Warning: The following contains possible spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
With James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 containing a whopping five post-credit scenes and an appearance from a certain Thor: Ragnarok character, the MCU sure knows how to keep us watching until the bitter end. Starting back in 2008 with Jon Favreau's Iron Man and the reveal of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, we have come to expect a post-credit as much as the trailers before a film.
While it has been done before and continues to be done elsewhere by the likes of DC and pretty much everyone else, the MCU is famous for its sneaky future film establishing extra scenes. Whether it be the achingly long tease of Josh Brolin as Thanos, a glimpse of the maligned Howard the Duck, or some friends enjoying some shawarma, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has revealed the comic book powerhouse's obsession with the post-credit stinger.
Speaking to SlashFilm, Feige says it all comes from his own obsession with the movies in his youth:
"I always liked that sort of thing, whether it’s Ferris Bueller or Masters of the Universe. As a film nerd, I never wanted it to end. I didn’t want the experience…no matter how good or bad the movie was, just the experience of being in the movie theater, I didn’t want to end. So I would always sit through the credits."
The first recorded post-credit scene harks back to 1903 and The Great Train Robbery where the main character seemed to return from the dead to point a gun at the audience. While post-credits scenes gained popularity in the '70s and '80s thanks to the likes of The Muppet Movie and Airplane!, Marvel has definitely turned it into an art-form.
Marvel can by no means patent the idea, however, its stingers are easily some of the most memorable in cinema. Feige went on to tell us exactly what made him introduce an eye-patched Nick Fury when he did and arguably kickstart the rest of the MCU:
"So when I started making movies, I’d be like that’d be fun to do. We didn’t wanna put [the Nick Fury scene]t in the body of the film ’cause we thought it would be distracting. So we thought we’d put it at the very end of the credits for people who like me when I was a kid could be rewarded for staying."
Marvel's success with the mid and post-credit scenes comes from the way it neatly expands the already colossal universe, usually with humor, and without feeling out of place. We can only imagine that when/if the MCU ends it will be the greatest post-credit scene ever. For those who haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 yet, its final moments are sure not to disappoint. However, boasting five scenes and a removed sixth, we have to ask ourselves, "How much is too much?"