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Sometimes there’s one, sometimes there’s two, sometimes there’s five, but if a new Marvel Studios film is coming, one thing is certain: there is going to be an end credit sequence. It’s been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe tradition from the very beginning, and more than 20 movies and 10 years later it remains as strong as ever. It’s one that proudly continues in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel, which provides both a cool peek at the future for the titular hero, and a funny final moment for audiences as they leave the theater.
So what happens, and what does it all mean? That’s what we’re here to discuss in this feature – breaking it all down and dissecting what it means. So let’s dive in, but first I’ll take care of this formality:
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Captain Marvel. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know major, important details about the ending, please bookmark this page and come back after your screening!
Captain Marvel Meets The Avengers
Most Marvel Studios end credits scenes are original creations that were imagined either before or during production of a given film, but there are others that are a bit different. Specifically, rather than being original pieces, they are instead actually clips from upcoming releases. This was first done when the first “trailer” for The Avengers was attached to the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, but other examples can be found in movies like Ant-Man (which teased Captain America: Civil War) and Doctor Strange (which teased Thor: Ragnarok). Now Captain Marvel can be added to that particular list, as what we see as the mid-credits sequence appears to be an edited bit from Joe and Anthony Russo’s upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
Taking us back to the present following the movie’s 1990s-set adventure, the sequence begins with a close-up on Nick Fury’s special pager that we first got to see in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War. However, instead of displaying the Captain Marvel logo it instead suddenly shuts off.
This is brought to the attention of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) as they are in Avengers headquarters watching screens tabulating the deaths caused by The Decimation – discussing the utter nightmare of it all. It’s Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who first notices that the device has gone dark, and along with James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) they try and figure out what’s going on.
It’s noted that pager has been set up with an external power source to run indefinitely, so it’s not a battery issue, and it’s unclear why exactly it would just stop functioning. All the same, they are desperate to know what it is going on with it, and who Fury was trying to contact with its signal. As Black Widow turns to leave, she suddenly finds herself face-to-face with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who has returned to Earth following her cosmic adventures. She doesn’t appear to be too happy, though, and has only one question for the group: “Where’s Fury?”
At the end of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers makes the decision to go out into the furthest reaches of space and help the Skrulls establish a new society, but beyond that we don’t really know much about where she has been for the majority of the last 25 years. That being said, she surely saw the effects of The Decimation regardless of where she was in the universe at the time of Thanos’ snap, and getting the page from Nick Fury as half the people around her disappeared likely wasn’t viewed as a coincidence. It’s probably fair to assume that the special pager turned off as soon as she returned to Earth, and given that she is possibly totally unaware of the existence of the Avengers, it’s not exactly surprising that the first person she looks for is the man who called her back to the planet.
How Carol Danvers will interact with the remaining heroes in Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated aspects of the upcoming blockbuster, and this mid-credits sequence gives us a nice taste. Obviously there is still basically everything left to explore – from everybody explaining who they are and what the hell happened, to how they plan to work together and fix everything – but for now at least we have an idea of the introduction’s context.
Goose Returns The Tesseract
The Tesseract has taken a long, strange journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We got our first look at it all the way back in the post-credits scene of Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, and since then played huge roles in three different features: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Avengers: Infinity War. And it’s legacy is yet another thing expanded upon in Captain Marvel.
We’ve known that the Tesseract spent decades in the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D., but what nobody knew before Captain Marvel is that it had some wild adventures between being plucked from the ocean by Howard Stark to being presented to Dr. Erik Selvig by Nick Fury. Specifically, it was used by Dr. Wendy Lawson a.k.a. Mar-Vell (Annette Bening) during research on a light speed engine, and then spent a long time being stored in her satellite laboratory. Thanks to the efforts of Carol Danvers, Nick Fury, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) it gets recovered… but then it spent some time in the mouth of a Flerken, which is what brings us to the end credits scene.
During the events of Captain Marvel we see the Flerken named Goose use its tentacles to “swallow” the Tesseract for safe keeping, but the powerful object doesn’t show up again before the end of the main movie. Instead, that bit is saved for the post-credits bit, where Goose is shown hopping up on Nick Fury’s desk. At first it starts making the familiar sound of a cat preparing to cough up a hairball, but rather than a bunch of fur and saliva pouring out of its mouth, it instead expels the Space Stone.
Rather than being a big tease for developing events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is more of a one-off goof similar to the drumming giant ant at the end of Ant-Man And The Wasp, or the random rampaging monster in the final seconds of Thor: The Dark World. For what it is, though, it’s great. We probably could have assumed that this was how Nick Fury got the Tesseract back for S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s much better that we actually got to see it happen.
What did you think about these two Captain Marvel end credit scenes? How do you think they stack up in comparison to other recent tags? What do you expect from Carol Danvers’ first meeting with the Avengers in Endgame? Do you think we’ll ever see Goose again? Tell us your answers to those questions, as well as any other appropriate thoughts, feelings, or opinions you may have in the comments section below!