Can Captain Marvel Time Travel?
How would that even work?
Now that it is officially 2019, speculation about Avengers: Endgame has started to ramp up considerably. The countdown to April is ticking down day by day and the Captain Marvel movie is just around the corner, so the clues are pouring in from all sides--including this interesting detail shared by Samuel L. Jackson as reported by Entertainment Tonight.
When asked about Carol's position within the MCU's power hierarchy, he said, "She's pretty much the strongest character -- in terms of someone with powers are able to do things -- in the Marvel universe. So, for Carol Danvers to be that person and for Brie to become that person, it's gonna be a dynamite thing. I mean, [the Avengers] are up against some really, really tough odds right now--we saw throughout Infinity War--so now we know that we need something that's as powerful as Thanos." We've known Carol's status as one of--if not the most--powerful heroes in the MCU for some time, but Jackson continued, adding this juicy fact. "And at some point, we'll find out how powerful she is and all the things that she's capable of. She's one of the few people in the Marvel universe that can time travel, so…"
Now that is very interesting. Over in the comics, there's no real precedent for Carol to have the ability to travel through time--at least, not without some sort of outside force--but time travel has certainly factored into her stories more than once. In fact, at the start of the now iconic Kelly Sue DeConnick run, from which the movie version takes direct inspiration, Carol was sent back in time to her own origin story via a temporal anomaly supercharged by her abilities. So, while she may not literally be able to focus and send herself through the timeline, the energy contained within her has shown that, under the right circumstances, it may have that capacity.
However, there is also the lack of clarity regarding Carol's MCU origin that must be considered. Her comics counterpart can get away with a lot, considering the bulk of her abilities boil down to the extremely comic book-y handwave of a sci-fi machine exploding and messing with her DNA--or, at least it did, until her origin story was revised yet again late last year. The MCU version seems to be taking yet another angle on the situation, giving Carol a healthy dose of amnesia and stripping away the ambiguously magical explosion in favor of something a little more medical. If that's the case, it wouldn't be too far a reach to look at the MCU's version of things with a bit more "realism" anchoring things--making the whole time travel angle a bit of a head scratcher.
It's certainly possible that Jackson simply misspoke in the interview, or was deliberately planting false information to lead speculators astray. However, giving Carol the ability to time travel would certainly explain why Fury thought to page her at the end of Infinity War in the first place. After all, it's one thing for Carol to be the most physically powerful hero in the universe, but punching things and shooting energy blasts can only do so much when half of said universe has been disintegrated.
The other logical explanation, assuming that Jackson wasn't trying to lead fans on a wild goose chase, is that Carol somehow comes into possession of the Time Stone--which may or may not be a bit of a stretch, considering its own set of wildly undefined rules and laws. Is it possible that, somehow, during the events of Infinity War, Doctor Strange sent a copy of the Time Stone back to the 1990s for Carol to find? Or, was the Time Stone in the hands of the Kree Empire at one point or another during Carol's tenure with them? Maybe Ronan the Accuser's quest for Thanos started way before Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 and the Time Stone has been in play for much longer than we'd all originally thought.
We've only got three more months to speculate before Captain Marvel officially hits theaters--so fold up those tinfoil hats and start guessing.
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