So I guess I was wrong. Unbelievable, I know, but it does happen. In this case, it has to do with a detail I theorized on with regards to Captain Marvel perhaps kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Secret Invasion, the 2008 comic book crossover that revealed the shapeshifting alien Skrull race to have infiltrated and replaced the Marvel heroes. I posited that Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel would debut in Avengers: Infinity War to start the Secret Invasion buzz, and then her 2019 solo movie – which is set in the 1990s – would fill in the gap as to how she got there. But that’s not happening.
In about as definitive a shutdown as there can be, Infinity War co-director Joe Russo revealed (via ThePlaylist) that “[Captain Marvel] is not in Avengers 3.” Well, damn. There goes that idea. Now filmmakers lying about characters appearing in movies just so that it can be a surprise is nothing new, but Infinity War is already so crammed full of heroes that they really don’t need another.
This does lead to a question though: We’ve been told that Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel will be the most powerful character the MCU has ever seen. So if she already had this power since the 1990s, what is she busy doing while the rest of the Marvel heroes are facing Thanos, the biggest threat Earth has ever encountered? The answer may be a very tiny one. Like tinier than a certain formic insect.
In 2014’s Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original hero to use that name in the 1960s, lost his wife Janet van Dyne when the size-manipulation tech he invented malfunctioned and she kept shrinking further and further until she went sub-atomic and got lost in a different reality to ours known as the quantum realm. In Ant-Man’s climax, the new modern Ant-Man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) also enters the quantum realm but managed to escape. We know that this will eventually lead to the rescue of Janet, with Michelle Pfeiffer being cast to play her in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp.
The quantum realm showed up again in 2016’s Doctor Strange, in a trippy sequence where the titular Sorcerer Supreme’s consciousness is sent flying through realities. And according to Dr. Spiros Michalakis that’s not the last we saw of this weird reality. Michalakis is a quantum physicist at the California Institute of Technology who Marvel brought in to consult on Ant-Man, specifically around designing the rules and mechanics of the quantum realm, and in an interview with Inverse he revealed the following.
This is exciting for the future. There are different ways that some of these ideas appear on-screen in a few years. Not just for Ant-Man, but also for Captain Marvel and all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Michalakis is bound by a non-disclosure agreement so he couldn’t say more, but this is the first time we’ve heard that Captain Marvel and the quantum realm would be linked somehow. It would certainly explain her absence. Also, since Ant-Man and the Wasp is the very first movie after Infinity War, it would also be the best time to perhaps tease her return. But how would she even end up in the quantum realm in the first place?
Well in the Marvel comic book universe, there are artefacts known as the Nega Bands, gauntlets that manipulate reality. In the comics, the original Captain Marvel was an alien Kree warrior named Mar-Vell who is trapped in another reality known as the Negative Zone. When human Rick Jones finds the Nega Bands, he realizes that if he slams them together, it allows him and Mar-Vell to trade places temporarily across time and space, so that Mar-Vell can become the hero Captain Marvel on Earth. Eventually Mar-Vell died, but before then his genetic structure was accidentally combined with that of US Airforce Captain Carol Danvers during the explosion of a Kree device known as the “Psyche-Magnetron”, making her a human/Kree hybrid and granting her some of Mar-Vell’s powers (she originally named herself Ms. Marvel, but eventually took on the title of Captain Marvel).
Similar to the Nega Bands are the Quantum Bands which also allow the wearer to manipulate the fundamental forces of reality like gravity and space. The Quantum Bands were worn by many heroes, including Genis-Vell and Phylla-Vell, the respective son and granddaughter of Mar-Vell, both of whom also took the name Captain Marvel for a time.
On top of that, when some lucky press were recently given a tour of Marvel Studios’ production facilities in the run-up to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, they spotted concept art of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, seemingly wearing the Quantum Bands, even though her comic book counterpart never did. As MCUExchange theorizes, could this onscreen version of Carol Danvers be in possession of some kind of amalgamation of the Nega and Quantum Bands, which grants her her powers, but also gets her stuck in the quantum realm? Dr. Michalakis actually gave a scientific explanation of how Captain Marvel could possess the power of flight, and his explanation seems to hint at her using something that can do exactly what the Quantum and Nega Bands did.
Gravity, as Einstein said, is nothing but the curvature of space-time. The curvature of space-time is the curvature of something we call the manifold, like a 4-dimensional structure like the sphere, or a globe. So, if you understand that, and manipulate that, you can change the curvature of space-time. Hence, changing gravity.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always adopted a far-fetched-fantasy-based-in-scientific-fact approach, and this lines up perfectly with all of that. On paper it actually makes a lot of sense. The only problem is that we’re going to have to wait until July 6, 2018 for Ant-Man and the Wasp to see if the theories are correct. Or maybe Joe Russo is a liar and we’ll see her two months earlier in Avengers: Infinity War.
Last Updated: August 7, 2017