How will Captain Marvel fit in with the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe? Marvel's Phase 3 movies have been completely out of sequence, with Captain Marvel actually set in the 1990s. It will surely reveal a previously-unseen part of S.H.I.E.L.D. history, with Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson both slated to appear.
So far, all attention has been on the question of how this film relates to Avengers: Infinity War and next year's Avengers 4. There's a reason Marvel slotted this movie in between the two Avengers films, and the post-credits sequence of Avengers: Infinity War clearly set Carol Danvers up to play an important role in the MCU's future.
But given that Captain Marvel is set in the history of the MCU, it would hardly be a surprise to see subtle references to events we've already seen. We may also get references to other Marvel events that took place in that decade - specifically the death of Howard Stark. Curiously, there's currently a sliver of evidence that suggests Captain Marvel will have a direct connection to both Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. If that's the case, Marvel really is carefully rooting the film in established continuity.
- This Page: Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
- Page 2: What Part Could Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Play in Captain Marvel?
The Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Connection
Over on IMDb, the cast and crew list for Captain Marvel is gradually being updated as filming progresses. It already includes some tantalizing details; Adam Hart is described as a "Skrull spy," while Connor Ryan is "Cadet Livanson." But look closely, and you'll spot one name that's particularly interesting. According to IMDb, Mel Powell is playing "Pegasus Guard Ficke." Now, it's important to note that it's fairly easy to enter information on IMDb, so this shouldn't be taken as gospel. At the same time, though, this detail makes a lot of sense.
In the comics, P.E.G.A.S.U.S. is a scientific base located in the Adirondack Mountains. It was originally intended to research alternative forms of energy, but gradually became a center for some of the world's most advanced technology. Over the years, P.E.G.A.S.U.S. has been associated with a large number of superheroes, most notably including the Hulk, the Thing, Quasar, and Nova. At times, it's even served as a prison that housed some of the world's most dangerous energy-based supervillains. One of the last major comic book arcs P.E.G.A.S.U.S. appeared in was 2007's "Secret Invasion," where the base was a priority target for the invading Skrull armies. Given that the Skrulls are the main villains of Captain Marvel, that connection is clearly an important one.
P.E.G.A.S.U.S. has already been established in the MCU, too. In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark retrieved technology that his father had been working on, one of which was labeled "Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.." This clearly established that the MCU's version of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was active before Howard Stark had been killed in 1991, meaning it was actually active at the time of Captain Marvel. Later in the film, an extended scene showed Stark make another reference to the project when he asked JARVIS to call up records on "Projects P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Exodus, and Goliath."
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. finally made its big-screen debut in The Avengers. As official Guidebooks have explained, the MCU's P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was a joint venture between S.H.I.E.L.D. and NASA. One of its main facilities was based in the Mojave Desert, and the World Council had that base dedicate itself to the study of the Tesseract. This P.E.G.A.S.U.S. base was destroyed when Loki arrived on Earth at the beginning of The Avengers; it's unknown whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. had any other P.E.G.A.S.U.S. installations, but certainly this destruction was probably what Quake referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 when she accused S.H.I.E.L.D. of covering something up at P.E.G.A.S.U.S..
All these threads tie together quite neatly, showing just why it would be sensible for Captain Marvel to use the idea of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. Just as in the comics, this organisation would have access to advanced technology, and are clearly dedicated to the study of alternative energy sources. No doubt any Skrull or Kree technology that's captured over the course of the film would actually be taken to projects like P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. The fact there's even a comic book connection between the base and the Skrulls just adds weight to the idea.
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Could Be Powerful Allies
Kevin Feige has stressed that Captain Marvel's powerset is like nothing we've seen in the MCU before. "Her powers are off the charts," he explained, "and when she's introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we've ever had." Brie Larson has gone one step further; "She's so strong," Larson observed, "She can move planets! So, to me, it's like how far can I go with this strength?" It's possible Larson was exaggerating in the heat of the moment, but one thing is certain: Captain Marvel will be an absolute powerhouse. However, human beings weren't created to wield this kind of power, and Carol Danvers will have to learn just what she's capable of.
Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. could be tremendously useful. While Carol's MCU powerset is as yet uncertain, in the comics she's one of Marvel's most powerful energy manipulators, absorbing and projecting energy as devastating photonic blasts. If Captain Marvel absorbs enough energy, she can even transition into a so-called "Binary form" - one composed of living energy. Given Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. is dedicated to the study of alternative energy, the installation should have some of Earth's foremost theoreticians in attendance. They'd be able to help Carol understand her powers, and thus unlock her full potential.
In the comics, P.E.G.A.S.U.S. has actually played this kind of role with a number of key heroes, ranging from Quasar to Nova. It would be entirely appropriate for them to do the same for Carol Danvers.
P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Could Be Infiltrated by the Skrulls
Of course, when the shapeshifting Skrulls are involved, nowhere is safe. This alien race is best known for infiltrating a world's power structures. Although we know the Skrull are the major threat in Captain Marvel, we don't know how far their infiltration of Earth's governments has proceeded. It's likely S.H.I.E.L.D. would be one of their first targets for infiltration, and they'd likely discover P.E.G.A.S.U.S. well. If the Skrull invasion is well-progressed, then it would be logical to assume the Skrulls have operatives in place at P.E.G.A.S.U.S..
2007's "Secret Invasion" arc saw the Skrulls launch a major attack on P.E.G.A.S.U.S., viewing it as a priority target. They were well aware that P.E.G.A.S.U.S. possessed tremendously advanced technology, powerful enough to burn the invasion fleet from the sky. As a result, the Skrulls' first wave was focused on forcing P.E.G.A.S.U.S.'s leadership to lock down the Vault, leaving those weapons out of play. The Skrulls then launched a second wave, aiming to overrun the base and acquire the Vault's technology for themselves. It was a smart strategy, and it would have succeeded if not for the intervention of Nova.
It's possible Captain Marvel will borrow this idea, with the Skrulls aiming to ensure P.E.G.A.S.U.S.'s technology isn't available for use in the defense of the Earth. If that's the case, we may see a full-scale attack on the installation.
The Tesseract Could Play A Role in Captain Marvel
Howard Stark led an expedition to recover the Tesseract some time before the '90s, and it's reasonable to assume it didn't take long for the Tesseract to be taken to P.E.G.A.S.U.S. for further study. It's thus highly likely that, all the way through the '90s, the Tesseract was in the possession of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.. That Infinity Stone would thus form a direct link between Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
If the Skrulls have indeed infiltrated Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., it's possible they'd actually know what the Tesseract truly is, and would covet its power. Capturing the Tesseract would become one of their primary goals on Earth, and as a result P.E.G.A.S.U.S. would wind up on the front lines of the ancient, unending war between the Kree and the Skrulls.
Right now, the jury is still out as to whether or not Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. will actually appear in Captain Marvel. Certainly P.E.G.A.S.U.S. would fit with the little we know of the plot, and their involvement would firmly establish the film in the ongoing continuity of the MCU. We'll have to watch and wait for any further evidence.