"Avengers: Infinity War" has finally hit theaters, and there is plenty to talk about by the time the credits start to roll. But fans of Marvel movies already know that the end credits are not a signal to leave their seats.
Marvel has become known for using mid- and post-credit scenes to tease what's to come in its cinematic universe. In fact "Infinity War" uber-villain Thanos' first appearance in the MCU was during the credits of "The Avengers," meaning this latest battle for the fate of the universe has been hinted at for six years.
[Warning: Spoilers for "Avengers: Infinity War" below. Proceed with caution.]
"Infinity War" has just one post-credits scene, but it doesn't disappoint.
Things are beyond bleak for our heroes by the end of "Infinity War" as they deal with defeat and the staggering body count of their teammates and allies. Not only has Thanos won, but a good portion of the characters who were a part of the fight (including Black Panther, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange) dissolve into nothing.
The post-credits scene is where viewers are given a tiny bit of hope -- and a hint at who might play a key role in the efforts to thwart Thanos in the next "Avengers" film, due out next summer.
While it seems like almost everyone in the MCU made an appearance in "Infinity War," the post-credits scene features a couple of characters who were out of action during the main event.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are just learning about the happenings in Wakanda when they witness the repercussions of the battle first hand. People in the city are turning to dust, and as Hill starts dissolving Fury frantically pulls out a communicator in order to send out an SOS.
Who do you call when Earth's mightiest heroes have failed?
Fury's communicator clatters onto the ground as he also disintegrates into nothing, and the screen flashes to show a starburst and some stripes that should be very familiar to Marvel comics fans.
Fury just sent a message to Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers.
Although we haven't seen her on screen yet, Danvers will be the star of her own standalone movie next March, "Captain Marvel," with Oscar winner Brie Larson in the role. It will be the 21st movie in the MCU, the first headlined by a woman and the second of two MCU films (after July's "Ant-Man and the Wasp") scheduled for release before the "Avengers" follow-up.
In comic book lore, Carol Danvers gained her powers when her DNA was fused with that of the Kree superhero Mar-Vell. Carol made her superhero debut as Ms. Marvel, and later took on the mantle of Captain Marvel — a name used by a number of heroes before her.
With her new name came a new costume — her now signature jumpsuit with the starburst and stripes across her chest that was designed for her when her 2012 comic book series launched. She is one of the most powerful characters in Marvel's arsenal with superpowers including enhanced strength, speed and stamina. She can also fly faster than the speed of sound and has the ability to absorb and discharge blasts of energy.
Exactly how much of her comic book origins and back story will be used in Larson's incarnation of Captain Marvel remains unknown, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has mentioned that Captain Marvel will be the most powerful superhero introduced to the MCU to date.
Fans will have to wait for closer to the "Captain Marvel" release date to learn more about how she might fit into the "Infinity War" follow-up and exactly why she has been indisposed while the Avengers have faced foes such as Ultron and Thanos. But it's probably safe to say she's been hanging out in space.
"Captain Marvel" will be set in the 1990s, meaning Carol became a superhero long before many of the original Avengers. The film will feature Kree characters, including Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou), as well as introduce some Skrull villains, and much of the movie will reportedly take place in space.
"Captain Marvel" is set to hit theaters March 6 while the untitled "Infinity War" follow-up is scheduled for a May 3, 2019 release.