(This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War)
So, Avengers: Infinity War has finally made its way to cinemas but just as some will have suspected the movie has left us with more questions than answers. Following the half-the-life-in-the-universe-ending ‘snap’, how do Earth’s Mightiest plan to reverse the damage done in Infinity War (if it’s even possible)? Well, the recent film itself may offer up the best clues as to how it could be done.
Following Thanos’ death ‘snap’, it looks as though only the original six Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and, most likely, Hawkeye, are still alive (with one or two exceptions), meaning they will have to be the ones to make the ultimate sacrifice to bring back the “trillions” that vanished. That doesn’t necessarily mean death for all of them, but surely someone will have to pay the price for meddling with time – the way that we assume they will be undoing the final events of Infinity War.
Judging by the set image shown below it seems like the team, or some of the team, will be going back to the Battle of New York from the first Avengers movie, among other things, as we can see an older, grey-haired Tony Stark and Ant-Man (who wasn’t around then) standing beside Captain America looking just like he did in the 2012 film.
Infinity War seemed to place Doctor Strange as being the one who is most in-the-know about all this which is made evident by the fact that he saw all the millions of potential outcomes of the conflict – including the one where Earth’s Mightiest Heroes win – which could very well still be a possibility given that Strange was the last one to possess the time stone before giving it to Thanos. He may have placed some sort of magic on it that meant that those that vanished after the ‘snap’ may have been sent back in time, or to another dimension, rather than be completely gone forever. While that’s just a wild guess at this point, the fact that Strange says “It was the only way” to Tony after giving the stone over to the Mad Titan may indicate that it was the “only way” to ultimately win against Thanos in the end.
Then there’s also the MCU‘s upcoming character additions in the likes of Brie Larson’s Captain Marveland the teased existence of Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Guardians filmmaker James Gunn has said that Warlock will be used in Guardians Vol. 3, rather than Avengers 4, which could mean that Guardians 3 could be all about bringing Gamora back – given that Warlock’s character is heavily involved in the Soul World in the comics, and of course Gamora was sacrificed in the process of Thanos obtaining the Soul Stone in Infinity War meaning she may be trapped in the Soul World rather than being dead.
Captain Marvel has been teased as the MCU‘s new most powerful hero and following her solo film, headed to cinemas in March of 2019, will no doubt be joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Avengers 4 given that Infinity War‘s post-credits scene showed Nick Fury paging her specifically for help just before he died. Speaking of powerful beings, the Hulk was acting up a bit in Infinity War after his humiliating defeat to Thanos at the beginning of the movie, but we may possibly see him becoming an even stronger version of himself akin to Worldbreaker Hulk, or possibly Red Hulk, in the comics that could definitely be capable of bringing the fight to Thanos the second time round.
Of course, Disney and 20th Century Fox are now waiting for Government approval on their recent deal that would see the Mouse House taking control of the majority of Fox’s film and TV properties, including the X-Men and Fantastic Four. The company’s CEO Bob Iger has already stated that Fox’s Marvel characters would be rolled into Marvel Studios’ MCU when and if the deal goes through. But could the Mutants and the Fantastics show up in time for Avengers 4? The answer is most likely no simply due to the fact that it might take a number of years before the deal is approved.
Other possibilities for Avengers 4 involve The Vision who, while no longer having the Mind Stone with him, may live on simply by the fact that he’s more than just that – Banner states that he is made up of Jarvis, Ultron, Tony and Banner himself. The final shot of Infinity War showed the original Avengers standing by an incapacitated Vision looking as though his suit had turned black and white, something that has happened in the comics. Also, Karen Gilan’s Nebula is still alive and currently stationed with Tony on Titan. Nebula is key to the final part of the Infinity Gauntlet story in the comics, taking the Gauntlet from Thanos and righting his wrongs, while also causing universe wide problems of her own. Perhaps she could be the one to don the Gauntlet in order to destroy Thanos, for killing her beloved sister Gamora, during Avengers 4.
So, ultimately Avengers 4 could see the core superhero team either engaging in time travel, or inter-dimensional travel, to undo some of the damage done in Infinity War but not without putting their own lives at risk in the process. Judging by Iron Man’s overall character arc throughout the course of the MCU it seems he is the most likely candidate for death through self-sacrifice to save the universe in the end. Additional characters such as Captain Marvel, Nebula and Ant-Man will likely have their big moments, and it may well be that the remaining heroes are all divided up into smaller teams, much like with Infinity War, in order to fight the final battle on multiple fronts.
More on Avengers 4 as it happens.
Avengers 4 is set for release May 5th, 2019