Monica Rambeau made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2019’s Captain Marvel. And she is now set to return in the Disney+ WandaVision TV series.
If you can remember back to the Brie Larson–led Captain Marvel film, Monica was just a little girl (played by young actors Azari and Akira Akbar, aged five and 11).
However, the film was set in the ‘90s, meaning that three decades have since passed in the MCU leading up to WandaVision. As such, the role of Monica Rambeau has been recast, with Teyonah Parris set to tackle the character as an adult.
This reappearance signals a lot of great things to come for the future of the MCU, so join us as we explore the question of who is Monica Rambeau?
Monica Rambeau’s First Appearance
Monica Rambeau made her first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 in 1982, created by comic book legends Roger Stern and John Romita Jr.
Prior to donning her superhero uniform, Monica was a police lieutenant in her hometown of New Orleans. However, in an off-duty attempt to destroy a powerful energy machine created by an evil dictator, she was exposed to extra-dimensional energy.
This incident granted her the ability to transform into pure energy from anywhere along the electromagnetic spectrum.
Using her new powers, she would operate under multiple code names, including Photon, Pulsar, and Spectrum (her current codename).
What few people are aware of is that Monica was actually the second Captain Marvel, following writer Jim Starlin’s Mar-Vell (the first person to use the name).
While Carol Danvers might be the most well-known iteration of the superhero, she only took on the mantle in 2012 (previously operating under the alias Ms. Marvel — not to be confused with Kamala Khan, who is set to have her own Disney+ series in 2021).
Captain Marvel Recap
Before we jump into Monica Rambeau’s future, we would like to quickly look back to her earlier years in the MCU, during which she was being played by the Akbar sisters.
Monica had a minor role in Captain Marvel as the daughter of Carol Danvers’ Air Force best friend, Maria Rambeau. She was very close with Danvers, being affectionately called ‘Lieutenant Trouble’ (a not-so-subtle nod to her comic book history as a police lieutenant).
Even at this point in her childhood, Monica’s superhero personality traits were starting to blossom. The young girl idolised Danvers and encouraged her mother to help aid the Skrulls in the climax of the film.
What Role Will She Play In WandaVision?
The WandaVision cast is shaping up to be a doozy, with the return of Paul Bettany (as Vision) and Elizabeth Olsen (as Wanda Maximoff).
But the addition of Parris portraying an older Monica Rambeau was a relatively unexpected surprise.
For those familiar with the comic books, they might know that Monica was a prominent member of the Avengers, even acting as leader on many occasions.
And during her time serving with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, she fought alongside many costumed characters — including none other than Wanda and Vision.
Naturally, her origins have been changed quite significantly for the MCU, and we don’t know if she’ll be taking on a superhero identity in WandaVision. But there is an established precedent for this interaction.
Hints have pointed towards Monica being a member of the organisation S.W.O.R.D, with various set photos all but confirming this to be the case (if you don’t know, S.W.O.R.D is the outer-space version of S.H.I.E.L.D).
It’s still unclear how exactly Monica and S.W.O.R.D tie into what’s happening — it’s confusing enough as is — but she appears to be attempting to stop whatever fantasy world Wanda has concocted.
She was even seen being thrown through a barrier of sorts at quite a speed, perhaps implying that she has her powers already.
Captain Marvel 2
As part of the Disney Investor Day announcements, Kevin Feige (the president of Marvel Studios) revealed that both Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan will be joining the cast of Captain Marvel 2.
This is an important step for Monica, but not an unexpected one. Considering she appeared in the first film, her return was almost a given — though it’s no less satisfying to hear Feige confirm it.
Parris will be reprising her role from WandaVision, likely suiting up for the first time as Spectrum (or Photon, depending on which direction things go). Of course, that is if she hasn’t already gone full hero by the end of the show.
In addition to respecting the character’s routes as the second Captain Marvel, this also proves that the films and spin-off TV series will be integral moving forward. If you want the full Monica Rambeau experience, you’re going to have to tune in to Disney+.
The Nick Fury TV series has been revealed to be an adaptation of writer Brian Michael Bendis’ comic book event Secret Invasion.
We had a feeling this storyline was coming, but the general consensus was that it would occur in a Captain Marvel sequel, which is now proven not to be the case.
Actors Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Ben Mendelsohn (Talos) will reprise their respective roles, and it is likely that Monica Rambeau will be joining them.
As already mentioned, the clues point towards her working for S.W.O.R.D. And the post-credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed that Fury had been working alongside the Skrulls on a space station very reminiscent of S.W.O.R.D headquarters.
So, by process of elimination, it seems possible that Monica is working for Fury.
However, do keep in mind that this is all speculation.
WandaVision is set to debut on Disney+ 15th January 2021.
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