While the post-credits scene wasn’t invented by Marvel; indeed the first superhero movie to use it was Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand in 2005. Since 2008’s Iron Man, though, Marvel has been using the post-credits snap to either add an extra layer to the story they just told, or to tease their next instalment.
Iron Man’s post-credit scene featured Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury hinting that Tony Stark had entered a new world, hinting towards the events that would form The Avengers. Since then, several post-credit scenes have taken us to different places in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to remind us that while we are watching one character, or one group of characters, they all tie into one ever-expanding universe of interconnected movies.
Looking ahead, we can theorize, and dream, about what may come in the movies of the future. In some cases, these are legitimate fan-theories, others are more along the lines of flights of fancy.
Here are 16 Post-Credits Marvel Movie Scenes We Need to See.
17 Seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy again
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) was, arguably, Marvel’s biggest risk since the time they bet the farm on Iron Man (2008). It paid off big time, and Peter Quill, Rocket, Groot, and the gang became household names overnight. Indeed, “I am Groot” became one of the most-quoted lines from cinema history overnight, joining “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” and “No, I am your father." Since its release, fans have been clamoring for more. So far, we haven’t seen the crew of the Milano since Peter Quill set off to do a little mischief. While he has found his heroic side, it’s likely that his love of money and adventure have caused him to make friends and enemies in equal measure across the galaxy.
We’d love to see a scene with Peter and Rocket sitting in another jail cell, with Rocket plotting yet another escape. Or maybe even Peter lying in bed with an Oscarvarian, mentioned but unseen in the first movie, implying he’s still womanizing in order to get close to a score. With plot details still a little light, the ideal tease would be a shot of Peter’s father. While he is Emperor J’Sonn of the Spartax in the comic books, he could be wholly different in the movies. Perhaps an establishing shot of the emperor sending someone after his errant son would give us some small clue as to the plot of the upcoming movie?
16 Loki on Asgard's Throne, And Thanos is coming for him
Since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, Loki has been sitting on Odin’s throne, unbeknownst to his Brother, Thor. Quite how he got there remains a mystery. Is Odin alive, but trapped somewhere? Or was he in fact killed by the god of mischief during the chaos caused by the invasion of the Dark Elves? Loki, using his ability to appear as anyone, still resembles his adopted father. But does he now possess the Odinforce itself? Does he have the power to withstand a direct challenge? With so many questions still unanswered, the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok will hopefully give us a massive pay-off as well as setting the scene for the Infinity War.
Speaking of Infinity War, Thanos is still out there. We know that it was he that found Loki adrift in space after the events of the first Thor movie. It was also Thanos that gave Loki the sceptre containing the Mind Stone in order to conquer Earth. Given that he isn’t keen on his subordinates failing him, could he be seeking retribution?
We’d love to see Loki on the Throne of Asgard, feeling pretty satisfied that he is finally in a position of great power. But then, he is contacted telepathically by Thanos reminding him that he still has an enormous debt to pay, and that his failure on Earth will make him wish for “something as sweet as pain”. Could Thanos be part of the events that lead to Ragnarok? Time will tell…
15 Howard the Duck... Again
While only seen briefly at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Howard the Duck has become hot property and once more appears regularly in the comic books. While the infamous Howard the Duck movie pretty much sets the benchmark for bad comic book movies, and a remake is incredibly unlikely, it would be hilarious to see Howard pop up in a series of post-credit snaps over the next decade.
In fact, we’d love to see the adventures of Howard continue over the next decade or so as he pops up during the credits of several Marvel movies in a series of inter-connected scenes which stitch together to form one complete side-story. Given his galaxy-spanning adventures, either alone or in groups such as the daydreamers, it’d be fun to have him meet just about anybody in the MCU. His long-running job as a cab driver could even be referenced with him giving a ride to some of the more major characters.
14 Wolverine's Claws
If the deal between Fox and Marvel comes off, a great way to introduce Wolverine to the MCU would be to see a guy from behind watching the news on TV in a bar. When a breaking news story happens, showing the aftermath of whatever has occurred in the preceding movie, you see the man’s claws pop, indicating it's Logan. While a small scene, it would open up so many possibilities. Indeed, it would even be an amazing way for the two companies to announce that they’re sharing properties in the way that Sony and Marvel now do regards Spider-Man.
Arguably the most famous of Fox’s character properties, Wolverine joining the MCU would be HUGE. If introduced in a post-credits scene, it could actually boost the box-office of the movie considerably with people paying just to see those few precious moments of an MCU Wolverine. Tacked on to the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, for instance, it could possibly overshadow the movie itself, so it would be vital for Marvel to tread carefully if they ever go down this route.
13 R2-D2 and C3PO
It may sound slightly ridiculous, and may well confuse a wider audience, but a brief cameo from R2-D2 and C-3PO actually makes perfect sense as Marvel and Lucasfilm are now both owned by Disney. The droids are, for all intents and purposes, immortal and could easily have travelled from “a galaxy far, far, away” to the present day Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the two universes should probably remain separate, the whole “could a Jedi use The Force to lift Thor’s Hammer” debate doesn’t need answering, a quick cameo from the beloved droids would be wonderful. Either having them show up in ancient cave paintings, an homage to Indiana Jones, as an Easter Egg or an actual appearance would make the internet go wild.
