Who Is Phyla-Vell? The MCU Debuts Another Captain Marvel

By Pierre Chanliau Updated:
Captain Marvel, Kai Zen

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 introduced another Captain Marvel mantle holder from the comics.

Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Pom Klementieff are done with the MCU, leaving fans with a whole new potential team of Guardians of the Galaxy. However, several prominent Guardians members from the comics haven't been used yet, such as Moondragon, Nova, and Phyla.

In the comics, Phyla - first introduced in 2004's Captain Marvel Vol. 5 - was the daughter of Mar-Vell and Elysius and held the moniker of Captain Marvel alongside her brother, Genis. But due to the significant changes made to Mar-Vell in the MCU, the possibility of her having that title on screen are slim to none.

But that hasn't stopped her from joining the MCU.

Phyla Joins the MCU

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Chukwudi Iwuji's High Evolutionary creates Phyla - played by child actress Kai Zen - as one of many attempts at the "perfect" species.

Phyla, Phyla-Vell, Kai Zen, Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel Studios

According to the High Evolutionary, she and her kind are supposedly engineered to require little sleep, exert barely any energy, and be perpetually happy.

Phyla, Phyla-Vell, Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics
Captain Marvel (2002) — Issue #16

Fans of Mar-Vell already anticipated such changes to several characters because he no longer has the status and history of a galactic superhero in Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, Phyla is the first of many consequences of those changes.

What Is the Future of Captain Marvel's Phyla?

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

The post-credits scene of Vol. 3 revealed a new team of Guardians that would continue to protect the galaxy, with Phyla being one of them. She's even shown to seemingly have some of her powers from the comics if her glowing fists are anything to go by.

Although some might be frustrated that another prominent LGBTQIA+ character from the comics has been adapted into a child, there's a chance that it could be only temporary. Like her brother, Genis, Phyla was a test-tube baby made by her mother, Elysius, using Mar-Vell's genetic structure and artificially aged to maturity.

Genis, Marvel Comics, Comic Panel
Silver Surfer Annual (1988) — Issue #6

It's possible that the High Evolutionary integrated this same kind of artificial aging into her species, which hopefully means she'll quickly become an adult when audiences see her again. This could even mean the introduction of an adult Genis somewhere on Nowhere is in the cards.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 premieres in theaters on Friday, May 5.

- In This Article: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release Date
May 05, 2023
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.