"Captain Marvel" has finally hit theaters, marking the live-action movie debut of Earth's mightiest hero.
The film, directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, is the first in the blockbuster franchise to boast a sole female title character. She also turns out to be the most powerful superhero the MCU has introduced to date.
Like the many films that have preceded it, "Captain Marvel" features post-credit scenes that both tease what's to come in the MCU and raise plenty of questions all on their own.
(Warning: Spoilers for "Captain Marvel" below.)
Captain Marvel's arrival was teased in the post-credits scene of 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War" when a dissolving Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pulled out a pager to send out a distress call, so it's only appropriate that "Captain Marvel" ties the story back to the upcoming "Avengers: Endgame."
The origin of that pager was revealed earlier in "Captain Marvel" as Fury's top-of-the-line piece of '90s Earth technology — upgraded by Carol with some Kree modifications for use in case of an emergency.
The film's mid-credits scene shows that the heroes who survived Thanos' snap have somehow discovered Fury's pager and brought it back to the Avengers compound. That's especially impressive considering how much random debris was likely created in the aftermath of the "Infinity War" destruction.
It's also clear that Cap (Chris Evans), Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) — despite somehow knowing the pager belonged to Fury — are unaware of the true purpose of the device. This makes it likely that none of them are aware that Captain Marvel, whose Air Force pilot callsign became the superhero team's namesake, even exists.
After the pager stops working during the scene, the team wonders just who Fury was trying to contact. But before they can try to reboot the signal, Captain Marvel arrives to ask: "Where's Fury?"
This meeting marks the first real glimpse audiences have gotten of Carol interacting with any of the superheroes assembled by her old friend Fury. And while it's clear that the scene sets up Captain Marvel's role in "Endgame," it also leaves plenty unanswered.
Does Carol know about the damage Thanos has caused the universe? Asking about Fury's whereabouts could mean she is unaware that half the universe has dissolved into dust. But it's also possible that she's fully aware of the state of the universe and just assumed Fury had survived since she received the signal.
Could this be the first time Captain Marvel has returned to Earth since she left with the Skrulls at the end of the movie? It's apparent that this is the first time Carol has been called up since the Avengers have been assembled since none of the remaining Earthbound heroes knew about the pager. Is she equally unaware of the existence of the Avengers? Has she never dropped by for a social call? What has kept her away?
The second post-credits scene is a bit more lighthearted but just as mysterious.
The events of "Captain Marvel" expand the lore involving the Tesseract. Fans now know that the cube that holds the Space Stone not only gave Carol her powers, but it spent some time inside an alien cat.
This shorter scene takes place at Nick Fury's empty desk at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Goose, who was taken in by Fury, appears and coughs up the Tesseract he had swallowed to keep the Kree from getting ahold of it.
During the film it was revealed that Goose is no ordinary feline; he's actually a Flurken. According to "Captain Marvel" comics, a Flurken's mouth contains more than just frightening tentacles — it's also a gateway to pocket dimensions (like bubbles of space that exist in another reality).
Since the Tesseract has played a major role in other MCU films, it's easy to assume that the scene takes place sometime in the past and is how Fury came to possess the cube.
However, because of Fury's absence from his desk, the actual timing of the scene remains vague.
Could the scene have also taken place after the events of "Infinity War"? Since Goose is an alien "cat," his actual age is unknown. Perhaps Goose stuck around in Fury's vacant S.H.I.E.L.D. office after he left the organization.
This would mean the Tesseract that Goose spits out is different from the one Thanos used during "Infinity War." Considering the events of "Captain Marvel" already complicated the Tesseract's backstory, this scenario might not be as outlandish as it seems.
Previously it was believed the Tesseract had been in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s possession from the time Howard Stark handed it over after recovering it in "Captain America" (2011) until Loki stole it in "Avengers" (2012).
But in "Captain Marvel," fans learn that at some point it fell into the hands of Dr. Wendy Lawson (a.k.a. Mar-Vell). Maybe she got it from S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe she didn't.
Could the Tesseract play a role in "Avengers: Endgame"? Will Goose be back? Fans won't have to wait that long to find out. The movie is due for release April 26.