In the superhero movie genre, when the credits start rolling, that’s where the universe expands even more for avid fans. There are mid-credits and post-credits scenes that not only hint to other movies but to new characters as well. These signalled the arrival of Thanos in the MCU and even gave us sneak insight as to just what was brewing with the Sokovia Accords (as seen in Ant-Man). These are shots that we’re willing to wait until the very end for and by now, if it’s a comic book movie, then you know to stay put.
However, there are some random scenes that act as homage while some simply fail at extending the studio’s universe. We can debate whether this is down to taste or to poor execution, but what we can agree on is that this is a gamble that’s hit-or-miss. Directors like James Gunn and Bryan Singer love them, while others such as Matthew Vaughn don’t. Truth be told, it is an art-form and a critical segment of superhero filmmaking, which leaves us shocked when directors and studios don’t employ the style. We guess it’s because it can be seen as overkill. With that in mind, CBR looks at 15 of the very worst of these add-ons!
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for several MCU movies
15. BROMANCE THERAPY
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a main theme of Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 due to what transpired against the Chitauri in 2012’s The Avengers. We saw it affecting Tony Stark, not just in his duties as Iron Man, but also in his personal relationships with Pepper Potts and James Rhodes (War Machine). This made the battle against Aldrich Killian that much tougher, but eventually Tony overcame.
By the time the movie wrapped, the Mandarin twist had a lot of fans quite ticked off so what happened in the post-credits didn’t help. The movie started with Tony relating the events of the film and now we know who he was speaking to at the end. It was Bruce Banner, who apparently fell asleep in their convo. This forced bromance wasn’t what the doctor ordered even though it was Banner’s first sighting since Whedon’s debut.
14. DEADPOOL’S HEAD GAME
Fox had a lot of making up to do after X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was poorly received by fans and the studio got a lot of heat for butchering Ryan Reynolds’ first run at Wade Wilson. He was decent as the wise-cracking mercenary but Stryker used Weapon X to turn him into a misfiring and subverted Deadpool.
This abomination was an amalgamation of mutants Stryker was experimenting on; he had Wolverine’s abilities, teleportation and Cyclops’ optic blasts. He didn’t even have his costume and was so far done from the original character. Fox made up with 2016’s Deadpool, but in this movie, there was one post-credits that had us cringing. It showed Deadpool’s body reaching for his decapitated head, which told the audience to “shhh.” Sure thing, most people want to keep quiet about this disaster of a movie.
13. RED MIST LIVES
Matthew Vaughn wowed us with his take on Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass in 2010 so when we got the 2013 Kick-Ass 2 sequel, fans were overjoyed. It was a fresh story that simply re-used the same characters, but it told a new narrative. Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl were now facing a more enraged Red Mist (a.k.a. The Motherf–ker) and he continued bringing tremendous bedlam into their lives.
However, Kick-Ass would rally a city of heroes against his gang and they would defeat the thugs. In the finale, Mist fell into a tank with sharks and we thought he died. However, the post-credits had him alive in a hospital bed, missing limbs and still being a spoilt and whiny brat. We’re not sure why director Jeff Wadlow made him survive but it felt like the story had no closure because we wanted that douche dead.
12. STRYKER’S WALK OF SHAME
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there was a mid-credits scene that had Stryker going on a long walk. In the battle against Wolverine, Logan ended up being helped by Kayla Silverfox, who feigned being in love with him so as to save her sister from Weapon X fiends. She wasn’t dead as Logan thought, and would eventually sacrifice her life for him.
Stryker shot Wolverine with adamantium bullets but before he could shoot Kayla, she grabbed him and used her mutant power to persuade him to turn around and walk away until his feet bleed. Stryker killed her while Logan survived but without his memory. The mid-credits then showed this walk of shame Stryker was on. He was confronted by Weapon X officials investigating him. We didn’t need more Stryker and this sadly extended Fox’s obsession with the program which became unoriginal, bland and unimaginative.
11. THE UNWANTED MAN IN BLACK
The Amazing Spider-Man used Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in a story that focused on his love for Gwen Stacy and his feud with his mentor Curt Connors. Connors experimented on himself to become the Lizard but Spidey would eventually prevail. Both men sympathized with each other as Connors developed an affinity for Peter like a son, and also due to having worked with his father, Richard Parker.
