Marvel superhero movies and post-credits scenes go together like Robert Downey Jr and weird tinted sunglasses, so it’s no surprise to find that Avengers: Infinity War has a reward for fans who hold on until the very last 'Hairstylist to Mr Cheadle' has been honoured on screen.
Slightly unusually for modern Marvel movies there is only one post-credits scene in Infinity War, with no mid-credits sting to warm fans up, a decision which co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo have suggested was due to the film’s imminent sequel next May.
“You know, it's certainly something you consider,” Joe Russo told RadioTimes.com when asked how the untitled Avengers 4 had impacted the process of including post-credits scenes.
- Avengers: Infinity War review: “An all-star Marvel extravaganza to savour”
- Avengers: Infinity War is too big to win - but somehow it manages anyway
- Avengers: Infinity War directors talk Easter eggs and keeping secrets ahead of Marvel's biggest ever movie
“But I can't say. We wrote a letter begging the fans not to spoil the movie for each other, so we don't want to spoil it for them.”
And with that spoiler-phobic ethos in mind, before we go into more depth discussing what happens in Infinity War’s post-credits scene, this is a final warning – do NOT read on if you haven’t already watched the film.
More like this
Though we’ll try to avoid as many ending spoilers as we can, the post-credits scene obviously feeds off what happens in the main film, and reading before you’ve watched it can only spoil your enjoyment. You've been warned.
Still here? OK then – as you’ll already know, the scene sees the surprise return of original Avengers cast members Samuel L Jackson and Cobie Smulders, playing super-spies Nick Fury and Maria Hill. The pair are driving through the streets of New York as they negotiate the aftermath of Thanos’s (Josh Brolin) attack and try to track down the Avengers, looking for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) via satellite imaging.
However, as the fallout from Thanos’s terrible actions begins to impact the world even more, Nick Fury pulls out one last play, activating a strange-looking pager that sends a message to an unknown source before flashing up an unusual logo.
It’s at this stage that the scene needs a little extra information – because unless you’ve spent a fair bit of time online or read a lot of Marvel comics recently, you’d have no idea that the bright star over red and blue is the symbol of Captain Marvel, Brie Larson’s new superhero who’s set to appear in her first solo movie next February a few months before the Infinity War sequel.
Who is Captain Marvel? Well, for those not in the know, Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers) is a pilot who acquires alien powers in an accident, specifically those of a powerful race called the Kree (who previously played a key role in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film). While her powers have varied over the years they generally include super-strength, flight, energy manipulation and a “precognitive seventh sense”, and she’s sometimes seen as one of the more powerful battlers in the Avengers’ roster.
Clearly, with nothing left to lose Fury was calling in the big guns at the end of Infinity War, and the scene offers tantalising hints at what we can expect from the upcoming films. Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s, and includes Jackson as a younger version of Fury, so it’ll clearly lay out the background to how and why he’s still carrying around this pager many years later.
However, we’re now also hoping it might explain how Brie Larson’s hero will still be recognisable 30 years after her first appearance – maybe her abilities stop her ageing? – as well as why she hasn’t been out saving the world in that time and why exactly this particular crisis would bring her out of retirement.
And who knows? Maybe Captain Marvel will follow in the footsteps of Captain America: The First Avenger and conclude with a heroic Captain returning from decades past to join the final battle against Thanos in Avengers 4.
If nothing else, we’re sure it’ll have some pretty enticing post-credits scenes of its own…
Avengers: Infinity War is in cinemas now