What Do Black Panther's End-Credits Scenes Mean to the MCU?

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel's Black Panther, in theaters now.

Much to the displeasure of Logan director James Mangold, we've become conditioned to remain seated in the theater after a superhero film has ended to soak in any additional scenes nested within, or after, the closing credits. While Marvel didn't invent the end-credits scene, the studio did transform it into a virtual staple of modern mainstream cinema. Beginning with 2008's Iron Man, every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had something worth staying behind for, and director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is no different.

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As the final Marvel movie before the arrival of Avengers: Infinity War in May, Black Panther brings some big expectations for its end-credits scenes, with fans searching for a tease of what's next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We're happy to say audiences won't be disappointed with either of the two sequences.

Mid-Credits Scene

Black Panther: T'Challa at United Nations

Somewhat surprisingly, the first additional scene Chadwick Boseman's King T'Challa announce that Wakanda will open up its resources to the rest of the world. Considering how shrouded in secrecy the African nation has been, that's a significant development that could alter the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in terms of both technology and politics.

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This, of course, means Vibranium, and any Wakandan technology produced with it, will be accessible around the globe, to other governments, scientists and, yes, superheroes and supervillains. So while the prospect of Hawkeye filling his quiver with Vibranium arrows or Falcon upgrading his suit may be promising for Earth's Mightiest Heroes, there's also a good chance the wondrous alloy could end up in the hands of criminals. We've already seen what an ordinary person can do with extraordinary technology with Michael Keaton's Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

This declaration from T'Challa shows how Wakanda is advancing as a nation. His royal predecessors were hellbent on keeping the country out of the limelight to protect itself and its resources. T'Challa learns, over the course of Black Panther, that Wakanda should perhaps be using its resources and help save the rest of the world -- not retreat from it.

Post-Credits Scene

Winter Soldier

The post-credits scene is a more direct tie-in with what's to come in May with the release of Avengers: Infinity War. It opens with somebody regaining consciousness in an isolated village in Wakanda, surrounded by three young locals. Of course, it's none other than Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, who was granted sanctuary by T'Challa at the end of 2016's Captain America: Civil War, with one arm and a fear of being turned into a stone-cold killer again.

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Luckily, Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) has been working toward a solution to Bucky's problem. While not stated explicitly, it's implied that Shuri has put her genius to good use and helped to save T'Challa's one-time enemy turned ally. Heck, she even joked in Black Panther that she was helping to fix "another broken white boy" when Everett Ross needed some medical assistance, obviously alluding to Bucky.

This scene helps to fill the gap between Civil War and Infinity War, setting up Bucky's entrance into the thick of battle with the Avengers in Wakanda (from what we've seen in the trailer for the upcoming film, anyway).

In theaters now, director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Winston Duke as M’Baku and Forest Whitaker as Zuri.

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