With Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Finally Gave Us A Post-Credit Scene That Really Matters

The Mad Titan carves a bloody path in Avengers: Infinity War, but someone is on the way to stop him. Image: Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel Studios)

Marvel Studios has revolutionised the way we watch movies in a particularly weird way - a decade ago, most people left the cinema the moment the credits began rolling. Now, swathes of moviegoers diligently sit through all the credits, hoping to see a little something extra. Marvel's latest film Avengers: Infinity War does this, but it's so much more than an extra.

Ever since Nick Fury walked out of the shadows to invite Tony Stark to a much bigger world at the end of Iron Man, Marvel's post-credits scenes have been relatively inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things.

That isn't a knock - they're meant to be fun little extras for fans, either teases of what's to come (literally, in the case of Captain America: The First Avenger's tag being a straight up trailer for The Avengers), or another great joke. One of Spider-Man: Homecoming's tags deliberately plays at this emptiness, as Captain America himself walks back on screen to remind us that sometimes we're patient for things that end up being absolutely nothing.

Despite the fact we have essentially been re-wired by Marvel to stay in our cinema seats a little longer than we used to, we have also spent the last decade being taught that these are simple, funny extras with little in the way of actual meaning to the wider film they're attached to. If you miss them, it's no big deal. But then Infinity War happened. And the ending of Infinity War is perhaps one of the most brutally gut-wrenching climaxes Marvel has ever done.

Tony Stark reflecting the appropriate level of distress most audiences will feel seeing Infinity War for the first time. Image: Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel Studios)

Even if you're a knowing comics fan aware of the source material's love of undoing seemingly horrifying cliffhangers, or a Marvel movie buff who has devoured all the news they can about this movie and the movies that will follow, there is a great deal of tragedy in watching your heroes not just fail, but be broken by the events of Infinity War's climax. Both spiritually, and in the cases of an alarmingly long list of beloved characters, literally, as they are disintegrated with a snap of Thanos' fingers.

You watch a teenage boy, suddenly so alone and so scared, splutter that he's not ready to die as his body breaks up in his mentor's arms! One of the final lines in the whole film is Captain America, the Marvel universe's beacon of stoicism and optimism, curled up on the floor muttering "Oh God" in shock! It's grim stuff, especially for a big, explosive winter movie.

You can't follow that up with a jokey aside midway through the credits. To do so would cheapen the emotional climax of the entire film. And thankfully, Infinity War doesn't, choosing to pass on a mid-credit sequence and twist something these post-credits have done before (tease an upcoming movie, in this case, Captain Marvel) into something Infinity War desperately needed to end with. A reminder that even though things are at the worst they could possibly be for this universe, help is on the way, and there are heroes out there still ready to fight.

Hell, this scene is still partially as grim as the rest of the climax - it features two more long-running characters, Maria Hill and Nick Fury, being killed by Thanos' Infinity Stone-powered snap. But its overall message is still a spark of hope: Captain Marvel is coming, and she will help fix the terrible things you just saw unfold.

Carol probably won't show up with a fleet of Alpha Flight ships like this cover for 2016's Captain Marvel #1, but it be pretty helpful if she did, right? Image: Kris Anka (Marvel Comics)

If you recognise the star emblem and the red-and-blue colour scheme that lights up on Fury's space-beeper as even he turns to ash, it's like momentary manna from Heaven. But if you walk out before that scene? The way you feel is probably a bit bleaker. Even if you didn't know who was on the other end of that space beeper, you at least knew help was coming.

Arguably a post-credit scene in a Marvel movie hasn't mattered anywhere near as much as Infinity War's does to the emotional tone of the entire piece. Yes, like tags before it, it is an amuse-bouche for a movie that's yet to come.

But in treating Carol Danvers' arrival as a beacon of hope in the bleak darkness of Infinity War's climax, instead of a simple teaser for the next chapter of this grand saga, what would otherwise be an ancillary moment becomes an essential part of the story Infinity War tells. It's almost too vital to be considered an empty bonus for sticking around through the end titles.


Comments

    Yep I thought it was great and it speaks to the power that Captain Marvel has on tap to right the wrongs from the film. Exciting stuff...

