It’s been about a month since Carol Danvers’ cinematic origin story debuted in theaters. Marvel’s 21st film has broken major glass ceiling expectations, and rightly so- did you see the way she plowed through Ronan’s fleet of bombers like they were butter?
That might be why many MCU fanatics have seen the film multiple times—maybe twice, three times, or possibly even more. The film has already surpassed $1 billion at the global box office. (Higher, further, faster, baby.) But no matter how many times viewers rewatch Carol Danvers kick galactic butt there’s still one thing only comic book readers truly understand. That is the mystery behind Captain Marvel’s alien cat, Goose.
So what’s up with the Goose the cat anyway? Unless you’ve followed the comics, the film may have lost you there when it introduced the flerken’s surprise powers and alien backstory. She’s not just Nick Fury’s soft spot; she’s a beast- literally! Read along for more information on Goose’s true comic origin and to find out just what the heck a flerken really is.
It’s Actually Chewie in the Comics, Short For Chewbacca
It might seem a little strange to you at first. You may be wondering how the cat in Captain Marvel went from being named Chewie to Goose? What’s the point in changing her name anyway? The two names are so seemingly unrelated…or are they?
Both versions are actually references to mega favorite pop culture films: Top Gun and Stars Wars. It’s easy to see Top Gun’s influence in the ’90s set Captain Marvel film. What you may not know is that Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel series pays homage to Star Wars as much the film to did to the ’80s cult classic.
In the comics, Carol has famously quoted the franchise during her spacebound adventures: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” She even named her kitty cat after Chewbacca because of their similar features- namely the fur, the attitude, and being a fantastic co-pilot. The MCU made the necessary change after deciding that having two Chewbaccas in their cinematic universes might be a little confusing.
I’m not sure who wouldn’t be able to tell apart a 7.5′ tall Wookiee and an orange house cat but hey! Chewie to Goose works anyway.
Chewie’s Comic Book Origin
Carol firsts meets her soon-to-be sidekick in 2006’s Giant-Size Ms. Marvel Vol 1 #1, featuring a story which takes place on Earth-58163 during the House of M event. The unsuspecting tabby is just as inconspicuous as her film version at first.
The two future BFFs meet after the alleged “Sorcerer Supreme” Warren Traveler unexpectedly pops in via a time spell and gives Carol a run for her money. The tabby helps to fight the sorcerer but disappears magically in the fight. Luckily for cat-enthusiasts, she returns later in the issue, and the rest is herstory.
Rocket Raccoon Was The First To Recognize Chewie as a Flerken
Some time later when Carol teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy (now rocking her Captain Marvel codename) Rocket Raccoon breaks the news that he knows what Chewie truly is. The cat isn’t just precious and fuzzy—she’s a Flerken. Rocket is anything but gullible. He knows how deadly Chewie really is.
It’s no wonder he wants to do the most practical, and true to nature, Rocket-thing possible: sell Captain Marvel’s pet for a pretty penny. As usual, chaos ensues but ultimately Rocket and Chewie reach a truce not to kill each other, which is pretty spectacular seeing how Chewie almost did him in when Rocket wanted to sell her 117 alien offspring.
So, What The Heck is a Flerken?
That’s great and all, but you may be still wondering what the heck a Flerken is. If you have seen the film you witnessed Goose the cat unleashing giant alien tentacles on the elite Kree Starforce. But what exactly does being a Flerken entail? Let’s go over that.
Flerkens are alien lifeforms that choose to pose as similar beasts: the domestic house cat. Any Earth-616 cat owners can vouch for the sinister similarities. In addition to the well-known claws and hissing, Flerkens have their own frightening skills.
For one, the species have pocket dimensions hidden in their jowls. It is said that they can hold an entire universe within their mouths! This explains how Goose was able to swallow the Tesseract and hold such gargantuan tentacles inside of her stomach- which is the Flerken’s second astonishing ability.
That’s not all though. Due to the Flerken’s built-in pocket dimensions, one could actually travel through other dimensions via the furball’s mouth. Will it be sloppy, slimy, and probably the worst experience ever? Sure. But, it’ll get the job done.
Now that we’ve properly introduced you to Captain Marvel’s cat-slash-alien, what do you think? Which name do you prefer for the ginger-colored alien cat- Goose or Chewie? Let your Geek Sideshow and tell us what you think in the comments!
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