Why the Avengers have no idea Captain Marvel will be a game-changer in the fight against Thanos

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, was born on Earth — but she's been through a lot since then.

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Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, was born on Earth — but she’s been through a lot since then.
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Marvel

  • WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”
  • Marvel just released a new clip for “Avengers: Endgame” and it looks like Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is confident that she can help the gang defeat Thanos.
  • In the scene, War Machine gets defensive and demands to know where Captain Marvel has been all this time, instead of helping to defend Earth.
  • It looks like the Avengers haven’t seen Captain Marvel in action yet, and they’re underestimating her abilities.
  • Here’s why she’s been gone, plus everything you need to know about her powers.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

In the newest sneak peak of “Avengers: Endgame,” which will hit theaters April 26, we see Earth’s mightiest heroes strategizing after the events of “Infinity War” and the infamous “Snappening.”

There’s one new face in the mix, however: Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who hasn’t appeared in any previous “Avengers” films. And after Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) realizes that Thanos has used the Infinity Stones once again, Captain Marvel insists they go “get him” so they can “bring everyone back.”

“We’d be going in short-handed, you know?” Bruce Banner, aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), says to the group. “If we do this, how do we know it’s gonna end any differently than it did before?”

“Because before, you didn’t have me,” Captain Marvel replies.

But War Machine (Don Cheadle) quickly gets defensive, which illustrates how the Avengers seem to be underestimating Captain Marvel’s abilities. At this point, they probably haven’t seen her in action yet, so they don’t know why she’s so confident that she can help defeat Thanos.

Here’s why Captain Marvel hasn’t joined the team until now, plus everything you need to know about her powers.

Captain Marvel hasn’t been seen on Earth since 1995

“Captain Marvel,” which essentially follows the superhero’s origin story, tells us that Carol Danvers returns to Earth in 1995. At that time, she was operating under the identity of Vers, a member of the Kree Starforce.

After flying into space and single-handedly protecting Earth from a dangerous invasion, Carol left the planet, intending to put an end to the Kree-Skull War. With that altruistic goal, it feels safe to assume that she has been using her abilities to help other planets and species ever since.

She did, however, give her friend Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) a way to contact her in case of an emergency on Earth.

Captain Marvel crash landed into Los Angeles after escaping from an alien space ship.

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Captain Marvel crash landed into Los Angeles after escaping from an alien space ship.
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Walt Disney Studios

Just before falling victim to Thanos’ snap, Fury contacted her. And so, in the “Captain Marvel’s” end-credits scene, we see her reappear on Earth to confront the Avengers about his disappearance.

Read more: ‘Captain Marvel’ has 2 end-credits scenes – here’s what they mean for ‘Avengers: Endgame’

We’re not quite sure how many years had passed between her visits to Earth. We know that “Infinity War” takes place in 2018, but there could be a big time jump between that movie and “End Game.”

Essentially, it’s been at least 23 years since Captain Marvel has been seen on Earth – and the Avengers only began to assemble when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) announced himself as Iron Man in 2008. None of them know who she is.

“There are a lot of other planets in the universe,” Carol explains to War Machine in the new clip. “And unfortunately, they didn’t have you guys.”

Captain Marvel got her powers from one of the six Infinity Stones

Captain Marvel realizes the full extent of her powers at the end of the film.

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Captain Marvel realizes the full extent of her powers at the end of the film.
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Marvel

As we see in “Captain Marvel,” Carol was a regular human woman enlisted in the Air Force when she absorbed power from the Tesseract.

The Tesseract is a cosmic cube that housed the Space Stone. It has bounced around the universe throughout its appearances in a number of Marvel movies, including “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Avengers,” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Read more: Everything you need to know about Infinity Stones – the gems at the center of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

After Carol triggered the explosion of a Space Stone-powered machine and somehow survived the blast, she was granted superhuman strength, speed, and flight. She can also emit photon blasters from her fists and absorb energy to project it back at her enemies.

Given that her power is derived directly from an Infinity Stone, Captain Marvel is an extremely formidable force.

Captain Marvel is almost certainly the most powerful superhero in the MCU

Captain Marvel absorbed power from the Space Stone.

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Captain Marvel absorbed power from the Space Stone.
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Marvel

“Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie,” Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told Vulture. “Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”

Of the superheroes who are still around for “Endgame,” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) would come closest to matching her power, since he’s literally the God of Thunder.

Read more: ‘Avengers’ fans are freaking out over Thor’s first impression of Captain Marvel in the new ‘Endgame’ trailer

Because Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), also derived her abilities from an Infinity Stone, she might give Captain Marvel a run for her money if she were still alive.

But Wanda didn’t absorb the Mind Stone’s energy directly; she was the subject of experiments by Hydra, an offshoot of the Nazi army, whose scientists likely had no idea how to truly tap into the Mind Stone’s power.

Wanda was able to destroy the Mind Stone and hold off Thanos simultaneously.

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Wanda was able to destroy the Mind Stone and hold off Thanos simultaneously.
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Walt Disney Studios

It may also be possible that Wanda didn’t absorb any power at all from the Mind Stone. She could simply be a mutant, like the X-Men, or a powerful sorceress, like Doctor Strange, whose potential was unlocked after her exposure to the stone.

Regardless, from what we’ve seen in the films, Scarlet Witch’s powers are raw and chaotic. Though she has grown more powerful over time, she seems less capable of harnessing her abilities than Captain Marvel – who took down an entire Kree fleet single-handedly and punched her way through an entire space ship, mere moments after discovering her true strength.

Read more: How Captain Marvel can be instrumental to beating Thanos in ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Additionally, Danvers was made into a Kree-Human hybrid after the Kree soldier Yon-Rogg witnessed her accident, took her back to his home planet, and gave her blood transfusions. Danvers was given power from the Space Stone, but she likely draws even more strength from the enhanced capabilities of the Kree species.

She has powers, but she's also highly trained in combat, thanks to her time with the Kree Starforce.

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She has powers, but she’s also highly trained in combat, thanks to her time with the Kree Starforce.
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Disney/Marvel

It’s also worth noting that, of the Avengers who survived the Snappening, most are regular humans who don’t technically have powers: Iron Man, Black Widow, War Machine, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Okoye.

Nebula is a skilled and dangerous warrior, but she doesn’t have powers. Captain America has enhanced strength, but he’s hardly an airborne, Tesseract-powered, photon-blasting, Kree-human hybrid. Banner has the Hulk, but maybe not; he’s been having some trouble convincing “the other guy” to fight for him. Rocket is super-smart, but he’s also a raccoon.

In short, the Avengers should probably hold their tongues before doubting Carol. She’s their best hope.