The Captain Marvel Movie - Or is it Marvel's Captain Marvel?


Evan Narcisse wrote some good words on Polygon about this movie.


I saw Captain last weekend. I thought it was just okay.

The humour landed as did all the 90s references and I guess I was expecting the film to go a certain way but then it went another. Which was very refreshing. I just think it didn’t really endear me to Carol Danvers as a character, but then I don’t think any Marvel movie (with exception to GotG) has ever really done that within one movie. It took three movies for me to like Thor.


I didn’t know Narcisse was still writing online, but boy is his insight great as usual.

I may be drawing unnecessarily parallels with a certain other Captain, but it seems Danvers is able to come to terms with being an imperial symbol faster than the three movies it took Steve Rogers to do the same. She seems a bit brighter than Cap, and that plus her ridiculous powers makes me excited for her trilogy going forward even if I think the first movie was just ok.

In terms of rankings, I’d put Captain Marvel in the middle of the MCU pack. It feels akin to Doctor Strange, which was an adequate character introduction with some cool action sequences packed in. That said, I’m a sucker for 90s nostalgia, so you better believe I’ve been bumping Garbage and Hole all week.

The weird takeaway I’ve seen from the Captain Marvel discourse is how screwed Thanos will be with the heroine’s arrival. I’m not so sure about that. I’d put Danvers’s power level at about the same as Scarlet Witch (also an infinity stone baby), and she could not stand up to the Mad Titan. Also, Thanos already executed his plan! Let’s not get too excited to see his ass kicked when the dude already won!


That’s exactly when I want to see his ass kicked!

Even if this is all the obvious stuff, the way this movie does “being underestimated as a woman/women are emotional it’s better to be rational” and makes the story just “no, actually” is so fuuucking good and I actually feel like I want to see it again to see the main villain get fucked up.


Thor and Marvel standing toe to toe in the latest trailer gave me chills. Gimme a fireworks show of lightning and photon blasts and baby, you got an Avengers movie going.


(I haven’t watched it yet waiting til lunch I’m v hype)


Crap, sorry about spoiling it!


I was surprised and pleased to see a bit of that anti-imperial message. Some more explicit linking to the Air Force and US military would’ve been great, but the conclusion is easy enough to draw I suppose.

Another one of my main thoughts on the movie: why the FUCK didn’t they just make Carol and Maria gay? It seems so, so, so obvious that it was the intent, but it feels like Marvel scribbled out girlfriend/lover/soulmate/whatever and wrote in “Best Friend <3” whenever they spoke. Would’ve been so easy and natural to have some LGBT representation. Instead it’s like they had it and then chickened out.


That bothered me so much the entire movie. I’m so tired of queer baiting in general so it sucked that it happened so blatantly here in a movie I otherwise really enjoyed.


It was wild to see. Such an obvious divide between writer/director intent and producers playing it safe. At least that’s how it appears. It’s makes Feige’s comments about representation going forward ring pretty hollow.


Joke’s on you Marvel, I read them as gay the whole time anyway.

I do agree that it sucks that the LGBTness of the MCU is relegated to subtext so often (remember when Valkyrie was bi? Yeah me neither).


I think this particular failure was more a Disney mandate than Feige himself. The early development of Captain Marvel’s movie characters and story pre-dates Disney buying Marvel, and if you look at the post Disney movies there’s a very very obvious toning down of sexuality content or talk from the characters. Between that and it already being Hollywood the galaxy brain level queer baiting here isn’t surprising. Insulting and dumb as dogshit of course though.

Some of that comes a bit from the comics too though. She’s an insanely badly written C-tier character there up until relatively recently when $$$ made Marvel realize “Wait…why don’t WE have a Wonder Woman?” and so the character is now this big deal they are very hopeful you never read old comics of her (if you look that up, CW warning for sexual assault followed by time travel incest sexual assault). It’s part of why her being kind of a blank slate is a thing in the movie too, losing all or some combination of her memories/powers/whatever has been a regular thing in the comics as they would try to un-fuck whatever shitty stuff they had done with her that time.

I have to laugh at anyone thinking the movie whose directors have now spoken at the Pentagon and has been being cross-marketed with the USAF dropping propaganda vids where Brie Larson talks about how amazing Air Force is is anti-imperialist though.


