WARNING: Spoilers for the post-credits scenes that are stuffed at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 ahead, so obviously don’t read this piece if you haven’t seen the movie.
The second installment of Guardians Of The Galaxy has finally hit theaters, giving fans the chance to see if the sequel to James Gunn’s cosmic adventure can live up to expectations while also expanding the Marvel universe to new limits. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 seems to be landing well with critics across the board while acting as an opening salvo to Marvel’s weirdest year at the theater yet.
While the plot details of the film won’t be discussed here, we will get into some of the finer aspects from later in the film — particularly within the film’s five post-credits scenes. These stingers not only set the stage for future sequels but also seem to plant a few seeds for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. So if you hate being spoiled and you’re still reading this far, this is your last warning. Head below otherwise.
Adam Warlock Prepares To Enter The Marvel Universe
So the biggest revelation from later in the film involves the tease for Adam Warlock. The character has been hinted at since we met The Collector in the first Guardians film, but now he gets a mention by name courtesy of Ayesha and The Sovereign. “Adam” is currently being cooked up inside his cocoon, but the character is more than some sort of Rocky Horror wannabe. He’s a major player in the cosmic realm of the Marvel Universe and plays a big part in the Infinity storyline in the original Marvel Comics.
While Warlock has a story that can take some time to be explained in depth, featuring numerous twists and turns over the years, his film counterpart seems to be avoiding that. The comics have painted Warlock as a major part of the cosmic Marvel Universe, gave him an evil doppelganger known as The Magus that leads the Universal Church of Truth, and placed him firmly in the center of The Infinity Gauntlet storyline. According to James Gunn, Warlock won’t be treading into any of that territory and will be skipping Infinity War entirely.
It seems that Warlock is being set up as a possible nemesis in the next Guardians film before becoming a member, much like the 2008 team by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning that inspired the film iteration.
The Original Guardians
Another post-credits scene is bustling with cameos — including Sylvester Stallone as Starhawk. We get to meet Stakar “Starhawk” Ogord’s ex-wife Aleta played by Hong Kong action legendMichelle Yeoh, Ving Rhames paying Charlie-27, Michael Rosenbaum as the crystallized Martinex, Miley Cyrus lending her voice to Mainframe, and the CGI Krugarr, all coming together to burying the hatchet in memory of the departed Yondu.
None of these characters are likely ringing a bell for most current Marvel fans, but they are all members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. The original team was from the future and had its connections to existing Marvel characters in the past — like Doctor Strange and The Vision according to Polygon — but can always find a new backstory or story fold thanks to the beauty of comic storytelling. Also, the Guardians on the big screen take their origins from a completely different source, meaning this is uncharted territory for these old school Marvel characters that are back together as former Ravagers that need to leave the “baggage” in the past.
Most thoughts about these cameos seem to point them being just that, without any real appearances until the next Guardians film. But who knows, maybe there could be a cameo in the works for Infinity War with the other Guardians.
The Comic Relief
Speaking of Yondu, his memory lives on with his Ravager pal Kraglin and his whistle arrow. The sidekick gets some expanded screentime in the latest film — giving James Gunn’s bro some time to shine — and seems to be poised for a return in the next film. This is one of the post-credits scenes that want to keep things simple and possibly only laying the minimal groundwork for the next sequel. It’s also a lighter moment, which is always welcome after the drama and emotion fans just experienced to close the film.
Next to his is another scene showing that Groot will progress past being Baby Groot in the next film, entering those wild teenage years and gaining a little more height in time for his appearance in Infinity War next year. Both scenes are examples of your classic post-credits scenes — the Ferris Bueller/Deadpool variety that are just treats for patrons and not the must-see teasers for the next film in the series.
Stan The Man And Some Honorable Mentions
Rounding up the post-credit scenes is Stan Lee’s much-heralded cameo, possibly hinting that he’s a Watcher or just some sort of omnipotent part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I like to think of it as some sort of Quantum Leap situation where he’s just jumping into these different people in each film, pulling strings for each of the major heroes. Then again, he’s also dropping in on the Fox movies too, so fans might just be reading too much into the whole thing. Who knows. It’s an entertaining way to keep the cameos going, though.
*Nebula is now out for blood against Thanos and poised to take up her role as a possible secondary anti-hero/antagonist in the Infinity War films.
*Jeff Goldblum does appear as The Grandmaster and is one of a few possible connections to Thor: Ragnarok in the film, including a potential appearance by The Hulk at one point.
*Ayesha is set to be punished by The High Council at the conclusion of the film — during the Adam Warlock scene — possibly hinting at the higher level entities that make up the cosmic Marvel Universe in the comics. This would include Death, The Living Tribunal, Master Order and Lord Chaos, and Eternity. It could be a stretch, but Gunn and Marvel don’t seem too frightened to venture into the weird territory.