There are spoilers here concerning Captain America: Civil War. Consider this your spoiler warning.
Post-credits scenes have become a Marvel tradition, something we look forward to every time the company releases a new film. Sometimes they contain huge reveals thathint at future movies (see: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver appearing in the post-credits scene for Captain America: The Winter Soldier). At other times, they serve as little love letters from Marvel to its fans and call back to the company’s history (see: Howard the Duck at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy). They’re fun. They can be exciting. And if we’re lucky, they give us something to chew on until the next Marvel movie.
Here’s what happens in Civil War‘s mid- and post-credits scenes, and what they mean.
Again, spoilers follow for both the film and its mid- and post-credits scenes.
Civil War‘s mid-credits scene sets up a conflict for Black Panther
What happens: The scene opens with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) undergoing what appears to be a medical exam. He had his metal arm shot off in the final fight of Civil War, and it looks like he’s being treated for that. And as the scene zooms out, we find out he and Cap (Chris Evans) are in a Wakandan facility and that Black Panther/T’Challa has offered to help rehabilitate Bucky — to not only fix his blown-off arm but also repair his damaged, brainwashed mind.
Wakanda is arguably the most technologically advanced country in the Marvel universe; if there’s any way to help Bucky, doctors and scientists in Wakanda would probably know about it.
As the scene concludes, Cap warns T’Challa that there will be trouble if Iron Man or the United Nations finds out that T’Challa’s housing the Winter Soldier. And T’Challa dares them to try to stop him as the camera pans to a giant statue of a panther.
Why it matters: This scene could be setting up the primary conflict — that someone finds out he’s harboring the Winter Soldier — in Black Panther’s upcoming 2018 solo movie and laying the foundation of how the film will depict Wakanda.
The post-credits scene is a tease for Spider-Man: Homecoming
What happens: Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is sporting a bruise and talking to Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) about how he got it. He’s hedging a bit, saying it happened at school during a fight that involved a boy named Steve, who’s from Brooklyn. Of course, we know that Brooklyn Steve is actually Captain America. The scene ends with Aunt May leaving the room, and we see that Peter is wearing a laser-emitting device on his wrist. A gift probably from Tony Stark, it projects the Spider-Man logo and features all kinds of icons and buttons.
Why it matters: Just like Civil War‘s mid-credits scene, the film’s post-credits scene is setting up a new movie — in this case, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is due out in 2017. It’s a big deal for Marvel, since the company finally has creative control over its iconic character after Sony’s five Spider-Man movies. But unlike Black Panther’s scene, Spider-Man’s scene doesn’t contain any hints of conflict — it’s just a chance to hype the upcoming film, and to spend a bit more screen time with Holland’s winning Spider-Man.