Phase 4 of the MCU was also innovative in its use of mid-credits and post-credits scenes, which served to introduce new characters who will appear in multiple future projects.
Almost all the films belonging to the Stage 4 of the MCU have made evident a curious trend related to the scenes after the credits: it seems in fact that each of these scenes had as its main objective the introduction of a new character to the public, setting the stage for future projects. The only exception is represented by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), which, in any case, implied that XuXialing (Meng’er Zhang), sister of the protagonist, would have assumed greater importance in the economy of the franchise.
Let us now analyze the films in question and their respective mid-credits and post-credits, so as to have a clearer picture of the trend undertaken by Marvel Studios.
Despite the Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has officially entered the MCU by appearing in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021), initial plans called for the character to debut in Black Widow (2021), first film of the Stage 4 which was also supposed to be the first ever product of the Multiverse Sagabut which was repeatedly delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and finally hit theaters a year after its original release date.
Both in the show and in the feature film, however, it is clear that the Countess is a mirror character a Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), as she is always shown intent on forming a team of individuals with exceptional abilities but, at the same time, not entirely morally upright. We will certainly know more after the release of the film Thunderboltscurrently planned for 2024.
In the mid-credits of Eternals (2021) the character of is introduced to the general public Eros/Starfox (Harry Styles), brother of Thanos (Josh Brolin) accompanied by Pip the Troll (Patton Oswalt). Although the surprise was partly ruined by several leaks leaked online before the release of the film Chloe Zhaothe entry onto the scene of another cosmic being has increased the hype of the fans towards this new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the post-credits of the film, however, he makes his debut Blade (Maershala Ali), even if it’s a voice-only cameo. From the short scene it is possible to deduce that the events of the vampire hunter, whose film is scheduled for the second half of 2024, will be intertwined with those of Dane Whitman/Black Knight (Kit Harington).
There was much speculation about the possible presence of Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy) into Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), since in the post-credits scene of Venom: Carnage’s Fury (2021), film of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, Eddie and the symbiote were catapulted into the prime universe ofmcudue to the spell of Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The character actually appeared in the third installment of the trilogy Jon Wattsbut only in the mid-credits scene, where Eddie simply learns of the existence of the multiverse and some events that occurred in themcu, and then return to its home universe. Although Brock you return home together with the symbiote, part of the latter remains in the MCU: a not too elaborate narrative device that had the aim of introducing the alien into the franchise of Marvel Studios.
At the end of an exciting journey through the multiverse in Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness (2021), Stephen Strange enjoys some well-deserved serenity, destined however to last very little, as the appearance of the third eye at the end of the film and the arrival of Clea (Charlize Theron) in the mid-credits they communicate to the former Sorcerer Supreme that his actions have caused an incursion, which the Doctor and his new colleague will have to remedy.
After being hurt and humiliated by Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Zeus (Russell Crowe) appears again in the mid-credits of Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), angry and ready to take revenge through his son Hercules (Brett Goldstein), who is instructed by his father on what to do, and who will probably have a main role in the fifth film on God of Thunder.
The last film of Phase 4, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), was heavily focused on the disappearance of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and on the consequent mourning pain experienced by her sister Shuri/Black Panther (Letitia Wright), who, in the only scene after the end credits of the film, learns that his brother had a child with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), which has the same name as the father. The young man T’Challa (Divine Love Konadu-Sun) is still just a child, but a time-skip in the MCU that would lead the character to assume a central role in the Wakandan franchise cannot be ruled out.
Marvel Studios: All Phase 4 post-credits scenes introduced a new character, here’s the list