    I was that comic book nerd when I saw that symbol on Fury's space-beeper. The cinema laughed at me when I called out, "Captain Marvel!" in a happy voice and I don't even care.
    I left happy. :)

      Had to explain to my workmate what the symbol was when I did he said "oh yeah he's really powerful" thinking of Shazam. Had to set him on the right path pretty regarding all of that.

    I'd argue that the original Iron Man post credits scene mattered as well. Without Fury appearing out of the shadows to discuss the Avengers Initiative, I doubt we'd have gotten to this point.

    Most of the others are merely breadcrumbs to lead to the next movie, but that one made it clear we were getting Avengers, which gave us the path to Infinity War.

      If the Nick Fury thing didn’t happen in the credits scene, then it could have and would have and should have happened in An Actual Movie. That they relegated it to the stinger just shows how little the producers care about the scene.

      You saw it wasn’t a breadcrumb like the others, but it’s definitively plainly a breadcrumb just like all the others. And it will always be a breadcrumb.......because if something is important, then time will be dedicated within the main running time of the movie.

      Last edited 03/05/18 11:34 am

        I'm talking about the headline claiming that the Capt Marvel teaser is one that finally matters. It suggests that none of them before mattered, which I disagree with. I think the Fury one mattered at both a meta and MCU level.

        I'm not arguing it wasn't a breadcrumb, they all were. I'm arguing that it mattered, meaning the Capt Marvel one isn't the first one to matter, as the title can be interpreted as meaning.

    Ehhh Captian Marvel isn't really that important as a character, it is only since Anad that they have been pushing her and even then she is obnoxious.

    Captain Marvel comes in to save the day and brings back everybody only for Deadpool to come in and to grab the gauntlet and kills the entire MCU in the end credit scene of avengers 4, rebooting every thing. With the next movies after that being Disney/Mavel versions of Fantastic 4 and Xmen

    I can see where this leads... Captain Marvel comes back to the MCU and saves the day, to lead up to the next massive crossover.

    "We thought that when we brought her back, that saving the lives of half the universe would be worth any cost... But what we never thought, was that we were trading in annihilation for the jackboots of oppression..."

    CAPTAIN MARVEL: CIVIL WAR II

    Aka, How Marvel comics managed to make Captain Marvel into more of a fascist douche than Tony in the original Civil War.

    As far as post-credits scenes go, it didn't seem that much more important than other ones that have hinted at a new character in future films.

    Also, if Nick Fury had a pager to call Captain Marvel, why wouldn't he have used it when the Chitauri invaded during the first Avengers film? And if Thanos has been rampaging through the galaxy collecting the infinity stones, surely Captain Marvel would already have heard about it, even if she is in Kree space.

    And for that matter, where are all the other alien civilisations in this massive universal threat? The Nova Corps might be gone, but what about the Kree?

      -“Infinity War is the biggest most amazing movie yet.....because it has ALL THE PEOPLE in it!”
      -“But actually, despite a bloated 3 hour running time, in which our favorite heroes all get 2 minutes of screen time each, This is only 50% of a story. TO BE CONTINUED!”
      -“Oh, and there’s a Deus Ex Machina coming, a single person who nobody has ever heard of, is going to cancel out what 3 hours of ‘ALL THE PEOPLE’ failed to do”

      The premise of Infinity War is joke. The premise is: “Quantity not quality.” 3 hours....30 heroes.

      The execution is a joke. We get no conclusion, we only get 50% of a story. To Be Continued.

      The post-credits sequence is joke. It highlights how insulting and idiotic the whole situation is. “Hey, the latest action figure / marketing ploy is MORE POWERFUL THAN all those other heroes! Tune in next time to see how this story ends!”

      Last edited 03/05/18 12:02 pm

        The premise of Infinity War is joke. The premise is: “Quantity not quality.” 3 hours....30 heroes.
        You're watching the movie backwards. Infinity War was a movie about one man and his quest to right the universe, against the opposition of the universes 'greatest heroes' and his own personal sacrifices.
        The execution is a joke. We get no conclusion, we only get 50% of a story. To Be Continued.
        The conclusion was that he succeeded, the universe has been balanced.
        The post-credits sequence is joke. It highlights how insulting and idiotic the whole situation is. “Hey, the latest action figure / marketing ploy is MORE POWERFUL THAN all those other heroes! Tune in next time to see how this story ends!”
        No, it's just like almost every other post-credits sequence - teasing a bigger fight that's yet to come.

