The first trailer for The Marvels, the next MCU movie, is here – and it looks like it's bringing exactly the kind of fun adventure the last few entries in the timeline have been missing. The follow-up to Captain Marvel looks like a team-up movie that's taking its cues from the first Avengers movie, but with some added chaotic space farce.
The big question I had about this movie is how it would bring together the three 'Marvel'-branded heroes without it coming across as ridiculous coincidence, and the trailer answers it: the film's setup is that Carol Danvers' (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan's (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau's (Teyonah Parris) powers are entangled, and when they use them, they swap places. This is even more of a ridiculous coincidence than I expected, and I think that's why it works for me – it leans so far into it, it comes out clean the other side.
Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers gained her powers from a mis-used Infinity Stone in, unsurprisingly, Captain Marvel; Monica Rambeau gained hers from Scarlet Witch's weird reality field during the events of WandaVision; and Kamala Khan gained hers from an alien bangle (and also, maybe, some kind of… mutation) during Ms Marvel. Check out our full MCU timeline article for how to catch up, but those three are clearly the main stories you'll want to know going into this movie, though I think you could skip WandaVision (Monica's story is very minor in it overall, and can be summed up as: she gets powers).
The important thing is that the overall team-up feel here is the closest Marvel has come to The Avengers since, well, The Avengers. The thing about that movie is that it's so much fun, and really embraces the different personalities of its heroes. Carol Danvers is one of the most powerful beings in the universe, Monica Rambeau is finding her feet with her new powers, and Kamala Khan is just happy to be here.
They can do different things, and their powers are going to interact in fun ways. They live in different ways, so we're gonna get three different fish-out-of-water movies in one. Look at the scene where they're battling each other and keep swapping places! It just looks fun.
And that's kind of a relief after the MCU's previously reliable fun franchise, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, took a turn for the annoyingly epic and dark, and not exactly with glowing results. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was also nonbarrel of laughs, though for much better reason.
This movie looks like it's getting back to what made people get on board with the MCU in the first place – here's hoping the movie bears it out, and takes a place among the best Disney Plus movies when it arrives on streaming later.