(Warning: The following contains both major plot SPOILERS for 'Captain America: Civil War,' and potential SPOILERS for future entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise.)
Now, with Captain America: Civil War containing a singular lack of anyone resembling Carol "Captain Marvel" Danvers, it might seem as though we're going to have to wait a while longer before taking a good hard look at how the imminent arriving hero is going be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As it turns out, though...
Captain America: Civil War Actually Sets Up Captain Marvel Way More Than You'd Think
Here' the thing: While Cap may not have received anything close to the introduction that her fellow soon-to-see-a-solo-movie heroes Black Panther and Spider-Man did in Civil War — what with, y'know, not appearing in the movie — but that doesn't mean the film didn't do a pretty great job of laying the groundwork for her eventual arrival in the MCU.
The main reason for that?
(Note: This is where those aforementioned SPOILERS really start to kick in.)
Civil War's Ending Sets Up A World That Needs A Captain Marvel
After all, the movie ends with the majority of the Avengers on the run from the law, and with those who remain seeming far from ready to take the government's call. So much so, in fact, that Tony Stark is actively screening Secretary Ross's calls — while Rhodey is going through rehab, Vision is clearly dealing with an existential crisis, Black Panther has returned to Wakanda to rule, and Spider-Man remains, y'know, a teenager.
Captain Marvel, then, could well turn out to be the government's answer to that superhero vacuum. In need of a superhero with global threat-foiling powers, and a lack of past association with the clearly compromised Avengers, Carol Danvers might just fit the bill.
The big question now, though?
Why Would Captain Marvel Be A Natural Pick For The Government?
Well, that largely depends on how closely the MCU sticks to the hero's comic book origins. With Carol Danvers in fact being a Major (and eventually a Colonel) in the US Air Force, as well as both an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the chief of operations for the Department of Homeland Security, a faithful adaptation of the hero would likely make her a government agent who happily uses her powers within the framework of the Sokovia Accords.
Now, that being said, Danvers's characterization has also periodically drifted in a more rebellious direction - with Carol at one point writing a scathing tell-all book about NASA, as well as fighting a long-running battle with alcoholism that often manifested itself in the rejection of her military responsibilities. In other words, it's entirely possible that we could see a snarky, rebellious anti-governmental Carol Danvers turn up in the MCU — but it seems unlikely.
Instead, it's perhaps wiser to expect a hero who — while independently-minded and often gloriously inclined to punch first and ask questions later — would likely take just as much issue with Captain America's suggestion that "the safest hands are still our own" as Iron Man does in the video below:
The world that Captain America: Civil War has created — one in which government authorized heroes are few and far between, and the line between military service and heroism has always been blurred by the involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D. — might just be the perfect staging ground for Captain Marvel's arrival.
Could she, perhaps, turn up in Black Panther, currently set to debut just a few months ahead of Avengers: Infinity War? After all, if — as seems likely — Bucky Barnes turns up in the movie as a supporting character, the government might just need a new hero to send to Wakanda to bring him in.
Paging Major Danvers...