(Note: This post contains spoilers for Logan)
#Logan ended with an epic sense of closure, finally giving #HughJackman the chance to claw his way through an R-rated mist to a satisfying conclusion for the #Wolverine; a character he's brilliantly portrayed for 17-years. In that time the lay of the superhero-movie landscape has changed drastically, including the art of post-credits scenes.
The multi-billion dollar #MCU is constantly pushing for bigger, broader spectacles through its solo and ensemble #Avengers movies. Then there's the #DCEU. DC Comics answer to Disney's money-printing machine has had a troubled youth. Zack Snyder's divisive Man of Steel set the stage for a gritty interconnected universe to rival Marvel's family-focused franchise.
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The inter-connectivity of all three of these franchises has often relied on the loose threads at the end of the credits, but with Logan eschewing the genre cliche and last year's #Deadpool lampooning it in his robe, is it time for #Marvel and DC to shake their post-credits scenes up a bit or get rid of them completely?
Logan: Too Old For This Sh*t
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Logan does not have a post-credits scene, and that's a good thing. Despite rumors of a cameo from #RyanReynolds there's nothing at the end of the credits but disappointment for fans hoping for a last-minute tease. This really is the end for Hugh Jackman.
As many fans suspected, we finally see the death of Wolverine at the end of 'Logan'. It's an indignant yet fitting end for a character that has survived explosions, bullets, and arrows, to wind up slowly deteriorating just like everybody else. The adamantium that's given him so much strength over the years is also the source of his sickness, slowly poisoning his body from the inside. This culminates in a heart-wrenching and beautifully shot funeral sequence, where Wolverine's grave is presided over by children who may be cloned from his long-dead friends.
#JamesMangold could have revisited #X23 after the credits, teasing a standalone film for #DafneKeen. He could have showed the rocks of Logan's grave tremble a la Superman's grave at the end of #BVS. But the final shot of those young mutants walking away as the camera zooms until the X of Logan's grave-marker fill the frame.
It's a poignant and gorgeously-rendered moment which punctuates the permanence of Hugh Jackman's retirement from the role. Also, X-Men and X2 were released before the post-credits tease was a prerequisite of superhero films. It's almost a throwback to a time when the X-Men universe wasn't scrambling to compete with the juggernaut that now is the MCU, which has used its post-credits stings to tease upcoming villains or secure one last laugh.
What this boils down to is a devotion to the film itself rather than a slavish devotion to the connected universe. It's unclear how Logan actually fits into the wider cinematic universe of the X-Men, but that doesn't matter. The film is its own beast which acts as a definite bookend to the beloved character, and any post-credits scene would have detracted from that sense of finality. Plot threads still dangle from Logan (What's going to happen to X-23?), but they're for someone else to pick up in the future: The Wolverine is done.
DC: Tale Of Two Halves?
DC is in the middle of a very well-documented identity crisis. All three films in the #DCEU have been contentious for their apparent irreverence to the source material, inconsistent editing, and a tired dedication to being dark. This culminated in poor, poor Suicide Squad, which may be one of the most frustratingly inconsistent films to ever make it through to theaters. There's almost a visual seam in the middle of the movie where it tips from zany and different into the generic superhero formula we've seen too many times.
This is capped off with a truly dreadful post-credits scene in which Bruce Wayne and Amanda Waller vaguely threaten each other while exchanging information. #BenAffleck plays a vengeful Batman who came out of retirement in a moral and bloodthirsty rage. His willingness to overlook Waller's political maneuvering and culpability in the devastation of Midway City is completely at odds with the character that Warner Bros. has thus far established.
Add to this that DC hadn't included a post-credits scene in either Man Of Steel or Batman v Superman and you get some insight into the lack of clarity that's causing so many problems for the franchise.
DC could learn from the confidence of Logan, which never tries to be a film that its competitors would make, or even one that definitively ties to its own franchise. The problem is that Warner Bros. is very clearly, desperately attempting to catch up with Marvel and so far that approach has not worked for them.
Marvel: Skewered By Success?
Marvel's post-credits stings are almost seen as the bar for success, yet there's such an expectancy for these stingers to deliver new and compelling content, that when it fails to do so, the last impression of the film is one of disappointment. #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy was the zany breakout success of Marvel's Phase 2, and director James Gunn made a point of the film's individuality in his villain Ronin.
Ronin's petulance when facing off against Thanos highlighted the glaring fact that for all his brooding and the galaxy's trembling at his name, Thanos is yet to do anything. He warns the Cree fanatic, but never lifts a finger to punish him. Ronin completely gets away with his betrayal of Thanos. Add to that the failure of Loki in The Avengers and we see that Thanos's little gambles have led to the loss of two Infinity Stones.
Sure, he was finally teased getting out of his chair like a swollen grandparent, but there's no real sense of threat from the villain himself. Merely a sense of scale perpetuated by the enormous cast list of the upcoming #InfinityWar - that and the fact that its unnamed sequel have been given a staggering budget of $1 billion, making them already the most expensive films of all time.
Guardians had its own way of doing things, one which wasn't entirely occupied with servicing the MCU. It went against the grain, but it still bowed into the trope of forcing fans to sit through the credits. The unusual introduction of lesser known superhero Howard the Duck was a great tease for comic book fans, but for those in the audience who'd come to expect a snippet of what's to come, it was both vague and weird.
The problem therein is that Marvel's success relies heavily on its momentum and scale, which has been threaded together chiefly through these last-second teases. With the Guardians looking to join the Avengers for Infinity War, it's likely that the post-credits scene of #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2 will be more conventional. Yet, the Guardians themselves are supposed to be unconventional. Forcing their story structure to follow that of the rest of the MCU is a disservice to the characters, and their irreverence should be respected.
Deadpool: Free To Be Weird
Fox's other R-rated property is a masterclass in letting the character do the talking. #Deadpool's post-credits sequence did exactly what it should by approaching the tradition with an irreverent little speech in his bathrobe. This is the sort of sting that Guardians deserved. Instead it was left with an amusing, if a little confusing, Easter egg; one that couldn't hold up under the weight of expectation.
Fox has done a fantastic job of trusting their directors and leading actors in these latest standalone movies. The lack of a post-credits scene in Logan punctuates that perfectly. It proves that there's a silver lining in this post-Hugh Jackman franchise; one that represents character above all else.
What do you think? Are post-credits scenes a tired necessity, or could DC and the MCU do with taking a leaf out of Fox's book? Let us know in the comments below.