazzler, Medusa, and Nico Minoru.
  • Avengers: Kree/Skrull War: Published in the early ‘70s, this Roy Thomas storyline (illustrated by Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, and John Buscema) from The Avengers is a big inspiration for the upcoming film’s depiction of the Kree/Skrull conflict. Although you should definitely, probably expect way less Avengers. Like, the Fantastic Four were part of this thing, and those guys are nowhere to be found in the MCU.
  • Captain Marvel: The Ms. Marvel Years Vol. 1, Vol. 2: Long before she was Captain Marvel, she was the Avenger known as Ms. Marvel. In 2006, in the aftermath of the crossover House of M, Carol was inspired to retake the “Marvel” mantle and starred in a new volume of Ms. Marvel, which saw Carol join Iron Man during the next crossover, Civil War. (The two would clash a decade later, in Civil War II.)
  • Ms. Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1, Vol. 2: Go back to Carol’s very first run as Ms. Marvel in 1977, in the throwback “Masterworks” trade paperback editions.
  • The Life of Captain Marvel: A new five-issue miniseries from Margaret Stohl and Carlos Pacheco, Marvel gives Carol Danvers her definitive origin as Carol retraces her memories growing up in Boston.

How did Captain Marvel do at the box office?

Captain Marvel grossed $426.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $701.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.128 billion. It was the fifth-highest grossing movie of 2019, as well as the first female-led superhero movie to make more than a billion dollars worldwide.

What did critics have to say about Captain Marvel?

Captain Marvel has a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a score of 64 on Metacritic, and an A on CinemaScore. However, the movie came with controversy when people attempted to “review bomb” the pages for Captain Marvel on those sites before the film came out. Some attributed the online trolling to the casting of Brie Larson, specifically her outspoken feminism.

Will there be a sequel to Captain Marvel?

Yes! Kevin Feige confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 that Captain Marvel would be received a sequel. Captain Marvel 2 is currently filming and slated to premiere on November 11, 2022.

Captain Marvel soared into theaters on March 8, 2019.

This article was originally published on

Related Tags