Bringing Back Dead Characters for “Captain Marvel” is Both the Best and Worst Idea Ever

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Marvel)

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we now know of several dead Marvel characters that will return in the “Captain Marvel” movie.

If you’re trying hard to avoid spoilers, you might not want to read further. In honesty, you probably shouldn’t even click on articles like this to begin with, but that’s your call.

Prequels very rarely go well. Whether they’re “Star Wars”, “The Hobbit”, or “Prometheus”, it’s hard to make a good Before story that measures up to the quality of the After story.

If anyone can pull this off, it’s Marvel, the studio that, at its worst, is still a whole lot more enjoyable than pretty much everything else in movie theaters.

“Captain Marvel” is Marvel’s first attempt at a prequel, as the movie will attempt to tell the story of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1990s, during an alien war that sounds like it’s going to tie together the first phase of the MCU with basically everything wacky and otherworldly that we’ve been seeing since “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

For this reason, it seems that the heroes of “Captain Marvel” will include the returning Agent Phil Coulson, alongside his boss Nick Fury, who’ll play support for the titular captain.

On the other side of the spectrum, “Guardians” villain Ronan the Accuser will be back, as well as his lackey, Korath the Pursuer, who was also last seen in the movie that made Chris Pratt a heartthrob.

This feels like both a very smart move, and a potential sticking point that will weaken the film.

Getting Phil Coulson back is a great idea – five seasons of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” have proven that fans love the character, even when he’s occasionally surrounded by cardboard cutouts pretending to be a team of heroes.

By now, it’s pretty obvious that “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” isn’t exactly MCU Prime canon, so getting Clark Gregg back on the big screen feels like a really smart move.

Phil Coulson
Source: Marvel

It’ll also serve as a nice handover moment, as the old MCU paradigm, filled with secret agents and spy jets, hands things over to the future of the series, with all its space weirdness.

(If Kevin Feige wants to throw Ming Na Wen into the background of a scene just to make “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” fans weep with joy, that’d be lovely, but we probably shouldn’t hold our breath.)

As for bringing back Ronan the Accuser, it’s harder to say that this is a wholly positive decision.

Sure, it makes sense – Captain Marvel’s story in the comic books ties in with the Kree-Skrull alien war, so logically, Ronan should be active during this period of Marvel history, and would be relevant to the adventures of Carol Danvers.

There’s just one problem: Ronan is probably the most boring villain in the history of the MCU.

It’s been widely documented that the MCU struggles with villains, as all of the heroes are such charismatic superstars that it’s difficult for a baddie to measure up.

Ronan in Accuser
Source: Marvel

Ronan, though, is the blandest of the lot. He’s big and angry, but literally nothing about him makes him interesting. He’s just a blue guy that likes killing – even Yellowjacket has more personality, and that’s saying something!

We also know that Ronan won’t be killed in the movie, as he’ll show up later in the timeline in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. This means that very little can be done with the character that’ll feel particularly exciting, as we basically know that he’s going to survive all the action just fine.

So, to recap, Phil Coulson: good, Ronan the Accuser: bad. How these things shake out in the actual movie remains to be seen, but if fans aren’t able to speculate wildly on the internet, we might as well not have an MCU anymore.