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Marvel Studios' The Marvels ending explained

All the spoilers from the Marvels (but you should go see the movie too!)

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel. Ms. Marvel. Photon.

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel's namesake trinity unites in this week's The Marvels, and now that we here at Popverse has seen it we have a lot of thoughts. But yes, yes, we hear you: 'what happened in The Marvels?', 'What are The Marvels spoilers?', 'They better not have injured a Flerken or cat in The Marvels... did they?!'. We've got you covered.

Before we dive in, if you're thinking about catching The Marvels in theaters, buy tickets now on Fandango or Atom Tickets. Waiting for The Marvels on streaming? It won't be until 2024 from the looks of it, but we're tracking that as well.

Spoilers ahead for The Marvels (if you didn't know already).

How does The Marvels end?

In the final battle between the Marvels (Carol, Monica, Kamala) and Kree Supremor Dar Benn, the heroes overpower the villain, and propose a compromise where Captain Marvel helps revitalize the Kree homeworld of Hala by repowering its sun. Seemingly in agreement, our heroes let up on Dar Benn only to be surprised as Dar Benn fights back - and traps Kamala Khan in an unteniable position that results in her being able to obtain Kamala's Quantum Band (to match the one she found at the beginning of the movie).

Now with even more power (two Quantum Bands plus some of Captain Marvel's energy coursing through her), Dar-Ben attempts to complete her goal of stealing Earth's sun for the Kree homeworld - but flames out, so to speak - disintegrating in open space.

Dar-Benn's disintegration leaves behind the cracked incursion wall, now determined to not just be a crack between two points in our universe, but to be a crack in the "space-time continuum" to show another universe. (Welcome to the Marvel Multiverse, baby.)

Worried it could crack even further, the Marvels come up with a plan to charge up Photon using the powers of Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel, so Monica can surgically repair the tear from the other side.

Long story short, they do - and Monica does repair the tear. But... BUT... Monica must stay on the other side of the tear in order to complete the fix. Captain Marvel tries to race to bring her back, but Monica valiantly takes one for the team and ends up on the other side of the now-repaired multiversal wall. (More on that in a bit).

Fpllowing that, our heroes are resigned to the fact Monica is gone (but not dead) and go back to Earth. Carol ends up taking over the old Rambeau home in Louisiana - her first time living here since 1995. She has a heartwarming scene moving in, with Kamala's family helping her. Kamala's mom Muneeba even dotes on Kamala's brother Aamir that Carol's home would be a great place to raise a family, hinting that he should seek to marry Carol.

(I don't think she knows Carol's already married to Prince Yan from Aladna.)

The movie ends - well, at least before the credits - with a homage to the iconic original Iron Man post-credits scene... only this time, Kamala Khan is acting as Nick Fury, with Hailee Stanfield's Kate Bishop as the Iron Man in this situation. Kamala shows up at Kate's NYC hideout, talking about recruiting her for a special project, even using some of the same words and mannerisms that Nick did in 2008's Iron Man. While not said specifically, Kamala is forming the Young Avengers - and she wants Kate Bishop. She also noted that Ant-Man has a daughter - Cassie Lang - who is a superhero.

Did anyone die in The Marvels?

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

As mentioned earlier, The Marvels' big bad Dar Benn does disintegrate right before our eyes after putting both Quantum Bands on.

Besdies that, a number of unnamed Skrulls die during the Kree's decimation of the planet Tarnax.

One thing left uncertain is the fate of the planet Aladna and Captain Marvel's husband Prince Yan. The Marvels transport away from that battle seemingly leaving them to their fate, but the movie never returned to show what happened.

They didn't hurt any cats (AKA Flerken) in The Marvels, did they?!

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

No, thankfully not.

And we checked with the ASPCA, and none of the real-life cats used in The Marvels were harmed either.

Who was The Marvel's main villain?

That would be Dar Benn, played by Zawe Ashton, known for her roles in Velvet Buzzsaw and Fresh Meat. While this is her debut in the MCU, a flashback scene shows that she was a Kree warrior on Hala during Captain Marvel's one-woman invasion of the planet at the end of 2019's Captain Marvel. In the final battle inside the Kree capitol building, it's shown that Carol zapped a piece of the ceiling to prevent Dar Benn from stopping her.

Fast forward to the present day (remember, it's been nearly 30 years since the events of Captain Marvel), and Dar Benn has grown to become leader of the Kree Empire - on a platform of returning the Kree homeworld to some sense of normalcy by stealing the resources from other planets.

What were The Marvels surprises?

