The following post contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War. Obviously. Please do not get mad at me for spoiling the movie. You came here. You did this. It’s time to own that. It will feel better once you do. It’s okay. I get it.

Most Marvel movies have two post-credits scene. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 has five. Avengers: Infinity War is a little bit different. Instead of ending with the heroes’ triumph, it stops after their total defeat. Thanos gets the Infinity Stones. He wipes out half of all life in the universe, including many of our most beloved heroes like Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Star-Lord. Iron Man is stranded halfway across the solar system with Nebula. Thanos looks out on his work and smiles. The end!

Then, instead of Marvel’s usual fancy schmancy animated closing titles, the credits on Infinity War roll by, just simple white text on a black screen. Typically at the end of the animated titles in a Marvel movie you get your first credits scene. This time, there’s a pause and then ... nothing. What’s there to tease? Thanos won!

It would have been a borderline stroke of genius to leave absolutely no hint of hope, but Marvel did give you a little. Finally, after about 10 minutes of credits, we return to the action.

What Happens:

Marvel

After insisting (and loudly complaining!) that he wasn’t in Infinity WarSamuel L. Jackson returns as super-spy Nick Fury, along with his right-hand woman Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). They’re on Earth, driving in an SUV when Thanos achieves his goal and erases half of humanity from existence. (Fun Fact: In The Infinity Gauntlet comic, this event is called “The Great Disappearance.”) They crash into a car with no driver; he or she’s been raptured by Thanos. Then a helicopter crashes into a nearby building (obviously its pilot was erased too). Panic ensues. Bystanders start running.

Fury orders Hill to call a red alert. (Since Fury doesn’t work for SHIELD anymore, who exactly he wants her to call is actually a mystery.) But then Hill begins to disappear, and then Fury does too. Before he vanishes (and gives one last Sam Jackson “Muthaf--er!”) he pulls out and activates what looks like a high-tech pager. When Fury dematerializes, his pager falls to the ground. The camera zooms in. “SENDING...” the little screen reads. And then red and blue bars appear with a little yellow logo on top of them.

What It Means:

Marvel

It means Captain Marvel will be in Avengers 4. That’s her logo on the pager.

The Captain Marvel movie opens in theaters next March. Unlike most Marvel films to date, it is a period piece, set in the 1990s. Jackson co-stars in the film as a younger Nick Fury, along with Clark Gregg as fellow SHIELD agent Phil Coulson. Brie Larson plays the title character, a fighter pilot who gets incredible cosmic powers.

For reasons we’ll undoubtedly find out in Captain Marvel, the character has been MIA since around the time her film is set. Maybe she retired. Maybe she was in outer space protecting Earth from alien threats. Maybe she was injured and put in a coma or some kind of suspended animation. Maybe she just got sick of all the work being the universe’s protector and just didn’t feel like pitching in when the Chitauri showed up. Whatever the reason, she’s been gone (or at least operating very covertly) for a long time. In Avengers 4, she’ll make a major comeback.

And given the losses the Avengers suffered at the end of Infinity War they will need her. Captain Marvel is one of the few characters with enough power to stop Thanos. So she could be the difference maker in Avengers 4. It opens in theaters on May 3, 2019.

Here’s ScreenCrush’s video analysis of the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene:

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