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Spider-Man: Homecoming’s 2 end-credits scenes, explained

Spoiler alert.

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Spoiler alert: Spider-Man: Homecoming’s two credits scenes are discussed in full below.

There are two credits scenes at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming. One might figure into future Marvel films, while the other is nothing more than a playful — but worthwhile — joke.

Mid- and post-credits scenes have become a Marvel tradition, something fans look forward to every time the company releases a new film. Sometimes they contain huge reveals that hint at future movies (see: Black Panther at the end of Captain America: Civil War). Other times, they serve as little winks from Marvel to its biggest fans, and call back to the company's history (see: Howard the Duck at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy). They're fun. They can be exciting. And if we're lucky, they give us something to chew on until the studio’s next big release.

Here's what happens in Homecoming’s two credits scenes, and how the scenes are significant to both Spider-Man’s and Marvel’s future stories.

1) Vulture in prison

The first scene, which airs in the middle of the credits, functions more like an epilogue to the movie. We flash-forward to sometime in the near future, and Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. Vulture (Michael Keaton), is in prison. He’s walking around, and is confronted by a former associate (who has a scorpion tattoo and could possibly turn out to be the villain known as Scorpion in a future movie) who wants to know Spider-Man’s identity. The man tells Toomes that he’s heard Toomes knows who Spider-Man is.

Toomes does indeed know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man (in the film, he figures it out in the third act), but he pretends otherwise. He flashes a sinister little look before the scene cuts out — possibly setting up the character’s return in a future Marvel film.

The scene hints that Toomes wants to take on Spider-Man himself, which makes sense considering how much Homecoming does to map out Toomes’s moral code. At one point in the film, he passes up a chance to kill Peter/Spider-Man because Peter previously saved his daughter’s life. And later on in the film, Peter saves Toomes’s life too.

Homecoming’s first credits scene signals that Toomes is doing Peter Parker a favor by not outing him, which would put all kinds of villains on his trail. But it also reveals that Toomes wants to handle Peter Parker himself.

2) A message from Captain America

Throughout the film, Captain America is used as a comedic prop. He appears in taped informational messages (like a PSA aimed at kids) that the teachers at Peter Parker’s high school play for their students, to teach them to be better citizens (one of the taped messages is about detention).

Homecoming’s second credits scene plays off these messages, giving us one final dispatch in which Captain America speaks about the value and virtue of patience. He addresses the audience directly and talks about how patience is necessary, while also noting that it isn’t always rewarded. He explains that sometimes, people end up waiting for a long time for something and it isn’t what they wanted or expected — just like this credits scene.

Because of Marvel’s long tradition of tease-heavy credits scenes, many fans may have expected to see something big or bold in Homecoming’s credits scenes — possibly a hint at the fallout from Captain America: Civil War. Instead, Marvel served up this silly nothingburger, with a knowing wink. The scene cuts out, before a title card announces that Spider-Man will return to the big screen with a new film slated for 2019 (no solid date has been set yet).

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