As Thor: Ragnarok is using elements from Planet Hulk it'd be awesome to see them walking through the rubble of a battle muttering about how nothing ever changes, or simply laying around in a junk shop on a distant planet with R2’s lights coming on in the background. Assuming Thor survives Ragnarok (he, along with all of Asgard, doesn’t in the comics) a cool post-credit scene would be him searching for his hammer, Mjolnir, only to have it handed to him by R2-D2, implying the little droid is worthy.
12 Thanos using the Soul Gem
Much of the overall story behind the scenes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has involved the Mad Titan, Thanos, as he seeks to unite the Infinity Stones and gain omnipotence. We know that he did in fact have the Mind Stone prior to the events of The Avengers (2012) and that he lent it to Loki in order for him to conquer Earth alongside the Chitauri. But it hasn’t been confirmed or denied that he has at least one other stone. While others have turned up, some remain unseen. Could Thanos already have them?
Should he have the Soul Gem already, he would have the power to resurrect the dead. One post-credits scene we’d love to see is him resurrecting dead supervillains in order for them to battle The Avengers on his behalf, possibly just to soften them up or break their resolve.
A scene with him resurrecting the Red Skull would be great, especially as the Skull’s death was always a little ambiguous anyway. Did he die? Or was he transported through space? Assuming he died, Thanos could use the Soul Gem, or Stone as they are called in the MCU, to bring him back to life and lead a new army against Captain America. The opportunity to gain revenge could be appealing, not to mention a second chance at life, to The Red Skull. If that’s the case, watch out Cap!
11 10. Scenes of devastation on Xandar
Again, the Infinity Stones are crucial to Thanos’ plans, but seeing an individual movie dedicated to his retrieving each one seems unlikely. Given that we don’t have many movies to go until the beginning of the Infinity War, using post-credits scenes may be a good way to show Thanos retrieving some of the ones we already know about.
A scene we’re itching to see would be, Thanos having stormed the planet Xandar single-handedly and wielding the Gem the Nova Corps held in safekeeping (since the end of Guardians of the Galaxy). He says something along the lines of "If you want something done properly, you do it yourself" then using the Gem on the remaining Nova, obliterating them with ease.
A small scene, but a crucial one, and could save an enormous amount of screen-time in setting up the main events of Infinity War. It would also serve to provide a stepping stone between the events of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie and the second.
10 Cap and Sharon finally getting together properly
While not on the epic scope of some of the dangling plot threads of the MCU, Steve Rogers’ love life has been the subject of much debate over the last few years. There’s even been an online campaign to get Bucky and Cap together. While a Bucky/Cap romance is incredibly unlikely, his budding romance with S.H.E.I.L.D agent Sharon Carter is slowly beginning to take shape. After a few awkward exchanges in Captain America: Winter Soldier, they finally kissed in Captain America: Civil War.
Romance has been surprisingly light in the MCU, despite the fact that both Thor and Iron Man have love interests. Given the overall tone of the MCU, that’s unlikely to change. But, should Cap and Sharon finally become the couple they’re destined to be, a post-credits scene with them in a secluded log cabin beside a roaring fire, finally at peace, would be a beautiful pay-off for those wanting to see Steve happy at last.
9 Cap and Peggy in the afterlife
Of course, the love of Captain America’s life will most likely always be his 1940s comrade, and crush, Peggy Carter. But due to Steve being frozen in time for 70 years, they never had the life together that they deserved. While Cap’s status as a man out of time has often led to him feeling out of place, it is leaving his great love in the past that is the most tragic element of his life.
It’s long been theorized that Steve Rogers will be killed off at some point, with Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson becoming the new Captain America in his place. Should Steve die, a post-credit scene with him back in the 1940s dancing with Peggy, implied to be his version of heaven would be a fitting end to his life and finally give him his dance with his “Best Girl”.
Yes, it’s a little like the ending of Titanic, but we’re guessing there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house if the audience got to see the two of them finally together, for all time.
8 Peter Quill finding a Lightsaber
Another light-hearted look at the cosmic side of the MCU would be another little hint towards the nature of the MCU and the Star Wars universe both being owned by Disney. Little pieces of Star Wars-style tech can be seen in the backgrounds of various scenes from now on, if the produces were to be so inclined.
A light-hearted scene could be Peter Quill, or even Rocket, digging around in Rocket’s tool box looking for a gadget of some kind and coming across a Lightsaber. The famous John Williams’ score from A New Hope playing softly in the background, his face one of wonder as he ignites it… and then he says “Nah!” and tosses it to one side as he finds the tool he’s looking for, utterly unaware of any significance it may have. Unlikely, yes. But it would be an amusing little nod to what has gone before and would be quite fitting within the pop-culture littered Guardians of the Galaxy.
