WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel, in theaters now.
Avengers: Endgame no doubt ranks among the most secretive films of all time, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige insisting the marketing for the Infinity War sequel won't contain any footage past the first 20 minutes. That secrecy spilled over into Endgame's 30-second Super Bowl spot, which appeared to digitally remove a character from a scene outside the New Avengers Facility.
Of course, it could have simply been the surviving heroes were simply oddly spaced. But the mid-credits scene of Captain Marvel appears to put that question to rest.
In the Endgame promo, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner and James Rhodes stare at something in the night sky. But eagle-eyed fans spotted was the conspicuous, person-sized gap between Banner and Rhodey, leading to the theory that Marvel Studios edited someone out. It wouldn't be the first bit of misdirection from directors Joe and Anthony Russo, following the removal of Spider-Man from early Captain America: Civil War footage, and also, with the addition of the Hulk to a shot of the Battle of Wakanda in Infinity War promos. In this case, it appears the missing person is Brie Larson's Carol Danvers.
This confirmation comes in the mid-credits stinger for Captain Marvel, in which the heroes examine the aftermath of Thanos' devastating snap, and study the mysterious pager Nick Fury used in Infinity War to send a distress call. Just as the Avengers are about to reboot the device, Captain Marvel appears, seemingly from nowhere, to ask the whereabouts of Fury.
It's a clever sleight of hand from the Russos, and one that smartly preserves plot details, because had we seen Carol in the teaser, it would have taken away from the excitement of seeing her travel halfway across the galaxy to meet respond to Fury's call.
But what -- or who -- in the night sky captures the attention of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the Endgame promo will continue to be a mystery, at least for a little while longer.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as the commander of Starforce, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass, McKenna Grace as a young Carol Danvers and Annette Bening as the Supreme Intelligence.