A lot is riding on The Marvels. Arriving as Marvel’s decidedly up (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3., Loki) and down (Secret Invasion, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, that instantly-infamous Variety cover story) year continues, the sequel to the Brie Larson-fronted Captain Marvel assembles a new team of heroes in the form of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) alongside Larson’s Carol Danvers as they team up to face an intergalactic threat in the form of Kree extremist Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton).
Major, Major Spoiler Alert Below
Only Dar-Benn isn’t the real threat. The Marvels features the first on-screen appearance of an incursion event—a long-teased multiversal calamity that will play a critical part in the future of the MCU and its Multiverse Saga moving forward. But that’s not all: The Marvels‘ post-credits sequence deploys a pretty wild cameo to foreshadow what’s next for the MCU.
To help you understand it all, let’s walk through the lore, the key players involved, and what it means for the future of the MCU.
What happens in The Marvels‘ post-credits scene?
Monica wakes up and meets a version of her mother, Maria (Lashana Lynch.) You may remember Maria from Captain Marvel; later, during the Wandavision TV series, we found out that she died of cancer sometime after The Snap, which meant Monica (one of many MCU characters who got temporarily Snapped out of existence) wasn’t around to say goodbye to her. So this isn’t the Maria we know. As Monica rightly begins to freak out, this version of Maria (going by the name Binary, with a costume to match) makes it clear she has no idea who Monica is—and then Beast walks in the door.
Yes, Beast– as played by Kelsey Grammer, most recently in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. That film’s comparatively lavish Beast makeup effects have been replaced here by some spotty CGI, but this version of Beast (lab coat, glasses, no shirt) looks enough like the X-Men: The Animated Series version of the character to fire all those 90s-nostalgia pleasure centers. It’s unclear whether or not this is supposed to be the same Beast audiences last saw in Days of Future Past, but the production design of the room in the background is strikingly similar to the blue-gray-toned look and feel of the Fox X-Men franchise—which is evidently now a canonical part of MCU continuity for the very first time.
Yeah, we know.
I’m sorry. That’s a lot to unpack.
It’s actually quite simple.
Alright then. First things first: What’s an incursion?
The first mention of an incursion in the MCU came in the midst of an exposition dump by John Krasinski’s Reed Richards in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. An Incursion event occurs “when the boundary between two universes erodes, they collide… destroying one, or both, entirely.” Clea (played by Charlize Theron) shows up in the post-credits of Multiverse to tell Strange that his actions throughout the course of that film have triggered an incursion—and that the two of them are going to fix it.
Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) also mentions incursions in passing during Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. To fully drive home the point, Beast tells Maria that scans show she’s not from their reality, stating, “You are now in a reality parallel to your own.” The Marvels might be the first time audiences see an incursion, but it likely won’t be the last.
Why won’t it be the last?
Let’s touch on that in a second. Ask me something else.
Okay then. What’s up with Frasier coming back?
The appearance of Grammer’s Beast in The Marvels‘ post-credits scene is directly teeing up next spring’s Deadpool 3, which is looking more and more like a film in which (as rumored) Ryan Reynolds’ Merc With a Mouth will kill off the entire Fox Universe of Marvel characters as an aperitif to 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars, the forthcoming sequel to 2026’s even-more-forthcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Beast mentions that “Charles” wants an update, so maybe there’s also a chance audiences will see Patrick Stewart’s Professor X again after his cameo in Multiverse of Madness.
Why won’t this be the last incursion? Is this leading to something?
It is, indeed: the previously announced Secret Wars.
It feels more and more likely that the MCU’s next Phase will take its cues from the 2015 comic-book crossover event Secret Wars and the storylines that led up to it. In those comics—written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Esad Ribic—a secret team of Marvel heroes, including Beast, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Namor, discover that incursions are happening in the main Marvel comic book universe, known as the 616 universe. The incursions increase until the two main Marvel Comics Universes, 616 and the Ultimate universe—a modern-day retelling of Marvel lore, where Miles Morales first appeared—collide, creating a new, patchwork reality.
Since the MCU doesn’t have an Ultimate universe to draw from, perhaps the primary Marvel universe colliding with the Fox universe of characters will be what sets the foundation for the cinematic version of Secret Wars — or maybe it’ll be something else that happens in Kang Dynasty since that appears, for now, to be the lead into Secret Wars.
Either way, after a few years without a clear overarching storyline, the MCU is finally kicking the Multiverse Saga into high gear. Expect things to get more and more multiversal as we get closer and closer to the release of Secret Wars.