At some point in the not so distant future, it will get to the stage when the Marvel post-credits scenes can be knitted together to form a feature-length collection of mini-chapters teasing the next step in the franchise as a sort of living museum. So far, they've inspired millions of fans the world over to stay seated well beyond the usual quitting time, in the hope of seeing some extraordinary tease of what is to come.
The rewards for sitting through reams and reams of names and obscure job titles has occasionally been revelatory or occasionally just entertaining. Sometimes it's been barely worth the hassle, but no matter what the stingers reveal, a culture and a currency has sprung up around the scenes that makes it pretty much impossible to resist staying.
For the most part, the scenes have teased the next movie in the franchise, doubling down on the idea of a shared universe in a very tangible way - though some film-makers have thrown curve-balls with sequel teases or throw-away gags instead. Even in those more disposable moments, there is often hidden meaning, and it's interesting to look back on the history of the MCU stingers to chart the map they drew.