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The Marvels Trailer: Breakdown, Small Details, And Big Reveals

Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't been met with widespread critical acclaim thus far. Its first entry, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania," received middling reviews, with many critics noting that the movie is too focused on the future of the overarching franchise as opposed to being a cohesive flick of its own. So Marvel Studios will be hoping to change that perception with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and "The Marvels."

The good news is that the future is bright. The first "Marvels" trailer is a fun-filled adventure that brings together Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) for an "Avengers"-style team-up yarn — and it looks like a blast. Of course, at some point, these heroes will have to use their powers to save the universe from the dastardly villains who want to destroy it. Before they can do that, though, they'll have to figure out how to regain ownership of their own superpowers.

While the trailer doesn't give away too many spoilers, it does drop some interesting Easter eggs and tidbits that raise interesting questions all the same. For example, is Nick Fury really Nick Fury, or is he some imposter pretending to be everyone's favorite eyepatch-sporting hero? And what's the deal with that rod Captain Marvel is carrying? With that in mind, let's dig into the trailer and try to figure out what's going on.

The Flerken is back

If the Internet is indicative of anything, it's that there are many people out there who enjoy a good feline. Toss some eldritch tentacle abomination into the kitty mix, and suddenly, one has the fearsome creature known as a Flerken. Though appearing to be simple house cats, Flerkens are actually incredibly intelligent and contain pocket dimensions that allow them to hide their deadly tentacles. The species is originally introduced in "Captain Marvel" by way of Goose, whom nobody initially realizes is actually an alien. However, it soon becomes apparent how dangerous these creatures are.

In the trailer for "The Marvels," Kamala is quickly introduced to Goose's true nature, much to her horror. For fans of "Captain Marvel," it's great to see Goose back in action, but it also appears that there might be an entire clowder of Flerken kittens running about, which is truly an adorable yet terrifying prospect for any foes. Still, it will be fascinating how these deceptive and cunning creatures fit into the movie's greater plot.

Intergalactic by Beastie Boys sets the tone

"Intergalactic" by Beastie Boys is the perfect musical accompaniment to a trailer that features both outer space and New York City. Released in 1998, the track has become the definitive hip-hop song about exploring the galaxy despite the music video primarily centering around a kaiju vs. mecha battle in the vein of "Pacific Rim." More than anything, "Intergalactic" absolutely slaps, so it's the perfect musical choice to get people hyped for a highly anticipated sci-fi action blockbuster. It's a quirky track with a groovy beat, and it complements the trailer's quirky sense of humor and action-packed sequences wonderfully.

The use of "Intergalactic" also continues Marvel's fascination with Beastie Boys — this isn't the first song by the group to be used in the MCU, and it probably won't be the last. "Groove Holmes" is used in "Iron Man 2" and the "What If...?" episode "What If... The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?"  while elsewhere, "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn" pops up in both "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

First live-action appearance of the SABER Space Station

From Mar-Vell's (Annette Bening) laboratory to the Kyln, the MCU loves to visit space-based facilities whenever the opportunity presents itself. And with "The Marvels" set to explore the cosmos, the franchise is adding a space station to the mix.

The opening moments of the "Marvels" trailer take place on the SABER Space Station, which appears to be a riff on the SWORD Space Station in the comics, which is used to launch a shuttle that takes the Avengers to the Skrulls' home planet in the Andromeda Galaxy, though it has a variety of other purposes as well.

With the Skrulls set to play a major role in the future of the MCU, it's entirely possible that the SABER Space Station will be used to explore their corner of the galaxy. For now, the station's purpose is unknown, although Kamala does posit the theory that it might be being used to carry out what she calls "an Avengers test."

Monica can manipulate light energy

One of the most interesting things about superhero team-ups is the way each individual's powers and abilities interact and complement each other. Although one might assume that "The Marvels" will showcase three different variations of the same powers, each character has a unique set of skills that are born from previous events. Carol gains hers from exposure to an experimental energy source, Kamala gains hers from a bangle in combination with her alien heritage, and Monica gains hers from repeated forays across Wanda Maximoff's (Elizabeth Olsen) energy barrier around Westview in "WandaVision."

Whereas Kamala can create hard light constructs and Carol can harness a powerful galactic power source, Monica explains that she can manipulate light energy, which allows her to project energy blasts as well as become intangible. Considering her comic book counterpart is able to control energy on the entire electromagnetic spectrum, Monica stands to develop even more powers over the course of "The Marvels." Either way, she's sure to be a powerful hero.

Humans are experimenting with Jump Points

Making use of alien technology is a recurring trend for SHIELD. From the very first "Avengers" movie, it becomes apparent that Earth is hopelessly outgunned and outmatched on an intergalactic scale, which is why Fury has no qualms with scavenging weapons research from HYDRA or experimenting on the Tesseract in order to develop a powerful new energy source that would be better able to defend Earth from alien invasions and interdimensional warlords.

At the beginning of the trailer for "The Marvels," Monica reports on her proximity to the perimeter of a Jump Point, which shows that Earth is experimenting with jump technology. This type of technology is featured predominantly in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise, and it is the means by which space-faring people travel quickly across the universe.

Although the Jump Point shown in the trailer doesn't seem to be nearly as refined or advanced as the Universal Neural Teleportation Network depicted in "Guardians," its mere appearance implies that Earth is quickly catching up to the rest of the universe. Considering the sheer number of aliens who have interacted with Earth over the past decade or so, it makes perfect sense as to why SHIELD and Fury would want to learn as much as they can and as quickly as they can. Whether or not Earth develops this technology independent of outside influence is anybody's guess, but it is reassuring that humanity is rapidly advancing.

