How Marvel Breaks New Ground with 'Iron Man 3' Post-credits Scene

If you didn't stick around for the post-credit scene in "Iron Man 3," go back to the theater right now and remedy that mistake.

OK, welcome back!

Now, are you ready to talk about that scene? Cause we sure are! But don't fret; we'll kindly do so after the break, so as not to spoil anything for those scrolling our Movie Talk blog.

Besides one of the two in "The Avengers," all of Marvel's previous post-credits scenes have teased future movies in some way. Because of this, there's been rampant speculation about what "Phase 2" (or even "Phase 3") title they might tease in "Iron Man 3."

Many hypothesized we'd see a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sighting, as that film is due out late next summer. And ever since "The Avengers" opened up that portal of Earth-attacking aliens, Tony Stark has been designing Iron Man suits capable of going into space. Which is where one would find said Guardians.

Others thought "Ant-Man," slated for November 2015, would be perfect for a preview, especially since director Edgar Wright tweeted that besides "The World's End," he directed one other scene in a summer 2013 movie. Of course, he later tried to squelch those rumors with another tweet, but Internet rumors die harder than John McClane.

Alas, after all the speculation, "Iron Man 3" offers no such previews.

What we do get is another funny relationship moment, much like the famous shawarma-eating scene in "The Avengers," when the team grubs down after the Battle of New York.

After the credits in "Iron Man 3," we see Tony (Robert Downey, Jr.) on a couch, supposedly telling his woes to a shrink. As the camera pans out, we see Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), aka the Hulk, nodding off.

When Tony yells at the good doctor to wake up, Banner replies, "You know, I'm not that kind of doctor."

What's really nice about the scene is that it ties together the movie we just watched, because we finally understand why Tony Stark has been narrating this tale in the first place.

While doing press for "Iron Man 3," Marvel President Kevin Feige revealed to Collider how the Easter egg after-credits scene ultimately came about: "We had an idea of that particular Easter egg, but frankly, hadn't cracked it. Mr. Downey helped us crack it."

While the post-credits scene might not be a tease, it is nice to know that the Hulk and Iron Man are hanging out together. Is it safe to assume that they've been hanging out ever since we saw them last, when Tony gave Bruce a ride out of Central Park at the end of "The Avengers"?

One thing we do know is that Iron Man and the Hulk, as well as some old friends and new, will be hanging tough again soon (not soon enough) when "The Avengers 2" opens in May 2015.

Here's the scene. Thanks ljubavirakija for linking to it!