New trailer showcases the power of Captain Marvel

Hold on to your hats, true believers.

Marvel Studios released the second trailer for Captain Marvel Monday night, and not only does it give us a few clues as to her backstory, it also backs up Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige's assertion that she's "as powerful a character" as the MCU has yet seen. The new spot, premiering at halftime of the Monday Night Football contest between Washington and Philadelphia, appeared immediately thereafter on Marvel Entertainment's YouTube channel.

It opens by confirming what most fans had already guessed — that the sweet little old lady who catches a beatdown from Captain Marvel, AKA Carol Danvers (Bree Larson), aboard a packed train is indeed a member of the shape-shifting, invading alien race known as the Skrulls. We then see a bit of a conversation between Danvers and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). "And you're a Kree," Fury asks, "a race of noble warriors?" To which Danvers offers a gentle correction: "Heroes," she says, "noble warrior heroes."

From there, the trailer jumps into a bit of exposition. In a voiceover, one of these noble warrior heroes (Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening, in an as-yet unnamed role) explains to Danvers, "Your life began the day it nearly ended. We found you, with no memory… we made you one of us. So you could live longer, stronger… superior." We briefly see Danvers appearing to be infused with a blue liquid which is almost certainly Kree blood (shades of the technique that saved the life of Phil Coulson in season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), followed by a nice clear shot of Danvers in her iconic helmet.

All of this, of course, suggests that Danvers was involved in some kind of near-fatal accident during her days as an Air Force pilot, and was rescued from the brink of death by the Kree. This is alluded to further as she's seen explaining to Fury, "I keep having these memories… something in my past is the key to all of this." Apparently, some of these memories will come in handy, as she's then seen effortlessly piloting some kind of experimental aircraft.

Then, an intriguing sequence: an unidentified character asks in voiceover, "Would you like to know what you really are?" Danvers is then heard asking, "What aren't you telling me?" over a shot of Jude Law's charcter, who doesn't seem too helpful. "You've come a long way," he tells Danvers, "but you're not as strong as you think." It's been assumed that Law is portraying Mar-Vell, who in the comics is the original Captain Marvel (the flick's IMDb page even insists that this is his role), but a recently leaked image of the movie's Funko Pop toy line has thrown this into question. It lists the character simply as "Kree military officer Star Commander," and some observers have speculated that Marvel may be pulling a switcheroo on us and that Law is actually playing Yon-Rogg, a frequent Captain Marvel nemesis.

Then, the spot brings out the big guns. A sinister voice (likely that of Ben Mendelsohn's Skrull warrior Talos) intones, "This war is just the beginning," to which Danvers has a succinct reply: "I'm not gonna fight your war. I'm gonna end it." We see Danvers taking out a room full of baddies all at once with an energy attack, and then — in all her blazing glory — streaking through space, indiscriminately laying waste to what appears to be an entire armada of invading Skrull vessels. After giving us a second to catch our breath, the trailer closes on a touch of the trademark Marvel humor with a brief sequence of Danvers attempting to keep an easily distracted Fury on mission.

This film has been a long time coming, and if this spot is any indication, it's going to be well worth the wait. It promises a rich story on an intergalactic scale, with the delicate blend of intrigue, well-drawn character moments, and jaw-dropping action characteristic of the best MCU entries — plus, a heaping helping of a younger, wisecracking Nick Fury, which could never be a bad thing. Larson looks perfect in the title role, and it's becoming more and more apparent why Fury (spoiler) put in a distress call to the good Captain seconds before crumbling to dust at the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War.

It also sheds some light on Larson's description of her character, who appears at turns to be both vulnerable and incredibly badass. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in December, she said, "You have this Kree part of her that's unemotional, that is an amazing fighter and competitive. Then there's this human part of her that is flawed but is also the thing that she ends up leading by. It's the thing that gets her in trouble, but it's also the thing that makes her great. And those two sides warring against each other is what makes her her."

All told, the MCU's first female-led solo film is shaping up to be a doozy. History suggests that we'll get a third and final trailer before the film's release, but as far as we're concerned, Marvel can just take our money right now.

Captain Marvel hits the big screen on March 8, 2019.