Zawe Ashton, dressed in a grey uniform, smiles as she holds a giant hammer.
(Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios)

Who is the Villain in ‘The Marvels’? Zawe Ashton’s Marvel Character Explained

The Marvels finally has a trailer! In it, we see lots of body-swapping fun among Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and a very overwhelmed Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). We also get a glimpse of Marvel’s newest villain, played by Zawe Ashton.

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So who is this new character, exactly? Here’s what we know so far.

Is Zawe Ashton playing Dar-Benn?

The Marvels wrapped filming almost a year ago, meaning that rumors have had plenty of time to grow and circulate. However, after the trailer drop, Marvel confirmed one rumor: Zawe Ashton’s villain is a gender-swapped Dar-Benn. The character’s name was included with trailer stills.

So who is Dar-Benn? In the comics, Dar-Benn is a disgruntled general in the Kree Empire. Along with his co-conspirator Ael-Dan, Dar-Benn tries to take over the empire, but is defeated by the Silver Surfer. Obviously the Marvel Cinematic Universe is diverging from that storyline, pitting Dar-Benn against the Marvels instead.

A Kree revolutionary

According to Marvel, Dar-Benn is a “Kree revolutionary.” Interestingly, she can be seen holding a hammer similar to the one wielded by Ronan, the Kree Accuser who tried to take over the planet Xandar in Guardians of the Galaxy. It seems that Dar-Benn might be resurrecting Ronan’s extremist faction in The Marvels.

The Kree Empire, you may recall, is the alien race that originally kidnapped Carol and erased her memories of Earth in the original Captain Marvel.

What is The Marvels About?

Here’s the official plot summary for The Marvels:

In Marvel Studios’ The Marvels, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up to learn to work in concert to save the universe as ‘The Marvels.'”

The Marvels comes out on November 10, 2023.

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>