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From “Iron Man” to “The Avengers” – A guide to Marvel’s post-credits scenes

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You have to hand it to the Marvel Studios team. They know how to keep an audience in the seats right through the credits.

What started as a bonus scene in “Iron Man” has now become the norm for Marvel movies, with each film in the series offering up a brief, extra scene long after the main narrative ends and the credits begin rolling. And what’s more, the extra scenes haven’t simply been outtakes or scenes recovered from the cutting room floor — in nearly every case, they’ve provided the connecting line from one Marvel movie to another, and advanced the over-arching narrative of Marvel’s cinematic universe.

So, just in case you might’ve missed one of these along the way — or simply want a refresher on what each of them entailed — I’ve put together a brief guide to Marvel’s post-credits scenes in each of the six Marvel movies.

Iron Man

Marvel used its very first post-credits scene to introduce the world to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, who Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds waiting for him in his home after he tells the world, “I am Iron Man.” In a wonderful bit of foreshadowing, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. tells the billionaire superhero, “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” The scene closes with Fury dropping the tease heard ’round the world: “I’m here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative.”

The Incredible Hulk

The final scene in this film tied the activities of the famous green behemoth into the greater Marvel cinematic universe, with Tony Stark approaching a drunk, defeated General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) after his efforts to take down Bruce Banner’s rampaging alter ego end in failure. “I hate to say I told you so, but that super-soldier program was put on ice for a reason,” Stark tells Ross, a statement that also connects Stark and Ross to the program that originally gave the world Captain America. “What if I told you we were putting a team together?” Stark asks Ross, offering up yet another hint of the crossover to come.

Iron Man 2

This time around, it’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who serves as ambassador of the post-credits crossover, with the agent arriving at the site of a massive crater in New Mexico. “Sir, we found it,” he announces into his phone — most likely to Nick Fury. The camera then pans out to reveal Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir resting in the center of the crater.

Thor

Nick Fury returns to the post-credit Marvel movie-verse at the end of “Thor,” introducing scientist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) to what we’ll later learn is the Tesseract, a mysterious cube of immense power that features prominently in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Loki’s appearance at the end of the scene foreshadows his return in “The Avengers” and the role the Tesseract will play in that film as well. This scene also serves as the most direct link to the narrative of “The Avengers,” which picks up during Selvig’s subsequent study of the Tesseract.

Captain America: The First Avenger

In addition to the final scene in the main arc of “Captain America” that features Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) waking up in the modern era, the film’s post-credits scene teased the character’s introduction to The Avengers. “Trying to get me back in the world?” Rogers asks Fury when the S.H.I.E.L.D. director approaches him after a particularly intense workout. “Trying to save it,” responds Fury.

The Avengers

Marvel didn’t cut the post-credits party short after “The Avengers,” though, and dropped not one but two scenes into the credits of the blockbuster team-up film. In the first scene, it’s revealed that Loki’s return and his alliance with the Chitauri invaders was actually orchestrated by a far greater villain: Thanos. As the powerful titan is told that threatening Earth is to “court death,” he smiles — confirming that Marvel’s plans for the superhero team could very well bring them into conflict with one of the universe’s most dangerous beings.

The second post-credits scene in “The Avengers” was significantly lighter, and played on Tony Stark’s earlier line about wanting to try some shawarma. The scene is silent, save for the sounds of the entire team chowing down on shawarama around a large table.

What was your favorite post-credits scene from the Marvel movies? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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Ho Ho Ha

Xmas Miracles You’ll See At Joe’s Pub

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special Premieres December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It’s just so tempting to bah-humbug the holiday season. And while there’s much we can’t wait to put behind us, one thing left to look forward to with pure and wide-eyed joy is Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celebration in the true spirit of those splendid TV specials from the ’70s and ’80s, complete with special guests, musical numbers, awkward segues and an (intentionally) wafer-thin narrative through line.

As if you need more convincing, here are a few juicy nuggets to get excited for…

Tony Hale plying the captive audience with hot chocolate (and it working).

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Bridget Everett dressed like an ornament…

and in a state of nearly constant wardrobe malfunction.
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Matteo Lane hitting a crazy high note in a Snuggie.

Not a Slanket. There’s a meaningful difference.

Lisa Loeb creeping on Kurt Vile.

#hairlikeapony #whynotme
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Judah Friedlander getting replaced by a robot…

and it pretty much going as expected.
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Bottom line: the miracles abound. Grinches, Scrooges, and Tiny Tims alike will find their Holiday joy. And it’ll be awkward–in the most wonderful kind of way.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10p on IFC

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