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After sitting through Avengers: Infinity War's over 2 and a half hours of quick superhero quips, epic team-ups, and an ending that probably left you gaping open-mouthed at the screen, you were most likely hoping for a post-credit scene. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is, after all, infamous for training audiences to sit through 15 minutes of credits after the final scene to watch 30 additional seconds of footage. That footage, while short, usually teases what we can expect to see next in the MCU.
Chronologically, the next MCU film on the docket is Ant-Man and the Wasp, the sequel to the Paul Rudd-starring 2015 film. But that's not what we got.
**SPOILER WARNING: There are major spoilers for both Avengers: Infinity War and the film's post-credit scene below**
The only post-credit scene in Avengers: Infinity War depicts the real-world implications of half the universe's population disappearing. Yes, half of our favorite heroes, uh, bit the dust (sorry, too soon) at the end of Infinity War, but what about average citizens?
Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) — welcome back! — are seen pondering data about the weird energy signatures hovering over Wakanda when a car veers in front of them and they're forced to slam on the brakes. While Hill and Fury are momentarily left to ponder how a person disappeared from the driver's seat of the offending car, the audience knows all too well that the driver was a victim of Thanos' plan.
Soon enough, Hill fades away before our eyes.
Fury, never one to panic in a tense situation, rushes back to their car, grabs a high-tech pager, and barely manages to send out what we can assume is a distress signal before he, too, dissolves into the wind.
And let's not forget that all-important Sam Jackson trademark refrain: "Motherf—"
But for those of you who were scratching your heads about why everyone in the theater started screaming when some random symbol popped up on the pager's screen before everything went black, just know this:
That was the Captain Marvel symbol. Captain Marvel, who will be portrayed by Brie Larson in an upcoming solo film (set in the 1990s) and in Avengers 4, is probably our salvation. Not only is she an incredibly powerful superhero, she's also a leader and a mystery card to add to the team in Avengers 4. And those are all elements the team is sorely in need of right now.
Captain Marvel premieres in theaters on March 6, 2019.