We might still have three years to wait until her solo movie is finally released, but fan anticipation for Captain Marvel's entrance into the MCU is high. And with Marvel's ratio of 10 male superheroes to 2 female ones (seriously*), Carol Danvers' entrance is long overdue. It's unsurprising then, that Cap Marvel is almost certain to appear in Avengers: Infinity War.
With this in mind, we have to wonder what this new change to Infinity War will mean for Captain Marvel's introduction. In case you hadn't heard, Infinity War will now only be one film, as opposed to the two-parter it was originally intended as.
Back when the Russos name-dropped Carol when talking about Infinity War, many fans assumed Captain Marvel would appear in Part Two of the Avengers epic. This would make a lot of sense — after Part One ended on a cliffhanger, Captain Marvel could introduce the Avengers' new recruit, then Carol could swoop in to save the day in Infinity War Part Two. Now, we know this won't be the case, and Infinity War only being one film probably means we'll see Carol a lot sooner than we expected.
Full-Bird Colonel, Budding Avenger
So what are the chances that Captain Marvel will appear in Infinity War, before her solo film is released? They're looking pretty good — especially as SDCC saw Marvel officially announce Brie Larson as playing the hero. Considering her solo film is still three years away, casting Captain Marvel now seems to suggest she'll appear a might sooner.
It seems highly likely that Infinity War will introduce Captain Marvel in much the same way Civil War introduced Black Panther. Of course, this goes against Kevin Feige's reasoning for the distinct lack of Captain Marvel in Avengers: Age of Ultron. As he told MTV:
"She was in an early version of the script, yes. We didn't want to introduce her as this fully-formed hero, flying in a costume, before you got to know who she was, or how she came to be."
Which is fair enough. There was no point to Carol Danvers appearing in Age of Ultron — her proposed role in the story would have felt shoe-horned in at best, and a total waste of the character at worse. Infinity War, however, is a different beast, and after Civil War the world really needs Captain Marvel.
With the Sokovia Accords in full effect, Civil War set up the perfect way to bring Captain Marvel into the MCU.
A Military Superhero
In contrast to Captain Marvel swooping in as a "fully-formed hero" — as the plan was for Age of Ultron — Infinity War could explain how Carol went from an Air Force colonel to an Accord-sanctioned superhero.
With Team Cap on the run from the UN, the Avengers approved by the Accords are few and far between. It's pretty much just Iron Man and Vision — Rhodey is still recovering from his injuries, Spider-Man's stuck in school, and Black Widow defected anyway.
That leaves the world dangerously vulnerable, considering the Defenders are busy micro-managing the heck out of New York City (and Hell's Kitchen in particular). The solution? Drafting a heroic young colonel from the Air Force, of course! And that lines up perfectly with Captain Marvel's origin in the comics.
Before she got her powers — an accident with a Kree power generator — Carol was drafted by NASA to head up their new security division, in response to alien threats. And who's the big bad for Infinity War? That would be none other than Thanos, commanding an alien army.
With Carol Danvers already a colonel in the Air Force in the MCU (presumably), she would be perfect hero material, should the UN want to protect the Earth against Thanos. So it seems perfect for Infinity War to introduce Captain Marvel by having Iron Man recruit her into the Avengers, before Team Cap inevitably returns to back them up in the cosmos-shaking battle that will no doubt ensue.
Not only that, but considering she gets her powers via a Kree generator, Carol's involvement in Infinity War could also facilitate that Guardians of the Galaxy / Avengers team-up we've all been waiting for!
When you think about it, by following Carol's origin story in Infinity War the Russos have the perfect recipe to develop the state of the world after Civil War, introduce a new hero, and connect the franchise's biggest heroic teams, before they all kick the cosmic crap out of Thanos. Now that sounds like a hell of a movie to me.
Of course, there's still plenty of plot left over for Captain Marvel — the solo movie could follow Carol's struggles with alcoholism, her time travel adventures, or (my personal favorite) her time commanding the Alpha Flight space station. The possibilities are endless, and Infinity War would be the perfect jumping off point for the MCU's new Cap. Here's hoping that's what the Russos are planning!
Do you want to see Captain Marvel in Avengers: Infinity War?
*Male: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, War Machine, Falcon, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange
Female: Black Widow, Scarlet Witch
If you count the Guardians of the Galaxy, that's still just a ratio of 13:3. Get your shit together, Marvel.