Infinity War's Captain Marvel Reference Explained
First off, the logo that appears on Fury's pager in the end credits scene is, in fact, Captain Marvel's. The eight-pointed start became part of Carol Danvers' costume when the comic book character received a redesign courtesy of artist Jamie McKelvie in 2012. The redesign was incorporated in an ongoing comic series that kicked off with Captain Marvel #1, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy. The blue and red colors were also key to Captain Marvel's new costume, with the color scheme and design honoring Carol Danvers' time in the Air Force.
It's this symbol and color scheme that appear on Fury's pager in the Avengers: Infinity War end credits scene, confirming that the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director has called on Carol Danvers to assist Earth - and the universe - in the aftermath of Thanos achieving his goal. Of course, that begs the question of how Fury has a means of communicating with Captain Marvel - and why, of all things, this means of communication is a pager. To answer that question, we need to look at what we know about Marvel's solo Captain Marvel movie.
During the Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego last summer, studio head Kevin Feige confirmed Captain Marvel will be set in the '90s, which means it predates the majority of the MCU. Iron Man is set in its release year of 2008, with most of the movies following after it. The one exception is Captain America: The First Avengers, which largely takes place in the 1940s during World War II. So, given its setting, Captain Marvel will take place before the MCU's current era of superheroes. While Captain America already exists, he's still frozen in the arctic from the events at the end of The First Avenger.
This '90s setting also means Captain Marvel will incorporate MCU characters operating in secret before Tony Stark revealed himself as Iron Man. We know Captain Marvel will feature Nick Fury - before he lost one of his eyes, no less - as well as a younger version of Phil Coulson, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who worked for Fury. We don't know much about how Coulson and Fury will factor into Captain Marvel, which is expected to deal with the Kree-Skrull War in addition to depicting Carol Danvers' origin story. However, we know Captain Marvel is the first superhero Fury meets.
Based on the modified pager Fury has in the Infinity War end credits scene, it seems that no matter what happens during the time he knew Carol, she left him with a way to contact her. (And, since it was the '90s, a pager is an historically accurate means of communication.) Still, this scene doesn't answer one of the biggest questions fans have had since Marvel Studios announced Captain Marvel is a prequel to the MCU proper: Where has Carol Danvers been for the last two decades? Theories have ranged from the Quantum Realm being involved - which will be revisited later this year in Ant-Man & the Wasp - to Captain Marvel being set in an alternate timeline. However, it's likely her solo movie will finally answer that question once it arrives early next year.
So, the Avengers: Infinity War end credits scene not only offers viewers a look at the chaos the world descends into in the fallout from Thanos snapping his fingers, it additionally sets the stage for Captain Marvel. But, the after-credits stinger also works to set up Avengers 4. When Avengers 4 opens, Earth will have been greatly affected by Thanos' wiping out half its population. (Whether that means peace or chaos remains to be seen, but given what we've seen so far in the post-credits scene, it likely won't be good.) However, since Fury was able to get a distress signal to Captain Marvel, we know that the Avengers left standing will have help from a new superhero.
Still, while we get some hints to Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 from the Avengers: Infinity War end credits scene, we'll have to wait until those movies hit theaters before seeing exactly what's in store. Thankfully, the former releases in March 2019 and the latter follows a few months later in May 2019.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018