7 Stan Lee being revealed to be a Watcher
While the theory of Stan Lee’s cameos being that of a Watcher (one of those giant bald aliens that observe the significant events of the universe, but never interfere) has been denied many times over the years, it remains a favourite one among the fans.
For those that don’t know, the theory is that all of legendary comic book writer Stan Lee’s many cameos in Marvel, Fox, and Sony’s comic book properties are tied together and are actually all one being observing the events taking place across the various movies. It’s a cool theory, and one that totally fits with what we’ve seen so far.
Should Marvel ever choose to canonize it, we'd want to see a scene with Stan on the moon (where The Watcher lives) at a desk, typing up the events he has seen and placing the script on a desk with the nameplate “Jack Kirby” on it as a tribute to his colleague and co-creator. The moon base could even be a mock-up of the famous bullpen of the 1960s. Again, this one is unlikely, but it’s one that would please millions of fans if it ever happened.
6 The Celestials
First teased in Guardians of the Galaxy when The Collector is explaining the origins of the Infinity Stones, The Celestials are an ancient race of near-omnipotent “Space Gods”. The severed head of one was even seen as the floating space-station known as “Knowhere” and served as the location of The Collector’s base of operations.
Beyond that, we’ve seen very little. We know that they are still active in the comic books, and should the movies follow them we could see them on-screen once again. Should Thanos unite the Infinity Stones, he’d become omnipotent and therefore would be a direct threat to them. In the comic book series “The Infinity Gauntlet” The Celestials unite the various powers of the universe, such as Galactus and The Elders of the Universe to fight him. Re-introducing them at some stage in an end-credits scene would help to bring the scope of his threat home.
An unlikely, but interesting, post-credits scene could see Thanos’ true motivation being the destruction of The Celestials for altruistic reasons. They could possibly be out to destroy all life in a single event, one which Thanos does not wish to allow as it would conflict with his plans to court death himself by killing every soul in the universe.
5 The phone from the end of Civil War
At the end of Captain America: Civil War the Avengers are separated into two groups, one in hiding in Wakanda and the other still in the U.S. Tony and Steve are bitterly divided over not just the fate of The Winter Soldier, who still has Hydra conditioning in his mind, but over the Sokovia Accords which bring The Avengers under the jurisdiction of the government.
Steve feels that the heroes should be autonomous, Tony feels that after all the collateral damage done over the course of the heroes’ battles that they need to be answerable to a higher authority. Despite this, and their bloody battle at the end of the movie, Steve offers Tony an olive-branch in the form of a cell phone so they can keep in touch should either of them need the other.
The post-credit scene we’re desperate to see focuses on the phone. It rings and Tony answers, Steve is seen on another phone in the middle of a crisis and says the words we’ve been waiting to hear for so long… Avengers Assemble!
4 A montage of comic book creators
While most post-credits scenes tease an upcoming movie, or settle a plot point from the one we’ve just seen, a tribute to the creators of the Marvel universe would be a most fitting way to end Infinity War.
We'd want to see a simple montage of creators such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko etc. with their most famous creations. Simply the words "To Stan, Jack, and the guys, thank you." To end it would not only be a beautiful tribute to guys like Stan Lee who have lived to see their creations make a massive impact on the big-screen, but for those such as Jack Kirby, who sadly didn’t.
The MCU is arguably cinema’s hottest property right now, and will be for several years yet, but its roots are firmly in the pages of the comic books. A tribute, big or small, to the writers, artists, editors and everyone else who ushered in the era of comic book greatness, would be a massive thank you for all that they did for our current generation of pop-culture.
3 The Defenders
While Netflix’s Daredevil has had almost universally excellent reviews from critics and fans alike, it remains on the small screen. The upcoming team-up show, The Defenders will likewise be a Netflix exclusive despite having characters such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist in the roster.
In all likelihood, these characters may not be seen on the big screen at all, if they do, it’s likely to be in a small role in the wider Infinity War movies. A moment to shine, albeit a small one, would be most welcome to their fans. A post credits teaser of them coming together in the midst of a major battle would be a great way to see them together for the first time, as well as introduce them to a wider audience. From a marketing sense it could really work. Moreover, it could introduce them to the cinematic audience who may not yet have seen the shows, which would allow them to be introduced more easily if they do make it to the big screen sometime.
2 The Return of Nick Fury
Nick Fury has been keeping a low-profile since it was revealed that Hydra had been infiltrating S.H.E.I.L.D since the very beginning. He popped up briefly to aid The Avengers battle Ultron, but then retreated into the shadows, not even coming back when The Avengers went to war with themselves. Which begs the question, what could have been more important than a civil war?
Where Nick Fury is, and what he’s been up to, may not be the biggest question in the MCU right now, but it’s one that needs to be answered sooner or later. It’s also worth noting that it was a Nick Fury cameo that launched the trend of the end-credit tease in the first place, so it could be a great way to end phase three, assuming he doesn’t come back before then.
While unlikely, a simple scene with Nick Fury quoting the famous lines from Pulp Fiction would just ooze cool. But, as with the rest, we’ll have to wait and see.
Do you have any ideas for cool end-credit scenes that Marvel could make? Please share them in the comments!
Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.