One of the biggest revelations in Captain Marvel is the fact that the mid-credits scene is taken wholesale from Avengers: Endgame. Much like stingers on Ant-Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Doctor Strange, what we get halfway through the credits is a look at a scene from the next MCU movie. And what a scene to choose.
We get to see Marvel's arrival in Endgame (presumably her first scene in it at all), as she homes in on the pager signal and makes her way to the Avengers facility, seeking Fury. And her arrival, as we've been told her a long time now, is incredibly important to the plan to defeat Thanos and save the world. It's not just that she's supremely powerful - though she absolutely is - it's that the specific nature of her power is key to fighting the Mad Titan.
To understand why, you have to first look at the changes to the origin story that Marvel chose to focus on...
3. The Changed Origin
In the comics, Carol Danvers initially takes on the mantle of Ms Marvel after an explosion gives her powers, just as it does in the film, but there's a key difference. In the source, Danvers is caught in an explosion with the original Captain Marvel (in Captain Marvel #18) and her powers are a result of her DNA merging with his alien DNA.
The movie didn't go in that direction. There ARE aliens present when the explosion gives her powers, but the actual empowerment has nothing to do with them and nor with DNA. Instead, Danvers gets her powers from the Tesseract as it is revealed to be the key to Doctor Wendy Lawson's experiments into light-speed engine technology and Danvers attempts to destroy it. She shoots it to prevent the Kree getting her hands on it and the explosion gives her powers.
So why the change?
Well, Captain Marvel writer Nicole Perlman revealed the reason a couple of years ago and surprisingly, it's down to Ryan Reynolds' disastrous Green Lantern movie. In 2016, she appeared on a podcast to foreshadow the fact that they were going to change the origin story to avoid proximity:
“But here’s the thing, if you were just going to do a straight adaptation of the comics, her origin story is very similar to Green Lantern. And obviously, that’s not what we want to do. There’s a lot of reinvention that needs to happen. And also, she’s her own person and she’s a great character. We have to be aware of what’s happened in other Marvel film and makes sure that her particular storyline is unique and fun and also fits in within this world that’s going on at the same time. It’s a little bit of an interesting story gauntlet. “
In Green Lantern, Reynolds' Hal Jordan is chosen by the Ring Of Power after the dying Abin Sur and his powers are transferred across. Clearly, the idea of an alien superpower giving powers to a human - a human who is a pilot, for an added link - was just too close. And given how awfully Green Lantern performed, anything that would give cynics ammunition to call Captain Marvel a "Green Lantern rip-off" would have been needlessly distracting.
So instead, Danvers gets her powers from the Tesseract - the Space Stone - in a similar explosion. It's not just a way to change the story, though, and nor is it a cheap means to tie her to the rest of the MCU - it's actually a key decision that will make her even more dangerous to Thanos. And here's how...