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

One obvious surprise: It's better than I thought it would be. Not that I didn't enjoy Captain Marvel, but The Marvels overachieved and, as of this moment - just hours after watching it - I' d say its my favorite Marvel Studios film in the last two years, beating out even Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

But surprises...? You're meaning plot.

There were a number of surprise cameos in The Marvels, including Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (helping spirit away the Skrull survivors, seemingly to New Asgard on Earth), Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, and that mid-credits scene. Oh, you want to know more about the mid-credits scene? Read on...

What's up with those The Marvels mid-credits and post-credits scenes?

There was one mid-credits scene in The Marvels, and a post-credits scene (or, well, sound) in the film.

The mid-credits scene opens with Monica waking up in a hospital bed, seemingyly for the first time since repairing the tear in the space-time continuum but ending up on the other side of it. She wakes up to see her mother (who, in her universe, died of cancer) waiting on her by the bedside. This is a callback to Monica being by her mother's bedside but being blipped out - only to reappear five years later in the hospital room with her mother having died.

But that's not what you came here for. What comes next is the sound - and then the visual - of Kelsey Grammar, reprising his role as Beast for the first time in a decade - since 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, to be exact. He talks about helping her recover, and that "Charles" (aka Professor Charles Xavier) was asking about her.

Then its revealed that Monica's mom Maria Rambeau didn't just survive, unlike in the mainline Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is actually a costumed vigilante like her daughter. In fact, they even seemingly have similar taste in costume design. The only thing is, Maria has no idea who Monica is - meaning she either didn't have a daughter Monica in this universe, or any potential daughter didn't grow up to look like Monica.

The Marvels director Nia DaCosta has avoided questions about an X-Men crossover to date, but she did opine as a fan about wanting to see Storm and Cyclops on the screen in the MCU. Although we didn't see either of those here, the potential is now greater than ever to make it happen.

The post-credits scene of The Marvels is not so much seen as heard. When the full-screen Marvel Studios logo is shown at the very end of the credits, you hear the telltale sound of Flerken's meowing, then seemingly eating something in the background. (Greedy kitty.)

Which comic creators received thanks in The Marvels credits?

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

It's customary, thankfully, for the comic creators whose work influenced these major Marvel Studios films, to be given "special thanks" in the credits. Although the pay involved with this thanks remains murky, creators do get name recognition.

The Marvel Comics creators thanked in The Marvels were Neal Adams, Saladin Ahmed, David Aja, Adrian Alphona, Brian Michael Bendis, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Carmen Carnero, Jim Cheung, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Gene Colan, Carla Conway, Gerry Conway, Matt Fraction, Mark Gruenwald, Russ Heath, Allan Heinberg, Minkyu Jung, Gil Kane, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ron Lim, David Lopez, Ron Marz, Jamie McKelvie, Al Milgrom, Carlos Pacheco, John Romita Jr., Paul Ryan, Dexter Soy, Roger Stern, Marcio Takara, Roy Thomas, Kelly Thompson, and G. Willow Wilson.

See someone missing from there? Some have pointed out the absence of seminal Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick from that list - but that's because they missed KSD's credit above and beyond a "special thanks": she's listed as The Marvels creative consultant.

What does this do for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe storylines?

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

This sets up several storylines we can hope to see soon enough.

For one thing, this further establishes the X-Men cinematic universe (or at least a version of it) is out there somewhere - and 'our' Monica is there. There's been talk of X-Men movie(s) for years now, but I imagine we'll see more of this universe leading up to 2025's Avengers: Kang Dynasty first.

Secondarily, Ms. Marvel recruiting Kate Bishop for something Young Avengers-ish sounds like a thing that'd be an undercurrent to a couple MCU films/tv shows over the next few years leading to something.

And you can't forget the new status quo - Captain Marvel is back living on Earth for the first time in 29 years. With her here, she's now the most powerful being on the planet (even when Thor shows up).

Will there be a The Marvels sequel or a Captain Marvel 3?

The Marvels
Image credit: Marvel Studios

A third film in the Captain Marvel series hasn't been announced, nor has a second season of Ms. Marvel - but there's several theatrical release dates which Marvel Studios has put on hold which could very well be that thing.

While you wait, here's what to watch after The Marvels if you liked what you saw here.

Want to know what's coming up next in pop culture? Check out our guides to upcoming movies, upcoming TV shows, upcoming comics, and upcoming comic conventions. If you're looking for specific franchises or genres, we have all the upcoming MCU, upcoming Star Wars, upcoming Star Trek, and upcoming DC movies & TV for you. If you're a fan of superheroes and not specific to just Marvel or DC, we have overall guides to all the upcoming superhero movies and upcoming superhero TV shows (and new seasons) as well.