That Marvel post-credit routine: the obligatory 10 minute wait for a slowly-sinking tower of staff names to reveal a potential tiny glimpse of a future film at the ground floor. Not so in Spider-man Homecoming. Instead of acting as solely an advert to a further MCU film, its pair of after-credits scenes brilliantly add more layers to movie you’ve just seen. Yes, one is offering a friendly-neighbourhood-styled teaser for a sequel, but it could easily swing over your head.
In the first scene we see Michael Keaton’s defeated villain The Vulture/Adrian Toomes marching through a prison corridor and fibbing to a fellow inmate that he doesn’t know Spider-man’s real identity (“if I knew who he was, he would be dead”) before striding off with a smile.
Micheal Keaton as The Vulture/Adrian Toomes in Spide-rman: Homecoming
At first it might seem that this is perfectly portraying the last degree of The Vulture’s character arc: his decision to maintain Peter Parker’s anonymity evident that Toomes has truly changed his heart towards our hero (well, it’s the least he could do after the web-head saved his life from self-destructive alien weaponry during the film’s explosive climax). But this scene wasn’t merely a sign The Vulture’s motives of revenge have been re-paved by a path of redemption. It was also setting up a Spidey sequel.
The prisoner that Toomes passes – the one who asks what face lurks under the high-tech webbed mask (“I’ve got some boys on the outside that would love to meet him and slice his throat. I head a rumour you know who he is”) – is villain The Scorpion in-waiting. And we don’t just know that from his scorpion neck tattoo: the inmate – played by Michael Mando – is referred to as Mac Gargan in the movie, the man who goes on to become one of Spidey’s greatest enemies.
He hasn’t hit the Marvel big screen before, but Gargan’s had a long history in the comicbooks. He first started off as a private investigator, hired by Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson to expose how Peter Parker is able to snap such good pics of Spider-man. But in true nonsensical superbaddie style this leads to Gargan donning a mechanical tail and altering his DNA to become a half-man half-scorpion and 100% baddie of New York City.
Still, despite his offbeat origins in the comics, Mando (who plays Nacho in Better Call Saul) looks eager to get his pincers into the role.
And what about the second post-credit scene? Well, that belongs to Chris Evans’ Captain America, the superhero who stole many of Spidey’s scenes with a series of rib-tickling cameos. Despite delared an enemy of the state in Civil War, Cap features in Homecoming through a number of gloriously cheesy school Public Service Announcement videos, imparting advice on puberty (“so your body is going through some changes – I know all about that!”) and discipline (“Take it from a guy who was frozen for 65 years – there’s nothing cooler than sticking to the rules!”).
The final post-credit scene is one more of these PSAs. “I’m Captain America, here to talk to you about one of the most valuable traits a solider or student can have: patience,” the Star-Spangled ex-Avenger begins in beautifully fourth-wall smashing style. “Sometimes it leads to very little and it seems like it’s not worth it. And you wonder why you waited so long…” he then breaks off, addressing somebody behind the camera: “how many of these have I go to do?”. Cut to black.
It’s a finale fantasically fitting for a film that actively shunned many of the recent comicbook film conventions: Homecoming webslung away from the wall-crawler’s origin story; it settled on a character-driven small-town story; and, most importantly, it swapped the overtold Uncle Ben and great power/great responsible fable for a dose a meta-humour even that Deadpool would salute.
You can consider our Spidey senses well and truly tingled.
Spider-man: Homecoming is in cinemas now