Warning: Mild Captain Marvel spoilers ahead. There are so many incredible scene-stealers in Marvel’s first female-led superhero film Captain Marvel, aside from the badass performance from Brie Larson as the titular Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, of course. There’s the adorable Goose, the cat who is actually a badass alien Flerken who can take out a whole army of Kree. There’s the villain-turned-empathetic-ally Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who just wants to find a safe home for his people. There’s the younger and more optimistic version of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). And there’s Carol’s BFF Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), the no-nonsense fighter pilot and single mum who never lets the glass ceiling get her down. But there’s one more adorable scene-stealer in Captain Marvel who may actually be the key to the future of the MCU, and that’s Maria Rambeau's young daughter Monica.
While the precocious, smart and confident 11-year-old is just a normal, wide-eyed kid in Captain Marvel, it’s clear from her interactions with her mother Maria and “aunt” Carol that she’s far past her age in intelligence, both intellectual and emotional. She’s able to put others’ needs above her own, pushing her mother to go into space with Carol knowing that the Skrulls needed both of them, even though it meant that Monica might never see her mother again if the mission failed. She idolises both Maria and Carol, and wants to be in the action even though it’s dangerous. She dreams of flying in the Air Force and wants to be just like Carol, Tesseract-enhanced powers and all. But it’s in the comics that Monica’s true destiny as a superhero is revealed.
Monica Rambeau is actually another version of Captain Marvel. And her origin story is pretty similar to Carol’s movie journey: when she was a lieutenant in the New Orleans harbor patrol, she tried to prevent a dangerous weapon from being created and was exposed to “extra-dimensional energy” which gave her the power to be able convert her body to energy. She earned herself the nickname Captain Marvel and became the Avengers’ first Black female superhero before going on to eventually act as their leader. After some time, she retired the name Captain Marvel out of respect for Mar-Vell’s legacy and adopted the names Photon, Pulsar and Spectrum. And since she doesn’t age past her prime, she’s essentially immortal. Talk about badass!
Seeing as how Carol is actually the seventh person to hold the Captain Marvel moniker in the comics (she’s just the first to do it in the MCU), it’s not that far of a stretch to imagine that she won’t be the only Captain Marvel in the MCU in the far future. Whenever Larson is ready to hang up her super-suit, she can do so knowing that her successor is already primed and waiting in the wings, eager to follow in her footsteps. Whether it will be the young Akira Akbar, who plays Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel, or another actor taking over is anyone’s guess.
But just as Larson’s Captain Marvel is key to saving the MCU from Thanos in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, Monica could be the one follow in her footsteps to save the universe from some unknown cosmic threat in the future. And after watching her totally steal the show in Captain Marvel, we can’t wait to see her grow into her comic book destiny.