Marvel Studios’ third and final theatrical release of 2023, The Marvels, opens in theaters on November 10th. Since the title was revealed, fans have questioned why the studio wasn’t branding it a Captain Marvel sequel and the answer is pretty simple: The Marvels is more than a sequel to the 2019 Brie Larson vehicle. While Larson returns as Carol Danvers, she’s sharing the stage with Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris and The Marvels is as much a follow-up to the respective introductions of those characters in Ms. Marvel and WandaVision as it is the next chapter in Carol’s MCU story. For fans, that means your refresher course is a little more robust than for the average sequel…and it’s time to get started! As always, we’ve done the work for you and proudly present the Ultimate List of What to Watch Before The Marvels!
If you’re short on time and want it boiled down to the minimum amount of prep that it’s going to take to enjoy The Marvels fully, you’ll want to carve out time the time on your schedule to watch the following 3 projects:
Though it’s not called Captain Marvel: Subtitle, The Marvels will very much deal with the fallout from Carol Danvers’ actions in the 2019 box office darling. Carol tore the Kree Empire a fresh one and took out their brightest and best with minimal effort. All these years later, things are going so well on Hala and Carol’s bill is about to come due. And, don’t forget, Captain Marvel is Nick Fury’s MCU origin story, too…
In some ways, Kamala Khan may just be more central to the story of The Marvels than any other character. If you’re really short for time, you could just watch the final post-credit scene with was shot during production on The Marvels. However, you might want to catch back up on a little of the lore behind Kamala’s bangle and some of what makes her tick.
Finally, The Marvels also continues the story of Monica Rambeau. While you can catch up on her early days and her relationship with Carol by rewatching Captain Marvel. The last time Monica was seen on screen in the MCU, she had only recently become powered up and was just starting to get a handle on her impressive new skill set. Both those parts of her past will play prominent roles in The Marvels.
While Tier One projects should be considered non-negotiables as part of any rewatch, Tier Two projects should just be considered supplemental. If you have time to fit these three projects into your schedule, you’ll feel a little more satisfied contextually when you sit down in theaters to watch The Marvels.
Though she doesn’t take up a major chunk of screentime in it, Avengers: Endgame establishes that Carol kept very busy in the galaxy since Captain Marvel. It also makes it clear that she’s one of the most powerful heroes in the galaxy. But has she been so busy that she forgot about the people closest to her?
The events of this Disney Plus streaming series will probably have a whole lot less to do with what happens in The Marvels than you think but it is absolutely relevant if for nothing more than it served as a bridge for Nick Fury to get back in action. Fury is front and center in The Marvels and back to that “old Nick” the Secret Invasion writers bludgeoned you to death with.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Why is this on the list? If you’re brave enough to rewatch Thor: Love and Thunder and have paid attention to rumors about The Marvels, you’ll be able to figure it out.
For the completists out there only. Realistically, having watched these projects once should provide all you’ll need to enjoy any characters or residual plot points in The Marvels; however, rewatches aren’t all about pragmatism! These are listed in chronological order for your viewing pleasure.
The Nick Fury stuff speaks for itself: the man plays a major role in Carol’s life and she in his.
The rest of these projects…take your best guess. This is a rewatch guide not full spoilers!