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Avengers: Endgame does have a post-credits moment, it’s just subtle

A reminder of how far Marvel has come

Image: Marvel Studios
Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 as editor-at-large and is now editor-in-chief. He also created and occasionally teaches NYU’s Introduction to Games Journalism course.

Does Avengers: Endgame have a post-credits scene? Yes, and it’s easy to miss.

There’s a lot of chatter out there about how Avengers: Endgame doesn’t include additional scenes throughout its closing credits, like each of the 21 previous MCU movies. But that doesn’t really convey the unusual and uncommonly emotional way Marvel completes this era of superhero films.

If you haven’t seen Endgame yet, and just needed confirmation, then the above is all you need to know. We won’t spoil anything more, and want you to enjoy the movie the same way we did, barely knowing what to expect. But below, we’ll explain the visuals and sound cues of the credits, which could be a spoiler for the most hardcore of fans.

[Ed. note: We mean it — the rest of this post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.]

Avengers: Endgame’s credits work a lot like the rest of the film: They’re long, flashy, and stuffed with something for everyone. They proceed in four phases, and culminate with a final “in-universe” moment so subtle that many people haven’t realized it’s there.

Avengers: Endgame - Iron Man’s helmet Photo: Marvel Studios

The Avengers: Endgame mid-credits sequences

Phase one: Immediately after the final moment of Endgame, directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo run a classy, top-level production credits list over washes of gentle color. If you squint, it resembles the iconic opening credits/overture of Punch Drunk Love. This is the prestige drama phase.

Phase two: Here is the celebrity parade. The second phase lists gobs of supporting celebrities, paired with short snippets of them in various Marvel films. It’s a power move. Behold, the Marvel Cinematic Universe contains dozens of stars and award winners — often playing small parts, no less!

Phase three: In the 1990s, professional sports made a cottage industry out of athlete posters. They’d combine a photograph of a player performing a superhuman bit of athleticism with some gaudy font and sell a metric ton to ESPN-obsessed teenagers. The key members of the Avengers get the same treatment, each taking an iconic pose in front of a flurry of footage from their most memorable moments. The cherry on top is a silver ink signature scrawled in real time over each actor, as if they’re signing the screen like a headshot. This may be the closest cinema has had to an actual curtain call. Marvel designed this phase to get people up from their seats, cheering at the screen.

Phase four: For the thousands of other folks who made the film a reality, the fourth phase is a traditional long list of names written in white font over a black background. And then ...

The Avengers: Endgame post-credits moment

The Avengers: Endgame credits don’t conclude with the usual wink and nod toward the next big Marvel Studios release. Instead, the final moment is a reminder of how far the franchise, and its biggest star, have come.

After the fourth phase of credits, a simple Marvel logo appears on screen. It’s accompanied by a sharp, repeating noise — metal bashing against metal. It’s the sound of Tony Stark creating the proto-Iron Man suit, the Mark 1, in 2008’s Iron Man, the first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tony Stark is the heart of Endgame and the entire MCU, so it’s fitting that Marvel hands that character the final moment. For all the bombast of both the film and the credits, there’s something humble about the last thing viewers hear from this era being the lead character — a larger-than-life superhero — at his most humbled, piecing together the future with a hammer and some spare parts.

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