Op-Ed: Marvel Post-Credit Scenes Should End, Here’s Why

in Entertainment, Marvel

black widow end credits scene post-credit scene

Credit: Marvel Studios

One of the most frustrating things about going to the movies is having to sit through to the post-credit scene to get to something that might be an important aspect of the story. Honestly, the MCU has frustrated me to the point of paranoia, where I constantly think I have to sit through most other movies so that I don’t miss some tie-in that could be relevant in a few years.

wandavision post credits scene wanda on cabin porch
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: 8 MCU Post-Credit Scenes That Still Haven’t Paid Off Yet

Thankfully, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse did away with the post-credit scene, one of the best things the film could have done. It was refreshing to have been able to get up right after the movie ended, use the restroom, and head home to take in the story. However, had it involved some post-credit scene, that might have dominated my mind instead. Though most post-credit scenes are only 30 seconds, they often trump the typically over 2 hours we had spent watching what Marvel had put together.

It’s time to do away with the post-credit scene (end-credit scene), not just because we all selfishly want to get home.

Why Marvel Should Stop the Post-Credit Scene

bucky barnes and shuri in black panther post credits scene
Credit: Marvel Studios

I Need to Use the Restroom

I would instead get my selfish complaints out now so that this piece does not seem like I am prattling on about wanting to use the restroom immediately after sitting through a long movie. But really, though, think about having to sit down and pay attention to a film for nearly three hours. Wouldn’t you have to use the bathroom? Most people have varying degrees of bladder efficiency, but even the strongest have to use the facilities after three hours.

Take Across the Spider-Verse, which I briefly mentioned in this piece’s intro. That movie is 2 hours and 16 minutes long. Most of the time, we all want snacks and drinks while at our local theater. After enjoying a giant overpriced soda, I must use the restroom.

That is not accounting for the nearly 30 minutes before the movie starts, which is full of trailers and advertisements for the theater. With 20 minutes of that, a 2-hour and 16-minute movie, the additional 15 minutes of credits, and the post-credits scenes—we are looking at well over three hours of sitting there. It’s hard not wanting to get up and race to the bathroom.

Now, I will say that Marvel could have been clever in adding additional story elements at the end of their films to honor those hard-working individuals who have worked on their movies. For that, I say we should stay. However, let’s be frank unless you worked on the film and are waiting to see your name listed; then you are not reading through each name listed.

Those who worked on the film and dedicated their long hours deserve to be honored. That is why their names are given in the credits. For that reason, I fully support people staying and taking a look at the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people it took to make some of our favorite films.

Still, having to use the bathroom takes precedence sometimes. Now that I got the complaint part out of the way, I want to get more into the practical reasons why Marvel needs to stop the post-credits scene.

Marvel Is Ruining Its Own Stories

Guardians of the Galaxy characters Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
Credit: Marvel Studios

There will be spoilers for current Marvel movies, so if you have not seen movies like Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, look away. 

Related: ‘Guardians 3’ Post-Credits Scenes Might Be An MCU Trap

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been putting together some of the best superhero stories since 2008 when Iron Man exploded onto the scene. Those stories have only grown more in-depth and become so powerful they have warranted Academy Award recognition. However, those stories have also been lessened by the post-credit scenes that accompany the film.

For instance, I loved the end of Iron Man. Not the end where Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) created the MCU by saying, “I am Iron Man,” but the post-credit scene that introduced both the Avengers and Nick Fury. That moment was memorable enough that it created an entire multi-billion franchise. That is an effective way to deliver a proverbial cherry on top of a great story and also a way to just throw out some nonsense that the casual MCU fan might not even understand.

Non-Effective Marvel Post-Credit Scenes

Ant-Man and Cassie stare at Quantum people in the Quantum Realm
Credit: Marvel Studios

Let’s start with the previously mentioned Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. The movie was the first place that introduced Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) into our lives. Though he was shown in Loki, it was a different variant known as “He Who Remains.”

Now, say you happen not to be an avid comic book reader; you would have no idea that Kang has one of the most convoluted origin stories in all comics.

I won’t bore you with the specifics but just know that Kang has many forms and is many people. That’s about as simple as I will be able to explain it. Now, at the end of Ant-Man 3, there is a post-credits scene that showcases Ant-Man, Loki, Mobius, and Victor Timely. Who is Victor Timely? Well, that is a great question.

Victor Timely is a time-traveling variant of Kang the Conqueror that no casual fan would know about. So, why does he appear in the post-credits scene at all? The Council of Kangs was already shown in the film, and adding another variant without explanation doesn’t make much sense. It sort of sets up the Kang Dynasty, but that’s it.

Granted, Victor Timely might appear in Loki Season 2, but he might not. The issue is that these post-credit scenes are often confusing and sort of take away from the film’s core story that we all just watched. Even the issues with Jonathan Majors being replaced aside, it’s a confusing piece of the story that might not find relevance down the line.

