After a long wait, Captain Marvel, aka the most powerful Avenger in the MCU, is back, and this time, she’s not alone. The Marvels sees Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) team up with her old friend Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), better known as Ms Marvel, to battle the Kree warrior Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton).
While that brief outline may make the newest chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem simple, there’s plenty of intrigue, action, and fun along the way (read our The Marvels review if you don’t believe us). As a result, it’s possible you got lost while watching your favorite Marvel characters kick butt. Well, don’t worry. We’ve broken down the ending if you need a refresher or just want to stay up to date on the latest goings on in the MCU.
- Dar-Benn is using the Quantum Bands to steal resources from former planets that are important to Carol Danvers.
- Kamala Khan begins the work of putting together the Young Avengers.
- Monica Rambeau is left stranded on the parallel Earth where the X-Men exist.
The Marvels ending explained
To understand The Marvels’ ending, you need to know two things. The first is that following the events of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers traveled to the Kree homeworld, Hala, and destroyed the Supreme Intelligence, the AI that led their society. Carol believed that blowing up the abominable AI would set the Kree free, but all it did was cause a civil war as various factions fought for power.
To compound matters, Hala has been completely drained of resources, and the Kree sun is dying. That’s what makes Dar-Benn hunt down one of the Quantum Bands, and she plans on using its vast power to rip open jump points to bring the resources of other worlds to Hala. Unfortunately, due to some sci-fi shenanigans (and the fact that Kamala Khan has one of the bangles), doing so causes Carol Danvers, Monica, and Kamala to be entangled on a quantum level, meaning they swap places whenever they use their powers.
Throughout the movie, The Marvels (the name Kamala gives the team) do their best to try and stop Dar-Benn, but the chaos caused by their swapping (and the fact Dar-Benn’s Quantum Band can absorb their powers) leads them to lose every fight. As Dar-Benn robs more and more planets of their resources, it becomes clear to Carol that this isn’t just about saving Hala. It’s about revenge.
Looking at the list of planets that have been attacked, Carol works out that they all have some significance to her and that Earth is next. Monica, as the group’s scientist, realizes Dar-Benn is targeting Earth’s Sun, and sure enough, the Kree soon arrives in our Solar System.
Before Dar-Benn can rob the Sun of its light, our heroes arrive and finally learn to work together, defeating the Kree warlord in spectacular fashion. As Dar-Benn nurses her wounds, Monica points out that Carol could use her powers to reignite Hala’s Sun, and there was no need for this violence. Dar-Benn’s so consumed by her need for revenge that she betrays Carol almost immediately and steals Kamala’s Quantum Band.
Now armed with two bands, Dar-Benn rips space and time apart like it’s tissue paper, and the rift begins to consume our star. Unfortunately, the power’s too much for the Kree warlord, and she’s disintegrated. Things go from bad to worse, though, as all of space-time starts to fall apart due to all the unstable jump points Dar-Benn had created, and a singularity to another dimension opens up.
With all of reality on the line, Monica comes up with a plan. If she absorbs the energy of the bands and Captain Marvel, she can use her powers to close the rift. What she doesn’t tell her friends, though, is that doing so will trap her on the other side, and in the last few minutes of the film, that’s exactly what happens. Monica saves the day but is stranded in an unknown dimension.
As the pair grieve their fallen friend, we cut to them clearing out Monica’s house, and an optimistic Carol tells Kamala that she’s just keeping an eye on the house until Monica gets back. Carol also makes sure to keep her promise to Dar-Benn and reignites Hala’s sun using her powers.
Before the credits roll, though, we get one more scene of Kamala. The mutant has managed to track down Kate Bishop and wants to know how she feels about putting together a team of young heroes, even suggesting they recruit Ant-Man’s daughter next.
The Marvels post-credit scene explained
Meanwhile, in an unknown medical facility, Monica wakes up and is shocked to find her dead mother, Maria Rambeau, sitting beside her. As Monica breaks down in tears, it quickly becomes clear something is wrong, though, as Maria has no idea who her daughter is.
Fan favorite X-Men character, Dr Hank McCoy, aka Beast (voiced by Kelsey Grammar himself), walks into the room to explain what’s happened. The merry mutant believes Monica traveled from another dimension parallel to their own. As he goes to give an update to Charles (presumably Professor X, although which one?) Maria stands up, revealing she’s wearing a superhero costume and is this universe’s version of Binary, before asking Monica, “Who the hell are you?”
While the film doesn’t outright state it, it seems likely to us at least that in the X-Men dimension, Monica was the one who was exposed to the cosmic energy of the Tesseract and gained the powers of Captain Marvel.
What does this all mean?
We’ll start with the obvious. It seems that Kamala Khan’s likely building her own team of young Avengers. The question is, does she have Nick Fury’s permission to do so? The ‘intel’ Kamala had on Kate seemed to come from a data pad the super spy left on her couch, which suggests he’s uninvolved, but come on. This is Nick Fury we’re talking about.
The Marvel superspy doesn’t make mistakes, and it seems more than likely he left it there deliberately so Kamala could band together a new generation of heroes. Will they be the Young Avengers or The Champions? We’ll have to wait and find out!
What’s far more intriguing, though, is the reveal that Fox’s X-Men universe is part of the Marvel multiverse. We expected as much after No Way Home, but it’s good to get confirmation on these things. We think this will have massive repercussions in Marvel’s Phase 6 when we get to Secret Wars, but if you want to know more about that, we’ve got a full theory here.