Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 became only the second movie to break a Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credits trend since 2019. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s deaths did not include any team members like in the franchise’s two previous films, the trilogy finale was still very emotional. James Gunn perfectly closed this chapter of the MCU’s cosmic team while also leaving the door open should another director step in to lead the Guardians in a fourth movie or if the team is called upon to appear in any future MCU movies, such as the upcoming two Avengers films — The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.


Gunn set up the team’s future by having the original squad disband at the end of the film. Star-Lord then named Rocket the new captain of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Then, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s post-credits scenes revealed who would return in the future. The first credits scene introduced Rocket’s new team, with Groot, Kraglin, Cosmo the Spacedog, Phyla, and Adam Warlock — with his pet Blurp. The second post-credits scene ended with the reveal that Chris Pratt would return as Star-Lord in the future. Based on that, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s post-credits scenes managed to break an MCU trend.

GOTG 3 & Shang-Chi Are The Only Post-Endgame Movies Not To Debut New Characters In Post-Credits Scenes

Montage of the Guardians of the Galaxy — Rocket, Cosmo, and Groot — and a poster from Avengers: Endgame.

Since Avengers: Endgame‘s debut in 2019, only Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have not introduced new characters in their credits scenes, breaking a long-running MCU trend. Both films have two credits scenes. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings used one of its credits scenes to continue the movie’s ending, with the hero meeting Captain Marvel and the Hulk, while its second scene set up the future of the Ten Rings organization. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 included a new team roster in its first post-credits scene, but all characters had at least been introduced in the film.

The two Marvel movies break the trend set up by the MCU’s other releases since Avengers: Endgame. Spider-Man: Far From Home introduced a new version of J.K Simmons’ JJJ; Black Widow was to see Valentina Allegra de Fontaine debut, before pandemic delays; Eternals had multiple introductions with Pip the Troll, Eros, and Blade’s voice cameo; Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Tom Hardy’s Venom debut in the MCU; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduced Charlize Theron’s Clea; Thor: Love and Thunder debuted Hercules; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever shocked the world with T’Challa’s son, Toussaint; And Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania introduced multiple Kang variants through the Council of Kangs.

How Marvel Introducing Characters In Post-Credits Scenes Became A Problem

Montage of Hercules, Eros, Eddie Brock, and Clea from their appearances in the MCU.

The introduction of new characters in post-credits scenes can be exciting; however, many of the characters that debuted in the credits scenes of MCU movies since 2019 have either overshadowed the film that came before or showed no signs of payoff anytime soon. Harry Styles’ debut as Eros is a great example of both, with the actor’s role being the most commented aspect of Eternals, despite having just a brief part in the film’s first post-credits scene. With no Eternals 2 confirmed as of now, there is no way to know when Eros might reappear.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could somewhat fall into that trap, as the young Phyla may not return as a member of the team in a future appearance, or her first big role could be years away. She did have a small part in the film before becoming a team member in the post-credits scene, so Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at least breaks the MCU post-credits trend.

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