Marvel Already Did Captain Marvel's Story (But Better) on Agents of SHIELD

Marvel Already Did Captain Marvel's Story (But Better) on Agents of SHIELD

Category : SR Originals

Diehard MCU fans may find the plot of Captain Marvel to be rather familiar, as it’s extremely reminiscent of Quake’s story in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Set in 1995, Captain Marvel is an origin story that attempts to break with the traditional Marvel formula. It kicks off with the superhero already serving as a member of the Kree Starforce, and it’s only when she comes crashing down to Earth that she begins to learn the truth of her own identity and the secret of her powers.Marvel wanted to take a different approach to the superhero’s origin. As co-writer Nicole Perlman explained, Marvel was concerned about making her story too similar to Green Lantern’s. It’s easy to understand why they were worried; the broad strokes of the plot are very similar. Carol Danvers is an Air Force pilot who gains tremendous powers after an alien spaceship crashes, and she then goes on to join a group of cosmic peacekeepers.Related: Every MCU Connection In Captain MarvelOddly enough, though, by changing the narrative Marvel Studios unwittingly made Captain Marvel very similar to another Marvel superhero – Chloe Bennet’s Quake, one of the main characters of Marvel Television’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But which one told the story better: the MCU blockbuster, or the popular Marvel TV series?This Page: The Similarities Between Quake and Captain MarvelPage 2: Was Quake or Captain Marvel’s Story Better?Quake and Captain Marvel Are Half-Kree Superheroes With Similar Mysterious BackstoriesThere are obvious similarities between Quake and Captain Marvel. They’re both important female superheroes: Captain Marvel is the first female character to headline her own MCU movie, while Quake is the star of Marvel’s flagship TV series. Both are tied to the alien race known as the Kree: Quake is an Inhuman, an evolutionary offshoot of humanity created millennia ago by the Kree; Carol Danvers unknowingly worked with the rogue Kree agent Mar-Vell and was exposed to Tesseract energy. Both women were also infused with Kree blood in order to save their lives: Quake when she was shot in the gut by a Hydra agent, and Captain Marvel when she was exposed to Space Stone energy.The surface-level similarities aren’t the end of it, however. Quake and Captain Marvel both wound up working with S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to discover their true history. Quake had been dumped at an orphanage by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and it took her two seasons to unravel the mystery of her origins, learning that she’s the daughter of Mr. Hyde and the Inhuman Jiaying. Captain Marvel, by contrast, arrived on Earth to discover she’d been lied to, and wasn’t really a Kree warrior at all. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, she learned that she was a human test pilot who’d been transformed after a Tesseract engine exploded.Both superheroes have been manipulated by the Kree. In the case of Captain Marvel, the Kree either caused her amnesia or took advantage of it, persuading her that she was one of them and using her as a weapon. They installed a device on her neck to inhibit her powers to ensure they could control her. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 the Kree attempted to use Daisy as a weapon as well, implanting a device that allowed them to control – and, when necessary, inhibit – her powers. In each case, the Kree ultimately trapped the women in a virtual reality environment called the Astralscape. The attempts failed, with both breaking free by sheer force of will.Page 2: Was Quake or Captain Marvel’s Story Better?While there are striking similarities between Captain Marvel and Quake, on closer examination Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has told a better story. In large part this is because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. successfully pitched Quake’s backstory as a mystery. When she was introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, Quake didn’t even know her real name; she’d grown up at an orphanage with the name “Skye.” As a result, viewers had absolutely no idea who she really was, no matter how familiar they were with the comics. The first clues turned out to be dead ends, and it was only when Quake was saved from death by Kree blood – without any side-effects – that some comic book readers began to guess she might be an Inhuman. The truth was gradually revealed in season 2, although even then it confused fans for a while; in the comics, Quake had traditionally been viewed as a mutant, not as an Inhuman.Contrast this with Captain Marvel, where the mystery of Carol Danvers really isn’t too difficult to piece together. Marvel did their best to retain some sense of intrigue by avoiding revealing the identity of Jude Law’s character in the marketing, but as soon as fans began to suspect he might be Yon-Rogg, the pieces fell into place. It was an open secret that Carol Danvers had been a United States pilot who got caught up in some sort of alien crash-landing, and that the Starforce weren’t going to be the “noble warrior heroes” Carol believed them to be.Related: What To Expect From Agents Of SHIELD Season 6Tying in to this, while there are similarities between the two women, there’s one notable difference between the plot of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that of Captain Marvel. In the case of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Quake was introduced as a part of a world viewers already knew – the world of Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, and S.H.I.E.L.D. – and was used to explore a world they did not. Quake learned who she was by diving into a brand new corner of the MCU, finding her place in Jiaying’s Inhuman Sanctuary in season 2 and only learning her own significance to the Kree by season 5. Every season added new layers to the show’s mythology, which by this time has become pretty sophisticated.This is a perfect inversion of the approach taken by Captain Marvel. While the film does add new elements to the MCU, all of those are introduced at the beginning of the film not at the end. Captain Marvel is introduced as a part of something viewers had never seen before in the MCU: a member of the elite Kree Starforce, based on Hala, receiving advice from the Supreme Intelligence. As Captain Marvel investigates her own history, she finds herself diving into parts of the MCU that we already know; she meets Nick Fury, she allies with S.H.I.E.L.D., she infiltrates Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and steals a Quadjet, and she ultimately stumbles upon the Tesseract, Marvel’s favorite MacGuffin. By the end of the film, Carol Danvers is woven into the familiar tapestry of the MCU. It’s easy to understand why Marvel took this approach, but in dramatic terms Quake was handled better.In truth, it was probably always going to be the case that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. told this story in a better way than Captain Marvel. Although blockbuster movies have bigger budgets, the reality is that TV shows have a major advantage when it comes to adapting comic books, because both comics and TV shows follow an episodic format. That same format is ideally suited to drawing out complex mysteries, to spending time with characters in order to ensure they grow and develop, and to building complex mythologies over time. All these advantages work in Quake’s favor, making her story far more effective and immersive.More: Captain Marvel Points Out The MCU’s Biggest Problem (But Can’t Quite Fix It)