Captain Marvel will introduce the MCU version of Carol Danvers… or is she actually a Skrull? The first trailer for Captain Marvel showed Carol Danvers in conflict with the shapeshifting alien race known as the Skrulls – including punching one in disguise as an old lady – but is the truth darker than that?
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1962, the Skrulls are a warlike race who use their shapeshifting powers to infiltrate a planet’s defenses and then undermine their foes from within. They have also long been locked in a millennia-old war against another powerful race, the Kree. The MCU’s version of the Skrulls will clearly be heavily influenced by these original comics, with Captain Marvel explicitly inspired by a 1971-1972 Avengers arc referred to as The Kree-Skrull War. That saw Earth essentially become No-Man’s Land in the conflict between these two rapacious races of aliens, with the Avengers desperately attempting to minimize the collateral damage.
The Captain Marvel trailer has both inspired and apparently confirmed a whole host of theories, ranging from the secret identity of Jude Law’s enigmatic Starforce commander to the possibility that Carol Danvers’ mind is being tampered with. One of the most entertaining theories of all, though, has been launched by popular YouTuber Mr. Sunday Movies. Could Carol Danvers herself be a Skrull imposter?
Theory: Is Carol Danvers A Skrull?
The theory is that the Carol Danvers we see in Captain Marvel is actually a Skrull impostor. Mr. Sunday’s idea is that, as we see in the trailer, Carol Danvers was caught up in an explosion generated by an alien device. In the comics, the explosion of the Kree Psyche-Magnetron granted Carol super-powers; but, so the theory goes, in the MCU it killed her. Subsequently, a Skrull has taken Carol’s place, either at Yon-Rogg’s bidding or the Skrull warlord Talos‘. Crucially, this shapeshifter’s mind has been overwhelmed by Carol’s own mental patterns: she has no idea she is really a Skrull. That would explain why Captain Marvel’s mind appears to be so fragmented in the trailer; different psyches are warring against one another, vying for control.
Surprisingly, this theory has a strong comic book precedent. The process the Skrulls use to duplicate memories has always been presented as quite unstable. That’s why the Skrulls typically keep their victims alive in order to access their memories; even then, strong-willed individuals have been able to influence their Skrull replacements. But when the subject is dead, a Skrull undergoes a different process. The new mental patterns are literally grafted on top of their own. Thus these Skrull impostors become sleeper agents, unaware of their true nature.
The most notable Skrull to suffer this fate was a warrior named Khn’nr. Introduced in the buildup to 2007’s Secret Invasion plot, he was a sleeper agent who took on the form of the first Marvel Comics superhero Captain Marvel, the Kree who inspired Carol Danvers. Khn’nr’s mental conditioning proved too strong, though, and he was lost to the Kree champion’s identity – even battling against the Skrulls when they launched their invasion. It would certainly be appropriate for Marvel to lift one of the most fascinating ideas from the Secret Invasion arc, especially one that involved a different iteration of Captain Marvel.
It’s already clear that, in thematic terms, Captain Marvel explores the themes of trust and betrayal. Is Jude Law’s Starforce commander really trustworthy, or does he have his own agenda? Can Nick Fury believe in his S.H.I.E.L.D. supervisor, or has he really been replaced by a Skrull impostor? The attraction of this theory is that it makes the theme of “trust” even more prominent; Carol Danvers can’t even trust herself.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019