'Captain Marvel': What Is Project Pegasus?

One of the major plots from Captain Marvel harkens back to the earliest days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, referencing both Iron Man 2 and Marvel's The Avengers in a major way.

But what is Project Pegasus, and what does it have to do with Carol Danvers' adventure in the '90s?

Warning: Spoilers for Captain Marvel below.

We first hear about Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. in Iron Man 2, along with a couple other ominous namedrops including Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H. and Project E.X.O.D.U.S. We later learn that "Goliath" was the term for the size-changing technology Hank Pym and Bill Foster were working on for SHIELD., as explained in Ant-Man and the Wasp, though we still don't know what "Exodus" could mean.

Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was fully revealed in the opening scene of Marvel's The Avengers, where Nick Fury is responding to a crisis at the Joint Dark Energy Mission facility in the Mojave Desert. The signage on the building explains that it's a joint effort between NASA, SHIELD, and Project Pegasus, where experiments hoping to weaponize the energy of the Tesseract are taking place.

Captain Marvel plays off of the events established in The Avengers, showing that the Air Force also had a hand in SHIELD's work at Project Pegasus under Dr. Wendy Lawson, who was experimenting on the Tesseract as well for entirely different reasons. We find out that she was creating a Light-Speed drive for space travel, though we won't go into the super spoilery reasons why here.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige spoke with ComicBook.com about the significance of Project Pegasus in the MCU.

"P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was name dropped ... in Iron Man 2, then it's also at the top of Avengers 1," said Feige. "And it was early on tying her into that early MCU. What do we know about the period of the MCU in the years before Iron Man? Well, the Tesseract and P.E.G.A.S.U.S. were part of it. And then also you're seeing another side of that same facility was interesting."

In the comics, Pegasus stands for "Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States," and is a lab located in New York that has been the focus of many battles, especially during the Thing's stint as the lead of the series Marvel Two-in-One.

With the implications raised in Captain Marvel and its ending that leaves a lot of room to be explored, we wouldn't be surprised to see Project Pegasus further explored at some point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain Marvel is now playing in theaters.

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