Fury's eye patch hints at where The Marvel is on the MCU timeline

2023 is looking to be a big year for Nick Fury. The superspy and former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be getting cozy up in space, but his eye patch may signal where "The Marvels" takes place in the MCU timeline.

Late last month, Vanity Fair dropped a piece on "Secret Invasion" in which Jackson said his character sheds the iconic eye patch as part of the character development in the Disney+ series, making it seem like the accessory is a relic of the past. However, in "The Marvels" trailer, Fury is back to his eye-patch-wearing ways, meaning that, chances are, the sequel takes place before the events of "Secret Invasion" in the MCU timeline.

Marvel Studios' most recent release, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," is the latest event in the MCU timeline, with "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" behind it and "Thor: Love and Thunder" trailing that. Presumably, "The Marvels" will take Ant-Man's place as the most recent MCU event, as the studio tends to release its projects in chronological order these days. While it definitely seems like Marvel planned for "The Marvels" to come out before "Secret Invasion," neither story is likely to suffer because of the shakeup in the release schedule. However, it will be interesting to see a grizzled Nick Fury taking on the Skrulls this summer on Disney+ before teaming up with the light-hearted Kamala Khan in "The Marvels."

That's assuming Nick Fury in the trailer actually is the real Nick Fury, and not a Skrull, like in "Spider-Man: Far From Home." When it comes to Fury, all bets are off.

Ms. Marvel's post-credit scene is part of The Marvels - but there's more to it

One of the mechanisms in which the heroes come together in "The Marvels" is by a currently unknown process that causes Ms. Marvel, Monica, and Captain Marvel to switch places whenever one of them powers up. This is explained by Monica, who says that their powers are somehow intrinsically connected, which will be of great interest to longtime fans of the MCU — because all of the Marvels have gained their skills from different events. 

However, this place-swapping team-up was teased long ago at the very end of Disney's "Ms. Marvel" television series, which features an incredibly confused Carol Danvers manifesting in the Khan household, being launched into Kamala's closet and then surrounded by Captain Marvel paraphernalia. Now, it's clear that the scene was in fact a direct lift from "The Marvels," and it's expanded upon here, as the experienced hero tries to take in the fact that she's gone from battling alien forces to standing in a nerdy teenager's room. 

With that in mind, it looks like "Ms. Marvel" is going to be necessary viewing, if there's anyone left who hasn't seen it yet.

The Marvels keeps an emphasis on Kamala's cultural background

Kamala Khan changed the game when she was first introduced to the Marvel Universe in 2013. She's the first Muslim superhero to ever headline her own comic book series, as well as the first Muslim character to spearhead a live-action Marvel property. She's been a fresh addition to the MCU, especially in regard to diversifying its roster of superheroes.

The Disney+ series "Ms. Marvel" received heaps of praise for these elements, and it seems that "The Marvels" will continue to honor the character's cultural heritage. The trailer for the upcoming blockbuster includes some scenes in which Nick Fury and Monica Rambeau visit Kamala's family and explain how their powers are entangled with those of their daughter. The footage makes it clear that the Khan family will have a part to play in the movie, suggesting that the franchise will continue to illustrate the importance of her cultural background and how it influences her as a superhero, moving forward. Other scenes display this through subtle, but important, visual cues. 

Zawe Ashton is playing Dar-Benn, the main villain

Ever since news broke of Zawe Ashton joining "The Marvels," Marvel Studios has shrouded her role in their typical secrecy, only revealing that she's playing the movie's villain. Rumors swirled online regarding who she could bring to the MCU, with the most prominent possibilities being Rogue (never seemed likely), Moonstone (a major Carol Danvers villain in the comics), or perhaps the Kree General Ael-Dan.

It turns out none of these guesses were true. As revealed by Marvel's press kit, Ashton is actually playing a different Kree general, Dar-Benn. 

Fans get their first look at Ashton's villain around the 1:39 mark of the "The Marvels" trailer, confirming her character's ties to the Kree. We see her surrounded by an army of Kree soldiers, carrying a staff oddly reminiscent of Ronan the Accuser's weapon in "Guardians of the Galaxy" — more on that in a bit! — and a female Accuser trailing her. If Dar-Benn's name doesn't immediately ring a bell, even for comics fans, don't worry — the general is a relatively obscure character from Marvel Comics. There's not much to know about Dar-Benn other than being a general who became an emperor for the Kree Empire. The villain seems like the perfect sort of obscure character for the studio to bring into the MCU, since there's lots of room for reimagining Dar-Benn to suit the needs of the story.

Is Carol carrying her own Cosmi-rod?

Speaking of characters carrying interesting staffs, the trailer for "The Marvels" shows our very own Carol Danvers getting a weapon of her own. Around 1:40, we see our titular superhero group assemble, seemingly fighting against Zawe Ashton's villain. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Spectrum (Teyonah Parris), and Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) all sport brand-new incredible costumes, but we can't help but notice that Carol's holding a staff behind her back. Pair that with the shot of her swinging at the villain with a hammer-like staff a few seconds later, and it all but confirms Captain Marvel will wield a weapon in the movie's climactic fight.

This weapon looks a lot like a Kree Cosmi-Rod, the weapon of choice for the Accusers. MCU fans saw Ronan wield one in "Guardians of the Galaxy," and the trailer also shows Ashton's villain carrying her own Cosmi-Rod, if it isn't the same one. While Captain Marvel is generally known more for energy blasts than melee attacks, we can't wait to see what one of the MCU's strongest heroes is capable of with such a powerful weapon in hand.