Captain Marvel’s '90s aesthetic is so flawless it will send the nostalgic into fits of rapture. I, personally, lost my mind when Carol became the world’s first GameBoy modder.
But that pitch-perfect aesthetic means that it is easy to forget that Carol herself is not a woman of the '90s, but of the late '80s. That Nine Inch Nails shirt is mighty fine, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect Carol’s personal taste in music.
Think about it: When do we see Carol, as herself, choose music? We see her in a Guns N' Roses shirt howling “Kiss Me Deadly” with Maria—a song by Lita Ford, former lead guitarist of the first all-female rock band, the Runaways. Carol clearly enjoys (but is not limited to) women-led rock, as later evidenced when we finally see her don her own clothing at Maria’s—a classic Heart t-shirt.
Seeing Carol in that shirt immediately made me think of the legendary origin story of “Barracuda,” the absolute banger recently used to amazing effect in the Olympic training montage in I, Tonya. When Ann Wilson discovered that their record company had released a bogus story about her and her sister, Nancy, being incestuous lovers as a promotional stunt without their knowledge or consent, she was so furious that she wrote the righteous lyrics in one go. The eponymous barracuda became a metaphor for all manner of music industry garbage the band had to go through, especially garbage thrown at the Wilson sisters for fronting a hard rock band.
Or, to put it another way, “Barracuda” is a howl of rage against every idiot who tried to stand in their way.
Gee … remind you of anyone we know?