On Sunday night's episode of The Simpsons, FOX's animated institution took some shots at Marvel's penchant for multiple post-credits scenes. In its nearly 30 years on the air, The Simpsons has taken swipes at just about every possible pop culture target, and thankfully, there are always new targets presenting themselves - not least the biggest franchise in Hollywood.
At this point, even the most casual of moviegoers is aware that when they go to see an MCU film, the story isn't over when the credits roll. To see everything, one must sit through the credits to get to the morsels called mid and post-credits scenes. Marvel Studios' tradition, of course, began at the end of their very first movie, 2008's Iron Man. When Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury arrived to welcome Tony Stark into the Avengers Initiative - to the delight of Marvel comics fans who knew what that was setting up for the future - a new trend in movies began, with mid and post-credits scenes now being a common thing from studios other than Marvel as well.
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With some films now having multiple credits scenes though, it can sometimes feel like overkill. That's the tack The Simpsons chose to take last night, as one of the early gags found in the episode "3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage." The family has just finished taking in a Marvel movie, and Homer wants to leave, only to be shouted down by Bart and Lisa. They know the credits scenes are coming, and they don't disappoint. In the first one, two villains - a small henchman and a towering boss monster - are shown talking about the Avengers' latest triumph, only for the boss to vaporize the henchman with laser eyes, then inexplicably morph into Spider-Man's Uncle Ben.
To top the scene off, Uncle Ben - accompanied by a cat creature with the head of Aunt May - utters the twisted line "with great power, comes NO responsibility" before laughing evilly, while sitting on a throne of skulls. The whole thing is extremely bizarre, and clearly meant to make fun of the often esoteric nature of Marvel's credits scenes, which sometimes contain things only diehard fans will fully understand (think dropping Thanos at the end of The Avengers).
As if that sequence wasn't strange enough, it's followed by another credits scene that Homer is forced to stay for, featuring Nick Fury. In a clear send-up of the classic Iron Man scene, Nick is visited by a man wearing two eye-patches, who informs him that he's looking to assemble a team of the world's greatest team assemblers. Then an Assemblers Assemble logo is shown, presumably for its own upcoming movie, which - in an obvious shot at Marvel's crowded multiple films per year release schedule - is said to be "coming in 10 minutes to a theater near you."
While The Simpsons' parody of Marvel's credits scenes has some validity to it, it should also be noted that it doesn't really seem meant to be harsh. The Simpsons can definitely be mean with its humor when it chooses too, but these come off more as lighthearted but still loving jabs than anything else. Especially when Bart and Lisa are later seen in the car debating which of the five credits scenes on the movie they just watched was the best. Either way, it's doubtful Marvel will change strategy on that front, nor should they really. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.