Brie Larson

6 takeaways from the first Captain Marvel trailer: It’s the 90s, she’s from space, and everybody’s younger

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All we needed was a little patience. When Brie Larson and Entertainment Weekly promised to “break the internet" with a big announcement and followed that up with a reveal of an EW cover with 10 photos from the upcoming Captain Marvel film, some fans were a little bit disappointed that we weren’t getting a trailer.

(Put Chris Cox in that group, as we discussed in Episode 4 of the Amusement Park Podcast.)

We just needed to wait about two weeks.

Taking the same path that Marvel typically follows with their movie releases, the studio built anticipation with the EW story before setting its other machinery in motion. With Disney owning ABC, the Captain Marvel trailer was sure to debut on either Good Morning America or Jimmy Kimmel Live.

GMA got the nod, as announced Monday evening.

And ABC’s morning show had an event set up for the trailer’s debut, having Ginger Zee with Brie Larson at Washington D.C.’s National Air and Space Museum, along with a few dozen STEM students. (Hopefully, my little niece was watching. She’s already a great dancer, but get into science, kid!)

Now that we’ve finally gotten a look at Captain Marvel in action, here are some takeaways from the two-minute introduction to Marvel’s first headlining female superhero.

Remember, it’s the 1990s

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The trailer makes it clear right away that the story takes place in the 1990s with Carol Danvers (Larson) crashing through the roof of a Blockbuster Video. Nice nod to the past.

Would it have been too on point to see surveillance video of Danvers crashing through the ceiling, as we’ve seen recently with burglars in convenience stores? Probably.

Shortly thereafter, we get a Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) voiceover explaining that this visitor is a renegade soldier. Is Danvers fleeing the Kree Starforce to which she belongs? That sets up a flurry of story possibilities while possibly establishing the driving plot of the movie.

Captain Marvel goes “Pew Pew!” with her hands!

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Fans of Marvel Comics know what abilities Captain Marvel has. (Super-strength and speed, flight, invulnerability, photon blasts, etc.) But regular moviegoers who don’t know that stuff get a glimpse of the character’s powers with the Captain shooting energy blasts from her hands at an off-screen adversary.

At the very end of the trailer, we see Captain Marvel loading up with plenty of power, presumably ready to be unleashed on a bad guy.

Flashbacks are a big part of the story

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We’ve been told Captain Marvel won’t be an origin story. At least not in a traditional, linear sense, as the trailer demonstrates. “It’s hard to explain,” says Danvers to (a much younger) Nick Fury.

Danvers will experience plenty of flashbacks as her memories come back upon her return to Earth, which will provide us background information on the character, such as her childhood and military experience. Surely, that’s how we’ll find out how Danvers gets her superhuman abilities (which, if the movie follows the comic books, will come from alien DNA).

Oh, that’s why she has no memories

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Were Carol Danvers’ memories erased — or repressed — as part of her programming upon joining the Kree? Maybe discovering that her brain was being tampered with is what compels her to flee from the Kree and return to Earth.

Having her memories hidden would give her something in common with the Winter Soldier. If those memories haven’t been restored in current time, maybe she’ll eventually have to go to Wakanda and have Shuri fix that, just like Bucky did.

Captain Marvel just hit an old lady!

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One of the biggest surprises or most shocking moments of the trailer comes when Danvers (who doesn’t yet appear to be Captain Marvel, judging by the teal color of her uniform) punches an old woman on the subway. That’s not very superheroic!

But the villains of the story are the Skrulls (of which we get a very brief glimpse in this trailer), and comic book fans know that their primary ability is to change their shape and disguise themselves as another life form. So that old lady is probably a Skrull. Let’s hope she is, anyway. Otherwise, Danvers has some explaining to do. Not even Drax would do that. man.

Agent Coulson has hair!

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Again, this story takes place at least 20 years ago, presuming that the current Marvel Cinematic Universe is happening in modern times. That gives Marvel an opportunity to present much younger versions of familiar characters.

We see Nick Fury (with two good eyes) earlier in the trailer, and also get a glimpse of young Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). And since he’s younger, he also has a full head of hair. (Gregg must’ve loved that special effects benefit.)

As mentioned on the podcast, someday we’ll have to rank all of the de-aged Marvel characters we’ve seen on screen, such as Michael Douglas’s Henry Pym, Kurt Russell’s Ego, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne, and Fury and Coulson (or “Son of Coul,” as Thor once called him).

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This first trailer is very much a teaser, not revealing very much. That’s to be expected. Captain Marvel has to be introduced to a wider audience. Plenty of devoted comic book fans might not be entirely familiar with her (I know I’m not) because for most of her Marvel Comics existence, she’s been a C-List character.

(Even Iron Man and Thor were B-List, ranking below the A-List properties Marvel Studios didn’t have, such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and X-Men.)

Subsequent trailers and promotional appearances will fill in more blanks and explain more of the story in the months to come. (Hopefully, without too many spoilers.) Marvel doesn’t typically spoil too much, though may feel the need to if the potential audience still isn’t sure what they’re getting. But that wasn’t necessary with Guardians of the Galaxy and it surely won’t be needed here.

Captain Marvel flies into theaters on March 8, 2019.