Did you watch The Marvels at Cineworld this weekend? While you absorb the latest instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), no doubt you'll find yourself with questions as to the inevitable credits scene.
Ask and you shall receive: here is the breakdown of said scene and its potential impact on the future of the MCU.
What happens at the end of The Marvels?
Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Ms Marvel/Kamala Khan (Iman Vallani) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) succeed in defeating Kree enemy Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). However, Dar-Benn opens up a rift in space-time, compelling Monica to venture into space and close it. In doing so, she seals the portal from the other side and sacrifices herself, remaining in an alternate reality.
Carol helps Kamala and her family move into the house of her old friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), Monica's mother, who passed away during the 'blip'. Monica, on waking up in an alternate dimension, is greeted by Maria who doesn't appear to recognise Monica as her daughter.
Enter X-Men character Beast/Hank McCoy (voiced by X-Men: The Last Stand actor Kelsey Grammer) who is stunned to realise from Monica's bloodwork that she hails from an alternate version of Earth. He then says that Charles Xavier wants to see Monica and Maria then stands up to reveal herself to be clad in a white superhero suit.
Who appears in the credits scene for The Marvels?
As mentioned, we are greeted by the older Beast/Hank McCoy. This iteration of the character last appeared in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Since then, we've become familiar with Beast's younger incarnation, played by Nicholas Hoult in the rebooted X-Men movies that ran from 2011 to 2019.
Post-2019, Marvel chief Kevin Feige has been dropping tantalising hints about the arrival of the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This wasn't possible before because rival studio 20th Century Fox owned the characters; however, they now fall under Disney's auspices and are therefore ready to make their Marvel entrance (Disney is, of course, the distributor for the MCU movies).
The credits scene for The Marvels explicitly gestures toward the X-Men's MCU debut. It capitalises on the sequence from 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that introduced a variant of Patrick Stewart's elderly X-Men leader Charles Xavier/Professor X, although he and his crew didn't last very long before Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) eliminated them all.
So, who is Maria Rambeau supposed to be? It's widely assumed that she's Binary, a Carol Danvers variant from Earth-616. Binary is an energy duplicate of Captain Marvel, first introduced in Marvel Comics as an alternate identity for the Danvers in Uncanny X-Men. She has since appeared in the Captain Marvel comics as a new character.
What does this mean for the future of the MCU? It remains to be seen. However, it's already been suggested that Kamala Khan is a mutant – she's even joined the X-Men in the Marvel comics issue 'Ms Marvel: The New Mutant'. So, there could be a thematic undertow between the existing MCU characters and the fan-favourites set to appear in the future.
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