      It's been a while since I watched the first GotG but didn't Ronin kill most of the Kree? He was also under Thanos command at the time - until he got the infinity stone and decided to work for himself so either way if Captain Marvel was around, she should've known about Thanos...

      I assume there's going to be some reason we learn in her film that stopped her showing up on Earth between the 90s and today but I agree with you on Fury paging her... Why didn't he do that back in Avengers 1 or even Age of Ultron?

        I remember Ronan being an outlaw because he wasn't respecting the treaty between the Kree Empire and Nova Corps. I don't remember them ever saying or implying that he had destroyed the Kree Empire though.

          Ah that sounds right. I knew there was some reason the Kree were opposed to him but didn't show up, for some reason I thought it was because he was killing them but you're right. He was opposed to peace and the empire just cbf doing anything about him (other than saying he doesn't speak for them).

    “Revolutionizing the way we watch movies” sounds incorrect when all we are talking about is people paying attention to an extra tidbit of trivial minutia tacked on to the very end of a movie.

    Infinity War was three hours long and still couldn’t tell a whole story....it was clearly half of a story, given the ending. The stinger with Nick Fury’s pager is even more cheap shallow and empty than a usual stinger, because the movie itself is clearly only half complete. Plus, we are told that a non-famous character, who nobody knows anything about or cares about, who no one in the theatre knows or cares about (or recognizes the symbol of), is going to be our Deus Ex Machina.

    The Infinity War post-credit is literally: “TO BE CONTINUED.... WITH A DEUS MACHINA who is apparently more powerful than this team of 30 superheroes”

    This all reveals how the premise of Infinity War was pointless and empty to begin with: “EVERYTHING COMBINED INTO ONE THING!” This doesn’t work for food. This doesn’t work for paint colors. This doesn’t work for superhero movies. Yet human beings still think, “IT HAS MORE STUFF IN IT....THAT MEANS ITS THE BEST!” Yeah...if only we had a proverb about quantity versus quality...

    Infinity War: The Biggest Crossover Ever - 30 Heroes Together (for 5 minutes each) is a failed non-event, even with 3 hours of running time, because the story is only half of a story, and then we are told the whole thing will be cancelled out (at a later date) by a single person we’ve never seen before. Captain Marvel does not enhance anything.....Captain Marvel undermines the entire supposed selling point of the movie.

    Last edited 03/05/18 12:05 pm

      The Infinity War post-credit is literally: “TO BE CONTINUED.... WITH A DEUS MACHINA who is apparently more powerful than this team of 30 superheroes”
      I'm sure she'll play a big role but I very much doubt Captain Marvel will be a deus ex machina and just fix everything.

      It seems very deliberate that all the phase 1 Avengers were left alive (with only a few others - Rocket, Ant-man & Wasp, Captain Marvel) Not to mention Strange giving up the time stone to save Tony and saying 'This had to happen.' They're going to play a big part in Avengers 4, not just Captain Marvel.

        Yes, Dr Strange saw 4million different timelines and said there is only one way to beat Thanos, this is the way. Everyone had to die.

        Just as a technicality, we don't actually know if Ant Man, Wasp and Captain Marvel are actually alive or not... I think its a fair assumption, but both the relevant upcoming movies are prequels to the events of Infinity War, with IW not establishing one way or the other whether they survived the finger clicking.

        They're Schrodinger's Avengers at the moment, neither alive nor dead until we open the box that is Avengers 4 :)

          the finger clicking

          The CLICKENING!

          That's true. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they killed off either Ant Man or The Wasp in the post-credits scene for their film too with the other one joining Hawkeye (also possibly dead but I doubt it) for the start of A4.

    How dare you imply that dancing baby Groot didn't matter.

      teenage Groot on the other hand.... Filthy mouthed Groot that he is.

      Which reminds me. One of the things I loved in IW was that Thor spoke Groot. Loved the throwaway line that apparently on Asgard its an elective in school.

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