The Marvels marks the birth of a new superhero team within the MCU, the eponymous trio of cosmic heroines that comprises Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris’ Photon, and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel. This might be the first time these three have teamed up, though, but it’s not the first time two of them have met before, as Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau go way, way back. Which is why the latest comments from director Nia DaCosta leave us a little confused.
Speaking to Empire, the filmmaker stressed that she wanted the sisterly bond between the three central characters to be the emotional throughline of the movie. As DaCosta explained:
“I thought it would be cool to map an estranged family history and sister story onto them. Carol’s the oldest, the prodigal, then there’s the middle sister Monica, who Carol knew as a kid and promised she’d come back [to] but then never did. All the switching stuff is great,” says DaCosta of the pair’s ability to swap powers. “But the thing I actually care about is how these two reconcile.”
In many ways, this is encouraging to hear, as DaCosta clearly wanted to honor 2019’s Captain Marvel by digging into the hurt that Monica must’ve felt when Carol disappeared off-world for decades. Likewise, the fact that the characters’ interactions will be so intrinsic to the film gives us hope that the rumored 98 minute runtime could still deliver an experience with some satisfying character development. And yet DaCosta’s take on Carol and Monica’s dynamic flies in the face of what we saw in CM and also how Carol and Monica’s mother Maria’s relationship has evolved in the eyes of fans.
Following the release of Captain Marvel, Marvel lovers in the LGBTQ+ community began claiming Carol Danvers as one of their own, feeling that the close friendship between Carol and Maria was maybe something more. Arguably, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness only compounded this reading, by casting Maria as Earth-838’s Captain Marvel (just like Steve Rogers’ great love, Peggy Carter, was Captain America in this reality).
Even if you don’t read their relationship this way, however, Carol was canonically depicted as an aunt-like or even second motherly figure to young Monica in Captain Marvel. Sure, they are visually around the same age as of The Marvels (thanks to Carol’s nebulous agelessness), but retconning their relationship as that of sisters doesn’t quite sit right with MCU fact or the fandom’s feelings.
The Marvels is scheduled to blast into theaters on Nov. 10.