Spoilers to follow.
By now, you’ve probably heard all about how great Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is. The review embargo is officially up and critics around the world are proclaiming Marvel’s latest effort as one if its best yet, hailing the pic as a near masterpiece. While we’re not sure it’s quite at that level, it is a damn good movie and another slam dunk for the House of Ideas.
Part of why it works so well is because the studio let Coogler do his own thing rather than tie him down with forced connections to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t get us wrong, there are certainly easter eggs, references and familiar faces to spot, but for the most part, Black Panther stands on its own two feet and is probably the least Marvel-y Marvel movie out there. That being said, this is still part of the studio’s juggernaut franchise and as such, includes the usual post-credits tease.
In fact, there’s actually two of them here, and one of them features a cameo from another Avenger. Yep, in the scene that comes after the final credits roll, we’re taken to a village in Wakanda, which seems to be off the beaten path and away from the main city. As the camera focuses on a hut, we hear a group of children playing inside before we see Shuri yell at them, telling the kids to leave the man inside alone.
They run outside and as they do, we see just who this man is. None other than Bucky Barnes comes into view, as the Winter Soldier himself steps out of the hut and into the open – sans an arm. Shuri greets him and asks how he’s feeling. He tells her he’s much better and she says she’s happy, as there’s a lot more to learn. Then, they walk off together as the screen goes black.
It’s not much, as you can probably tell, but it is a nice little set-up for Avengers: Infinity War, which is the next MCU movie to arrive after this one and will feature Shuri, Bucky and Wakanda all quite prominently. In fact, from what we understand, it’ll be Shuri who’s responsible for both Barnes’ new arm and rebooting him, which is teased here. And though many fans may be upset that this post-credits scene is fairly subdued compared to some of the other more exciting ones in the franchise, it’s totally appropriate for a film like this.
As we said above, Black Panther is very much its own beast and is all the better for it. All the team-ups, connections, tying together of various plot threads throughout the franchise….that’ll all come in Infinity War. For now, we advise you to just soak in Ryan Coogler’s spinoff when it hits theaters later this month and enjoy one of the very best Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date.