Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Marvels (2023).
At the end of The Marvelsvillains are defeated, long-ago wrongs are corrected, a new superhero team is formed, and one of the film’s three heroes is separated from her friends.
After realizing that the villainous, vengeful Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) intends to complete the restoration of her home planet, Hala, by draining the Earth’s sun of all of its energy, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) ambush the Kree leader on her ship. Using their swapping abilities to their advantage, the three heroes manage to wound and temporarily immobilize Dar-Benn, who seemingly agrees to abandon her planet-destroying plans in favor of letting Carol use her powers to restart Hala’s sun all on her own. However, when they free Dar-Benn, she turns on the trio again.
She steals Kamala’s Quantum Band, pairs it with her own, and prepares to unleash a devastating attack on Carol, Kamala, and Monica. The combined power of the two Quantum Bands destroys her, though, and the resulting energy blast transforms one of Dar-Benn’s unstable galactic jump points into a multiversal rift. As the tear in time and space grows, it threatens to destroy not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s prime reality but also the alternate dimension that lies on the other side of the rift.
Understanding the danger that has suddenly fallen into their laps, Monica tells Carol and Kamala to use the Quantum Bands to blast her with as much energy as they can. In doing so, the duo supercharges their friend, who flies to Dar-Benn’s multiversal rift and begins to close it. Carol, unfortunately, realizes too late that Monica will have to trap herself on the other side of the rift in order to save both universes. Consequently, while she tries to reach Monica before the rift is sealed, Carol and Kamala are ultimately forced to say goodbye to their beloved, now-stranded friend.
In the wake of Monica’s sacrifice, both the Earth’s sun and the MCU’s prime reality are saved. Carol, meanwhile, keeps the promise she made to Dar-Benn and tries to make up for some of her past mistakes with the Kree by flying straight into Hala’s dying sun and reigniting it. Later, Kamala and her family help Carol move into the remote home that Monica used to live in with her late mother, Maria (The Woman King‘s Lashana Lynch). Whilst there, Kamala and Carol take a moment to enjoy some quiet peace together, during which the former mentions how much she’s enjoyed getting to be on a team.
Cut to: Kamala waiting Nick Fury-style in Kate Bishop’s (Hailee Steinfeld) New York City apartment. When Kate returns home, Kamala tells her that she’s begun looking into other, younger heroes like them — she specifically mentions Ant-Man’s daughter, Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) — and asks her if she’d be interested in joining the team that she’s putting together. Kate smiles and, well, it looks like Marvel Studios has finally taken its long-awaited first step toward the official big-screen formation of the Young Avengers.
Kamala and Kate’s team, notably, isn’t the only one that the movie sets up. On the contrary, The Marvels‘ sole post-credits scene picks back up with Monica as she wakes in a strange medical room only to find her mother sitting next to her. However, much to her shock and confusion, her mother’s doppelganger doesn’t identify herself as Maria Rambeau. Instead, Monica is surprised to hear her referred to as “Binary” by her associate, Hank McCoy/Beast (Kelsey Grammer). As Binary begins to ask Monica some questions about her past, Beast exits the room — walking past a familiar, circular door with a big ol’ “X” on it.
The Marvelsin other words, ends by not only hinting for the first time at a Young Avengers team-up but also by introducing the MCU’s first, albeit variant, version of the X-Men. Few could have predicted that the film would do either of those things, and it is, of course, unclear how the movies and TV shows that are set to follow it will build off its closing moments. By introducing both the X-Men and the Young Avengers, though, The Marvels has seemingly emerged as a far more important addition to the MCU than many expected it to be.
The Marvels is now playing in theaters nationwide.