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Nick Fury didn't know that Thanos was on Earth, have all the infinity stones and snapped. Just by looking at Maria Hill getting "dusted", how can he know that it's time to call Captain Marvel? He never called her in previous "end of mankind" situations. Did he already know that the snap going to happen sometime in the future? Or did Dr Strange send the time stone back in time to inform Captain Marvel that the snap would happen and Earth would need her help, so she in turn inform Nick Fury to call her when it happens in the future?

Also we never saw Nick Fury with the pager before. But this time he has it with him in the back of the car, as if he is anticipating the time when he is going to use it, very soon.

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We never saw Nick Fury with the pager before.

That doesn't mean he didn't have it.

Clearly, this time he feels that the issue is disastrous enough, widespread enough and urgent enough to call Captain Marvel as a last resort.

Recall that he has seconds to react and the only thing he has time to do is use the pager.

None of the other events that took place in the MCU on Earth have actually been "end of mankind" (or half of it) level. One could argue the Chitauri invasion but that's what he had the Avengers for at the time.


As for your other questions, the simple answer is We don't know but the upcoming Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame MIGHT provide some answers there.

  • I wonder, did the writers for Avengers 1 have that in mind when Fury mentioned another option, I thought he was talking about the Avengers. I need to go nerd out and watch again right during that scene when talking to the directors about the nuclear strike. – enorl76 Jan 11 at 1:33
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In Universe: It is never explained, he is never seen with it before and never mentions it, so simply put, we don't know, most likely as others have said its a minor plot hole, but one that can be explained later. think back to other post credit scenes, when we first saw Bucky with his arm in a vice being approached by Cap and Falcon, many people would probably asked how did they capture Bucky in a vice... its the same here. its not part of the main film only a post credit scene so doesn't require explaining in that film

Out of universe: they needed a plot device to bring her back in, so wrote it in without needing back story.

Back to in universe: and be warned theres a lot of speculation coming here...

Its safe to assume he was given it by Captain Marvel, and she would have most likely said call me only if the world is ending and you have no other choice...

In all other films and situations Fury had choices so he didn't use it. but this time, Cap and his team are no where to be found (by Fury at least), neither is Vision, War Machine or Black Widow, and he probably can't call on the King of Wakanda especially when he knows that something is happening over the top of Wakanda as stated by Hill, and Iron man is gone... and then people start to vanish in front of his eyes... well eye.

From his perspective, its the end of the world, and he has no other choice

I wouldn't be surprised however if the post credit scene from captain marvel was something like the below:

Ant man appears in the past to Fury, using the temporal portal things mentioned in Antman and the Wasp, having gone back in time to warn him, if this (events of the snap) starts happening call Captain Marvel immediately!

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As for why he didn't make the call sooner when the world was in serious danger, my best guess is that it's not much more than a plot hole that comes up from adding retroactive stories. It could be resolved in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie with something along the line of "don't call for me unless Thanos begins to attack and you see your friend and half the world turn to dust." But that seems rather heavy handed to me, and we won't know for sure until then.

  • From Nick Fury's perspective, the news about Iron Man missing is just literally hours before traveling in the city and nearly wrecking with the snapocolypse SUV driver. He's barely got time to react after Maria dusts away to realize just how bad it might be. – enorl76 Jan 11 at 1:35

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