Spoilers ahead for Infinity War. After the end of Avengers: Infinity War, it's hard to remain optimistic about the future of the MCU. If it weren't for Nick Fury's last-minute signal, which he sent in the post-credits before disintegrating into thin air along with half of the earth's population, you could probably give up all hope. But Fury did send an alert — on a '90s style pager, mind you — to none other than Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. If you're not too familiar with the hero, you might think that there's no difference between Captain Marvel and Captain America, just based on their names. But while they both sort of have military backgrounds, that's about all they have in common.
In fact, Captain Marvel might not have a lot in common with any superhero you know from the MCU, and that's exactly what makes her such a qualified candidate to save the world from Thanos. As Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige told Vulture, "With Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie." Feige went on, saying "Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had."
One of the biggest differences between Captain Marvel and Captain America has to be their origin stories. As noted before, both superheroes started out in the military, in a sense. Captain America aka Steve Rogers attempted to join the army but he got rejected, so instead he subjected himself to receiving the Super-Soldier Serum from the Strategic Scientific Reserve. As you know, that turned him into Captain America, who gained super strength, agility, senses, reflexes, and healing powers. While Captain America's militarized injection allowed him to embody the peak of humans' abilities, Captain Marvel isn't completely human, so she has a different range of abilities.
As Marvel's wiki explains, Carol Danvers started out as a pilot for the U.S. Air Force, then she got recruited by the Air Force Intelligence. From there, she went on to work for NASA, where she met an alien of the Kree Empire named Mar-Vell. Do you see where this is going? Carol and Mar-Vell eventually got caught in an explosion together, which caused some of Mar-Vell's alien genes to fuse with Carol's. That didn't exactly lead to Carol instantly becoming the almighty Captain Marvel in the comic books though. At first, Carol Danvers used her alien powers as Ms. Marvel, but the MCU's story following her will probably cut to the chase and portray Danvers as Captain Marvel. In the comics, Carol eventually got the role as Captain Marvel in 2012 with the comic Captain Marvel #1.
Like Captain America, Captain Marvel also has super strength and physical durability, but her alien genes allow her a few additional features like flying and the ability to survive in space without help. Not only that, but her hands — not a suit, like Iron Man — can fire photon and stellar light energy. She also can absorb and redirect energy, so if someone shoots a similar light energy or blast to her, she can use the power to make herself stronger. Not only that, but the Marvel Wiki also reports that Carol has a Seventh Sense that allows her a "cosmic awareness," or ability to sense future dangers. As great as Cap is, he definitely can't do that, and it will be interesting to see the two "captains" working together, hopefully without too much competition since they have a Thanos to defeat.
Considering that Marvel has a Captain Marvel standalone movie in the works for 2019, you'll definitely learn a lot more about the hero who is possibly the Avengers' last hope for defeating Thanos. Between Feige's description of Captain Marvel and Nick Fury's end-credits distress signal, the newest MCU superhero already has quite the reputation. Sadly, you'll have to wait until March 2019's Captain Marvel movie to see Brie Larson portray the highly anticipated hero.