Now that Captain Marvel has been out for a while, we can talk about those Captain Marvel post-credits scenes and what it means for Avengers: Endgame in detail. If you've seen the Captain Marvel ending, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, but if you haven't then you should run away now and come back once you have as we're going to dive into major spoiler territory... now!
As end-credits scenes go, the Captain Marvel post-credits scenes were pretty spectacular, not least because one of them gave us a much-needed glimpse at what's to come in Avengers 4. The second Captain Marvel post-credits scenes was more fun, but there's still plenty to talk about when it comes to both and that's what we're going to be doing here.
First of all, there are two Captain Marvel post-credits scenes and the first one is the most important. The scene opens on that infamous pager, which Nick Fury used in the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene to call Captain Marvel. It’s in a clear container being held by an artificial hand making it oh-so-easy to see when it suddenly goes dead… We cut to a scene featuring Captain America and Black Widow assessing the damage after the events of Avengers: Infinity War from their base. In a scene not unlike the one featuring Bruce Banner in the first Avengers 4 trailer, Steve and Nat are watching the death toll rise on their high-tech screens when Cap says: “This is a nightmare.”
“I’ve had better nightmares,” Nat replies as Rhodey walks into the room and declares: “Hey, that thing just stopped doing… whatever it was doing,” clearly referring to the pager. The remaining Avengers gather around the dead pager, talking about who it might have been trying to contact. It’s clear they don’t know why Nick used it in his final moments, but Steve’s worried that it might not spell good news for the already fragile Earth. Nat says she trusts Fury and if he used it before he died, there’s a reason, before turning around and coming face-to-face with... Captain Marvel! “Where’s Fury?” Carol asks before the screen goes black and a line appears declaring: “Captain Marvel will return in Avengers: Endgame.”
As Marvel post-credits scenes go, this is one of the best as it gives us a little more of the Avengers 4 puzzle. We knew that Captain Marvel would be a part of Endgame, but there are a few things this Captain Marvel post-credits scene tells us that we didn’t know. It tells us that the Avengers found Fury’s pager (pretty impressive considering it would have just been next to a pile of dust in the middle of New York), but that none of them know about Captain Marvel. It also tells us that Tony Stark isn’t back from space yet - if he’s coming back at all - as there’s no sign of him in this scene. Finally, it raises a few questions about Captain Marvel - is this the first time she’s been back to Earth since leaving to help the Skrulls find a new home? She looks almost exactly the same except for her hair being slightly longer, which seems to suggest that she’s either immortal or just ages very slowly (there’s no CGI de-aging here). Either wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility given Captain Marvel’s powers, so we can’t say for sure how much time has passed since we last saw her.
Something else worth noting is that Captain Marvel doesn’t seem to know what’s happened. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but the way she says “Where’s Fury?” seems to imply she needs an explanation, but if Thanos really did wipe out half the universe, then surely Captain Marvel would have realised something had happened wherever she was. Or perhaps she does but she’s just hoping against hope that Fury survived and can explain exactly what’s going on when she arrives on Earth. Sadly, that’s not the case and it’ll be up to the remaining Avengers to reveal the gruesome details...
The second Captain Marvel post-credits scene is short and sweet following the general Marvel rule of one serious post-credits scene, which teases something for the future of the MCU, and one fun post-credits scene that just makes us laugh (remember Captain America appearing in that Spider-Man: Homecoming post-credits scene to lecture audiences on patience?). In the second Captain Marvel post-credits scene we return to the ‘90s and Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. office to find it empty except for Goose who’s jumped up onto the desk and started coughing up what sounds like a hairball. As you’ll probably guess if you’ve seen the movie, it’s not a hairball Goose is about to dump on Fury’s desk… it’s the Tesseract. And right on cue the Flerken coughs up the saliva-covered Infinity Stone leaving it on Fury’s desk for him to find.
This begs the question, what does Fury do with it when he finds it? In Captain Marvel, Agent Coulson tells Fury they’ve found no sign of the Tesseract, but Fury knows that it’s safely hidden away inside Goose. Now that’s it’s no longer inside the cat/Flerken, he’s going to have to find a safe hiding place for it… or maybe it won’t be Fury who finds it at all?
If you're looking for even more Avengers 4 clues check out everything the cast have said about the Avengers: Endgame ending so far.