[Editor’s note: The following article contains spoilers for both “The Marvels” and its post-credits scene.]
Nia DaCosta’s “The Marvels” may end with lots of reveals and game-changers — like Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) seemingly moving in to the Louisiana house formerly inhabited by Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) with the help of Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel (Iman Velleni) and her family, followed by Kamala bringing “Hawkeye” star Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld) into the young superhero fold — but nothing is quite so major as where the film concludes the story of the third titular marvel: Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).
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The film ends with Monica using all of her energy (and plenty of Carol and Kamala’s too) to pull back together a rip in the space-time continuum (an incursion!) caused by the film’s now-dead villain Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). In classic movie fashion, Monica volunteers to go from our dimension into the incurring dimension to essentially zip everything back together, knowing full well she will be unable to come back to our dimension at the end of her quest (a shock to both Carol and Kamala).
While Carol attempts her damndest to grab Monica and pull her back into Earth-616 space, she ultimately fails. The rips gets fixed, but Monica is on the other side of it. And just where the heck is that other side?
[One more warning: The following article contains spoilers for both “The Marvels” and its post-credits scene.]
Listen, it’s no surprise that Marvel is getting back into the “Fantastic Four” business after the massive bomb that was Josh Trank’s ill-fated reboot. After all, a “Fantastic Four” movie directed by “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman is on the calendar for May 2, 2025 after being first announced in 2019 and then getting officially confirmed at Comic-Con in 2022 (it will kick off Phase Six of the franchise). Previous films have even used the beloved superhero group as part of their official narrative (like 2022’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) and nods to their powers and tools keep popping up in post-credits scenes (like in this year’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”).
It’s not news that particular group is coming back in a big way — but it seems they’re not alone, as the lone post-credits scene in “The Marvels” also offers up no less than the X-Men. Well, two X-Men (X-People? X-Heroes!). Before we get there, let’s also note that mutants as a whole have lingered on the edges of the MCU for awhile, from Namor in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” to perhaps even our beloved Kamala Khan (it’s believed a gene mutation has allowed her to unlock the power of her grandmother’s bangle, of which she now has two at the conclusion of “The Marvels”).
And while the appearance of John Krasinski as Reed Richards in “Doctor Strange 2” was a treat, so too was the use of iconic “X-Men” star Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (aka Professor X) in those same sequences and Lynch as Maria Rambeau (aka Captain Marvel, at least in classic comic lore and, clearly, other dimensions). Mutants! They’re around!
But that’s the rub, because the appearance of all those other-dimension heroes in “Doctor Strange 2” also came with another key piece of knowledge: they hailed from Earth-838, a different dimension than the MCU’s usual Earth-616. Mutants! They’re around! … but in another dimension. (Brief moment here to mention that Scarlet Witch killed off all of these other-dimensional superstars during “Doctor Strange 2,” but no one is ever really dead in the MCU, or at least, they might still be around in other other dimensions.)
And, funnily enough, it’s another dimension that Monica Rambeau ends up in at the end of “The Marvels,” and as the post-credits scene shows us, it just might be Earth-838. The scene kicks off with Monica waking up in a bright hospital room that sure looks a lot like the hospital room we saw in flashbacks, the kind of room in which her beloved mother Maria (Lynch) passed away during The Blip. That makes it all the more thrilling and confusing when Monica turns to the person sitting next to her to see…Maria?
Monica’s startled cry of “Mom?” doesn’t go over too well with Maria, because this Maria is not her mom and she’s another hero altogether, kitted out in a fresh suit as Binary (another classic cosmic superhero from Captain Marvel lore). And she’s not alone! There’s a bonafide X-Man with her: Beast, with “X-Men” star Kelsey Grammer back in the classic blue, hairy, very CGI-ed get-up of the hero. Beast even mentions Charles (you know, Xavier), so some version of Professor X is also in this dimension, too. And now, so is Monica.
With both “Fantastic Four” and a pair of “Avengers” films on the way for Phase Six (including one titled “Avengers: Secret Wars,” nodding to a classic crossover event that, yes, involves the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four), it seems like the MCU has finally revealed where it’s heading next: more characters, bigger stories, and crossovers ahoy. But who is going to rescue Monica?
A Walt Disney Pictures release, “The Marvels” is now in theaters.
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