One question I hear a lot from folks who aren’t as versed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or the comics it is based on) is, “What did those post-credits scenes mean?”. Starting with the newest release, last month’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I will explore what the trademark credits scenes are about, and what they mean for the future of the MCU. With this handy guide, you can be as excited as the geekiest comic fan for what’s coming next!
Kraglin and the Yaka Arrow
The first scene features the former Ravager Kraglin Obfonteri attempting to master the recently departed Yondu Odonta’s prototype Fin. While whistling to control the Yaka Arrow, he loses control and lodges it into Drax’s neck.
This scene is mostly just a fun scene and doesn’t really tease at the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. It could, however, suggest a larger role for Kraglin with the Guardians moving forward – especially since actor Sean Gunn is already on the set for Avengers: Infinity War doing the motion capture for Rocket Raccoon.
The Band Is Back Together
The second scene stars Ravager captain Stakar Ogord (played by Sylvester Stallone) and his first mate, the diamond-skinned Martinex T’Naga (played by Smallville‘s Michael Rosenbaum). This is where it might start getting weird for those who are unfamiliar with the comics.
The duo meets up with several other Ravager captains, some of whom we saw at Yondu’s funeral. Stakar suggests they get the band back together. Ving Rhames’ character says he is in, Martinex proclaims the idea to be ‘dope’, a disembodied female robot head says how much she missed the team, a red aquatic-looking alien creates a Doctor Strange-like mandala of two thumbs up and Michelle Yeoh’s character says “Hell yes.” Stakar then asks if they should go ‘steal some shit’. There’s a lot to unpack in this one.
Most of these captains are from the comic team called the Guardians of the Galaxy. Not the 2008 team led by Star-Lord; Rocket Raccoon actually took their team’s name from a time-travelling member of the original team, which was introduced in 1969 but took place in the 31st century.
The team consisted of Yondu Udonta, Stakar Ogord (or “Starhawk”), and Martinex T’Naga, as well as some of the people we see in this scene: Ving Rhames is the android Charlie-27 and Michelle Yeoh is Stakar’s adopted sister/wife Aleta Ogord. Rounding out the scene is the unvoiced CGI alien Krugarr, the future’s Sorceror Supreme, and the future-Vision, a robot named Mainframe (voiced by none other than Miley Cyrus).
While we won’t see them again until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, you can bet with a star cast like that, the original Guardians of the Galaxy (now colloquially known as the ‘Guardians 3000’) will be a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
I Think I Shall Call Him … ‘Adam’
Elizabeth Debicki’s Soverign High Priestess Ayesha was hinted to be the main villain in marketing, but amounted to little more than a thorn in the Guardians side when Ego showed up. In the third credits scene, Ayesha has failed to capture the Guardians and knows she has displeased the council before her servant even tells her. She has just done something that she thinks will please them, however; in the cocoon before her, she has created a being even more perfect than the Sovereign people. She calls him ‘Adam’.
When Ayesha (sometimes known as ‘Her’) was announced for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel fans could only dare to hope they would include ‘Him’ as well. After all, Adam Warlock is one of the original 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy and one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, capable of stopping Thanos or reshaping the universe. Let’s rewind a bit.
The golden-skinned Adam Warlock first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four in 1967. A genetically engineered creature born from a cocoon, Adam is the cosmic “messiah” figure of the Marvel Universe. Like the MCU’s Vision, the comic version even has an Infinity Gem embedded in his forehead.
However, he is constantly at war with himself – left unchecked, his dark alter-ego Magus and his cult The Church of Universal Truth pose a big threat to the safety of the universe, making him both the Guardian’s greatest ally and strongest foe. I think it’s safe to say we have found our villain for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, who will hopefully eventually join the team alongside other heavily-hinted original 2008 members: Cosmo and Quasar.
Growin’ Up Groot
The fourth credits scene, like the first one, is a fun little scene without much to read into. An angsty now-teenaged Groot sits in his overgrown room playing video games and blowing off Star-Lord, who is acting very much like a mom.
The significance of this scene is that the second Groot is no longer a baby. Keep in mind that most of this movie takes place only a few months after the first Guardians of the Galaxy and before Avengers: Age of Ultron, so Groot has had a lot of time to grow. Hopefully this scene will curb the questioning of why Groot is already an adult when he grapples with the Hulk in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War.
Who Watches the Watchers?
Our fifth and final credits scene reunites us with everyone’s favorite Generalissimo, Stan Lee. As we saw him doing earlier in the movie, Stan the Man is regaling large, cloaked bald aliens with tales of his intergalactic adventures through the last 15 films and 6 TV shows. Growing weary, they simply turn and walk away. Stan complains that they were his ride home.
The aliens in question are The Watchers, one of the oldest species in the universe. They are tasked with watching, observing and recording everything that ever happens without intervention. Earth’s Watcher Uatu is a iconic cosmic figure in the Marvel Universe. Since Marvel Studios doesn’t own the rights to the Fantastic Four character, it looks like the Watchers have to get their reports from Stan Lee himself.
While a goofy, cute little scene like the first and fourth, this actually does end up being rather important for the grand scheme of the MCU. Stan Lee appears all over the world in the films and TV shows, even appearing space in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and in the past in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter. Earlier in the movie, he is describing a scene from Captain America: Civil War – a scene that won’t even taken place for the next two years.
The Watchers are known for being able to reshape the universe in any known way. While committed to non-interference, Stan Lee, being an agent of the Watchers, could have inherited immortality and time travel as just a few of his many perks that come with his new responsibilities.
Because – dare I say it – with great power, there must also come great responsibility!
Stay tuned for the next Marvel film release: Spider-Man: Homecoming!