The mid-credits of this film showed a mysterious man in black in Connors’ prison cell asking him if Peter knew the “truth about his father.” Webb made a mess of Richard (as the sequel had an alternative cut with the father alive), but here, Connors tried to ward him off the youngster. The man disappeared, leaving us wondering if he had superpowers, but not enticing us with much else. We’ll never really know who he was, but luckily, we never really cared.
10. XAVIER IS JESUS?
In X-Men: The Last Stand, Brett Ratner made a couple unpopular decisions as he finally showed Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix… but not the one we deserved. Firstly, she killed Cyclops, and then took Professor Xavier off the table, murdering him, too. Killing both men left Wolverine with the job of taking her life to save the day, but in the post-credits, we were left shaking our heads at Ratner’s ridiculous attempt to bring Xavier back.
Moira MacTaggert checked on a comatose patient (who we saw briefly in a shot during the movie) only to be greeted by Xavier’s voice. This left her startled but it also left fans with a bad taste in our mouths, especially when talks arose that it was his twin. There was no retcon out of this one but as usual, Fox really didn’t care for that or for continuity. This made Xavier look like a mutant Jesus… but less cool than that sounds.
9. HOWARD DAFUQ?
In Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn really showed that the MCU was more than just the Avengers. It was a cosmic adventure and one that illustrated how to expand your comic universe on the big screen. We got a lot of fresh characters in Star Lord’s newly-assembled squad, and even got more of Thanos’ schemes.
The Collector was another fresh face and in the after-credits, we saw him, Cosmo (a telepathic dog from the comics) and Howard the Duck surveying the damage done by the Orb (the Power Stone). It was fan service to the Marvel Comics character and to Howard’s old movie, but we could have really done with something that wasn’t so… mundane. Howard asked the Collector why did he let the canine lick him and then got back to sipping his drink. He also remarked, “Gross!” but instead of being funny, it was just kind of forgettable.
8. BLADE GOES CRUISING
Blade: Trinity was quite a polarizing movie. It was action-packed and filled with awesome fight choreography as David Goyer had Blade going up against Dracula. However, it lacked the pizzazz and substance of the Guillermo del Toro film that immediately preceded it. After the two vampires battled, Dracula died but shape-shifted to make it seem Blade (who was a fugitive) died too.
Blade lived and had to recover from the battle before resuming his hunting. The after-credits (which wasn’t in cinemas) had him driving off with his trusty old car into the night listening to music. That was it. Nothing more. Why shoot this? It added nothing to the end of the film, nor did it build towards the franchise’s future. Guess Goyer over-shot and had a lot of stock footage. This wasn’t offensive, just super underwhelming.
7. SPIDEY RECOVERS FROM THE FIGHT
It was crazy how the Russos decided to have Iron Man recruit a teenage Spider-Man to engage Team Cap in what was a battle that could have cost lives at the airport, but that aside, we got a breathtaking action sequence in Captain America: Civil War. Spidey survived the fight, taking down Giant Man (Scott Lang) and giving Captain America, Winter Soldier and Falcon a run for their money.
The after-credits, though, really fell flat as it told us what happened when he got home. We saw Peter fiddling with his Stark tech and showing his HUD on the roof, while trying to hide the truth about his bruises from Aunt May. This scene didn’t advance the character and it didn’t give us extra insight into the future. Black Panther taking Bucky into his care was so much more enlightening in terms of overall storytelling.
6. CHAS IS AN ANGEL
Francis Lawrence’s 2005 Constantine movie wasn’t the Vertigo Comics character we all knew and loved, but it wasn’t a bad attempt. It had John Constantine navigating the occult to fend off the threat of Mammon (Satan’s son) and also, save the soul of the human, Angela Dodson. Gabriel, the archangel, turned out to be the true villain and she killed John’s assistant, Chas, in the process, as she really hated mankind.
In the post-credits scene, Constantine visits Chas’ grave, after which Chas appeared in an angelic form and flew away. Constantine grinned at his friend’s presence but it felt so forced. Not giving Chas supernatural abilities was a mistake in the first place, and now to turn him from a lackey to an angel felt cheap. Not having them talk to each other also lacked substance at the end. Chas deserved better than getting props after the movie ended.
