Warning! MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War ahead!
Avengers: Infinity War includes only one post-credit scene, but it's a big one; not just setting up the next Avengers movie, the final moment of Infinity War also signals Captain Marvel's arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain Marvel releases next March and will mark the debut of Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an air-force pilot who becomes a Kree superhero. The film, currently in production, is set in the 1990s and will thus feature younger versions of several prominent MCU characters, including Nick Fury, Agent Coulson and Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy.
It's set to be a big event, so is hardly surprising that the post-credit scene isn't the only way Infinity War sets up Captain Marvel. The events of the film radically alter the MCU, leaving it for Avengers 4 to explore the aftermath. Following their fight with Thanos, the Avengers are left severely weakened; meaning that whatever threats they'll face in Avengers 4, they're going to need help. Luckily for them, Fury has already made the call.
Paging Captain Marvel
Avengers: Infinity War ends with Thanos snapping his fingers and wiping out half of life in the universe - including some our beloved Avengers. This leads into the film's post-credit scene, in where S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury and Agent Maria Hill are also shown crumbling and turning to dust. Before Fury dissolves away, however, he manages to send a distress call on a modified pager. As the pager falls to the ground, its screen reads: "Sending… Sending… Sending…" before an image of an eight-pointed star on a red and blue background appears.
While not immediately recognizable to everyone in the audience, this image is a direct reference to Captain Marvel's costume. The pager itself is also a clue, with Captain Marvel being set during the 1990s when pagers were the go-to technology for mobile communication. But it isn't just any pager, there's a combination lock that Fury must first unlock before the device can be activated, and presumably, it also has a way to boost the signal more than your average mid-90s pager ever could. So while the device is clearly 1990s in origin, it's been modified by those with access to some advanced technology.
The post-credit scene mostly raises a lot of questions we expect will be answered in Captain Marvel. Questions like, where has she been during all the previous catastrophes that have plagued Earth? Where is she now that Fury believes he can contact her with a suped-up pager? And why is it only now that he thinks to reach out to her? But things are bigger than that.
The Avengers Need Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel is expected to tweak how it is Carol Danvers receives her superpowers, but in the comics they are the result of an accident that leaves her with half-Kree physiology and abilities like superhuman strength, speed, durability, agility, reflexes, and healing. She can also fly and shoot powerful energy blasts from her hands. Avengers 4 screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have said her powers are on "scale that right now doesn't exist in the MCU" and producer Kevin Feige refers to her as "the strongest character we’ve ever had," adding that her "powers are off the charts".
That's a good thing. Another way in which Infinity War sets up her arrival in the MCU is by killing three of the most powerful Avengers - Dr. Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Vision. Of those that remain, the Avengers are left with a super-soldier, a couple guys in super-suits, a spy, an archer, and a raccoon. Hulk is technically still around, but he's become unwilling to come out and smash, leaving Bruce Banner to fend for himself. And Infinity War makes a compelling argument for Thor now actually being the strongest Avenger, but he can't do all the heavy lifting alone.
In the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and its colossal death toll, the Avengers need Captain Marvel now more than ever. Let's hope she's got her pager with her.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019