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Captain Marvel: Project Pegasus, Tesseract's timeline and Annette Bening's character, explained



Warning: The following contains spoilers for Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel has introduced a host of new characters that will change the structure of the Marvel film universe. Captain Marvel is herself the last great hope of the Earth against Thanos, and the new film marks the first time that fans see the superhero brandishing photons in action. The Skrulls, with their ability to change shape, could turn established MCU relationships and organizations into pretzels if they wish – the Avengers included. And the Kree aliens, some of whom Captain Marvel revealed to be warmongers and propagandists, seem to be more harmful and threatening than we thought.

But the most intriguing new character is perhaps not the one who can shape the future of the MCU, but the one who has already changed and who has always lived alongside our favorite characters: the scientist Wendy Lawson, aka Kree The scientist Mar-Vell, performed by the inimitable Annette Bening.

Bening technically plays two characters; she is also the avatar of the Kree's highest intelligence, who takes the form of the person you admire most. But it was Mar-Vell who really helped to recover an Infinity stone, inspiring Carol Danvers to become a hero and transforming the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.

Her character also embodies the story of Carol Danvers 'comic strip, a glamorous tribute to the hero of Marvel Comics and a reference for Danvers' journey.

Mar-Vell and the big Pegasus project reveal Captain Marvel, has explained

Wendy Lawson from Bening is only in Captain Marvel for about eight minutes in total. But no other character gets closer to its impact at the minute on the general history of the film.

Captain Marvel presents Lawson during a flashback sequence in which Carol Danvers is captured by Skrull and introduced into their memory scanner. Lawson appears in Danvers' memory and the result, as the Kree tell us, is that the Skrulls believe that Lawson holds the key to technological progress that will help them win the war between the two species.

That makes Lawson a person of interest when Danvers lands on Earth. Finding Lawson is especially important for Danvers, not only to help the Kree win the war, but also to help him learn about his earlier life on Earth (Lawson is also the character Supreme Intelligence takes as a form when it appears to Carol).

When the public and Danvers find out, Lawson is actually part of a joint organization at NASA and the US Air Force called Project Pegasus. Although the scope of Pegasus research and what they do exactly with all their funding and technology is not entirely clear, Captain Marvel shows Lawson and Danvers talking about flying during Danvers' previous life on Earth.

But in a massive revelation, Lawson turns out to be a Kree scientist named Mar-Vell who was actually trying to help the Skrull find a new home. The Skrulls are actually refugees. At the end of the film, it is clear that the Skrulls are not the bad guys and that the Kree are not the "noble warriors" who have been described – the truth was obscured by Kree's propaganda for the war to continue. skulls.

Mar-Vell discovered it and then decided to help the Skrulls. At the Pegasus project, she was trying to find a new home and some of her efforts were based on her use of the power of the Tesseract – the object we know in previous Marvel films proved to be a powerful Infinity Stone.

In Captain MarvelMar-Vell de Bening dies trying to help and protect the Skrulls and his death inspires Danvers at the end of Mar-Vell's mission.

The presence of Mar-Vell and Project Pegasus fills some gaps in the film world Marvel

The interesting thing about Mar-Vell is that the character, with Captain MarvelSetting the 90's (a period we had not seen in the MCU yet) adds a new parenthesis to what we thought we knew about the MCU and the Tesseract, the Space Infinity Stone.

A few things to keep in mind: 1) The MCU timeline does not match the order in which its movies came out, and 2) the first time Tesseract was seen on screen , it was in May 2011, during ThorThe post-credit scene (more on this in a bit).

In the chronology of the MCU, the full story of Tesseract began several decades ago.

The first time we are fully familiar with the Tesseract is in Captain America: the first avenger, released in July 2011. The first avenger takes place in the early 1940s and his plot revolves around the red skull that tracks the Tesseract in Norway (via Norse mythology) and steals it in the hope that he can cultivate and harness his energy to gain the Second World War. Captain America thwarts Red Skull's plan, Red Skull is thrown into a wormhole created by Tesseract, and Captain America and the Tesseract finally plunge into the ocean.

At the end of the First AvengerHoward Stark finds the Tesseract, but does not find Cape:

In the chronology of MCUs, we know that Stark studied Tesseract because of the drawings shown in The Iron Man 2 – which was released in 2010, before Tesseract's first official ThorThe end credits and its detailed history in The first avengerbut takes place about six decades after The first avenger.

Howard Stark's drawings in The Iron Man 2 implies that Tony Stark's arc reactor (and its various permutations) relies on Tesseract technology originally discovered by Howard Stark – but we did not know when The Iron Man 2 went out of. It's not before The first avenger started to reveal the Tesseract story, namely that we started to get a more complete picture.


Notes by Howard Stark and possible drawing of Tesseract in Iron Man 2.

Howard Stark's notes and Tesseract's possible drawing The Iron Man 2.
Marvel Studios

So, according to The first avenger and The Iron Man 2, the Tesseract was discovered by Howard Stark after World War II and studied by Stark for an indefinite period. Nick Fury ends up owning it.

It's here that Captain Marvel begins to fill some of the blanks. In Captain MarveWe learn that the Tesseract had been owned by Mar-Vell in 1989 (and perhaps a few years earlier) – the year of his death and that Carol Danvers had been captured by the Kree Army.

This gives us an idea of ​​what was happening with the Tesseract before we saw Loki stealing it at Fury in 2012 The Avengers (that takes place around 2008 or 2012 in the MCU – Spider-Man: Homecoming tinkered with the timeline, leading to a controversial debate about when The Avengers took place).

And the key to the timeline is the Pegasus project.

