As we get closer and closer to Phase Four, there’s more and more speculation about what the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like. I spend a lot (but not like an unhealthy amount) of time thinking about it. Heck, I wrote a post about it a month or so ago. Kevin Feige has said Phase Four will be, “completely different from anything that’s come before—intentionally.” Then, a few weeks ago, Marvel revealed they have six untitled film projects coming out for 2021 and 2022. It would appear I have more to say as I dream about my perfect choices to fill those slots. This time I’m talking about a Captain Marvel/Alpha Flight film (or films!) set in space.
To be fair, the idea didn’t come to me completely on my own. I was watching this episode of My Side Of The Laundry Room: Live where Rob and Chris were discussing what characters/comics they thought/hope would fill those six spots. As they discussed the incredible inherent potential of the X-Men (and not just the X-Men as we’ve seen them on film but the entire history of the X-Men) I started getting excited. Then my wheels started turning.
I’ve always enjoyed the X-Men movies, doing my best to accept them for what they are. They’re certainly not running on empty either. I thought Logan was one of the best films I’ve ever seen, in any genre. And Deadpool was a wonderfully inappropriate work of art. But I can also say – save the Wolverine and Deadpool films – that I haven’t been super excited for a new X-Men movie since X3: The Last Stand (which I still maintain is better and more enjoyable than most people give it credit for). I was unaware that I was suffering from, as Rob put it so perfectly in the video, “the staleness of Bryan Singer.” It’s not that he doesn’t make enjoyable films. But his work with the X-Men hasn’t blown my mind since X2: X-Men United. In addition to being uninspired, Days Of Future Past was a continuity mess! It didn’t line up with the comics, the original X-Men films, or the new “young” X-Men films. But I digress.
Yet, it wasn’t the X-Men proper that got me most excited nor, as the feature image and first paragraph show, are they going to be the topic of this post. Rob and Chris started talking about Alpha Flight and that’s when all the lightbulbs started going off in my head. Aaaaahh! Alpha Flight! Currently the team is above the earth running the Alpha Flight Low-Orbit Space Station. They are to be the Earth’s first line of defense against extraterrestrial threats as well as be the liaison for anyone – from alien leaders to refugees fleeing intergalactic conflict – looking to come to Earth or make contact with the Earth. That alone sets the stage for some fantastic stories. But Alpha Flight aren’t up there alone, oh no! The Alpha Flight Space Station is currently under the command of Captain Marvel. WOO HOO! Attention everyone: This is a movie I need to see.
As I wrote in another post devoted to Captain Marvel, I’ve fallen in love with her exploits with Alpha Flight. I was originally (a little) concerned to see Carol leaving earth (primarily) behind, trading her regular supporting cast and time with the Avengers for space stations, regular intergalactic travel, and Alpha Flight. I should have known I had nothing to worry about! Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters hooked me from page one of (their) Captain Marvel #1 and each issue has continued to be more exciting than the previous one since Margaret Stohl has taken over.
But it’s not just my deep love of Carol Danvers as a character that makes me see this as a great option for the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. Rather, I think Captain Marvel & Alpha Flight (uh…that’s just a working title. we could do better…we could do much better) would be the type of film(s) that perfectly fits the mold of where the MCU seems to be heading.
First, I don’t think it’s a big leap to say (after how) in the future Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel will form the core of the MCU, just as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’s Captain America have been for the first three phases. Narratively it makes sense. Black Panther has received wildly enthusiastic fan and critical acclaim alike while rightfully becoming an important cultural milestone. So we’ll be seeing lots more of T’Challa and Wakanda in Phase Four. Given the legions of Carol Corps fans who love her comics and buy her swag, coupled with the people who are so hungry for the inexcusably long overdue first female-led film in the MCU, I think it’s safe to say 2019’s Captain Marvel will be a hit too. As a result, the idea of Captain Marvel showing up in as many films as possible (whether it’s her solo series, this idea I’m pitching, and Avenger team-up films OR her solo series incorporating this along with the Avenger team-up films) doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Second, this is an easy way to incorporate other characters into her story. It seems clear team-ups and guest stars are the way the MCU is headed. Can anyone imagine Thor: Ragnarök without the Hulk? Of course not! And who would want to?? Iron Man was bouncing around Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Wasp is suiting up alongside Ant-Man in Ant-Man and The Wasp this July. Guardians Of The Galaxy has always been a team movie and Captain America: Civil War was CLEARLY Avengers 3 in all but name. (I’m sure some sort of contract thingie kept them from calling it what it really was.) Through the first two phases, the team-ups were always an exciting and central feature too. Black Widow and War Machine joined the party alongside Tony in Iron Man 2. The Avengers blew everyone’s mind. Natasha was fighting alongside Steve in Captain American: Winter Soldier too. And, let’s be honest. The fact that no one else seemed to notice, care, or show up to help Thor as Malekith ripped open interstellar gateways all over London was one of the most awkwardly inexplicable parts of Thor: The Dark World.
Third, Kevin Feige has said Phase Four will be different from anything we’ve seen so far. Just think of what this setting – Carol and Alpha Flight above earth, serving as the planet’s first line of defense – could yield as far as story possibilities go! We’ve seen (and LOVED) the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarök. So we’ve had space adventures but (save the Chitauri invasion of New York in The Avengers) we haven’t seen any real tie between aliens and the earth.
To center a film (or films!) around the mission of the Alpha Flight Space Station opens so many doors. We could see Carol and the crew dealing with a dangerous, lurking menace on the quiet isolation of the station as in Alien or Life giving the film a crazy-intense horror and/or thriller vibe. They could be tracking some dangerous creature(s) that have landed on earth in a high action piece like Predator. It could easily handle the humor/action vibe of Men In Black or the high-tension paranoia of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers or The Thing. Or they could even be direct about it and just give us the straight-up battles in the skies above the Earth we’d see in something like Independence Day or even the Star Wars films. Not only are there countless story options with Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight hanging out between us and the alien threats that lie in the cosmos, it also allows Marvel to introduce some different genres/feel to their movies if they’d like to. They can even bring in the Alpha Flight cadets – ljnklm – to add a youthful feel to the movie too.
Basically, I can see no downside here. So Kevin Feige (and everyone at Marvel Studios (because I’m sure you read my blog), if you haven’t already thought of this idea, it’s yours. You’re welcome! If you have, well this is clearly another example of how great minds think alike and all that. No rush on the official announcement of course. I know these things take time. BUT LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Okay? Please and thank you!
While we’re talking about Phase Four, here are a couple other posts I’ve written about my hopes and dreams!