One of the things that the reviews of Black Panther have consistently said is that it feels different from any Marvel movie that came before. It feels like the start of something new and different — a turning point in the MCU, from which there is no return. But while the film itself may feel different, in the end, it's still a Marvel Cinematic Universe production, and therefore it contains all the hallmarks and trappings therein, including the multiple post-credit sequences. So, what are the Black Panther post-credit scenes?
Thankfully, there aren't a ridiculous number of scenes stuffed in the credits (looking at you, GOTG2.) But Black Panther doesn't eschew the practice either, like the DC Extended Universe does to help differentiate itself from the MCU. Like most of the Marvel films, it sticks to a reasonable amount — just enough to keep you in your seat until every last CGI artist who worked on the film has had their name go by.
Like most Marvel films, the post-credit sequences tie back to the film we just saw, helping to push forward the narrative for a sequel. But they also reference the larger narrative Black Panther fits into within the MCU, looking ahead to their next film, Avengers: Infinity War.
Warning: Spoilers for Black Panther's post-credit sequences follow.
You may recognize the above image from the very first Black Panther trailer that was released at the beginning of last summer. Since then, these shots of T'Challa at the United Nations have disappeared from all teaser-trailers. That's because the scene was shifted out of the main body of the movie. It's now part of the post-credits scenes.
What is the scene? It's one which looks ahead to the future of Wakanda, and where the film might be headed in a sequel. Remember, most people have no idea that the afro-futuristic Wakanda we've seen revealed in these trailers exists. The reveal of T'Challa as the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War has given the Avengers team and S.H.I.E.L.D. some idea of the reality of the situation. But when the film opens, the new king is dealing with the daily reminder that the world outside has no idea what kind of nation he rules.
This scene at the end is part of T'Challa's choice to tell the world the truth, even though it risks having his country drawn into international politics in a way it never had to be before. It means they must be more vigilant with their security, but they also get a seat at the table to help determine Earth's future.
The second post-credit scene looks ahead to Avengers: Infinity War, but also ties the film back to the events of Captain America: Civil War, which was Black Panther's first introduction into the MCU. As fans will recall, at the end of that film, T'Challa switches sides after having been Team Iron Man and pro-Sokovia for the bulk of the story. He even extends Steve Rogers a peace offering: He will take Bucky Barnes back to Wakanda, where their technology can wipe the Winter Soldier programming from his friend once and for all.
So, how has Barnes been since we last saw him? Despite the fact that those following the series closely will remember he's in Wakanda, Bucky doesn't actually show up until this final sequence. When we see him, still sans his mechanical arm, we discover he's become quite a fixture in his neighborhood, and he is under the care of Shuri, Wakanda's answer to Tony Stark in terms of technology. This is a lead-in for fans to see that Wakanda will play a major role in the MCU's next film, Avengers: Infinity War and we'll be heading back there very soon.
Black Panther opens Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. Avengers: Infinity War follows, opening Friday, May 4, 2018.