Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. Proceed at your own discretion but we highly recommend seeing the movie first.
Ever since Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) welcomed Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) into a “bigger universe” in a short scene that came after the end credits of the very first Iron Man film, similar tag scenes have become de rigueur for Marvel Studios films. Arriving in the middle and at the end of each film’s end credits crawl, they have served to either wrap up a loose end or sow a seed for a future plot line. And indeed the single post-credit scene that comes at the very end of The Avengers: Infinity War is no exception.
(Seriously, from this point on there will be spoilers for Infinity War. This is your last chance to turn away and come back after seeing the film.)
Infinity War ends in a way that may surprise many fans – Thanos wins.
The intergalactic despot who has lurked in the shadows for many years now has come out into the light and fulfilled his plan to collect the powerful artifacts known as the Infinity Stones and use them to wipe out half the life in the universe. And with a simple snap of his fingers, he does precisely that. And with that snap we see a number of heroes who have fought the long hard battle to try and stop Thanos simply crumble into ash that is scattered on the wind. It is a powerful moment and one that probably takes many fans by surprise.
And that leads us to the film’s end credit scene. With such a ending, surely the post-credits scene will give us some hope for what to expect when the currently untitled fourth Avengers movie is released next year around this time. And it does.
The scene starts in black, but we hear the voices of spy master Nick Fury discussing Tony Stark’s disappearance off the face of the Earth with his long-time aide and ally Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). As the picture fades in, we see that they are driving through New York City. Suddenly the vehicle in front of them skids to a stop, and despite Fury slamming on the breaks, he does get into a mild fender-bender.
Considering the last time we saw Fury driving was in the car chase sequence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury and Hill understandably jump out of their car with guns drawn. However, when she reaches the front of the car, Hill sees that it is empty. As she turns to Fury, she turns to ash just like we saw so many of our heroes do before the credits rolled. Nick turns and sees many pedestrians meeting the same fate.
Springing to action, Nick runs back to his vehicle and grabs a small electronic device, which he activates, before turning to ash himself. As the device Fury was holding drops to the ground, we see a display reading “Sending…” After a few moments it switches to a red and blue graphic with a gold star in the middle. While the color scheme is close to Captain America’s, any good Marvel fan will tell you – that graphic suggests that Fury has put out a call for help to the superhero Captain Marvel.
If you’re not familiar with Captain Marvel, that’s OK. You will be once her own solo movie hits theaters next March. Otherwise known as Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel is an air office officer who gains gains such super powers as the ability to absorb and project various forms of energy and who has traveled extensively through the universe. Brie Larson is set to play Danvers.
The Captain Marvel movie is set in the 1990s. It is, if one takes a macro view of the MCU, a flashback meant to introduce the character to audiences, if you will, before the action resumes two months later with Avengers 4. Given that many of the heroes we saw turn to ash after Thanos’s finger snap have movies in active development, it is easy to assume that Captain Marvel will play an important role in helping restore them back to life and defeat Thanos. No doubt she will be helped by the likes of the AWOL Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). We’ll find out how when Avengers 4 hits the screens on May 3, 2019.