So let me preface this MyTake by mentioning that I do not read comic books. I love comic book movies, I love the animated TV shows, and I even love the games, but I have probably read about 4 comics in my life and only one of them was about superheroes. The reason I mention this is because my theory may or may not be explained within comics and similarly, it may be completely contradicted by comics. Anyway, this theory is going to revolve primarily around Nick Fury and the upcoming Captain Marvel movie and Avengers 4 (a topic I have discussed before (2)). You don’t need to worry about spoilers because everything I will be discussing has either been mentioned in previous movies or was in the Captain Marvel trailer (1).
While I will refer to this as a "theory" a number of times, it is less of a theory and more of an observation. Could it be described as grasping at straws? Maybe, but as this isn't a serious topic, I see no harm in that. If you don't like the MCU then I'd suggest skipping this MyTake as it's not for you.
It’s probably also worth mentioning that I was slightly under the influence of marijuana when this idea popped into my head. I was watching Avengers: Assemble (which I believe is just called Avengers outside of the UK) and it took me about an hour to get through the first 15 minutes because I created about four separate word documents covering random shit. I created character profiles and discussed the motivations of certain Avengers, and I started compiling evidence of how Iron Man is a hypocrite in every single movie he is in. Maybe these will float to the surface at a later date but today I’m going to focus on a theory that took up less than 2 lines of one of the word documents.
So what is the theory? In order to understand that, I want to discuss a very clear problem with the Captain Marvel movie: it takes place in the 1990s, so why have the events of the movie never been mentioned within the MCU? We know that Nick Fury was there, we know that Phil Coulson was there, and we know that Project Pegasus (the name of the base that gets blown up at the start of the first Avengers movie) was also a part of it. These could be inconsistencies but there is also a larger issue at stake which leads us to question the motivations of Nick Fury, but before I discuss that, I need to explain what Captain Marvel is ultimately going to be about.
So just to reiterate, I don’t read comic books. So if my information in this part is wildly off, I do apologise. As far as we can tell, Captain Marvel will cover the invasion of the Skrulls who are essentially an alien species that can shapeshift (or something similar) in order to look like anyone. Outside of the MCU in Agents of SHIELD (which is still the same universe but just isn’t “cinematic”) the Skrulls are mentioned during a storyline involving the Kree. Just in case you need a reminder, the Kree are the big blue fucks e.g. Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy (a character also listed as appearing in Captain Marvel). Anyway, the Kree and the Skrulls were at war which is why the Kree begin creating Inhumans on Earth as part of an army that will fight the Skrull.
Arguably, this is a storyline that has been running for almost as long as the Thanos one. I think the Kree and the idea of Inhumans started back in season 2 of Agents of SHIELD, so about 4 years ago. This raises another problem with Captain Marvel because Inhumans haven’t so much as been mentioned in the movies and yet it seems like they play an important role in both the Kree and Skrull storylines. It’s somewhat annoying because there is no way that the Agents of SHIELD characters
(such as Daisy Johnson) will ever make an appearance in the MCU.
Anyway, I don’t want to delve too deep into the MCU lore. I just wanted to cover the basics here of who the Skrull are and what their motivations might be within Captain Marvel. If these creatures can take on the shape of any person, you can understand why they pose such a major threat. I’m pretty sure I read something somewhere that one of the main characters in the comics turned out to be Skrull. It might even have been a few of them but I can’t fully remember. Anyway, that’s all you really need to know about the Skrull in order for my theory to make sense.
As I mentioned already, this theory popped into my head while watching the first Avengers movie. There were two moments that made me stop the movie so I could type some notes:
1. Why would Nick Fury (and SHIELD) be hoarding Hydra weapons with the intentions of making weapons of mass destruction?
2. Why would Nick Fury go along with Project Insight?
I want to discuss each of these questions because when you begin to explore them, they actually make sense when you consider the Captain Marvel movie…and only when you consider it, otherwise they are completely illogical.
So why would Fury and SHIELD by hoarding the Hydra weapons from Captain America: The First Avenger? I know he gives an explanation (he essentially blames Thor and the events in New Mexico) but it seems a little weak, especially when you consider that Fury has been through the events of the Captain Marvel film, whatever they may be. We know from Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Fury has a history of ignoring commands in favour of what he deems to be the right decision. Even in the Avengers movie he goes against the wishes of the Council at literally opportunity.
Secondly, why would Nick Fury, a man completely against widespread destruction and unnecessary death, be in support of Project Insight? He knew how deadly they would be, he knew that in the wrong hands they would be devastating, and yet he took the risk. Why?