I will also throw in the post-credits scene for Thor: Love and Thunder. The world was introduced to the MCU version of Hercules, as portrayed by Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso. Though fans were incredibly excited about Goldstein making his Marvel debut, will we see Hercules make any impact in a future MCU film? Will he end up fighting Chris Hemsworth Thor?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 did something similar. While that Marvel movie was fantastic in every aspect, the post-credits scene was ridiculous. Again, this will be a massive spoiler if you have not seen this film. This is your final warning. 

Now, the film ends with Star-Lord eating breakfast with his grandpa. While their reunion was heartwarming as much as it could be (I may have shed some tears), the additional scene is just of them carrying on as a grandfather and grandson would. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is just talking about the neighbor’s son; though it’s humorous, it does nothing for the story. All it does is remind us that Star-Lord will return to the MCU, which most of us could have guessed anyway.

Sometimes it feels as though Marvel is dedicated to the post-credit scene for the simple reason of not breaking its streak of doing so. The scenes I have had to sit and wait for seem to be thrown together at times.

That is another thing. A lot of times, the post-credits scenes are just text that states certain heroes will return. That text can easily be thrown at the film’s end right before the credits, so sitting through to the end to read it is unnecessary.

Effective Marvel Post-Credits Scenes

Letitia Wright as Shuri/Black Panther in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' (2021)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Post-Credit Scene Explained

I will admit that the post-credit scene has not always been a bit pointless, as some have truly complemented the story well. As mentioned, Nick Fury’s appearance to tell Iron Man about the Avengers Initiative was perfect.

There are other examples where the MCU just gave us an additional story element that matters greatly to the creation of the MCU. At the end of Thor, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes control of Stellan Skarsgard’s Erik Selvig, and he is shown the Tesseract by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

The Tesseract became a huge aspect of the Infinity Saga because it contained an Infinity Stone. This mattered greatly to Infinity War and Endgame, even years later.

Most of the post-credit scenes that matter in the MCU all tied the Infinity Saga together and mainly involved Nick Fury putting together the Avengers.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) did the same thing when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) spoke to Nick Fury about joining the Avengers.

The point is there has been some semblance of unity that the post-credit scene used to have, which excited us all about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We were shown the intertwining stories that brought the Avengers together and how Nick Fury became their de facto leader.

The Post-Credit Scene Lost Its Connection

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has seen its fair share of critiques lately, and that could be why the company is now making a mad dash to mix things up. A bevy of shows and movies being released in the past few years has led to what Marvel fans have dubbed as “superhero fatigue.” This fatigue is certainly done no favors with post-credit scenes that share no apparent connection.

There is also the fact that the post-credit scene has sometimes become more important than the overall story, which is a huge miss.

Take WandaVision, for example. The show itself was a bit droning, and the story’s point was not revealed until the end when Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) finally realized she had been holding the townspeople of Westview. However, at the end of the series, there is a scene where Wanda is reading the Dark Hold as Scarlet Witch.

That was a crucial moment that seemed far more important to the overall story than the fake sitcom shown in the series. This moment was made even more important as it led directly to Wanda becoming a villain in the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The same can be said for Moon Knight, which shows Jack Lockley (Oscar Isaac) killing Arthur Hallow (Ethan Hawke). Though it was a perfect mic drop moment for the series, there has been no confirmation that we will even get a new season of the hit show.

The MCU has made a mess of its own continuity, so now they have to retool their release strategy. Those post-credit scenes that have already been shown might never be addressed again, making fans more confused.

I will admit there was a time when the post-credit scenes mattered a great deal, but now it seems as if Marvel wants to throw these scenes together to get some sort of shock value for the audience so that their properties stay relevant.

Marvel has lost touch with its overall connection to its own continuity and how it has displayed that continuity to fans. I wouldn’t mind if the post-credit scenes were strung together as they had been with the Infinity Saga, but that might no longer be possible.

The MCU is putting together so many shows and movies that it might be time to close down shop on the additional scenes and let the stories speak for themselves. I am a huge Marvel fan, which includes reading the comics and taking in their live-action, but it just appears that everything is messy.

Disney and Marvel have also stated that Phases 5 and 6 would be reworked, especially considering how upset Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared when discussing the direction and sheer volume of releases. With the release slate being altered a lot, it means that the post-credits scenes that may have been shown recently won’t make their way back to the mainline stories they had been shown in.

The post-credits scene should stop until Marvel can figure out its plan for the foreseeable future. There is no longer a need to confuse us with small tidbit scenes that do nothing to add to the story. Sometimes, we also need time to breathe to take in the long stories seen on the big and small screens. The MCU movies are only getting longer, and a film that is longer than two hours takes some time to process.

Thor in 'Thor: Love and Thunder'
Credit: Marvel

Related: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Post-Credit Scenes Explained

Adding in an additional post-credits scene that must be clarified is no longer practical. It’s time to end it.

Do you think Marvel should stop showing post-credits scenes? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!


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