But first, a refresh. In 2018, Infinity War concluded when super-spy Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) used a special pager to call in the then-unseen Captain Marvel (Larson), shortly before dissolving as a result of villain Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) successful attempt to wipe out half of all living beings (including many of the Avengers and their allies).
90s-set Captain Marvel rewinds the clock to decades before the Avengers first teamed up, the Infinity Stones barely a glint in a Celestial’s eye – but the film does explain the backstory behind the pager as we saw it in Infinity War, as well as why Fury didn’t use it before now (a question Jackson has his own theories about).
During the film, Fury uses the high-tech (well, in 1995) pager a few times before Carol (Larson) confiscates it, only returning it to him at the end of the story after she’s upgraded it using Kree technology.
“I upgraded it,” Carol tells Fury. “Range should be a couple of galaxies, at least.”
However, she’s initially a little reluctant to hand it over, causing Fury to quip: “What, you think I’m gonna crank call you?”
“For emergencies ONLY,” she insists.
After that, Captain Marvel flies off with the Skrulls to find them a new home (a possible story for a sequel? Who knows?), leaving Fury on Earth – and given Carol’s stern command that he doesn’t call her in unless he absolutely needs to, perhaps it’s no surprise Fury held off until people were literally dissolving in the streets.
And apparently the pager storyline will be picked up in the early moments of Endgame, with Captain Marvel’s first post-credits scene showing the Avengers in turmoil after Thanos’ deadly finger snap.
In the scene, the pager can be seen in a clamp, hooked up to an external power source in the Avengers headquarters, while Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) discuss their terrible defeat.
Joined by Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and Don Cheadle’s War Machine while a 3D display shows a list of the missing (i.e. people who were turned to dust by Thanos), the remaining Avengers realise that the pager has finally stopped sending out its signal – and Black Widow is determined to get it working again (having already had Banner rig it up to last longer), if only to decode Nick Fury’s final act.
“I wanna know who’s on the other end of that thing,” she says, demanding they send the signal again.
However, it’s already gotten through, with Captain Marvel suddenly appearing behind them to ask menacingly “Where’s Fury?”
It’s a great tease that unites Captain Marvel’s budding friendship between Carol and Nick with the fun “heroes meet other heroes” schtick of the Avengers movies – and it tells us a few things about Endgame that we didn’t know before.
First off, assuming this is a scene from the finished movie, it seems likely that Captain Marvel turns up fairly early on in the film’s narrative – we’re guessing after a couple of cold open scenes following other characters, we come to this exchange in the Avengers base, which seems like these particular characters’ first appearances given their topic of conversation – and Carol might take a while to trust her new allies, given that the only humans she was close to are nowhere to be found.
Who knows – based on past team-up movies, maybe we could even see some of the classic hero-vs-hero nonsense to show off Carol’s powers before she eventually decides to trust the remaining Avengers.
In this post-credits scene we can also note that Carol hasn’t aged much since the time of the Captain Marvel movie – her hairstyle is a little different, but apart from that, nearly 25 years hasn’t hit her much – suggesting that rumours of a time travel plot could have some basis in fact (unless she just ages much slower due to her part-Kree biology, as it’s mentioned during Captain Marvel that her adoptive species live longer).
How Captain Marvel will fit into Endgame’s story is more up for debate, but based on her power level (where she easily destroys a Kree bombardment single-handed and flies through the vacuum of space) she’ll definitely be a worthy addition to the remaining heroes.
Plus, the nature of her powers, derived from the all-important Tesseract (aka that glowing blue cube from several of the Marvel films) gives her a connection to the Infinity stones Thanos used to pull off his big trick.
The Tesseract was really the Space stone, one of the first added to Thanos’ gauntlet, and Captain Marvel was empowered by it – so who’s to say she couldn’t use that same power to destroy it, just as Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) used her Infinity stone-bestowed abilities to destroy the Mind stone in Infinity War (albeit temporarily)?