Films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have a reputation for memorable tag scenes during or after the credits roll. They tend to come in one of two flavors: great comic punches for the movie we just saw or tantalizing teasers for something big that’s on the way.
The mid-credits scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, while definitely an amazing example of the latter, left some fans wondering if Marvel had slipped up on an already established plot point. But fear not, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has stepped up to clarify the scene and in the process revealed another piece of the MCU puzzle.
This is your fair warning about big spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron beyond this point. Stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet. No, really.
Still with us? Okay great. We were excited to see that the Age of Ultron mid-credits scene brought back Thanos, this time in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet and basically declaring that if you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself.
But wait. While some of the stones have had pretty significant screen time and we know what’s happening with them (see below for a refresher on that front), we can’t forget that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the actual Gauntlet, too. Its last known whereabouts were in Odin’s vault, as seen in Thor.
Initially, some fans thought it was a discrepancy overlooking the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it earlier appearance, or else we all missed out on some great footage of how the Infinity Gauntlet got from Asgard into Thanos’ possession.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige answered some of the questions brought up by the scene. For one, he clarified (sort of) the scene’s setting to Cinema Blend:
That was not Odin’s vault that you see at the end.
Feige also confirmed that this wasn’t a slip-up and continuity wasn’t compromised or ignored by having the Gauntlet appear in two different places without explanation. This is possible for one simple reason: There are two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU.
In Feige’s words:
There are two different gloves.
Of course, this brings up even more questions about what this means for future Marvel movies. By its nature, the Infinity Gauntlet seems like it would be one of a kind, a glove made to hold the six Infinity Stones. If you need a refresher, so far we have encountered four: the Space Stone (a.k.a. the Tesseract), the Mind Stone (from Loki’s scepter, now with the Vision), the Reality Stone (the Aether from Thor: The Dark World), and the Power Stone (the orb from Guardians of the Galaxy). Likely at some point before Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining two, the Time Stone and Soul Stone, will be in play.
Since (we are assuming) the Stones can’t be in two places at once, are the Gauntlets connected in some way so that the power of one with all the Stones in fact could be wielded by two people? What might happen if all six Stones are spread across the two separate Gauntlets in some combination? What amazing madness is Marvel planning that requires two Infinity Gauntlets?
And the most pressing: When are the Avengers: Infinity War movies coming out again? (That one we can answer! May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019.)
Speaking of Age of Ultron plot holes, we also can’t help but wonder how Nick Fury went from underground and presumed (by most) as dead to riding in on a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. In fact, the helicarrier was presumed lost to HYDRA. As for that, Feige directed us to a certain TV show for answers.
I think it’s fair to say you could fill in some of those blanks in the coming weeks on Tuesday at 9.
This is an example of why having an MCU TV presence can be helpful to enrich the universe and tell some of the stories we want to see, but just don’t have time for on the big screen. In the coming weeks, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. promises to show or at least explain what went down with Fury, and hopefully we’ll get even more tie-in to the film. The impact this movie will have on the show is likely closer to that of the one episode direct tie-in of Thor: The Dark World than the game changing impact of Captain America: The Winter Solider, but more and more, Marvel is proving their #ItsAllConnected mantra to be true.