by Brett White
The one character that Marvel has seemed determined to make work in the past year is, without a doubt, Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. The former Ms. Marvel has gotten a promotion in rank to Captain, a new ongoing comic book series that has connected with people previously uninterested in the medium, and placement in a minimum of two Avengers titles a month. This raise in profile has led to fans creating fan art, crafts and cosplay in droves. If you're in the comic book community, you can't spend a day online without seeing the new Captain Marvel. And with a series as great as her solo one, that's a great thing.
With Phase Two firmly in sight, it's time to speculate just how Captain Marvel could (and should) pop up in Marvel's upcoming cinematic extravaganzas.
Captain Marvel in "Iron Man 3"
This one seems the least likely to happen, just because it's so close to its release date and there have been no Carol-Danvers-centric rumors. But if Thanos taught us anything, it's that Marvel knows how to keep its big secrets secret. Carol could easily pop up in this film, either as Stark's new S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison (replacing "Iron Man 2's" Natalie "Black Widow" Rushman) or a U.S. Air Force officer aboard the sure-to-be-attacked Air Force One.
Captain Marvel in "Thor: The Dark World"
This may seem like the biggest stretch since it's assumed that the majority, if not all, of the "Thor" sequel will be set in Asgard, but they could still give the audience a tease of Carol Danvers. Considering that the big climax of the first film was set on Earth and that that battle was mentioned as the reason Nick Fury started creating cosmically-charged weaponry in "The Avengers," it seems like Asgard and Earth are meant to clash often. Except when that clashing comes in "Thor: The Dark World," there would be a heavily-armed S.H.I.E.L.D. presence waiting for them, led by Carol Danvers. Plus they have to have a section of the film set on Earth if they want to work in a Stan Lee cameo, unless Stan's getting fitted for Norse garb right now.
Captain Marvel in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Of all the places Carol can pop up, this one seems the surest bet. We know that "Winter Soldier" will be heavy on the S.H.I.E.L.D. side, with a large supporting cast already taking shape. It's entirely possible that Carol will show up in a supporting role as a S.H.I.E.L.D. officer. And "The Winter Soldier" is still far enough out that key parts of the plot remain a mystery to us. We know that it's at least loosely adapting the comic book story-arc of the same name, but that doesn't mean other elements can't be added. And while Carol Danvers didn't show up in the source material, we could very soon learn that the screenwriters have added new elements to the story, possibly some that include some Captain Marvel action.
Captain Marvel in "Guardians of the Galaxy"
Those initial plot synopses for "Guardians" mentioned a USAF pilot caught up in the exploits of an interstellar, ragtag group of alien weirdos. Everyone assumed that pilot to be Peter Quill, now played by Chris Pratt. But what if Quill is a red herring? What if that USAF pilot is actually Marvel's most prominent USAF pilot, Carol Danvers? Considering that Captain Marvel's powers are alien-based, it makes perfect sense for her to be at the center of Marvel's first off-world adventure. Plus the cast of "Guardians" is at a comparatively lean five, whereas there were six Avengers and Captain America's going to have five partners in his sequel. If six is the magic number, then Carol rounds out the cast.
Captain Marvel in "The Avengers 2"
If Carol Danvers doesn't show up in any of the aforementioned Phase Two films, then she is a shoe-in for "Avengers 2." Rumors have already been swirling about her inclusion, with actresses like Emily Blunt and Ruth Wilson mentioned. Carol's inclusion in the "Avengers" sequel could contain a perfect callback to the first film as well. Imagine Carol getting powers from the detritus left after the epic battle between the Avengers and Chitauri in Manhattan, resulting in her being the super-powered embodiment of the Avengers' first heroic outing. But whereas her theoretical inclusion in the rest of the Phase Two films involves a human Carol, her inclusion in "Avengers 2" has to be as Captain Marvel, in all of her high-flying, power-punching glory.
How would you put Captain Marvel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!