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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.

20

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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    'None of the other events that took place in the MCU on Earth have actually been "end of mankind" (or half of it) level.' - well, there's Malekith trying to UNMAKE REALITY in Thor: The Dark World, and Dormammu trying to absorb Earth into his dimension in Dr. Strange, as well as Ego unleashing a goop that would essentially turn the Earth into himself in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Not to mention Ultron was literally forcing an extinction-level event, where Nick Fury was personally involved in trying to stop him. – DariM Jan 28 at 1:16
  • I don't see a point to make an answer that will be very close. But basically, in all other situation, Fury still had time to do 'something else'. And he would still had time to revert to the pager if that 'something else did not work'. – dna Jan 29 at 10:39
7

Now that Captain Marvel is out, we finally know why. At the end of Captain Marvel, Carol makes some changes to the pager with her Kree technology, and told Fury to call her "Only in emergencies".

Later in the post credit scene, we see that

Cap, Nat, Bruce and Rhodey have found the pager and are connecting it to some computer trying to find out who Fury contacted before disappearing, but it's loosing signal, and right after the signal goes off, Captain Marvel is right there asking Nat "where is Fury?".

It appears that months (if not years) have passed since Thanos snapped half the universe, and in the first and second Avengers movies, Fury didn't have months, he had to quickly assemble the Avengers to fight the Chitauri.

Update :

After rewatching the post-credit scene, I noticed 3 things at the very beginning of the scene, first

Cap still has his beard and long hair <3, and in the Endgame trailer we see that he cut his hair and shaved his beard.

The second is that

Cap says to Nat that it's a nightmare, she respond that she has seen better nightmares, they are still shocked about the snap.

And the third is that

The number of the missing people is still increasing in different areas of the world(billions of people).

From the 3 points, I conclude that I was wrong before, and that :

the snap happened only few days or weeks before that scene and not months as i said before. But still, Fury didn't have time to do anything else than to call Carol and when he sees people disappearing, he knew that the Avengers have failed and that he need to call someone else.

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    Please don't hide the entirety of the answer behind a huge empty box. Either find ways to have the answer also make sense without reading the spoiler blocks, or leave them altogether. For more information, see the relevant meta discussion as well as the help center. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 7 at 14:13
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    @NapoleonWilson Dude, it's a spoiler and i don't want to spoile everybody, with my answer, that's why the spoiler tags exist – Dhon Joe Mar 7 at 14:15
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    Then try to have the answer make sense without the spoiler blocks, too. Either put some effort into it or leave the spoiler blocks away. But just slapping a spoiler block onto the whole thing isn't gonna cut it. I'll give you some time to work out how to make the answer make sense without the spoiler blocks, after that they're either gone or they'll be made gone. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 7 at 14:16
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    Dude, please listen to us. Spoiler markup should be used sparingly, and we mostly use them for questions where people might not realize before it is too late. Someone who doesn't want to be spoiled by Captain Marvel spoilers will NOT be reading this answer. – iandotkelly Mar 7 at 14:23
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    I know you tried, but the way you formatted it, it does not even say that it's a spoiler, for someone who does not want to know what will happen, it's just a TRAP, you can edit the answer, but at least don't remove the SPOILER ALERT phrase – Dhon Joe Mar 7 at 14:26
4

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!

2

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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