A couple of weeks after Brie Larson (lied and) said that she was going to break the internet, it sorta happened on Tuesday morning with the release of Captain Marvel’s first trailer on Good Morning America. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a solo female lead and a female codirector, Captain Marvel is certainly laden with expectations and a tremendous amount of hype, and while two minutes of trailer footage doesn’t give us much to glean from, it is an exciting start. Here are five main takeaways from the first footage.
’90s Nostalgia Is Here
While the Guardians of the Galaxy films have imbued themselves with funky music and paraphernalia from the 1970s and the first Captain America movie had its hero literally punching Nazis during World War II, Captain Marvel is set in the mid-’90s. That means a couple of things: perhaps most importantly, that the events of the movie won’t overlap with Thanos’s rapturing of half the universe’s population in Infinity War; but also that there’s going to be plenty of ’90s nostalgia.
We only got a taste of that in the trailer, as it starts with Larson’s Carol Danvers crashing through a Blockbuster (RIP!).
Expect many more callbacks in the movie: Fruit Gushers, Tamagotchi, maybe Carol will unwind with a VHS of Clueless (she already landed in a Blockbuster, after all).
Aliens, Aliens, Aliens
The biggest threats in the MCU tend to come from outer space (see: the swole, genocidal purple thumb that is Thanos) and that won’t be any different in Captain Marvel. Danvers herself is a Kree—basically, more technologically advanced and stronger human-like beings from the planet Hala—and the erstwhile Young Pope, Jude Law, plays her Kree mentor, Mar-Vell. The main antagonists are the Earth-invading Skrulls, including Ben Mendelsohn as Talos.
That’s a lot of goofy comic names, so it might be simpler to lay it down like this: There are two alien races, one good and one bad, and Earth is going to be the battleground for their showdown. The planet can’t seem to catch a break, though considering Captain Marvel is set in the past, at least we know Earth won’t be, like, vaporized or something.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Back!
It’s been a minute since the Avengers worked in tandem with S.H.I.E.L.D.—let’s not forget it was Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury who first put together the team to save Earth (and generate billions at the box office). Well, not only is Fury back—with both of his eyes!—but so is Agent Coulson, the likable S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who was killed by Loki in the first Avengers movie. Shout-out to the makeup department for making these elder gents look young!
Apropos of nothing: Agent Coulson also has been alive for five seasons of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s best not to think about how that makes … no sense, and how the actual explanation for his revival—he apparently got Frankensteined back to life after being dead for several days?!?!?!—is even more disturbing.
Was S.H.I.E.L.D. Ever Not Corrupt?
Remember how in Captain America: The Winter Soldier it was revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by a group of Nazis (well, Hydra followers, but basically Nazis) in a plot that went all the way to the top? That was quite an indictment of S.H.I.E.L.D., but apparently the organization has been corrupted for at least a couple of decades. In Captain Marvel, Talos is also a younger Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. boss. Seriously!
In fairness to S.H.I.E.L.D., the Skrull can shape-shift and look just like humans—so Talos just looks like Ben Mendelsohn in a suit, which means he looks like most real-life CEOs. (Speaking of Ben Mendelsohn in suits, remember when he wore a VR rig over his actual suit in Ready Player One? That was a good look.) But it shouldn’t be that easy for the most secretive government agency to be infiltrated. S.H.I.E.L.D. really needs to work on its background checks.
Captain Marvel Is Anti-Senior Citizen
It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Carol Danvers is supposed to be Earth’s savior; the MCU equivalent to Superman. But how can you be a beloved superhero when you’re just straight up punching old ladies on the subway?
Thankfully, there’s a less spicy explanation to this than Captain Marvel hating senior citizens with a fiery passion. As I just mentioned, the Skrull can shape-shift, so it’s a very safe assumption that Carol was either: (a) attacking an undercover Skrull posing as an old lady, or (b) so Skrull-paranoid that she thought she was attacking a Skrull when, in reality, she was just walloping a sweet, smiling old lady. (It’s probably the former, but the latter is hilarious to think about.)
You heard it here first, folks: The superhero Captain Marvel is probably not beating up old ladies. But I do appreciate that the trailer is forcing all of us to clarify that.