WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
A year after Thanos snapped away half of the life in the known universe, and just over a decade after Tony Stark famously told reporters at a press conference that he was Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame is here. Yes, it’s total runtime clocks in at just over three hours, and yes, it packs a lot of story into every minute of that, but it’s also chock-full of payoffs that date all the way back to 2008’s Iron Man, 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and more. It also features no customary after credits scenes.
Ever since Nick Fury first introduced Stark to the “Avengers Initiative” at the end of Iron Man, all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films have included at least one post-credits scene or stinger. Sometimes, these brief scenes were simply a means of comedic relief. Other times, they were meant to hint at greater things to come — including Thanos himself. Endgame, however, is the first — yes, the first — MCU entry to avoid the franchise’s own tradition altogether. Well, for the most part.
I say “for the most part” because, while Endgame definitely does not tack on a preview for Spider-Man: Far From Home or any indication about what’s to come following that film, it does transform its initial closing credits into a visually reflective tribute to the entire cast, as well as the original six actors who first brought the team to life in 2012.
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo are all highlighted specifically in this sequence. Each entry includes footage of their respective characters from the many films they’ve been a part of — be they Avengers films or titular standalone projects — and concludes with a somewhat silhouetted image of them in costume. To top it off, their individual signatures are turned into a part of the credits sequence.
It’s a nice touch considering that many of these performers, especially Downey and Johansson, have been a part of the MCU in one way or another for the better part of a decade. However, moviegoers who’ve been trained to expect more will undoubtedly throw up their hands in irritation once this sequence immediately transitions to the longer credits roll, which, in turn, goes on for at least 10 more minutes and ends in nothing.
Well, mostly nothing, because just before the Marvel Studios logo plays one last time, the sound of a slow, methodical hammer begins to take shape. It’s almost as if the film is cueing up an after credits scene by playing its audio first. That is not the case, because shortly after the Marvel Studios logo fades to black, the hammering stops and the film officially comes to an end. This may seem infuriating, but considering what one of Endgame‘s biggest character payoffs is, it’s most likely a tribute to the character of Tony Stark.