What Do the Events of “Captain Marvel” Mean for the Future of the MCU?

It’s finally here. Marvel Studios has debuted their first female-led, standalone film and Captain Marvel is now officially a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers is certainly a game changer, but what impact will she have on Avengers: Endgame and the future of the MCU moving forward?

A couple months ago, I theorized how Captain Marvel might play out and what it would mean for the future of the MCU. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably at least a little surprised with the events of the latest Marvel Studios film. So, now that we’ve seen it, let’s take another look at how things might play out. But first…

Spoiler Warning – Captain Marvel spoilers beyond this point!

First, let’s look at how Carol herself might impact the MCU. Before we can look forward to the future of the Avengers, there’s a certain Titan standing in their way. Is Carol going to be the difference maker in the fight against Thanos? As I said in January… no.

Yes, she is incredibly powerful in this movie. She stops a team of Kree warriors that trained her and takes down a handful of Kree warships led by Ronan the Accuser, forcing him to retreat. However, in case you need a reminder, THANOS JUST SNAPPED HIS FINGERS AND ELIMINATED HALF OF ALL LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE.

Sorry, I lost my cool for a second there. I just need to make sure you’re aware of what the Avengers are dealing with here. Captain Marvel or no Captain Marvel, our heroes are way overmatched. (Check back to my Captain Marvel theories for some examples of this.)

I also mentioned the possibility of “Cosmic Awareness” being her most useful ability for the fight against Thanos. There was no mention or use of this ability in Captain Marvel. Maybe Carol won’t be the one to rescue Tony after all.

Still, she is clearly going to be a big part of the conflict in Avengers: Endgame. In the mid-credits scene of Captain Marvel we see her show up at the Avengers facility after Fury pages her. Looks like she’s ready to join the fight.

With all of that being said, Carol may not actually be the most important part of Captain Marvel in regards to the future of the MCU. As I mentioned back in January, the introduction of the Skrulls may be the most important plot point here. Again, things didn’t exactly play out as I expected. The Skrulls actually came off as victims in Captain Marvel, and it might be tough to turn them into villains in the future. Tough, but not impossible.

I’m still holding out hope that the Skrulls will turn and once again be a threat to Earth, leading to a potential Secret Invasion movie. Maybe they were actually deceiving Carol all along. Or maybe Talos will be overruled by a superior-ranking Skrull and they will return to Earth. There are a lot of ways this could play out.

This does however seem unlikely in the immediate future. Again, the Skrulls were the victims in this movie. Can audiences really be made to turn on them so quickly? Maybe there’s another major storyline Marvel Studios is planning to ramp up to. Perhaps Secret Wars or a time-travel angle pitting the Avengers against Kang the Conqueror. Like I said, I’m still holding out hope for Secret Invasion.

Of course, there’s still the big question: are the Avengers ever going to learn the truth that Fury’s eye injury was caused by a cat? Ok, so Goose isn’t really a cat, but still I’d imagine Thor and Tony would have some fun with that.

One thing’s for sure: I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the MCU plays out. Captain Marvel is in theaters now.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."