James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy was a thing of beauty. Seemingly overnight, a ragtag bunch of names that most people had never heard of became everyone's favorite team since the Mighty Ducks. Marvel's first foray into the cosmic universe was equal parts charming, exhilarating, funny, and - dare I say it? - edgy.
Meanwhile, Guardians' post-credits tag was... something else. Whether you recognized Howard the Duck or not, the scene likely didn't strike you in any of those aforementioned ways.
If do-overs were possible and an unqualified nobody from the middle of the Sonoran Desert could be put in charge, I would have done something like this...
INT. Communications room aboard the Milano
Elton John's 'Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)' plays on Peter Quill's stereo. Rocket is working on a new weapon, moving his head to the music.
Hello?? Am I coming through?
Rocket looks up from his tinkering, sees Tony on the communications display.
Oh, heyyy little guy. What's your name?
Rocket glances toward the cockpit before reaching to switch off the music.
Rocket. Rocket the Raccoon. Got a nice ring to it, I like it.
(grumbles at this happening yet again)
grrrrI'M NOT! A RACCOON!
Furry, tiny animal creature, black around the eyes....
Rocket begins throwing around wrenches and screwdrivers and the like, causing a general, typical-for-the-Milano ruckus. Tony is heard in the background "oh look, got the tail too."
Hey, Rocket Raccoon, I-
We know you're not a raccoon, Rocket. I'm sure that guy (gestures to the screen), whoever he is, wants to take it back.
Quill looks to Tony on the display. Tony is silent, shockingly confused. He's not accustomed to not being recognized.
This struck me as a decent end credits sequence for a few reasons:
- It contains more substance than the Howard the Duck scene featured in the actual end credits.
- This imaginary scene builds on Tony's obsession with the universe beyond Earth, an interest he allegedly picked up after going on a leisurely vacation out there during the Avengers' Battle of New York.
Avengers: Age of Ultron had no explicit Guardians of the Galaxy references that I can remember. Tony being able to call back to an interaction with Rocket would have been a fun little aside.
- The sequence tallies one more example of the Guardians being a team, standing at each other's side even when a viewer-friendly face, not necessarily a hostile one, joins the mix.
- Rocket + Tony was one of my favorite interactions in the series of comics that I read. It's a dynamic that would flourish with Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark and the Rocket that James Gunn put on screen.