When reactions from early screenings started pouring out for the MCU sequel, critics were largely positive, some praising the movie as “genuinely hilarious” and “everything Marvel does best.”
Now that full reviews have hit, however, the picture is looking a little less positive. As of writing, The Marvels is struggling to maintain its 58% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes - putting it alongside the other Rotten MCU projects like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (46%) and Eternals (47%).
While its reception might be shaky, it certainly offered fans plenty of significant plot developments.
The Marvels' Main Plot Spoilers Explained
Monica Is Trapped in Another Reality
Kicking off with the most spoilery moments from the end of the movie: After Dar-Benn rips a hole in all of space-time, a new rift appears, which Monica claims to be another reality leaking into the MCU's core universe.
In order to close it, Monica realizes she needs to absorb power from both Captain Marvel and Kamala while also positioning herself on the other side of the breach. It doesn't take long for her to realize that she needs to stay on that side in order to finish the job.
Despite Carol Danvers trying her best to save Monica, the breach closes before she can reach her friend—leaving the codename-less superhero trapped in another reality.
She’s Found By Beast and Binary
Fans don’t have to wait long to see what happens to Monica.
In the film's post-credits scene, Monica wakes up to find her mother alive and well. However, she realizes that things aren't exactly what they seem.
As for this reality’s Maria Rambeau, she goes by the name Binary and wields both of the Quantum Bands—and she has no idea who Monica is.
Is this the storyline that will properly bring the X-Men into the MCU?
Why The Marvels' Powers Got Entangled
The entire movie is based on the idea that Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan’s abilities are all entangled. But how exactly did it all occur in the first place?
Carol and Monica touch a corrupted jump point at the same time, which was created thanks to Dar-Benn’s Quantum Band, leading to their entanglement and dragging Kamala into the mix thanks to her own Quantum Band.
This brings the trio together, forcing them to team up and learn to work together as a united front.
Their entanglement troubles end when Dar-Benn gets her hands on Kamala’s band and puts on both ancient artifacts.
Dar-Benn’s Evil Plan
In the movie's opening moments, Dar-Benn discovers the missing Quantum Band. While she had hoped for two, only one was there, but its power was still enough for her to start her master plan.
Hala was ravaged by a civil war, making the planet nearly uninhabitable. To fix that, she looks to use the power of the Quantum Band to open jump points to steal the resources she needs from other planets.
She’s successful in stealing two things: the atmosphere/air of the entire planet holding a Skrull-Kree peace treaty and the oceans of Carol’s husband’s musically inclined people.
The third, which is the power of a literal sun, she’s unable to achieve - though she does eventually get some help.
Carol Destroyed the Kree Intelligence and Doomed Hala
It turns out that not long after the events of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers flew straight to Hala, where she destroyed the Kree Supreme Intelligence.
Sadly, the plan wasn’t as sound as Carol thought. Instead of helping the Kree people by freeing them from the AI, she sends the planet into a destructive civil war, one that brings the entire planet to the brink of collapse.
The air is poison, there’s a catastrophic drought, and Hala’s sun is dying.
By the end of the movie, all of those things are able to be fixed, with the last being thanks to Carol fulfilling her promise to fix her mistake: she goes Binary and jumpstarts Hala’s Sun.
Goose Has Kids
While it’s a fairly minor plot point in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to recognize that Goose is not the only Flerken that calls Earth home.
At some point, everyone’s favorite not-cat laid eggs all around SABER’s space station, resulting in dozens of new Flerkens being born.
Thankfully for those aboard the space station, their insatiable diet provided the only safe way down to Earth as things went sideways, leading to one of the movie’s biggest standout moments.
Dar-Benn Is Killed
Like many villains before her, Dar-Benn joins the list of baddies who don’t live past their first appearance.
Killing antagonists so quickly is never a great move for the MCU as a whole, but it would hurt a little bit more if she was a memorable antagonist—which she was not. At the end of the day, many likely won’t be shedding tears over the loss of Dar-Benn.
Kamala Is Building a Team
Kamala Khan’s sudden team-up with Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau inspires her to start up her own initiative.
This leads the young hero to New York City, where she finds Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop. Mirroring Nick Fury in the original Iron Man, Kamala has an important question for the newly minted archer: does she think she’s the only kid superhero in the world?
Because she isn’t, and Ms. Marvel is pulling together a new team of youngsters. The prospect seems to catch on, as Kate reveals a slight smirk at the idea.
Carol Danvers Moves to Louisiana
Following Monica’s sacrifice, the end of the movie seemingly sees Carol Danvers relocating to Louisiana.
The film revealed that one of the key reasons Carol has avoided Earth so much is due to her shame in what she did to Hala. But, since she’s now saved the planet after reigniting its sun, coming back to Earth is the perfect next step for the character.
While she’ll almost certainly still have plenty of cosmic adventures, having a home base on Earth means she’s closer to the Avengers than ever before. Perhaps fans will consider this a sure sign that she’ll be on the next roster for Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The Marvels is now playing in theaters worldwide.