Captain Marvel flew into theaters nationwide last weekend, and a highlight was Carol Danvers’ relationship with her best friend, Maria Rambeau. Audiences dug it for both for its strong depiction of female friendship, and for what Maria’s daughter Monica might mean for the future of the MCU.
Fans have been anticipating the appearance of Monica Rambeau since the first casting announcements. In the comics, an adult version of Monica gains superpowers after coming into contact with extradimensional energy. That energy gives her the power of flight and the ability to convert herself into any form of energy. She’s gone by many code names, including Photon, Pulsar, Spectrum and… Captain Marvel. In fact, in 1982 Monica became the first woman to use the name, Captain Marvel. Back then, Carol Danvers’s alias was Ms. Marvel, and she went through many other superhero names until finally becoming Captain Marvel in 2012. Monica Rambeau’s Captain Marvel is extremely powerful and her leadership abilities have seen her captain many superhero teams, including the Avengers. Comic book lovers are hoping that her appearance in Captain Marvel foreshadows a role for adult Monica. We got to speak with actress Lashana Lynch, who plays Maria Rambeau, about Monica’s possible prospects in upcoming Marvel films.
Reporting for (Double) Duty?
Lynch did her homework on Monica Rambeau in preparation for the role. On whether she’s considered the possibility of also playing a grown-up Monica, Lynch said “I haven’t thought about that. I love Monica, I think she’s a fantastic character. It would make sense to match Akira (Akbar), who plays Monica. But now it’s in my brain and now I want to play both.” Lynch does have other ideas for casting Maria’s adult daughter, but for now, she’s keeping mum. “There’s a lot of friends that I would like to play Monica. I almost don’t want to say who because I want to keep it to my chest and keep the energy swirling for them in the universe. Hopefully, it will come back and one of them will get it. I have a lot of people in mind.”
Something New to the Table
As exciting as playing both mother and daughter would be, Lynch loved the process of creating a character all her own. “It’s been a real pleasure to be able to introduce someone brand new to the MCU. Fans don’t know what to expect.” She credits the directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for giving her the power to craft Maria’s personality. “‘So, Mr. and Mrs. Director, can I put whatever stamp I want on this?’ ‘Oh yeah, sure.’ ‘Okay, cool. She’s gonna live in her truth in this way. She’s gonna use her voice in that way.’ They’re like ‘Let’s do it.’” She concluded, “They were really free in that sense.”
All for One and One for All
Echoing Maria Rambeau, Lashana Lynch also pushes her friends to strive for the very best. “Loads of me and my friends go for the same roles. Loads.” Lynch doesn’t consider her peers as competition to be defeated. Just like Maria, Lynch believes a rising tide lifts all boats. She continued, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t get the part and you get the part, we both win.”
Energizing the MCU (Literally)
I suspect, as many fans do, that Endgame will mark the last time we see many of our favs. If that is the case, Phase 4 will need new heroes to rise up and meet new challenges. Monica is not only one of the most powerful metahumans, but she has also proven herself to be a kick-ass leader for any MCU team. Not only have we never seen a woman lead an Avengers affiliated metahuman team in the movies (I obsessively love the Dora, but they’re human women who have pushed themselves to the height of human/technological ability, not metahumans), but for that person to be a woman of color… we stan. We stan forever.
Captain Marvel is in theaters now.