Summary

  • Marvel’s post-credits scenes don’t always go as planned, leading to scenes that contradict future movies and take away from the overall narrative.
  • Some of the strangest post-credits scenes showed the initial direction of the MCU but later changed course, resulting in missed opportunities and unsatisfying teases.
  • Characters like Thanos, Mac Gargan, and Bucky were set up for future storylines or roles, but those plans were dropped without any payoff.

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Marvel’s post-credits scenes are a good way to predict what’s coming up in the MCU, but they don’t always go as planned. Marvel doesn’t always have the full scripts for their next projects planned out when they are teased in a post-credits scene. This can sometimes lead to a post-credits scene not paying off or even contradicting the events of the movies that come after it. Although these scenes usually still accomplish their main goal of creating hype around upcoming MCU projects, looking back at them sometimes reveals just how strange they seem.

Perhaps the most famous instance of this happening is the very different look Thanos had in his first post-credits appearance, compared to his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War. However, this aesthetic difference didn’t really take away from the overall narrative of the movies. The strangest post-credits scenes are ones that showed the direction the MCU was initially heading in and decided to change course away from going forward in the MCU timeline.

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This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Iron Man (2008)

There was understandably a lot of excitement surrounding Nick Fury’s surprise appearance at the end of Iron Man, which set up The Avengers. However, this iconic scene ended up basically being undone by Iron Man 2. In the movie, Nick Fury essentially tells Tony Stark that he’s not a good fit for the Avengers Initiative because he doesn’t work well with other people. This would be hand-waved away in The Avengers, making the whole exchange make Fury look pretty indecisive about the whole matter.

9 Tony Has No Reason To Recruit Ross

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In The Incredible Hulk (2008)

tony stark in the incredible hulk post-credits scene

Iron Man 2‘s narrative decisions may have made the first Avengers tease feel strange in retrospect, but that was nothing compared to how weird it makes The Incredible Hulk‘s post-credits scene. The scene shows Tony Stark coming to meet General Thunderbolt Ross and pitching him the idea of the Avengers. Given that Iron Man 2 showed Tony hadn’t even joined the Avengers yet, it doesn’t really make sense that he would be trying to recruit the Hulk.

8 Captain Marvel Seemed Ready To Fight The Avengers

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Captain Marvel (2019)

Carol Danvers back on Earth in Captain Marvel's post-credits scene

At the end of Captain Marvel, there was a tease for her Avengers: Endgame introduction to the wider MCU. The scene shows Carol arriving at the Avengers’ headquarters and demanding to know where Nick Fury is. In the scene, Captain Marvel is clearly upset, and it seemed like the teaser was setting up a potential conflict between her and the Avengers. Having her throw down against the other heroes would have done a good job establishing her abilities and relative strength for anyone who skipped Captain Marvel while waiting for Endgame.

When Avengers: Endgame came out, Captain Marvel first appears, saving Tony Stark and Nebula while they’re adrift in space. The movie completely skates over Carol’s initial meeting of Captain America and Black Widow that was teased at the end of Captain Marvel. This creates somewhat of an anticlimax and also robbed Carol of more chances to interact with the original Avengers before they left the MCU.

7 Thanos Promises To “Do It Himself” Then Doesn’t

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Avengers: Age Of Ultron

While exciting, Thanos’ famous “I’ll do it myself” line might make the least sense of any post-credits scene in the MCU. First is the fact that Thanos had nothing to do with the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the film that this scene takes place in. It would have made a lot more sense after The Avengers, where Thanos’ forces were directly involved in the main conflict. Thanos didn’t really have anything to do with Ultron, so it’s unclear why he would be declaring his intent to collect the Infinity Stones himself after seemingly unrelated events.

Flash forward to Avengers: Infinity War and the line isn’t much better. While Thanos is involved directly with ultimately retrieving the Infinity Stones, he does a lot of delegating to get to that point. Ebony Maw captures Doctor Strange and the Time Stone, and Proxima Midnight leads an army against Wakanda to get the Mind Stone. Thanos’ line in this post-credits scene seemed to be implying that he didn’t trust anyone else to handle getting the stones, but then he still just sends out other people to do a good chunk of the work.

