This article consists of nothing but massive Captain Marvel spoilers. We have a spoiler free review here.
For all intents and purposes, the Captain Marvel post credits scene is actually a scene from Avengers: Endgame. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually filmed by the Russo Bros. as part of the endless Infinity War/Endgame production. It certainly looks and feels more like what we’ve seen of Endgame than it does the previous two hours of Captain Marvel.
The scene seems to pick up mere hours or days after the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War. How the team came into the possession of Fury’s intergalactic Carol pager, which was last seen falling to the ground in the midst of all kinds of chaos, is unclear, but as with many things in the MCU, certain things are best left relatively unscrutinized.
While Black Widow and Captain America are busy watching the casualty reports pour in from nations around the world, Bruce Banner is trying to determine who that pager is paging. He hasn’t had any luck, until it blinks out completely. The reason it has? The call has been answered, and Carol Danvers appears to ask one question: “Where’s Fury?”
Her delivery of that line speaks volumes. Aside from the fact that we saw Fury and Carol develop a genuine friendship over the course of the movie, there was also a sense of real trust and respect. So, if Fury has gone all these years without activating that pager, and you have to imagine Carol has seen some serious shit while she’s been out in space, she has to realize that things have gone completely sideways here on Earth.
What’s more, Carol would have even less frame of reference for superhero types on Earth than Fury did. She probably only knew Captain America as an urban legend, and would have no knowledge at all of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne’s adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. To find that pager in the possession of costumed folks possessing tech that wasn’t around the last time she was on Earth is probably as distressing as not knowing where one of the only humans she can call a friend might be. Speaking of which, we also have to wonder if Maria or Monica Rambeau made it through Thanos’ snap, and if we’ll see either one of them in Avengers: Endgame.
Needless to say, Carol isn’t going to be happy, and whatever comes immediately after this scene probably isn’t going to involve her settling comfortably into a team dynamic right away. If it turns out that Maria or Monica (or both) have been snapped out of existence, that’s just going to give Carol more ammunition to deliver unto Thanos the feel-good asskicking of the year.
In addition to the possible story ramifications, there’s also a certain symmetry with the Captain Marvel post-credits scene essentially functioning as a direct lead-in to Avengers: Endgame. When Captain America: The First Avenger was released, it was the Phase One movie that laid the final groundwork for the MCU as we know it, not to mention introducing the purely heroic character in the series to date: the ultimately time-lost Steve Rogers. Captain America ended with Rogers sacrificing himself, the world believing he was dead, only for a time jump to take us to the present day. That scene, with Steve waking in a hospital room, always felt like it should have been the movie’s true post-credits scene. Instead, it takes place as part of the movie proper, while its post credits scene was a teaser for The Avengers.
Here, Carol’s arrival in the present day of the MCU can only be told in the context of Avengers: Endgame. After Infinity War, it couldn’t be any other way. But, just as the conclusion of The First Avenger set up Steve Rogers as the central figure of the MCU going forward, you can safely consider that’s the plan for Carol Danvers as well, once the dust settles from Endgame.
THE OTHER POST CREDITS SCENE
Goose hocks up a Tesseract like it’s a hairball. On Fury’s desk no less, as if this Flerken hasn’t done enough damage. Good lord, can you imagine what that litter box must be like? You can read more about Goose right here.