Marvel Studios is known for ending their latest films with a few bonus tags, but they shouldn't put an end-credits scene on Avengers 4. Instead, they should allow the fallout of three phases and eleven years of storytelling to conclude in a more traditional way, without worrying about setting up future movies.
Although Marvel Studios is far from the first studio to use post-credits scenes, they have made them incredibly popular. It began with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) appearing at the end of Iron Man, but the promise of what could be really began with The Avengers. It was in its mid-credit scene that audiences got their first tease of Thanos' presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That tag worked as the conclusion of Phase 1 of the MCU, while also teasing everyone with a much grander plan in place. These teases continued with Avengers: Age of Ultron again teasing Thanos before he properly arrived this year in Avengers: Infinity War.
Now that he's here and the end is in sight, Avengers 4 should not feature an end-credits scene. We have no idea how the movie is going to end, but it the following is expected: Several heroes will die (for real this time) or retire; Thanos will be defeated; and a new age of heroes will be back alive and ready to carry the MCU into the future. If Avengers 4 is the true end to the story Marvel Studios has been telling through 22 films, then it should actually end without feeling the need to tease audiences with what is next or why they need to stick around for the next decade.
To be clear, we aren't proposing that Marvel doesn't give fans any treats during the credits of Avengers 4, especially because that's highly unlikely. Even with Infinity War, Marvel ditched the mid-credits scene (a choice that compounded the shock of the movie's ending) but still included the Captain Marvel tease in the post-credits. Marvel can switch this up again with Avengers 4 by giving fans something in the mid-credits that can be a stinger to the film's actual ending. But, there shouldn't be a need from them to do both - especially when we'll get another MCU movie so soon after Avengers 4.
What won't be lost in the Avengers 4 hype is the fact that Tom Holland's Spider-Man - who is currently "dead" - has a sequel coming out two months later. As much as Marvel is going to want to protect spoilers of Avengers 4 (and should move the release up just as they did with Infinity War), Sony will already be in the midst of the marketing process for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Marvel could use the post-credits scene to tease how Far From Home will kick off Phase 4, but it is more likely that any such tease will not actually pertain to Avengers 4's ending and could come off as a forced inclusion. Since Far From Home will already have trailers out and hit theaters just several weeks later, Marvel will show what their future is soon enough.
Not attaching a post-credits scene to Avengers 4 also means Marvel doesn't have to promise a future plan that they could eventually want to alter. Marvel and Kevin Feige were able to tease that Thanos was the end game because they were maximizing the assets they had. But in a few months, Marvel Studios will soon have access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Whether you believe him or not, Feige has said they aren't even thinking about those characters until they are legally allowed to. This means a post-credit scene teasing the introduction of mutants of Marvel's first family are probably off the table, unless they're done at the last minute. Even if that happened, it may be a cheap tease that, again, doesn't tie to what Avengers 4 will actually be focused on.
Between the teasing of these massive Marvel properties or the next universe-destroying villain, there are so many possible directions for the MCU to go in. It makes more sense of Marvel to wait and tease the long game until those plans are finalized or at a more appropriate time - like San Diego Comic-Con or D23 next year. The next Phase and future storyline of the MCU will be revealed after Avengers 4 is released, so the movie itself isn't the right time. Instead, Avengers 4 should simply end, allowing fans to soak in the conclusion for what it is, without having to wonder what a quick scene means for the future.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019