Agreed about all of that. I definitely didn’t mean to say earlier that the movie is actually anti-imperialist, but it does gesture at that idea more than I expected and it has a lot less Air Force wanking than I anticipated. But it’s a big American blockbuster, it’s fundamentally unable to be opposed to the US military.


Sorry I apparently have 4 disparate points I wanted to make I hope this isn’t disjointed.

I think more of the USAF propaganda ended up being outside the movie than in it. It’s honestly barely there.

I feel like Narcisse’s analysis is still relevant; even if you can’t call this movie anti-imperialist it still has something to say about empire.

Pre-DeConnick Carol Danvers stuff does seem like a total nightmare.

Okay and also yeah does Disney know what romance is?


I’ve seen enough Disney movies to know that Disney absolutely 100% does not know what romance is. :slight_smile:

Regarding the marketing itself, for huge franchise stuff like this it just crosses a line for me because money was exchanged for that to happen. I’m not really comfortable divorcing a big budget movie like that from how it’s promoted. I don’t think Narcisse is necessarily wrong either, but the movie’s general, uh, Marvel-ness? Made that not particularly impactful to me. Especially [WARNING — A HUGE OPINION IS APPROACHING FAST!!] compared to something like Man of Steel that really wove these themes together into every bits of even its look (if only WB could hire a good writer for their movies) and was unapologetically about how status quo military worship and colonialism suck ass. Most of these comic book movies now - no matter the creative team - are so template that, to paraphrase Narcisse, “more political than Winter Soldier” is something Captain Marvel and Black Panther are, but “more political than Winter Soldier” doesn’t really do much for me.


Whenever a big Marvel movie seems leftwing/critical of America, it’s always just empty gesturing. The only two possible exceptions are Winter Soldier (but it doesn’t go much beyond typical spy fare) and Ragnarok (which is 100% a movie about the legacy of colonialism thanks to Waititi, but that thread sort of sits in the background of the movie instead of driving Thor’s story).

Endgame’s not even gonna bother to refute Thanos’s philosophy, they’ll just beat him up.


This’ll seem like a weird compliment and a really self-indulgent thing to like in a movie: I’m super into these shonen-y character arcs in this and Ragnarok.

A bunch of the other MCU movies have that consistent problem where the character attaining both capability and focus of mind are two separate things that don’t have much resonance. They’ll have a moment of clarity after the second act fall, realize their personal failing, and resolve the central tension by…winning a punch-up with another dude?

Black Panther had a bit of that, and Homecoming had a lot of it. Peter’s clarity of mind comes with uh, lifting a big rock, and his capability is proven by winning a wonky fight that doesn’t actually show how he’s developed as a person over his failings.

By contrast in Ragnarok, Thor realizes that his power and his people’s strength are their own and don’t need to be reliant on external things (i.e. his hammer and their city), which allows him to harness his new power and win the day. In Captain Marvel, Carol rejects the Kree’s programming and society’s expectation of her to excel by the macho idea of “strength” (directly criticizing the tired idea of “winning” through a bland contest of physical strength), allowing her to become absurdly powerful and curbstomp Ronin’s fleet.

This isn’t the story structure I want every one of these origin stories to have, but I prefer it completely over boring third act fistfights that have nothing to do with the character’s personal journey.


Captain Marvel stuff It is honestly bananas how good Carol taking off her training weights and fuuuucking shit up is and I thank you for connecting this to Ragnarok for me, my hands-down favorite Marvel film.

While I get it’s a different thing I absolutely love Peter Parker’s rock-lift thing, it’s delivered so well.


Yeah, with the USAF stuff i feel like Carol barely deals with the USAF as an institution outside of getting detained in the pegasus base and the mention that she was a test pilot because women weren’t allowed to fly combat. She shows up to her friend’s house after stealing a plane and she’s retired or something in the middle of a bayou.


I feel like she could’ve used more of a personal arc. Most good heroes are defined by their struggle against their flaws, but her struggle was just what men had done to her. Not that that’s bad, but I’m not sure where she develops from here.

and yeah @Forrest, that made for a shockingly satisfying final ending to a movie I was not particularly invested in and which had had weak action up till that point