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Captain Surprise: The Newest MCU Tremendous-Crew Defined

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Even Captain Marvel needs a few friends.

Now that we’ve gotten our first official look at the cast of next year’s Captain Marvel movie, including Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, returning MCU favorites like Nick Fury and Ronan the Accuser, and a whole new lineup of Kree and Skrull characters, it’s time to delve into an aspect of the film that we hadn’t heard about before.

One of the big reveals in Entertainment Weekly’s cover story is that Carol is a member of a Kree super-team called Starforce. But as with most things in the MCU, Starforce is pulled from Marvel’s comic-book source material. Here’s a breakdown of the team and its lineup (based on what we know so far).

What Is Starforce?

The Starforce team made its debut in 1992’s The Avengers #346. Basically an elite branch of the Kree miltary, Starforce included Kree warriors like Doctor Minerva, Ronan the Accuser, Korath the Pursuer, Captain Atlas, Shatterax, Supremor and Ultimus. The team made its debut during a crossover storyline called “Operation: Galactic Storm,” which dealt with a massive war between the Kree and Shi’ar empires.

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Unlike the MCU version, Carol Danvers was never a member of Starforce in the comics. By the time that debuted, Carol was already a long-standing member of the Avengers. However, Doctor Minerva was shown wearing a version of the Ms. Marvel costume while serving on Starforce.

It should also be noted that the MCU doesn’t currently have access to the Shi’ar (at least until their purchase of 21st Century Fox is finalized). Instead, the movie will revolve around the age-old feud between the Kree and Skrulls.

Captain Marvel’s Starforce (image via EW)

We know that at least some members of the comic book team will make the jump to the MCU. One EW photo shows Carol approaching Ronan (Lee Pace) and Jude Law’s character while flanked by Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) — the aforementioned Doctor Minerva in the comics — and Korath (Djimon Hounsou). Marvel has yet to confirm the identities of the other two members of Carol’s team. More than likely, these other two characters are also traditional Starforce members like Captain Atlas/Att-Lass or Shatterax.

Minn-Erva is likely to be the most significant member of the Starforce team. She’s a Kree geneticist obsessed with finding ways of ending her race’s genetic stagnation and increasing the strength of her empire. She’ll no doubt have a particular interest in Carol, the only non-Kree member of Starforce, and may well turn out to be a major antagonist in the film.

The Jude Law Dilemma

Interestingly, the EW reveal introduced new uncertainty regarding one of the major characters in the film. It’s been widely assumed that Jude Law is playing Mar-Vell. In the comics, Mar-Vell is the original hero to carry the Captain Marvel mantle, as well as Carol Danvers’ mentor and the source of her powers.

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However, the EW story only referred to Law’s character as “the commander of Starforce.” It’s still possible that Law is playing Mar-Vell and Marvel Studios is keeping his identity under wraps for some reason. However, there are other Marvel characters who could fit the bill. One possibility is Yon-Rogg, a Kree villain many assumed would be played by Ben Mendelsohn before Mendelsohn was instead revealed to be playing Skrull villain Talos. The movie could be taking a page from Doctor Strange and positioning Yon-Rogg as an ally to Carol before the two have a major falling-out.

Another possibility is that Law is playing Rick Jones. This Earthling had a habit of playing sidekick to many Marvel heroes in the ’60s, but he has especially deep ties to Mar-Vell, and even went through a phase where the two of them shared the powerful Nega-Bands. We’re not sure how an ordinary human would land himself a high-ranking spot in the Kree military, but Marvel Studios could be taking a loose approach to the character here.

Could Law be playing Yon-Rogg instead of Mar-Vell?

Could Law be playing Yon-Rogg instead of Mar-Vell?

Whomever Law’s character may be, it’s also worth considering the possibility that he may not be what he seems. Given the Skrulls’ penchant for shape-shifting and infiltrating the ranks of their enemies, it’s highly possible that Law is actually playing a disguised Skrull. That could fuel a major twist in the film’s climax, as Carol is betrayed by the man she trusted most.

Starforce’s Fate

The fact that Captain Marvel is a basically a flashback movie (taking place during the 1990s) may be very significant in terms of the ultimate fate of Starforce. This team is conspicuously absent during the present-day MCU timeline. If they didn’t even show up to help during the events of Avengers: Infinity War, it stands to reason that some dark fate befell the team between then and now.

At the very least, thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, we know that both Ronan and Korath will eventually defect from the Kree Empire and become free agents working alongside Thanos.

The comics offer some clues as to what might become of this team. “Operation: Galactic Storm” culminated with the Shi’ar detonating a Nega-Bomb on the Kree homeworld. This powerful weapon decimated the empire and brought a swift end to the war. However, it was revealed that the Kree Supreme Intelligence orchestrated the entire war, hoping that the Nega-Bomb would spark a new wave of genetic mutations among the surviving Kree and finally end the genetic stagnation of the Kree people.

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This could wind up being a major plot point in the Captain Marvel movie as well. Perhaps Carol learns of a similar plan and rallies her team to save the Kree Empire. Given his portrayal as a fanatical Kree fundamentalist in Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan may turn out to be the architect of a doomsday plot against his own people. Whatever the case, we’re expecting the movie to offer plenty of insight into why Ronan and Korath act as they do in Guardians of the Galaxy and why Carol has been MIA for so long.

We’ll find out what’s going on for sure when Captain Marvel hits in March, 2019!

Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.

SOURCE: IGN.com

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