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Why 'The Marvels' Is Actually One Of The Most Important Films Of Phase 5

More vital than you think!

By Kristy AndersonPublished 3 months ago 7 min read
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Iman Vellani, Brie Larson, and Teyonah Parris in 'The Marvels'.

Things aren't looking good for The Marvels. Following a lower than expected opening weekend, it has continued to struggle at the box office, and seems to be well on the way to becoming the MCU's first flop. There are a few reasons why this may have occurred. For one thing, the film's promotion took a hit due to the SAG strike, which left cast members unable to hit the Talk Show circuit or do any other promotional appearances until after the film was already in theatres.

Another issue is some fans choosing to turn their noses up at the film, seeing the diverse, primarily female cast as Marvel going 'too woke'. Others have expressed a lack of desire to see The Marvels on the assumption that it would be a relatively unimportant entry in the ever-growing world of the MCU. On the latter point, they are very much wrong.

Here's just a few reasons why The Marvels is actually one of the most important films of MCU Phase 5.

And WARNING, the rest of this article will, of course, contain SPOILERS for The Marvels.

Captain Marvel learns to enjoy being part of a team

In her previous MCU appearances, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has shown a preference for working alone. For example, in the opening scenes of Avengers: Endgame, Carol is perfectly happy to track down Thanos on her own, before the surviving Avengers insist on tagging along. Also, both Endgame and The Marvels suggest that Carol rarely returns to Earth, instead spending most of her time alone in space with only Goose the Flerken for company.

When Carol's light-based powers become entangled with those of Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, causing them to switch places when their powers are used, she invites them aboard her ship, acknowledging, reluctantly at first, that they will have to work together to learn to control the switching and defeat Dar-Benn. However, when the power entanglement ends late in the film's final act, Carol seems almost disappointed.

In the end, Carol liked being a part of a team. Her experiences in The Marvels will hopefully result in her being more open to working with others in future Avengers films.

'The Marvels' humanises Carol Danvers

Credit: Disney.

There is no arguing with the fact that Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful characters in the MCU. However, with powerful heroes, writers must often walk a fine line between recognising the advantages of the characters enhanced powers, but not making them too powerful or perfect, and thus potentially boring.

A common criticism levelled at the first Captain Marvel films is that Carol is relatively flat and emotionless as a character. Of course, this can be mostly explained away by the fact that Carol is amnesiac and not actually herself for the vast majority of the movie.

Meanwhile, despite having a few iconic scenes in Endgame, Carol's relatively short screentime compared to the rest of the film's large cast, some fans believe Captain Marvel is used as a plot device rather than a fully fleshed out character.

With that in mind, The Marvels is probably the first time audiences truly get to know Carol Danvers.. and the Carol they get to know is far from perfect. She makes mistakes, and often avoids tough conversations. She is, at times, more vulnerable than the Captain Marvel of previous films. But she is also still someone who will fight fiercely to protect the people and places she loves most. In The Marvels, Carol Danvers feels more like a real person, and she is a better character for it.

The source of Ms. Marvel's powers is confirmed

When it aired in 2022, Ms. Marvel faced a similar problem to the one that The Marvels is now experiencing: some fans choosing to place it lower on their watchlists due to a perceived lack of importance. It may have come as a surprise to those fans to learn that Ms. Marvel's finale includes an important scene featuring the first confirmation of natural-born mutants in the MCU.

While Kamala Khan initially believes her bangle is the source of her powers, her friend Bruno's research reveals that the bangle actually activated an already existing mutation in her DNA, with that mutation being the true source of her power. The scene is accompanied by a few bars of the X Men: The Animated Series theme, confirming Kamala as the MCU's first mutant.

The Marvels builds upon this scene. While Kamala briefly loses her bangle/quantum band to Dar-Benn in the film's climactic battle, she is seen continuing to use her hard-light powers without it, confirming that while the band activated and helps channel and perhaps enhance her powers, it is not the source of them. The powers are part of her now.

We now have a character who can repair tears in the universe

Credit: Disney

At the beginning of The Marvels, Monica Rambeau is still in the process of mastering the full range of the powers she gained in WandaVision, which allow her both to see and manipulate the wavelengths of the full electromagnetic spectrum. However, she grows increasingly proficient in their use over the course over the course of the film.

After defeating Dar-Benn, The Marvels realize that the villain's actions have caused a tear in the wall between their universe and another. Thankfully, with an energy boost from Carol and Kamala, Monica is able to mend the tear before any permanent damage can be done. This makes Monica Rambeau a vital figure in the Multiverse Saga, as someone potentially able to mend damage to the barriers between universes before a full multiversal incursion can occur.

The fact that Monica could only mend the tear from the wrong side is unfortunate, but this drawback could be easily remedied in the future via a character such as America Chavez, who could travel between universes to retrieve Monica relatively easily.

It sows the seeds for the MCU's Young Avengers

Credit: Disney.

While it may not have been as perfect as it was in her imagination, Kamala enjoyed being on a team with Carol and Monica. So, with Captain Marvel's implied blessing, Ms. Marvel sets out to build a team of her own. In the closing moments of The Marvels, in a scene mirroring Nick Fury's very first meeting with Tony Stark in the post-credits sequence of Iron Man, Kamala Khan approaches Kate Bishop, last seen in the Hawkeye series, about the possibility of joining the team she is putting together. Cassie Lang, the daughter of Ant-Man Scott Lang, is floated as another possible recruit.

The clear comparison between this scene and Iron Man's post-credits sends an obvious message: These characters are a big part of the MCU's future. The Young Avengers are coming. Of course, given the roster of potential members currently available, the eventual team is actually more likely to be a composite of the Young Avengers and the Champions, a similar team led by Ms. Marvel in the comics.

An X-traordinary post-credits sequence

In the memorable post-credits scene for The Marvels, we learn where Monica ended up. She wakes in a hospital bed, where she meets another variant of her Mother, Maria, known in this universe as Binary, and a mutant, Dr. Hank McCoy, aka the Beast. Binary has no idea of who Monica is, suggesting that in this universe, she is not her Mother, and Monica herself doesn't exist, exists elsewhere, or is yet to be born.

The Beast is voiced in the sequence by Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, who played the character in the 20th Century Fox films X-Men: The Last Stand, and a brief, uncredited cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past. This, coupled with the fact that an extract of Days of Future Past's score plays over the scene, suggests that Monica has travelled to the world of the Fox-Verse X-Men films, specifically the time between Days of Future Past's altered timeline and Logan. This officially brings the Fox-verse characters into the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, supporting recent rumours that Avengers: Secret Wars may be used to wrap up unresolved storylines from the Fox-verse.

If you haven't yet seen The Marvels, you're missing out on some of the biggest building blocks towards the MCU's future.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

Passionate About all things Entertainment!

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