Several Marvel movies have brought their audiences back in time. Captain America went back to the 1940s to show the hero’s WWII-era origin story. And Guardians of the Galaxy gave us a blast from the past, being partially set in the ‘80s with a matching soundtrack. Now, Captain Marvel going where no previous MCU movie has gone before: the ‘90s. The movie’s marketing has embraced the decade, taking fans back to a nostalgic era with an official Captain Marvel site that looks just like those from when the internet was brand new. But in what year is Captain Marvel actually set?
A previous fan theory proposed that the movie was set in 1991, as reported by Comic Book. But, Marvel Japan’s site confirmed that the movie actually takes place in 1995, per MovieWeb. The translation reads, “The stage was 1995. The story before the formation of the Avengers.” Though the movie takes place further along in the decade than initially expected by many, it still fits the concept of starting long before any of the Avengers combined forces. And, to put into perspective how early Captain Marvel takes place, Spider-Man wasn’t even born at that time. The high schooler was born on August 10, 2001, per a picture of his passport from Spider-Man: Far From Home that was shared on Reddit.
It was important for the movie to be set it in an era where it wouldn't be connected to the other Avengers yet, as executive producer Jonathan Schwartz explained to Entertainment Weekly. “It's giving Carol a place in the cinematic universe that she can carve out for her own, where she wasn’t one superheroine out of many,” he said.
And the '90s make sense for that requirement, considering Captain America was presumed to be dead from the mid-'40s until awakening and finding himself in the '10s, with Nick Fury explaining that he’s been asleep for decades. And Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t take place on Earth, so that would make Captain Marvel the only hero around that we know of.
In addition to giving her free reign as a sole hero, setting Captain Marvel in the ‘90s also provides the space to explore the backstories of other familiar characters, including Fury. In an interview with The Toronto Sun, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talked about the fun in exploring these backstories. “It allows us to play in an area that we have never played in before and tapping into a ’90s action genre was fun for us and being able to see an earlier part of the MCU before Nick Fury knew anything about aliens or anything about super-powered people and also tapping into the Kree-Skrull War, which in the comics was a huge part of the comic mythology, seemed like a fun thing to try and a fun way to give Carol Danvers her own standalone origin story,” he explained.
It might seem like a surprising decision to start Captain Marvel’s story in 1995, but it’s a genius move. Not only does she get to shine on her own, but it sets up her return for Avengers: Endgame. The post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War shows Fury sending a signal on a ‘90s pager before he disappears, and Captain Marvel’s star symbol appears in reply. By going back almost 25 years, we’ll see how her bond with Fury will guide her into possibly saving the Avengers in the next movie.