After several months of delay, Marvel’s The Marvels has landed in movie theaters. Despite being the shortest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, The Marvels leaves quite an impact–the ending sets up two separate major plot threads for the future. And these are over-arching franchise plot threads, not threads for a third Captain Marvel movie–at least for now.
Warning: This article describes the ending of Marvel’s The Marvels in detail.
In this film, the threat that brings the three Marvels together is Dar-Benn, a new Kree warlord who has emerged on a quest to save the Kree homeworld Hala, which is experiencing an ecological collapse in the wake of Captain Marvel’s destructions of the Supreme Intelligence in the last movie.
But Dar-Benn is a Marvel villain, and that means she chooses the most horrible method of saving her world: by destroying others. She uses a cosmic bangle–it’s one of a pair with Kamala Khan’s bangle–and Ronan the Accuser’s big hammer to rip open holes in spacetime. On one planet, she makes a hole to steal its atmosphere and ship it home. On another, she steals the ocean (this is starting to sound like a Carmen San Diego joke), and then, finally, she tries to steal the fire from Earth’s sun to re-light Hala’s.
Naturally, our heroes Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan head back toward Earth after fighting Dar-Benn across those locations, and they go at Dar-Benn once again. But her bangle allows her to absorb all the energy they throw Dar-Benn’s way, and eventually she manages to pin Kamala and grab her bangle. With both bangles, Dar-Benn has leveled up. She attempts to unleash their full power by knocking them together–but her wounded body can’t handle the stress of using both of the bangles at once, and she disintegrates.
But Dar-Benn didn’t just accidentally kill herself with the bangles–she also opened a new, more messed up looking hole in space. But this one points to an alternate reality, rather than another place in our universe. Carol retrieves the bangles and returns them both to Kamala, who probably now has the power of the Marvel Comics hero Quasar, who could teleport anywhere in the universe with the bangles.
For the moment, though, it’s Monica taking the spotlight. She can close the dimensional hole, but she needs more power. So Carol and Kamala give it to her by beaming hard light into her chest. Monica flies to the other side of the hole, and with all her might, she gradually pulls it shut, trapping her in the other universe. Kamala and Carol return to Earth and set up Kamala’s family in the Rambeau family house.
The return of Kate Bishop?
In one of the final scenes in The Marvels, Kamala meets with Kate Bishop, Hawkeye’s young bow-and-arrow apprentice and gives her the old Nick Fury pitch. And by that I mean she literally quotes his lines from those post-credits scenes in which he assembled the original Avengers.
Since Kamala and Kate are both TV characters, you might be tempted to think this is just pointing to a TV crossover somewhere or other. And maybe that is what will happen, but I don’t think the Nick Fury quotes are just for laughs–Marvel has been very gradually setting up the Young Avengers, and this is likely a part of that.
As for when you should expect more of that potential thread, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is a distinct possibility. One of the pillars of the Young Avengers in the comics is a teenager named Iron Lad–a young version of Kang who sees what he will become and chooses to be a hero instead. And if they’re calling it an Avengers movie, then it probably has some Avengers in it. But we know so little about that movie beyond the title.
The Marvels Mid-Credits Scene Explained: What’s up with that blue guy?
There is a single bonus scene at the end of The Marvels, midway through the credits–there’s no additional scene after the credits, since the scene with Kate Bishop probably was supposed to go there, but it ended up in the movie proper. This scene, which had already leaked online before the movie hit theaters, catches us up with Monica in that other universe, where she wakes up in a hospital bed.
But she’s not alone. There are two other people in the room. There’s the X-Man Dr. Hank McCoy, better known as Beast, played once again by Kelsey Grammer, who held this role in X-Men: The Last Stand.
And there’s also Monica’s mom, Maria. Monica is freaking out about seeing her mom again, of course, but Hank and Maria don’t fully know what’s going on yet. But they know she’s from another reality, and Hank mentions that they need to fill in Charles Xavier (Professor X) about the situation. And then he leaves Maria to debrief Monica, which is where the scene ends.
Now, what’s really interesting here is that Maria is wearing a very distinctive red-and-white outfit–she’s the character known as Binary. In the comics, Binary is an energy being created from Captain Marvel’s energy blasts, but that’s not what’s going on with Maria. Here, Binary is this alternate universe’s Captain Marvel. This was foreshadowed in Carol’s memory of one of her last conversations with Maria–she tells Maria that it was just chance that Maria wasn’t the one who got those Captain Marvel powers, and now we’re seeing a version of reality. But the Binary identity is a twist.
We previously saw Maria in the green Kree Captain Marvel suit in an alternate reality in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. But Maria was killed during that movie–if this is that same universe, then Binary could be that Captain Marvel’s energy projection. But I wouldn’t bet on that being the case, since all the other good guys in that universe, including Mr. Fantastic, ended up dead alongside Maria. And I bet the next universe we spend a lot of time in will have a living Fantastic Four.
The question now is: When will we see Monica again to continue this thread? That’s really tough to guess at this point, but I’d guess we won’t have to wait for the next Captain Marvel flick for it. This seems like an Avengers-level situation.
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