It’s been two months since “Captain Marvel” was released to theaters, and I still haven’t gotten around to seeing the film. After watching “Avengers: Endgame,” I’m kinda glad I didn’t go out of my way to watch her half baked introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I know that statement is a pretty bold assertion given that I haven’t seen the film, but Brie Larson’s performance in “Endgame” alone was enough for me to cringe with disappointment. I have been a fan of Carol Danvers since she adopted the Captain Marvel title in 2012. I cherished those comics, and the production team behind them; they kept my nerdy seventh grade self inspired to pursue creative endeavors.
Danvers was a pilot, a writer and a warrior capable of transcending the role of love interest to take on the mantle that once belonged to her male Kree counterpart, Captain Mar-vell. If anyone deserves an epic origin film, it would be her.
That seventh grader would have been thrilled to see Danvers kicking butt on the silver screen, but I’m afraid Marvel fell terribly short. I can confidently say that Captain Marvel was my least favorite part of “Avengers: Endgame.” I’ll even go as far as to say that she shouldn’t have been in the movie, period.
Why, do you ask? Insufficient plot development and characterization. Introducing Danvers into the MCU this late in the game was a huge pitfall.
Although her character is fiercely independent, she needed more time in the timeline to develop relationships and chemistry with the other Avengers. Without time to develop her connections to the others, there is nothing at stake for her in Endgame.
As a result, Larson gave a flat, uninteresting interpretation of a “strong heroine” archetype. She was arrogant, snarky and had absolutely no character arc. She might as well have been a machine. The only contributions she made were in battle, after all. Otherwise, she was annoying and forgettable.
This is disconcerting, given the rich archive of characterization available in comic format. Danvers’ relationships with the former Captain Mar-vell and pilot mentor Helen Cobb were the key to unlocking her humanity as well as her power. However, I have a feeling these were likely left out of her origin story.
Marvel set out to appeal to female fans, but failed to deliver a satisfying, well-rounded character. All they needed to do was look to characters like Nebula, or Black Widow. Both of them are powerful and discerning, but they are also flawed. Their bada** qualities come from how they develop beyond their flaws, their motivation comes from caring about their relationships with others.
It’s disappointing that Marvel rushed to throw in Carol Danvers, when they easily could have developed one of the many other incredible female characters at their disposal.
In the end, it was a disservice to Captain Marvel’s character in the comics.