Let’s take a deep dive on those post credits scenes in “Thor: Love and Thunder” as well as “Ms. Marvel” and see what that means for the future of the MCU…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ‘THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER’ AND MS. MARVEL
The past week has brought a pair of major Marvel projects to audiences with “Thor: Love and Thunder” landing in theaters and the final episode of “Ms. Marvel” dropping on Disney+.
Both the film and the TV series featured the signature Marvel post credits scene with one introducing a brand new character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the other teasing an upcoming film that’s set to be released in 2023.
First things first, let’s tackle the two post credits scenes from “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which opened in theaters this past weekend.
While “Thor: Love and Thunder” left a lot to be desired in terms of the overall story being told in the film, the latest sequel from director Taika Waititi did seem to set up the God of Thunder’s next rivalry while also introducing a new character portrayed by an actor from one of the most popular shows on television currently.
During the film, Thor sought out other gods to help him stop Gorr the God Butcher — a character who lives up to his name as he seeks to eradicate every god from the universe and with the help of a deadly sword, he’s actually got a chance to vanquish anyone and everyone.
In his quest to seek assistance, Thor ends up going against Zeus — supposedly the most powerful god of all (played by Russell Crowe) — and he’s largely a laughable buffoon with a bad accent, who looks like he’s been enjoying a few too many gyros at dinner. That said, Thor, Valkyrie and The Mighty Thor — aka Jane Foster — eventually defeat Zeus and take his thunderbolt weapon, which is then used in the battle with Gorr later in the movie.
In the post credits scene, Zeus is injured but still very much alive despite being stabbed in the chest but now he wants to remind the whole universe just how powerful and vengeful gods can really be. So he calls upon his son Hercules to deliver that message.
Hercules is being played by “Ted Lasso” star Brett Goldstein, who appears in a fairly comic book accurate outfit.
Without offering too many details, Hercules in the comics is the son of Zeus and his human mother Alcmena, who his father seduced while being disguised as her husband. When Hercules is born, Zeus’ real wife Hera is angered by the birth but she eventually cares for the boy while even allowing him to feed from her divine breast milk (yes, that’s a real thing).
Because he comes from Olympian god lineage, Hercules possesses incredible strength and he’s made even stronger thanks to feeding from Hera’s milk. Hercules eventually becomes a hero in his own right after fighting in World War II and then working alongside the Avengers years later before eventually becoming a full-fledged member of the team.
It appears Hercules is being touted as a rival to Thor but like so many past villains in the history of the MCU, he looks likely to trade in his villainous roots to be redeemed again as a hero. For now, Hercules is looking like an antagonist to go after Thor whenever the next film in that franchise takes place.
The other post credits scene is brief and more of a nice sendoff to the character Jane Foster, who was portrayed by Natalie Portman. In “Thor: Love and Thunder,” it’s revealed that Jane has contracted cancer and despite the best efforts of her doctors, she’s succumbing to the disease.
In a final effort to ward off death, Jane ends up at New Asgard where she bonds with Mjolnir — Thor’s magically resurrected hammer — and that transforms her into The Mighty Thor. Sadly, each time Jane uses the power of the Asgardian weapon, it drains even more of her life energy and by the end of the film she expires from her battle with cancer.
Following the conclusion of the film, Jane arrives at the gates of Valhalla — the eternal resting place for Asgardians who die in battle — and she’s greeted by Heimdall (played by Idris Elba) after he perished when facing Thanos back in “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Heimdall welcomes Jane through the gates, which means she’s been granted entry into heaven for Asgardians, which seems like a fitting end after all she’s done for Thor and his people over the years. It also closes the chapter on Dr. Jane Foster’s time in the MCU.
Now let’s shift gears and talk about the “Ms. Marvel” finale, which just debuted on Wednesday.
The six-episode event series ended with Kamala Khan realizing her true powers as she officially became Ms. Marvel and she even shared that secret with her friends and family. Before the final ended, however, Kamala received some startling news from her best friend Bruno, who had tested her DNA early in the season in an attempt to figure out how exactly she got her powers.
Bruno reveals that some additional testing proved that her DNA is different from everybody else in her family, which means this wasn’t necessarily a hereditary trait that was passed throughout her parents or even her brother. Instead, Bruno says Kamala has a mutation in her DNA — and for the briefest moment the chimes of the 1990’s “X-Men” animated series theme rang through the air.
Yes, Kamala Khan is the first official mutant in the MCU!
Now it’s been a long time coming that Marvel introduced mutants into the MCU after a massive deal closed for Disney to purchase FOX, which then returned those characters to the studio. Fans have been patiently waiting on word about when the X-Men or any mutants might actually arrive and now that question has been answered.
In the comics, Kamala received her powers after she was exposed to Terrigen Mist — a substance that can reveal powers in somebody who is actually an Inhuman. It appears that particular version of the origin story has been abandoned because Inhumans haven’t really appeared in the MCU outside of a terrible, short-lived series based on those characters and an almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Anson Mount as Inhuman king Black Bolt in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Rather than make Kamala an Inhuman, she is now confirmed as the first official mutant in the MCU.
“They sent me, and only me, the draft [of the final episode], and I immediately freaked out,” ‘Ms. Marvel’ star Iman Vellani said after finding out the news. “I emailed Kevin Feige in all caps. I was like, are you doing this like for real? Are you sure? I’m so honored! I was like yelling at him through an email.
“I was freaking out. This is the biggest deal in the world, and the fact that it’s happening in our show is crazy.”
That certainly sets the stage for even more mutants to be introduced including the eventual inclusion of The X-Men.
The post credits scene for “Ms. Marvel” was also quite interesting because the final episode saw Kamala Khan truly embrace her powers and become a superhero after she spent almost the entire season worshipping Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel as her idol.
As she’s laying on her bed, Kamala’s magical bracelet that unlocked her powers begins glowing and after she stands, she’s suddenly warped away to a different part of the universe. In her place, Carol Danvers gets sent to New Jersey where she looks around the bedroom of a 16-year-old who obviously adores her.
Carol spots posters and images of her all over the bedroom but she absolutely has no idea how she got there and we have no clue where Kamala ended up either.
That brief moment where Carol and Kamala swapped places leads into the movie they will share together called “The Marvels,” which is slated to open in theaters on July 28, 2023.