Marvel’s grand plan to connect their superhero franchises together may start moving at a full-tilt sooner than expected. Remember that after the credits scene in the first Iron Man in which Sam Jackson showed up as Nick Fury to tease the possibility of a superhero team-up? Word is Marvel may have something similar in mind for Iron Man 2, only this time the character cameos will be Thor and Captain America.

The rumor comes from Italian site Bad Taste where they say Captain America and Thor will show up in Iron Man 2 after credits and it may also be the first time the “Avengers” are referenced by name in a Marvel film. We already know from the Iron Man 2 trailers that Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury plays a prominent role in the sequel, and Fury should be at least partially responsible for putting the Avengers team together. Maybe he’s even roped Tony Stark into recruiting, resulting in an after the credits scene in which Stark tries to hire Captain America and Thor for Fury’s superhero team-up,,. but that's just a theory.

Chronologically, this seems kind of confusing. If the events in Iron Man 2 happen before the events of the upcoming Thor movie, then it wouldn’t make sense for Tony Stark to talk about an Avengers team-up with a character who hasn’t had his origin story yet. Thor should be nobody to Tony, at least not until after the Thor movie (due to be released in 2011). This could be solved by setting the events in Iron Man 2 after those in Thor. Just because the movie’s coming out first doesn’t mean the timeline has to work linearly, of course. Except a few weeks ago everyone seemed pretty certain that this scene from Iron Man 2 contained a cameo from Thor, a Thor before he became the superhero he’ll become.

All the pieces aren’t quite fitting together here but one thing’s for certain: I’ll be sticking around after the Iron Man 2 credits.

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