The bane of every cinema and movie theater attendant, the Marvel movies have become as well known for their box office records and for their post credit scenes. Some were good, others not so good, but all continued to build the combined universe of Gods, Hi-techs, Altered Humans, and Super spies.
I could rate these by relevance to the universe, humor or action, how effective they lead into the next movie, or simply sheer awesomeness, but I have decided to rate them by the only criteria which matters; bladder control. For reasons of spoilers, I’m omitting the Guardians of the Galaxy post-credit scene (in case you’re wondering , it was the worst.)
This post-credit scene wins the “worst of” by being such a curious juxtaposition between the Thor “universe” and the expanded universe of the Shi’ar Empire and the Kree. Sif and Volstagg show up to give the Aether to the Collector, essentially handing off one MacGuffin from one, albeit related, movie universe to a different movie universe. Plus, it kinda looked terrible.
The Dark World also contained a second post-credit scene which was just Thor returning to Earth, which made me ask, why put in the post-credit. It’s part of the movie rather that leading to another movie, which is essentially the reason for the post-credit scenes.
Many folks will say that The First Avenger is one of their least favourite of the movies to-date. The post-credit scene was more of a teaser for The Avengers movie, which would arrive the following year. “Some assembly required” was the tagline and while, sure, we’d seen all the pieces set up over the previous three years, with the Avengers, you needed Capt. America; Captain Bland himself. So, the post-credit scene felt like a little “thanks for staying” and a “we’ll do better next time”.
For my money, Winter Soldier is second only to Iron Man 3. It was awesome. It took an otherwise white-bread character and made him bad-ass. Also, it was a mini-Avengers movie while we waited for Ultron to get his shit together (In Whedon we trust… IN WHEDON WE TRUST – Joss, not Jed!). Unfortunately, the post-credit scene didn’t do much except show the existence of two characters, we all knew were being introduced in the next Avengers movie. Sure, Scarlet Witch’s telekinetic finger flick was a nice touch, but it just wasn’t fist-pumping awesome enough.
It’s important to note, that this was the second of the Post-Credit scenes. The first one (and the accompanying Phase marketing) set-up the notion of an assembled universe, but this one double-downed on it. Stark shows up to bring the vanquished Colonel Ross some good news.
The Avengers ended with all the heroes going their separate ways, to their own separate-please-don’t-ask-where-the-others-are-during-the-Thor-movie franchises, the post-credit scene was there to tee-up Phase 2 of the cinematic universe (including a sure-fire box-office bomb, Guardians of the Galaxy?). Unfortunately, the reveal of Thanos was more of a “who the hell is that?” while feigning knowledge (quickly, TO THE INTERNETS!).
The first is not the best, though not the worst. It introduced the world to the new face of Nick Fury (though for those of us who read to Ultimates line, it was a face we were already quite familiar with). Most notably it included the word “universe”. This was a declaration; Marvel Studios were saying they had a plan. Iron Man was just their first salvo.
Presented with the possibility of working on the Tesseract, an Loki-influence Eric Selvig agrees to work on (we discovered later) weaponising the Tesseract. This leads directly into The Avengers, making it one of the strongest of the post-credit scenes.
Before J. Michael Straczynski officially found Mjolnir in New Mexico, Agent Coulson found a curious object in the desert. This one is good, so good, is that it really spoke to the Nerd-set. While the Thanos reveal resulted in a “huh?” from the crowd, the Hammer reveal really gee’d up the audience-faithful.
Okay, yeah, I know. Not part of the Marvel Universe, but its’ marvel (lower cast “m”) and deserves to be commented upon. Apocalypse is coming. Oh, yeah. This was nice and awesome. Showed off some of Apocalypse’ powers, showed him being worshipped as a god, but most of all, it showed a quartet of equestrian enthusiasts.
After Stark (using Shane Black’s wonderful words) narrated a bunch of the movie, we come to the end and it is revealed that Stark was talking to someone; Bruce Banner… who had fallen asleep during the telling of the tale. It was warm. It was funny. It spoke to character and to a growing friendship between Stark and Banner. It was nice coda to the movie.