5. AYESHA IS ADAM’S MOM
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had a few scenes when the credits started rolling and most were fun. Seeing Groot as a stubborn teenager, the other Ravagers, Stan Lee and the Watchers, and how Yondu’s mantle was passed on were awesome. However, seeing Ayesha’s vision of “perfection” with the storage hub for a creature she called “Adam” didn’t feel right.
Comic fans know she’s referring to Adam Warlock, or when he’s evil, Magus. The thing is, we think he should have been introduced in the meat of the film. This was so that he could already be prepped for Avengers: Infinity War to tussle for the Infinity Gauntlet as seen in the books. Gunn wants him for the third film, but he’s more fun with the Mad Titan, Thanos. This felt like the director forgot to include him and quickly chucked him in to appease fans.
4. THOR’S SOAP OPERA
Thor: The Dark World wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t that good either, which is probably why director Alan Taylor wasn’t asked back. The post-credits of Kenneth Branagh’s original film had Loki on Earth, influencing Dr. Selvig to study the Tesseract, which kickstarted The Avengers film. This time around, it was bittersweet because Taylor had a lovely mid-credits scene, followed by a post-credits stinger that stunk.
The mid-credits had Volstagg and Sif gifting the Aether to the Collector to keep, as the Tesseract was already on Asgard, but the post-credits almost undid this awesome scene with its levity. It showed Thor coming back to Earth to kiss Jane, while a frost monster from Jotunheim (accidentally transported to Earth when the Dark Elves attacked) ran amok. Guess Thor has to go hunting again? This entire sequence felt like a very awful soap opera that should have been cut.
3. XAVIER: THE IMMIGRATION OFFICER
After 2006’s The Last Stand, Fox did Wolverine’s origins and X-Men: First Class, before The Wolverine in 2013. James Mangold dropped Logan back in Japan, paying homage to the older comics, going up against the Yakuza, Madame Viper and Silver Samurai. The movie ended with him overcoming all these foes, only for the mid-credits scene to leave us dazed and confused.
It showed Logan returning to the United States, to be approached at the airport by Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), who was warning him of a new threat to mutants. Shockingly, Charles Xavier (who Logan thought was dead from The Last Stand) was alive and recruiting. Fox never explained how he had the same body that Jean destroyed as the Dark Phoenix, but they didn’t care because they just needed Patrick Stewart back for Bryan Singer’s Days of Future Past. Clearly, retcons and continuity didn’t mean much to them.
2. SHAWARMA SESSION
After the Avengers defeated the Chitauri and Loki in Whedon’s 2012 debut, they needed some R&R. Iron Man said earlier that he didn’t know what shawarma was but that they should try a nearby place in New York. After the film’s mid-credits introduced us to Thanos in the MCU (a.k.a. the man who was pulling Loki’s strings), we thought the post-credits would have been just as epic.
Instead, we got a throwback to Stark’s shawarma remark as we saw the Avengers in the restaurant that Iron Man mentioned. They were there in silence, sitting and eating. Clearly they were exhausted and worse for wear, but that makes us wonder — what was the point of this? This was so dull and anticlimactic. If anything, it killed the high fans were ready to leave on after the alien invasion was repelled.
1. CAP’S HOMECOMING PSA
Steve Rogers may have been a war criminal and a fugitive at the end of Civil War, but as Captain America, he had some PSAs shot for high-schoolers such as Peter Parker. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, we saw the youths training to Cap’s vids, which were meant to inspire kids to greatness.
The mid-credits showed Vulture confronted by Mac Gargan (Scorpion) in prison which could hint at the Sinister Six to come, but this vibe was killed off when the post-credits rolled. We saw Chris Evans in his Avengers Cap gear doing a PSA which turned out to be a troll to the audience. He teased about patience and was actually making fun of fans for staying back for the after-credits. It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek but ended up being just kind of annoying. Evans breaking the fourth wall was insulting… and Cap is no Deadpool, after all!
Let us know in the comments which mid-credits or post-credits are the worst ever in the genre!
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