6 The Old Ravagers Assemble Then Return To Normal

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Stakar's Ravager Team assemble in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credits scene

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced Stakar and the several other Ravager captains who used to be a team similar to the Guardians. The scene shows them reuniting and sets up a return for the team that never really comes to fruition. Though they are briefly present in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, they don’t seem to have truly gotten back as a unit and are still operating their own Ravager crews. When the teaser initially came out, there was speculation that the team might be getting together for their own movie, but it never came to be.

5 Mac Gargan Is Looking For Spider-Man, Then Disappears From The MCU

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Spider-Man: Homecoming

Mac Gargan in Spider-Man Homecoming talking to Vulture

Mac Gargan, better known as Scorpion in Marvel Comics, appears as a minor antagonist in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Though he didn’t appear in his Scorpion persona, he was set up to return in the movie’s post-credits scene when he confronts the Vulture about Spider-Man’s identity. Unfortunately, any plans for Gargan seem to have been dropped, as he has entirely disappeared from the MCU since. There still hasn’t been a live-action version of Scorpion, making this post-credits scene a disappointing tease that never paid off.

4 The Council Of Kangs Needs A Recast

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

Three leaders of the Council of Kangs in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania - Rama-Tut, Immortus, and the Centurion

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania didn’t just set up a few variants of Kang the Conqueror, but a whole stadium full of them. Apart from a few more alien-looking variants, most of these Kangs were played by Jonathan Majors. Following Majors’ recent conviction, he was officially dropped from the MCU. That makes Quantumania‘s post-credits scene a little strange now, as it is just a scene full of an actor who is no longer going to be a part of the MCU.

3 Thor Visits Jane Then They Break Up Between Movies

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Thor: The Dark World

thor and jane in the dark world post-credits scene

One of Thor: The Dark World‘s post-credits scenes probably seemed like a safe choice at the time. It simply showed Thor coming back to Earth to visit Jane, so it didn’t really have any big reveals it would need to pay off later. All the scene set up was a likely continuation of Thor and Jane’s romantic relationship. Well, it turns out that was too tall of an order, as Thor and Jane would be broken up by the time the next Thor movie came out.

Mercifully, Jane would eventually return when Taika Waiti offered her an upgrade from generic love interest to The Mighty Thor in Thor Love and Thunder. While this worked to ensure the storyline had a larger payoff in the overall MCU, it still left the decision to cut the duo’s romance off so abruptly after their dramatic post-credits reunion a somewhat bizarre one.

2 Mordo Is Set Up As Doctor Strange’s Next Villain

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Doctor Strange

Apart from Wong, one of Doctor Strange’s best allies in Doctor Strange was Mordo. Mordo helped mentor Strange at Kamar-Taj, and although the two didn’t always see eye-to-eye, they did work well together. This set up an interesting dynamic for their eventual falling out, and the post-credits scene that set up Mordo as the villain for Strange’s next solo outing.

Despite having the perfect set up for a very personal conflict between Strange and Mordo, Marvel decided to make Wanda Maximoff the antagonist in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness instead. While Mordo does show up, it is an alternate universe version of him, which takes away any of the personal connection between him and Strange, since this isn’t the same version of the character. It is still yet to be seen if Mordo will return in a future project.

1 Bucky Is Set Up To Be White Wolf But Never Takes The Mantle

This Post-Credits Scene Happens In Black Panther

Bucky Barnes as the White Wolf in Wakanda

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky spends some time recovering in Wakanda. This led to the Black Panther post-credits scene where Bucky is shown doing better, and he is also referred to by the Wakandans as the White Wolf. In Marvel Comics, White Wolf is the villainous alter ego of T’Challa’s adopted brother Hunter, who wore a white version of the Black Panther suit. While it was clear that the MCU wouldn’t be following that route, it did seem to be hinting that Bucky might take up the mantle of White Wolf.

When Bucky returned in Avengers: Infinity War, he did so without his new code name or a costume for it. Instead, it seems like Marvel is going to keep referring to Bucky as the Winter Soldier in the MCU, as indicated by the Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

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