The Marvel movie ends, and the credits start to roll. You see some people in your row start to gather their things and leave. Amateurs.
But not you. You stay in your seat, just like you have since you first saw “Iron Man” in 2008 and heard whispers of an extra scene after the credits. It seemed unlikely — why would anyone want to stay that long once the film is over? But you waited, and your patience was rewarded. Now you know not to leave the theatre until every last name has scrolled past and employees are starting to sweep up popcorn.
Now 16 movies deep, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is famous for its post-credits scenes. Some are used to tease new characters and plotlines, while others are there to give a wink to hardcore comics fans.
Viewers of Marvel’s latest, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” were treated to two more. They’re worthy additions to Marvel’s already extensive collection.
Here is the definitive ranking of Marvel’s post-credits scenes:
Note: This list contains spoilers for “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Look, I'll be honest, I haven't seen 'Thor: The Dark World.' It's the only Marvel movie that I've missed, and at this point I haven't heard anything that makes me want to go back and watch it.
That said, I'm confident that this is the worst post-credits scene that Marvel has put out. It doesn't tease a future plotline or character, and it's not remotely funny. I'm glad I didn't sit through the credits to watch this.
Doctor Strange was a niche, unfamiliar property for many moviegoers. Perhaps a post-credits scene focusing on the creation of a niche, unfamiliar villain was not the best way to go. Unlike most Marvel post-credits scenes, this one did not leave me wanting to see what was going to happen next.
Nick Fury, Loki, and the Cosmic Cube aren't enough to rescue a generally boring scene. Despite the fact that it sets up a great deal of plot points in future films, the scene falls flat on its own.
Benicio del Toro is something of a post-credits scene specialist, having appeared in both 'Thor: The Dark World' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' His second appearance was certainly more memorable, as the introduction of his character in 'The Dark World' leaves much to be desired.
The first time Thanos made a post-credits scene appearance, it was very cool. The second time, not so much. Seeing him was no longer a surprise for audiences, and he didn't really do anything different from the post-credits scene in 'The Avengers.'
Though this scene likely left most moviegoers scratching their heads, it gave Marvel purists something to get excited about. This scene saw the gathering of the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the comic's first run.
The Black Panther was one of the (many) highlights in 'Captain America: Civil War.' The post-credits scene gave the audience a small taste of Wakanda and of what is to come in the Ryan Coogler-helmed Black Panther film, due in theatres February 2018.
Sure, this scene is just a shortened version of the scene from 'Captain America: Civil War,' but it was still good to see Captain America and Falcon make an appearance in one of the smallest-scale Marvel films.
I could watch Samuel L. Jackson go around telling people he's putting a team together all day long. Watching him approach Captain America to tell him about the Avengers is no exception.
Bonus points for the cheesy montage that follows this scene.
Any post-credits scene that teases the appearance of a character audiences haven't yet seen on screen is great in my book. Though Adam Warlock won't be making an appearance in 'Avengers: Infinity War,' audiences clearly have something to look forward to.
A variation of this scene would have been a perfect way to introduce the character at the end of another Marvel film. But it still ranks high because it's Marvel's way of telling audiences, 'Yes, we really did get Spider-Man back in the fold, and we're just as excited as you are!'
One of the best moments in both 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' was when Yondu cut down dozens of enemies using his trusty arrow. By the end of Vol. 2, however, Yondu is dead and the arrow has been left to his right-hand man, Kraglin.
This scene shows Kraglin struggling to operate the arrow using his whistle, until he inadvertently causes it to fly straight into Drax's shoulder. It's a very funny scene, played perfectly by both Sean Gunn and and Dave Bautista.
At the end of 'The Winter Soldier,' S.H.I.E.L.D. is in ruins and Captain America is determined to find Bucky Barnes, his former best friend, and help him regain control of his mind. Little does he know that Barnes is at the nearby Smithsonian Institution, coming to grips with an exhibit on his life before he was taken by Hydra.
The banter between Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo is a highlight of the 'Avengers' films, so seeing it brought to one of Iron Man's standalone movies was refreshing.
Here, it is revealed that Tony Stark wasn't narrating the events of 'Iron Man 3' to the audience, but instead to Dr. Bruce Banner.
Despite Banner falling asleep and protesting that he's 'not that kind of doctor,' Stark insists on delving into his life story with his new therapist.
The MCU's second post-credits scene sees Tony Stark approach Thaddeus Ross in a bar to tell him about a 'special team' that's being put together. That team, of course, is the Avengers, and this scene is still awesome every time I watch it.
Five years ago, 'The Avengers' used its mid-credits scene to introduce the villain that has been looming over every film since: Thanos. We're still waiting for him to show up, but chances are good that he will be making a formal introduction next year in 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
The mid-credits scene for Spider-Man's return to the MCU sees an incarcerated Adrian Toomes confronted by Mac Gargan, the man who becomes Spider-Man's nemesis The Scorpion in the comics. Gargan presses Toomes for information on Spider-Man's true identity, but Toombs says he doesn't have any information.
This scene is memorable not only because it introduces a fan-favourite villain, but because it showcases a level of nuance not normally seen in Marvel's villains. Though Peter Parker was responsible for putting The Vulture in prison, he also saved both his and his daughter's lives.
Toomes protecting Peter's identity is a rewarding end to his character arc, and solidifies him as one of Marvel's very best onscreen villains.
In perhaps his best Marvel cameo yet, a spacesuit-clad Stan Lee shows up in this post-credits scene along with The Watchers. These beings observe all the goings on of the Marvel universe, and we spot them earlier in the film when we see Stan Lee regaling them with stories that sound suspiciously like his cameos in other Marvel films.
By the time the post-credits roll around though, The Watchers have had enough and are walking away from him.
This scene was perfect for two reasons:
1. It reminded audiences that Marvel wasn't kidding and the Avengers movie was really, seriously going to happen.
2. It was the first peek at a hero audiences had yet to see on the big screen: Thor.
Though Baby Groot steals the show in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,' it's difficult to top his first appearance.
Watching him dance to the Jackson 5 while Drax cleans his knife was the perfect topper to one of the MCU's most unique films.
'The Avengers' was the culmination of an unprecedented cinematic experiment. For many fans, it was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to see their favourite heroes together on the big screen.
Needless to say, moviegoers who sat through the Thanos mid-credits scene were excited to see what else the MCU would send their way.
Then they got the Avengers, battered and exhausted after saving the world, sitting around eating shawarma.
It's easy to forget now, but in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't exist. In fact, nothing that was even a fraction of the scale of the MCU existed.
Marvel wasn't yet the movie-industry juggernaut that it is now, and for most fans the idea of The Avengers coming to the big screen together was only a fantasy.
That is, until Samuel L. Jackson showed up to announce Marvel's intention to make it a reality.
Nearly a full 10 years later, this scene still gives me chills.
With nearly 30 post-credits scenes under its belt, Marvel Studios finally addressed the phenomenon it has created.
In the style of the cheesy public school PSAs featured throughout the movie, Captain America walks onto a white background to address the audience.
'Sometimes patience is the key to victory,' he says. 'Sometimes it leads to very little, and it seems like it's not worth it. And you wonder why you waited so long for something so disappointing.'
It's a great, meta moment from Marvel. And though it doesn't tease future installments of the MCU, it's well worth the wait.
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