Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel: Explaining why Carol Danvers punches a nice old lady in the face

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Sep 18, 2018, 2:15 PM EDT (Updated)

The premiere trailer for Captain Marvel has left fans with a few important questions. What kind of timeline are we looking at here? Is Jude Law’s character really Mar-Vell? Did Carol Danvers rent anything from that Blockbuster?

By far the most important question, though, and the one the internet was most taken with almost immediately, was this: Why did Carol Danvers punch a little old lady in the face?

Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The most obvious answer is that the sweet old lady isn’t a sweet old lady, but a Skrull in disguise.

The Skrull, who we see invading Earth on a romantic sunlit beach in the trailer, are the historical enemy of the Kree. In Marvel’s comics, the Skrull are shapeshifters. That’s it. The old lady is a shapeshifted Skrull. (Or, y’know, Carol is paranoid, thinks the old lady is a Skrull, is mistaken, and accidentally punches an old lady in the face. That’s also an option.)

Captain Marvel, old lady punch

Credit: Marvel Studios

The Skrull have been known to invade Earth throughout Marvel history. So it wouldn’t be unusual to find a Skrull disguised as an old lady. Though, usually, the Skrull aim to imitate people with a bit more power — politicians and the like.

Carol Danvers’ return to Earth seems to come just in time to stop this supposed Skrull invasion. As a member of Starforce, an elite team of Kree warriors, Carol is perfect for the job. And because we can’t talk about the Skrull without talking about the Kree, let’s keep talking about the Kree.

The Kree are vitally important to Captain Marvel’s story, as they’re how she got her powers. In Marvel’s comics, Carol tries to get close to Mar-Vell — a Kree and the original Captain Marvel — but gets caught up in an explosion. Because these are comics, rather than killing them, the explosion mixes Carol and Mar-Vell’s DNA together and gives Carol her superpowers.

Captain Marvel, explosion

Credit: Marvel Studios

Unlike the Skrull, MCU fans met the Kree a long time ago, all the way back in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The MCU was simpler back then. Ronan the Accuser, a Kree extremist played by Lee Pace, was out to destroy the galaxy using just one Infinity Stone, the Power Stone. As of the ‘90s-era Captain Marvel, Star-Lord and the Guardians haven’t defeated Ronan yet via dance-off, so he’s alive and maybe, just maybe, helping fight against the Skrull. No one really knows what part Ronan will play here, but there’s a good chance he’ll be on Captain Marvel and Starforce’s side as the Kree (maybe) stand together.

Protecting the Earth from little old ladies is a dangerous job.

Captain Marvel premieres in theaters on March 8, 2019.

Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

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