The Marvels’ Post-Credits Scene Reveals a Major MCU Problem
What are viewers meant to take away from the blockbuster’s final moments?
It may have failed to make an impact at the box office, but The Marvels doesn’t miss the mark; it just falls a little short of its own potential. Despite its box office drubbing, the Nia DaCosta-directed film ranks as one of Marvel Studios’ better recent efforts. However, The Marvels still falls into the same trap as most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s other post-Avengers: Endgame entries.
The likable superhero blockbuster makes an all-too-common mistake in its post-credits scene, which not only takes place in a different reality than the MCU’s prime dimension, but also features two major cameos. As exciting as the scene’s surprises are, they’re also destined to leave you scratching your head, a problem Marvel seems increasingly comfortable causing.
At the end of The Marvels, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) wakes up in the alternate universe she willingly exiled herself to, only to find herself sitting next to Binary (Lashawna Lynch), a superpowered variant of her mother, Maria. Monica and Binary are then joined by a version of Beast played by X-Men: The Last Stand and Days of Future Past star Kelsey Grammer. The scene ends with the confirmation that Monica has wound up in a universe where the X-Men very much exist.
As unexpected as that is, it’s unclear what viewers are meant to take away from the scene. Is Marvel going to make a sequel that follows Monica in her new reality? Or are she, Binary, and Beast just going to return in a surprise fashion in a later MCU film, like 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars?
It seems unlikely a Monica Rambeau-led sequel is in the works given The Marvels’ poor box office performance, and the uncertainty surrounding Monica’s MCU future makes it hard to enjoy her final scene. What exactly is it telling viewers to be excited about? That there’s a universe where Binary and Beast exist that may or may not matter? The scene’s undefined importance makes its cameos feel like particularly egregious instances of empty fan service.
That’s frustrating, because Marvel used to be great at making post-credits scenes feel like they carried actual narrative weight. Across the MCU’s first 11 years, Marvel delivered bonus scenes that either set up future storylines or worked as fun jokes. Very few of the franchise’s pre-Endgame stingers felt like pure fan service. Nearly all of them served a purpose that was, even in the most surprising of instances, immediately obvious.
More recently, however, movies and TV shows like Eternals, Moon Knight, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder have all made promises in their post-credits scenes that Marvel seems unlikely to follow through on. The Marvels introducing two major characters for reasons that aren’t clear is an especially egregious example.
These vague promises hurt what used to be not only a signature aspect of the MCU, but also a useful tool to keep the franchise’s overarching plots going. Marvel barely seems to care about these characters, so why should fans?
The Marvels is now streaming on Disney+.
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