As an avid Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fan, I was counting the days until “Captain Marvel” came out — especially because opening day was two days after my birthday.

I made sure to pre-order tickets for myself and my friends, Erin Wilson and Elise Sommerhaug, as soon as possible to get prime seats.

So on March 8, I geared up in my most comfortable pair of sweatpants and headed over to the biggest theater at Century Arden 14 and XD (1590 Ethan Way) to sit in my favorite spot: the first row of the second tier.

While the “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer during previews certainly hyped me up (even though I had watched it about five times already), and the Stan Lee tribute in the beginning pulled on my heartstrings, I’m not going to lie — I had some doubts.

There were a lot of different opinions surrounding “Captain Marvel,” and while I’m not going to get into the political side of it (because I don’t think it should have been an issue), I disagreed with the trolls and tried not to let negative preconceptions sway my view of the movie.

But I was still nervous about a few things. For one, I am, of course, territorial about and protective of the original six Avengers — Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Before seeing the movie, I didn’t want Captain Marvel to have a main role in “Avengers: Endgame” and steal the spotlight from characters that have been developing for 10 years.

I was also concerned about Captain Marvel’s powers. I hoped I wouldn’t walk out of the theater feeling that it’s unfair for her to be so strong — stronger than Thor, for example, or even Scarlet Witch (even though the latter is definitely not my favorite character). But I was worried that if her strength wasn’t justified, I would adopt those feelings and it would affect my enjoyment of “Avengers: Endgame.”

I also thought the name “Captain Marvel” was a bit weird — I didn’t like that the franchise name was a part of her superhero name and didn’t understand how she went from Carol Danvers to Captain Marvel.

Despite this, I was excited to see the movie. If anything, I could rely on Goose the cat, Carol’s adorable sidekick, because all a movie needs for me to enjoy it is a cat.

But I didn’t need to, since “Captain Marvel” wildly exceeded my expectations.

During the credits and the post-credits scenes, I even pulled Elise and Erin over to my seat to tell them how much I loved Carol.

First of all, her dry, sarcastic sense of humor was original, and her banter with Nick Fury made me laugh.

I now know that when I watch “Avengers: Endgame,” I won’t feel as if Carol is overshadowing other characters because her personality will fit in with the group dynamic.

Second, her origin story both quelled my fears about her strength and my original dislike and confusion about her superhero name. Both perfectly fit in with the continuity and pre-established storylines of the MCU.

However, those are not the only ties the movie had to the franchise as a whole. There are the obvious appearances of Phil Coulson and  Fury, but the movie also fills in and completes the entire Avengers story.

And then there was the mid-credits scene. No spoilers, of course, but I will say I was very surprised.

After all, due to casting lists or pictures on set, viewers usually know everyone who will be in a movie, even if it’s just for one or two scenes.

Carol is now one of my favorite characters, and the movie is one of my favorites in the MCU.

Sidenote: By favorite, I don’t mean best. In my opinion, “Black Panther” is the best MCU movie, but the first Avengers movie will always be my favorite.

But despite all these positives, I have a confession. Carol wasn’t my favorite character in “Captain Marvel.”

Goose stole the show. I have so many words to describe her.

Spectacular. Amazing. Talented. Brilliant. Incredible. Show-stopping.

Elise and Erin can testify I reached my arms out to the screen and squealed whenever Goose showed up.

However, I still think it would have been hilarious for Goose to simply cough up a hairball in the post-credits scene, instead of … the other thing that you’ll have to watch the movie to find out!

Back to Carol — I love her so much I got a mini-Funko Pop bobblehead of her. The only other one I have is of Loki, who will forever be my favorite MCU character.

I even love Carol (and Goose) enough to see Captain Marvel for the second time during Spring Break!

And yes, I will be bringing my bobblehead to the theater.

—By Sarina Rye

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