Project Insight is one of the more important aspects of my theory. I know that Project Insight isn’t a major story arc until The Winter Soldier but it’s actually mentioned in the first Avengers movie…at least that is my understanding of the scene. When Phase 2 is discovered and Cap, Tony, Thor and Bruce confront Nick Fury, Natasha mentions something. She says that SHIELD has a watch-list that includes the people in the room. Bruce asks her “And Captain America is on that list?” clearly questioning why SHIELD would have the most moral person on the carrier on a watch-list. Natasha replies with “We all are!”
It would seem like a pretty huge coincidence if the same watch-list that is in SHIELD’s possession in Avengers just also happens to be the list used by Hydra when commencing Project Insight. I mean as far back as the post-credits scene of the first Iron-Man movie, Nick Fury asks Tony “you think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe, you just don’t know it.”
Arguably, Fury and SHIELD could have that list entirely for the purposes of recruiting certain heroes to the Avengers and keeping an eye on the others…or, alternatively, this list could exist in order to monitor the largest threats. If the Skrull can impersonate anyone, certain individuals are going to pose a larger threat than others. How do you deal with an invasion that is taking place right under your nose? You build helicarriers that scan the DNA of the population of the world in order to determine whether they are human or Skrull…unfortunately, Hydra derailed this plan.
I propose (and I’m not saying that this was purposefully done by Marvel, don’t believe they had this level of foresight) that Nick Fury has been preparing for the bigger threat all along. During the invasion of New York why wouldn’t he have paged Captain Marvel? The world wasn’t at risk, just New York and perhaps he had faith that the Avengers could fix things. When Ultron hijacks the internet, intent on eradicating humanity, why doesn’t he page Captain Marvel? Again, perhaps he thought the Avengers could handle it. These are just excuses though and don’t actually relate to my point.
So why would Nick Fury risk hoarding Hydra weapons and creating mass-murder helicarriers with certain individuals being kept on a watch-list? Could it be that he was preparing for the Skrull invasion? Could it be that during the events of Captain Marvel, Nick Fury witnesses first-hand how insane the universe really is and so he takes it upon himself to try and prepare for another incident of that level? We can only assume that since her movie, Captain Marvel has been away fighting Skrull in the same way that the Avengers were still wiping out Hydra cells in Age of Ultron.
So why wouldn’t Nick Fury tell any of the Avengers this? There is a scene in The Winter Soldier that answers this question. Early in the movie, Cap confronts Fury about not sharing the details of the operation. Fury says “the last time I trusted someone I lost an eye” which happens to be something that will take place in Captain Marvel (given that he has both eyes in the trailer). A coincidence? I think not! I think that the events of Captain Marvel give Fury enough reason to assume that potentially everyone is a threat, that potentially everyone is a Skrull.
We know that in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he expresses several times that he couldn’t risk certain key details being discovered by the enemy. Sure, he was probably referencing Hydra but if his character is consistent then we could assume it would apply to a larger threat as well.
However, an important scene takes place in the lift. Nick Fury tells the story of his grandfather who used to carry a gun in his bag and how he would simply show it to anyone who tried to rob him. Is this the purpose of Fury’s actions? Is he trying to give the world a gun to show the universe?
Of course there is one character who we can assume Fury did confide in: Hawkeye. We know that Fury and Hawkeye have been working closely together ever since the latter was recruited to SHIELD. In Age of Ultron we get that super boring family story and we learn that Fury helped him keep it all off the grid. We also know that Hawkeye has been aware of Fury’s plan on more than one occasion, including in Age of Ultron. So where was he during Infinity War? I think it is highly likely that he was fighting Skrull invaders. Apparently his storyline in Avengers 4 is related to fighting the Yakuza, an organised crime syndicate in Japan. Of course this would seem like a bizarre priority given that half of the universe has just been snapped out of existence. Therefore it seems more likely that his mission is related to carrying on where Captain Marvel left off.
I believe that Captain Marvel will set up Nick Fury’s motivations for the rest of his timeline i.e. the MCU movies we’ve already seen. Thor and the events in New Mexico won’t have hugely threatened Nick Fury because he knows there is a larger and more pressing matter at hand. The same goes for Loki’s invasion of New York, the same goes for the fall of SHIELD and Hydra, and the same goes for the rise of Ultron. To quote Tony Stark’s opinion of Nick Fury: “He’s a spy. Captain. He’s THE spy. His secrets have secrets.”
That’s why I think Hawkeye is on a secret Skrull-killing mission. Not only that, it’s why SHIELD were so insistent on making weapons based around those used by Hydra, the Destroyer, the Chitauri, Ultron, and more. It’s also why Nick Fury was willing to risk an idea as dangerous as Project Insight become a reality. Provided the Captain Marvel movie doesn’t generate any major plot holes, everything else within the MCU in relation to Nick Fury’s plan still makes sense.
This post isn't original to G@G but it is entirely my own work (3).