The movie introduces us to the all-powerful title character, one poised to play a significant role as the MCU proceeds. With phase four of the franchise currently shrouded in mystery, here are six ways Captain Marvel potentially sets up future Marvel adventures...
WARNING: CAPTAIN MARVEL SPOILERS AHEAD
1. Captain Marvel's war with the Kree
Captain Marvel's debut movie culminates in her staving off an invading Kree armada. So powerful are her binary abilities, in fact, that villainous Kree Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) turns his ship away from Earth and vows to fight her another day.
In fact, it potentially goes deeper than that: Ronan recognises that Captain Marvel has absorbed the powers of the energy core, and that she can become the weapon in the renegade Kree arsenal. As Ronan's ship retreats into the distance, it seems we haven't heard the last of Ronan or his battle with Captain Marvel, which potentially sets up an epic conflict in phase four of the MCU.
2. Captain Marvel's relationship with the Skrulls
Who saw the Kree/Skrull switcheroo coming in Captain Marvel? It turned out that Captain Marvel's mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) was actually the enemy, plotting to obliterate rival alien race the Skrulls, who were initially established as the villains.
At the end of the movie, our eponymous hero vows to find a safe home for the Skrulls, including Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his family. Will a future MCU movie dramatise this? And is her ongoing quest the reason why she's spent so long away from Earth prior to Avengers: Endgame? After all, she did say to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that he should only page her in the event of a "real emergency"...
3. A new Avengers initiative?
By jetting off to the far corners of the universe, Captain Marvel will no doubt come into contact with new characters, species and planets. This could open up new realms of possibilities, including the chance to set up a new Avengers collective.
Who's to say that Captain Marvel hasn't established her own cadre of superheroes in a distant galaxy? And who's to say they won't play a role as phase four of the MCU progresses?
4. The role of the Tesseract
The post-credits scene shows Goose the cat, actually an alien called a flerken in disguise, vomiting up the Tesseract. It had done so in order to prevent the artefact, which contains the Infinity Stone known as the Space Stone, from falling into the hands of the Kree.
This means that the Tesseract landed in Nick Fury's care in 1995, where it remained until Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stole it in 2012's Avengers Assemble. Are we therefore going to get more Fury-centred movies set in the late 90s/early-to-mid 2000s exploring the Tesseract's secretive role at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.? Given the object plays such an important role in MCU mythology, we wouldn't be surprised if we returned to it at some stage in phase four.
5. Yon-Rogg's fate
It's a rare Marvel movie where the villain doesn't die at the end, but that's what makes Captain Marvel so dramatically compelling. The climactic showdown between Larson's character and Law's Yon-Rogg almost acts as a rebuke to decades of movies where female characters' identities are shaped by men.
Rather than fighting her treacherous mentor, Captain Marvel instead disarms him, saying she has nothing left to prove. She then sends him back to the Kree planet of Hala with a message (more a warning) to the Supreme Intelligence about what has happened and the abilities she now possesses. Surely we can expect Yon-Rogg to appear in a future MCU blockbuster?
6. Monica Rambeau's role
One of the most affecting aspects of Captain Marvel's character relates to her relationship with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). Our superhero is haunted by her human origins as air force pilot Carol Danvers, and her best friend was fellow pilot Maria.
Towards the end of the movie, the bond between the two women is re-established as Captain Marvel comes to terms with her past. Even more significantly, Maria's young daughter Monica (Akira Akbar) is empowered and inspired by the main character's presence, and is even allowed to define the colour co-ordination of Captain Marvel's costume.
There could be dramatic potential in Monica growing up and adopting the ethos and principles of Captain Marvel – maybe she could even become a future Marvel superhero in her own right?
If you haven't done so already, click here to book your tickets for Captain Marvel. Once you've seen it, or if you already have, tweet us your MCU phase four theories @Cineworld.