After spending all of Captain Marvel in 1995, the post-credits scene brings Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) to the present day so she can meet the Avengers - but is the scene actually from Avengers: Endgame? Marvel Studios took a non-traditional approach to introducing Carol into the MCU by telling her story decades in the past, leaving years of mystery before she returns to Earth to try to help stop Thanos.
While most fans expected some Avengers: Endgame tease to arrive at the end of Captain Marvel, hardly anyone expected to see Carol Danvers' actual return to Earth already. Captain Marvel's mid-credits scene showed the remaining Avengers studying Fury's pager with the Captain Marvel symbol still showing when it suddenly shuts off, leaving them confused and desperate to figure out who was on the other end. They turn around to see Captain Marvel (in a new suit) standing in the middle of Avengers HQ asking about Fury's location.
What made the scene even more surprising, though, is that Black Widow still has her short blonde hair and Captain America has yet to shave his beard, indicating this happens before any of the footage shown in Avengers: Endgame's trailers. For many, this was a sign that Endgame will begin almost in the immediate aftermath of the snap and confirmed that Marvel's been lying to fans throughout the marketing campaign. However, this is all only true if the scene is actually in Avengers: Endgame. It has been confirmed that the Russo brothers shot this scene, but it has yet to be confirmed that it is in the completed cut of the film, so what if it isn't?
This may seem like a bizarre and unlikely proposal at first, but it isn't impossible. Marvel Studios' history with post-credits is uneven at best in terms of whether or not they actually make sense, and hardly any of them are actually from upcoming films; Iron Man 2's is a slightly different version of a scene from Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger ends with a tease for The Avengers. There is some precedence for Marvel Studios using actual movie footage for post-credits scenes - Ant-Man ended with a scene directly from Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange helping set up Thor: Ragnarok - but these are the exceptions, not the rule. In the case of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, it may not be necessary.
The main purpose of this Captain Marvel mid-credits scene is to pay off the post-credits scene from Avengers: Infinity War and show that Carol will return in Endgame. But, when we're looking what it actually means for Endgame's plot, it isn't a lot. Yes, it establishes how and when Carol arrives on Earth, but that may not be that vital in the overall scheme of things. Her being involved is important, not necessarily when she enters. The second trailer for Avengers: Endgame ended with the tease of Thor meeting Carol, which can work as a more succinct introduction to the character that doesn't require knowledge of the pager from Avengers: Infinity War's post-credits scene.
What we could have here is, instead of a scene from Avengers: Endgame, simply one that really helps set up the protagonist from the main film for the epic team up. After all, Ant-Man and the Wasp's post-credits scene happens at the exact same time, and no one is expecting to have to rewatch Scott Lang get lost in the Quantum Realm. With this in mind, there's also not a clear reason why Marvel needs to use this scene in Endgame. The Russo brothers can get by with other character meetups and can allow the film to hit the ground running towards the conclusion, instead of having to set the stage again for what will come. So, unless the directors come out and confirm that this scene is actually going to be shown in Avengers: Endgame, proceed with caution about the actual function it serves.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019