This article contains Captain Marvel spoilers.
Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) plays the Captain Marvel movie’s Minn-Erva, a member of Star Force, a Kree military group. Carol Danvers, known by her Kree name as Vers, is a member, as are Djimon Hounsou’s Korath, Algenis Perez Soto’s Att-Lass, Rune Temte’s Bron-Char, and the mysterious team leader Yon-Rogg played by Jude Law.
The seasoned fighter Minn-Erva made it clear that she was no great fan of Vers, whose true identity was a secret even to Captain Marvel herself. Minn-Erva was in on the secret of Carol’s origins and yet never told a soul, a loyal Kree fighter to the very end when her ship exploded in a canyon as she tried to take out Nick Fury and a family of Skrulls as they tried to escape the might of the Kree Empire.
But is Minn-Erva really dead? We didn’t see a body, so that means by the rules of superhero stories, people should be (at best) skeptical that Minn-Erva is gone for good. It would also be a waste of Gemma Chan’s considerable talents and rising star. Besides, Minn-Erva has a decent comics history to draw on for any potential future Captain Marvel MCU outtings.
Called both Minn-Erva (her Kree name) and Dr. Minerva, the comics version of the character is a Kree geneticist and a recurring Captain Marvel villain. As a Kree, she has the power of flight and superior strength, similar to Captain Marvel, but lacks the photon abilities – or “sparkle fists” as it were. She has a tendency to use her intelligence to cook up dangerous schemes.
Minerva, a Kree geneticist, has plagued Mar-Vell, Carol Danvers, Spider-Man, the Avengers and others since her first appearance as a villain in the pages of Captain Marvel, back when Mar-Vell held the title.
More recently, Minerva reappeared during Civil War II, when she tried to merge human and Kree DNA in a weaponized fashion. She used radiation that mutated human DNA to turn humans into disturbing crab hybrids as a biological weapon to distract Captain Marvel and her Alpha Flight team so they would be too distracted to stop Minerva’s larger plan. Minerva’s obsession with Captain Marvel led her to stage the dramatic finale of her plan in South Boston, part of Carol’s hometown. Minerva even experimented on her own genetics in an effort to give herself powers more comparable to Captain Marvel’s.
Thanks to Ulysses, a college-aged Inhuman whose predictive abilities were the subject of the conflict at the heart of Civil War II, a group including Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Monica Rambeau, and America Chavez takes Dr. Minerva down. This particular story takes place after the dissolution of the Kree Empire, so an allied faction of the Kree takes her into custody and tries her for her crimes. The Avengers take her weapons and her research for further study. After all, she may be evil, but she’s still brilliant.