In The Iron Man 2It was revealed that Howard Stark was working with Project Pegasus before his death in 1991. Tony Stark opens a box of files with the title "Project Pegasus" in the film, while he tries to create his new element:


Tony Stark makes contact with the Pegasus project.
Marvel Studios

Mar-Vell also worked with Project Pegasus – it was introduced in Captain Marvel as a joint NASA-USAF project that S.H.I.E.L.D. has access to. Although we do not know if Mar-Vell and Howard Stark met before his death in 1989 and 1991 Captain Marvel Specify exactly how long Mar-Vell has been researching the Tesseract or when she brought it to her space lab, some sort of Tesseract transfer takes place at the Pegasus project.

In Captain Marvel, we see Danvers' "cat", Goose, uses his tentacle mouth to keep the Tesseract with him and Nick Fury, and that's only decades later – as seen in one of two scenes from the credits of the film – that Goose spits it Nick Fury's desk, probably given to Fury and SHIELD

The Pegasus project is also linked to Thor the credit scene of 2011 and 2012 The Avengers. in the Thor Fury asks Dr. Selvig – a scientist working with Jane Foster and a witness of the events of Thor – search the Tesseract in a secret underground laboratory. However, unbeknownst to Fury, Loki intrigues in the shadows:

Then in The AvengersBefore everything became a chaos and an intergalactic invasion, it was revealed that the laboratory where Selvig worked is called … Project Pegasus!

In The Avengers, the operation is a joint venture of NASA and S.H.I.E.L.D. – a slight difference from the moment we learn that this is a joint venture between NASA and the US Air Force Captain Marvel.

But his main goal seems to be to study the Tesseract.


Pegasus Project in The Avengers.
Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel reveals that the Tesseract had made a short detour into space-time in the 90s and that the Skrulls and Kree, as well as some cosmic beings like Captain Marvel and the late Mar-Vell, were all aware of its existence.

After that, it resurfaces only in the chronology of the MCU. The Avengers. After the most powerful heroes of the Earth have defended the planet against Loki's invasion of Chitauri, Thor returns the Tesseract (and Loki) to Asgard for safekeeping. Everything is going relatively well until the events of 2017 Thor: Ragnarok, when Asgard is destroyed and Loki registers the Tesseract at the very last moment.

Then in 2018 Avengers: war in the infiniteThanos kills Loki and reveals that the Tesseract is actually a stone of infinity by crushing it in his palm. Thanos finally assembles the complete Infinity Gauntlet, snaps his fingers and disappears. Half of the life of the universe disappears. Expect Carol Danvers to answer all these details – perhaps abbreviated – in April Avengers: End of the game.

The presence of Mar-Vell in Captain Marvel is also a tribute to comics

The possession of Tesseract by Mar-Vell and his involvement in the rest of the MCU are not the only Easter eggs of the character Captain Marvel. In fact, Mar-Vell is an important part of Carol Danvers' original story – with a twist.

When Danvers was introduced for the first time in The superheroes of Marvel No. 13 in 1968, the alter ego of Dr. Wendy Lawson of Mar-Vell was actually Dr. Walter Lawson, and Danvers was Lawson's love interest:


OMG! Watch as Carol and Mar-Vell are cute!
Marvel Comics

The superhero's love is adorable, no?

The problem is that Danvers, in many of her first appearances, was somehow written as an unlucky girlfriend. And even when she became a superhero in the '70s, the initial editorial design was that Danvers would have a headache or faint when her superhero character took over, leaving no memory of her true feats. superhuman.

Captain Marvel introduces a new twist to this story by making Walter a Wendy.

The story of Danvers is largely left untouched in the film – it is the explosion of a Kree device that gives it powers, just like in comics. But in the comics, it's because the explosion pushed Mar-Vell to give some of his kree powers to Danvers, his girlfriend at the time (the story of the explosion and the origin is revealed in 1977). Mrs. Marvel N ° 2):


Carol Danvers getting her powers in the Mrs. Marvel comic.
Marvel Comics / Joe Sinnott

Danvers, on the other hand, plays a more active role in the film, detonating the camera to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. It's the same as the more modern comic strip, where Danvers is the author of his destiny.

The first race of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick at Captain Marvel comic in 2012 gave Danvers more agency to obtain her powers, by introducing a paradoxical temporal scenario in which she has actively chosen to acquire superhuman abilities and to become the hero she wants to be:


Carol Danvers choose her destiny in Captain Marvel Number 6.
Marvel Comics / Dexter Soy

The move to make Mar-Vell a woman in the Captain Marvel The film also seems to be inspired by a character from the DeConnick series, Helen Cobb.

Cobb is a pilot that Danvers admires immensely, as Danvers admiring Wendy Lawson / Mar-Vell in the film (and see Supreme Intelligence take the form of Lawson). Cobb is also flying jets, much to the chagrin of his air force leaders who do not allow women to fly. And Bening's Lawson / Mar-Vell and Cobb have some similarities in their appearance, namely their short hair and their jackets.


Helen Cobb in Captain Marvel N ° 1.
Marvel Comics / Dexter Soy

Here is another picture of Cobb, a little younger than in this newspaper clipping:


Helen Cobb in her youth Captain Marvel No. 5.
Marvel Comics / Dexter Soy

In Wendy Lawson, aka Mar-Vell, aka an amalgam of Marvel Comics characters, Helen Cobb and Mar-Vell, Captain Marvel managed to give us a character we did not know existed in the Marvel film universe, but that is now also an unforgettable presence, even though we might not see her again. She inspired Carol Danvers and gave her agency. And if we're lucky, maybe we'll know the character a bit better in the future.


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