From the clip art and old school fonts, right down to the iconic visitor counter, the Captain Marvel website is so '90s, you can almost hear the screech of a dial-up modem. In fact, the brains at Marvel Studios have created a page so spot-on for the upcoming 1995-set MCU superhero flick (in theaters March 8) that fans of the "You've got mail" era have basically been doing the Macarena in response. Some have even compared it to the actual Warner Bros. original Space Jam website, which is still online — for posterity's sake, of course.
First and foremost, the studio reminds site visitors what Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in the titular Kree role, is all about:
"Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom."
Theories that the site came courtesy of '90s web host GeoCities were pretty close, but Marvel software engineer Lori Lambert shed some light on the design, tweeting on Feb. 8, "We built this in FrontPage and host it Angelfire #CaptainMarvel." That definitely explains the aesthetic.
As fans navigate the super-simple piece of nostalgia, there is a pesky elderly woman who keeps popping onto the screen from the corners of the page. One click on the granny's face and you can give her a Carol-style punch. But don't worry about hurting the oldster: As seen in the Captain Marvel trailer, it appears to be the same Skrull-in-disguise that Larson's character battles aboard a passenger-filled train.
Didn't know that the woman was a Skrull? Well, the website also allows you to test and perfect your own abilities by playing a one-click game of — you guessed it — "Can you spot the Skrull?"
And for anyone who doesn't even know what a Skrull is, they have you covered there, too. As the website explains, the alien invaders are "shapeshifters who live among us ... posing as grandmothers, small children, or even your friends."
In addition to various Captain Marvel movie stills, the site also devotes a section to Samuel L. Jackson's S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury. It's labeled "Top Secret," however, and fans can't really interact with any features. While it's unclear whether or not that's a clue of sorts, you can still enjoy a GIF-style image of Agent Fury petting Carol's beloved cat Goose anyway.
There are also plenty of other hidden gems and Easter eggs for fans to uncover as well. As eagle-eyed fans will notice, the web designers paid homage to late Marvel Comics co-creator Stan Lee. One Twitter stan (no pun intended) even posted a screenshot of the tiny graphic for all to enjoy.
And then there's the guest book, which is filled with '90s references from the Y2K hysteria and iconic dancing baby to predictions that "the whole Internet thing" and hashtags (or "pound sign") are just fleeting fads. While fans can't actually contribute any content (A "Sorry, guest book full" message appears when you click "Sign In"), there is one important reference another Twitter user spotted.
"That’s a nice little easter egg in the #CaptainMarvel website..." user @jmonkey wrote along with a screenshot of a guest book entry from Monica Rambeau that read "Can’t wait to see this high energy action movie!"
As explained by slashfilm.com, in the comics, "Monica is actually the first female Captain Marvel — that’s right, even before Carol Danvers." This film also includes a character named Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch), believed to be Monica's mother — hinting that the film is laying the groundwork for another possible Captain Marvel in the future.
Naturally, there were some critics, too. "This movie is set in 1995 and here's a very clever and fun website for it that plays on what we would like to imagine the web looked like in 1995," tweeted Dieter Bohn, executive editor of The Verge. "Time to be a killjoy :(" He went on to break down the time it would actually take to download a page of this caliber in the '90s and even pointed out that the dancing baby "hit the web in 1996, a year after this movie is set."
While he may or may not have been splitting hairs, the one critique anyone who's used dial-up can agree on came from a fan named Matt Blake: "The one single flaw the beautifully 90s throwback Captain Marvel website has, is that they weren't able to make everything slow AF. Would have been awesome if the images took ages to load, or the video kept buffering etc ... Defo a #FlashbackFriday vibe tho."
With Captain Marvel's "Higher. Further. Faster." tagline, however, it's all in a day's work for Carol Danvers and the MCU.