This article contains MAJOR Avengers: Infinity War spoilers, but you probably already figured all that out from the headline, right?
Well, the ending of Avengers: Infinity War sure is a bummer, right? I mean, who would have thought that they would just end the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thanos winning after achieving his ultimate goal of wiping out half of all life in the entire universe? The nerve of Marvel Studios, who will now never make another movie again, leaving us with a victorious villain which is just no way to set an example for…
Wait… there’s an Avengers: Infinity War post credits scene? Of course there is! And it’s a surprisingly cryptic one, too. Well, by Marvel standards at least.
The Avengers: Infinity War post credits scene serves three purposes: to remind us of the very first Marvel post credits scene in 2008’s Iron Man movie, to show the real-world impact of Thanos’ victory and to let fans know that the next major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting ready to make her debut.
For the first few seconds of the Avengers: Infinity War after credits scene, when we see Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, I almost wondered if this was a flashback… and then everything goes to hell, with cars crashing and aircraft falling out of the sky. Why? Well, that’s what happens when drivers and pilots blink out of existence.
So, just in case anyone was wondering whether Thanos’ victory just involved wiping out those superheroes who were annoying the hell out of him, think again. This scene proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that half of the population of Earth just croaked, and scenes like this are playing out all over the universe.
In the original Infinity Gauntlet comic, there are a few moments that showed this kind of real-world impact, notably one where a passenger plane’s pilots had apparently blinked out, leaving the plane to run out of fuel until it could be coaxed to a landing on a New York City street by some helpful superheroes.
As appropriate as it is to have Nick Fury return for an post credits romp, 10 years after he first said the words “Avengers Initiative” in Iron Man, his cut off “motherf…” feels like it echoes what surely must be Sam Jackson’s frustrations about being relegated to the margins of the MCU for so long, after he was the unifying force for it all to begin with! Don’t worry, Nick, you’ll be back. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Fury does manage to get off a distress signal before he ceases to exist… and gets a mysterious symbol as a reply. It’s a symbol of the military of the alien Kree race (see all the blue-skinned aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD season 2? Those are Kree), and one that’s worn these days by Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. And just as the word “Avengers” was important to the next 10 years of Marvel blockbusters, I suspect that Captain Marvel symbol on the screen will be just as important for the next 10 years.
Who is Captain Marvel?
Without spoiling too much, Carol Danvers is a United States Air Force officer who meets up with a Kree soldier in human disguise. Their encounter leaves Carol with cosmic powers and one of the coolest costumes in modern superhero comics (the movie version looks great, too). We’re talking Thor-level strength and relative invulnerability, energy projection, and the ability to fly. Yes, a woman who can fly combat missions in advanced fighter jets will be able to kick ass in the air without the aid of a plane. In fact, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told us that Captain Marvel “is is more powerful than any hero we’ve ever introduced.”
Joss Whedon had initially hoped to introduce Carol Danvers at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that didn’t happen. So we won’t really get to meet Carol Danvers until Captain Marvel opens next year. So this is just a tease for that, right?
Well, not exactly. You see, Captain Marvel takes place in the 1990s, making it the second MCU movie (after the excellent Captain America: The First Avenger) to take place in the past. So we won’t see Carol Danvers answering Nick Fury’s distress call in that movie. Well, we may see her answering some kind of distress call from him, because we’ll meet a younger version of Nick Fury (and Agent Phil Coulson) in that film… but it won’t be because half the world’s population has vanished. We have some more details on that here.
But the fact that the pager shows that message as “received” means that Carol Danvers isn’t one of the 50% of the universe who crumbled to ash. So she’ll be around to join the remaining core Avengers team (plus Rocket) to help deliver the feel-good ass-kicking of the year to Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. The cavalry is coming, and she’ll be played by Brie Larson.
This is going to be awesome.
Captain Marvel opens on March 5, 2019. Avengers: Endgame follows on May 3, 2019. It’s…it’s going to feel like a long wait. The full schedule of upcoming Marvel movies can be found here.
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