Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s shout-out to Captain Marvel is arguably the movie’s most confusing moment. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) barked at Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for even mentioning Carol Danvers but, in light of the revelation that Talos the Skrull (Ben Mendelsohn) was posing as Fury all along in Spider-Man: Far From Home, his reaction to Peter asking about Captain Marvel takes on an entirely different context – although it still doesn’t entirely make sense.
Picking up in 2o24, eight months after Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home spotlights how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dealing with the aftermath of The Blip, which is the new name for Thanos’ snap. For Peter, the summer after Avengers: Endgame was a chance to go on a European vacation with his friends and tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her – until Nick Fury sabotages Peter’s holiday and recruits Spider-Man to help Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) save the world. Of course, it turns out the global crisis of other-dimensional Elemental monsters was created by the real villain, Mysterio, to trick the world so he can become the new Iron Man, i.e. the world’s greatest superhero.
But before Peter found out the truth about Beck, he was reluctantly tapped by Fury and brought to the spy’s operating base in Venice, Italy. Once he understood that fighting the Elementals would pull Peter away from what he really wanted – a vacation with his friends and his romantic chance with MJ – Spider-Man bowed out of the mission and suggested some alternate choices, like Thor, who is in outer space, and Doctor Strange, who is “unavailable”. But when Peter mentioned Captain Marvel, Fury/Talos snapped, “Don’t invoke her name!“
The line plays as one of Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s many jokes and MCU references, but is there a deeper reason for Fury/Talos’ curious response to invoking Captain Marvel’s name? One way to look at it is that Talos is intensely loyal to Captain Marvel and, given what Talos and the Skrulls owe her, it’s understandable why the affable shapeshifter would be protective of Carol Danvers. Indeed, Carol turned against the Kree Starforce (who were manipulating her and keeping her powers in check) and fought on the side of the Skrulls, who were being exterminated by the Kree. Captain Marvel ended with Carol escorting the Skrulls to find a new homeworld in another part of the universe. Essentially, Captain Marvel reunited Talos with his wife Soren (Sharon Blynn) and saved his people so it’s natural the Skrull would feel he owes her everything.
And perhaps, having knowledge of how busy Danvers is (as evidenced by Captain Marvel missing much of Avengers: Endgame so that she can police the galaxy), Talos simply felt she shouldn’t need to be bothered by coming back to Earth to deal with the Elementals, especially when the Terran homeworld has the Avengers and other superheroes to call upon – like Spider-Man.
However, there’s another potential way to look at Fury/ Talos getting angry at Peter mentioning Captain Marvel: what if the Skrull is actually angry at her for some unknown reason? After all, the events of Captain Marvel occurred in 1995, which was 29 years before Spider-Man: Far From Home. A lot of things could have transpired between Talos/the Skrulls and Carol Danvers during those three decades and we know Talos returned to Earth and became Nick Fury’s double for an unknown amount of time, along with Soren, who poses as Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). The real Fury is, in fact, working with the Skrulls on a secret mission in outer space, possibly to establish S.W.O.R.D., the outer-space version of S.H.I.E.L.D., in order to counteract Kree sleeper cells on Earth.
Therefore, it’s possible that at some point between 1995 and 2024, Captain Marvel and Talos had a falling out or that whatever the Skrulls and the real Nick Fury are working on is something they don’t necessarily want to involve Carol Danvers. While there isn’t much info to go on, trying to understand the context of why Fury/Talos wanted Captain Marvel’s name kept off the table is the only way to make that moment in Spider-Man: Far From Home make sense.
Next: Spider-Man: Far From Home Ending Explained (In Detail)