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Katherine is the Managing Editor at The Hudsucker. She has been working in libraries for the past 10 years and holds a B.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. In her free time, the Seattleite enjoys writing fiction, going to brunch, taking long walks with her roommate, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Katherine is a huge fan of the Seattle Mariners and has probably seen every Marvel movie at least five times. She loves classic rock and can quote even the most obscure lines from The Simpsons. Follow Katherine on Twitter: @thethingiskat.

After The Fact: Why Marvel Needs The Post-Credits Scene

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Warning: this article contains spoilers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As mentioned in my Avengers: Age of Ultron reviewone of the most disappointing things about the movie was the lack of a post-credits scene. Those scenes have become somewhat of a signature for Marvel with fans eagerly sitting through the credits waiting for one last tidbit about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the theater on opening night of a new Marvel film, fans are practically shamed if they get up to leave when the credits start rolling. But for Age of Ultron, those fans who sat patiently in a packed theater waiting for a post-credits scene were left feeling disappointed and betrayed.

In their Phase One films, Marvel used those scenes to introduce new plot points that all came to a head in The Avengers. In Phase Two, Marvel made use of mid-credits scenes to start building their cosmic universe and introduce Thanos, the villain of the upcoming Infinity Wars, and show his motivations. The post-credits scenes then became fun nods to characters and friendships that don’t always fully get explored in depth in the films.

Iron Man 3‘s post-credits scene showed the friendship between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s gave viewers a hint about what might be motivating Bucky Barnes after his break from Hydra. The post-credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy gave a nod to the first live action Marvel comic book movie, Howard The Duck, who could possibly appear in future Marvel films. The infamous shawarma post-credits scene from The Avengers wasn’t necessary for the plot of the film, but it was a nice call back to a joke during a tense moment, and it showed the team bonding despite all they had been through and all the destruction around them. Though those scenes don’t add or take away anything from the movie that proceeded it, they enrich the viewing experience for fans and followers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel needs the post-credits scene because it builds excitement for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the first Iron Man film, using the scene to introduce Nick Fury and planting the seed for the Avengers was an absolutely brilliant use of it. Sure there were other ways they could have done it, but the brief, surprising reveal was perfect. What would The Avengers have been without shawarma? The quick scene without dialogue became a highlight for many. Though post-credits scenes are barely 30 seconds long, their meaning in the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe and what they symbolize to fans cannot be overlooked.

Though the plot of Age of Ultron didn’t suffer because of the lack of a post-credits scene, it seems arrogant and lazy that Marvel would neglect to put one in their most anticipated film to date. A scene could have explored or revealed so many different things, but instead there was nothing. Below are a few suggestions for what a post-credits scene in Age of Ultron should have covered.

Black Panther

Image Credit: Getty Images

Black Panther’s back story was littered throughout Age of Ultron, so it would have felt natural to include a nod to the character in a post-credits scene. Since Chadwick Boseman’s casting as T’Challa was previously announced, and Wakanda, vibranium, and his nemesis, Ulysses Klaw, all featured prominently in the movie, a scene featuring Black Panther wouldn’t have been much of a shock, but it would have been a nice reveal for a character who will feature prominently in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ant-Man

As the next film to come out and the one that will complete Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man should have been featured after the credits. Introducing either Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang or Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym would have drummed up excitement for the upcoming film. Even giving a hint to a plot point would have made sense. Instead, we’ll just have to wait until July to find out more about the character.

Tony Stark

Though there was plenty of Tony Stark in Age of Ultron, a post-credits scene could give hints to his motivations in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Tony and Steve Rogers seemingly ended the movie on a good note, but the civil war story line calls for them to become enemies. Though there have been tensions between them in both Avengers films, little about the way Age of Ultron ended suggested motivations for a massive falling out. Those issues are bound to be explored in the next Captain America film, but a post-credits scene could have laid the groundwork.

Thor’s Hammer

Thor’s Hammer could have easily become the new “shawarma” if it had been included as a post-credits gag. It would have been perfect to show Thor, Tony, and Steve putting Mjölnir in an elevator to see if it would still go up like they discussed near the end of the film. It was a quick little mention, similar to how Tony talked about getting shawarma at the end of The Avengers, that would have been a fun moment after the movie.

Villains

Thanos has been in the mid-credits scenes of both The Avengers and Age of Ultron, but a post-credits scene could have explored or introduced a different villain. Loki has been all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so an appearance by him could give a hint to Thor’s future. Hydra could have been featured, or a villain from an upcoming film could have been hinted at or introduced. Perhaps one last Ultron robot is still wandering around? Marvel has many interesting and compelling villains, and this could have briefly shone the spotlight on one of them.

Flashback

The time after the credits could have given a hint at the beginnings of S.H.I.E.L.D. With the popularity of Agent Carter and the possibility that Ant-Man could explore Hank Pym’s early dealings with S.H.I.E.L.D., the scene could give a glimpse into the history of the organization, as well as throw in appearances and nods to some favorite Marvel characters.

Brand New Character

Marvel wouldn’t even have to show the new character, they could just mention them by name. Nick Fury or Maria Hill could comment that S.H.I.E.L.D. is monitoring Peter Parker, Carol Danvers, Dr. Strange, or someone else yet to be shown on screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though it would have been fun for fans for Marvel to reveal the casting of a beloved character in a post-credits scene, a hint or a mention would have been just as good.

Assemble

Since Steve was cut off at the end of film before he could finish the phrase “Avengers assemble,” the post-credits scene could have simply been Steve finishing that sentence. Though it wouldn’t have been much, fans probably would have gotten a kick out of a post-credits scene that was just the word “assemble.” Or perhaps Sam Wilson could have noticed Scarlet Witch and Vision and said something like, “who are these guys?” since he wasn’t included in the major action of the movie and probably wasn’t aware that they were now part of the team. There are a lot of different ways the final scene with the new Avengers team could have been used after the credits, and fans would have enjoyed seeing more of the new team.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Without post-credits scenes, Marvel films are and will continue to be enjoyable and profitable, but they bring an element of fun and surprise to the table that wouldn’t be there otherwise. Though they started as a fun Easter eggs for fans, now staying through the credits has become a ritual on opening weekends of Marvel films with few, if anyone, leaving the theater early. There are so many different ways that Marvel can use these scenes going forward that it would be a shame if they ended with Age of Ultron. Hopefully Ant-Man and the Phase Three films will continue the tradition because otherwise, the post-credit scenes will be sorely missed.

Have a favorite Marvel post-credits scene? Post your favorites in the comments!

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2 Comments on “After The Fact: Why Marvel Needs The Post-Credits Scene”

  1. Dark Angel June 7, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    WHOO!! Go Spidey! ツ

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Marvel’s Tiniest Superhero Makes a Big Impression in “Ant-Man” | The Hudsucker - July 20, 2015

    […] Age of Ultron came out, I complained about the lack of a post-credits scene in the film, but thankfully Marvel returned to their original formula in Ant-Man. The mid-credits […]

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