If Avengers: Endgame didn’t make it clear — what with the deaths of Iron Man and Black Widow, the departure of Thor for outer space, and the, uh, old-aged-ness of Captain America — the original MCU Avengers are basically kaput. But what’s not quite as obvious is what the status of the team is now. Do the Avengers even exist anymore in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?Spider-Man: Far From Home leaves this question open. No one seems to know for sure, and even Nick Fury (or Talos posing as Nick Fury) says he doesn’t have a team anymore. So let’s dig into the status of the MCU Avengers, as well as the characters who could make up the next incarnation of the team…
Where Are All the Avengers Now?
The Founding Avengers Who Died
Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff of course both sacrificed themselves during Endgame, with Black Widow taking the plunge in order to acquire the Soul Stone while Tony was mortally wounded when he absorbed the vast energies of the Stark Gauntlet while snapping Thanos and his forces out of existence.
Sure, Black Widow is getting a solo movie, which is currently filming, but that’s expected to be a prequel, with the character remaining dead in the post-Endgame MCU. And yeah, we could get new incarnations of Iron Man and Black Widow at some point, but for now these two Avengers are off the table.
The Founding Avengers Who Split
Steve Rogers, meanwhile, actually wound up surviving the final battle against Thanos, but when it came time to return the various Infinity Stones to their correct place in history, he opted to take a 70-plus-year break in the past, only to emerge in the present as an elderly man. So he’s probably not assembling again any time soon.
Thor, on the other hand, after dealing with survivor’s guilt for much of Endgame, finally found renewed purpose as a hero and teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving Earth for parts unknown. Talos/Fury says in Far From Home that Thor is off-world, so while he could return at some point, we can consider him more Asgardian of the Galaxy and less Avenger for now.
Hawkeye had tried quitting the hero life before, but was always sucked back in Michael Corleone-style. As Endgame ends, however, it seems that he has retired and is returning to his family. That said, reports have indicated that a Disney+ Hawkeye series is being developed that would see Clint Barton teaming up with Kate Bishop, the younger, female Hawkeye from the comics. So we may see him in action again.
The Founding Avenger Who Is the Hulk
Hulk appears to be the only original Avenger who hasn’t definitively stepped down from the team. He handled the controls when sending Cap back to the past, so he’s still hanging in there apparently. Of course, he seemed to have been doing his own thing away from the Avengers during the five-year gap before Scott Lang returned from the Quantum Realm, so there’s no telling if he just went back to his non-Avengers, Professor Hulk life.
The Not-So-New Avengers
The second wave of Avengers who joined up in Age of Ultron, dubbed in some quarters the New Avengers, included Quicksilver (who died in that same film), Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon and War Machine.
Vision also died in Infinity War, and perhaps surprisingly was not resurrected in Endgame. Still, Disney+ has its WandaVision series in the works, which will see the return of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. So while story details surrounding that show are top secret right now, it looks like those two are still on the playing field.
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show
The Falcon is also getting a show on the streaming service with the Winter Soldier, only now he’s Captain America after Steve Rogers handed the mantle (and shield) over to his friend. Don’t be surprised if this show winds up being called Captain America and Bucky when all is said and done, and surely those two would be shoe-ins to head up a new incarnation of the Avengers.
As for War Machine, could it be that his time as a hero has come to an end? He saw his best friend die in Endgame, and perhaps even worse for any IP character, he doesn’t seem to have any new projects in the pipeline…
The Not-Yet Avengers
Here things get a little confusing because it’s hard to determine who is actually an Avenger and who’s just a hero who hung out with the Avengers. Is Doctor Strange an Avenger, for example? He was never actually deputized, unlike Spider-Man (who was by Iron Man in Infinity War). Then again, Strange was a key player in the battles against Thanos. But if that means he qualifies, then doesn’t everyone who showed up in the final battle of Endgame also qualify? Is Wong an Avenger? How about Generic Sorcerer #3?All of which is to say, there are several A-list characters who have gotten their own movies and who would seem to be prime candidates to be the next team of Avengers if Marvel was to go in that direction. Indeed, not that long ago it seemed obvious that these characters would be make up the next iteration of the team. But now that’s less than certain. Aside from Doctor Strange and Spider-Man, you also have the Black Panther — though he’s probably pretty busy running his country, especially after having been missing for five years. Oh, and Ant-Man was never technically made an Avenger either, and according to Paul Rudd a third solo film for the character is not locked.
And then there’s Captain Marvel. She apparently was working with Natasha and others during the five-year gap, which is actually a pretty long time. Does that mean she became an Avenger during that period? And if so, does that mean that Rocket, Nebula and Okoye are also Avengers now? They were all on that conference holo-call with Natasha, after all!
The Phase 4 Avengers
Really, there are so many super-powered heroes out in the open now in the MCU as compared to when the original Avengers first joined up to face Loki that practically anyone could be an Avenger. The real criteria that will surely guide whether or not Kevin Feige and the gods of Marvel decide to launch a new version of the team will be more about audience interest and bringing new character dynamics to the screen.
With the sense of finality that Endgame gave us, do we really want to see a team of heroes we’ve already spent multiple films with? Phase 4 is almost certainly going to include the launch of new characters like the Eternals and Shang-Chi along with sequels (and a prequel) for Doctor Strange, Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man and Black Widow. Perhaps when we finally get the Phase 4 Avengers, they should be a group as fresh and exciting as the original team was when their first film debuted in 2012. At least, let’s hope that’s the case.
Talk to Executive Editor Scott Collura on Twitter at @ScottCollura, or listen to his Star Trek podcast, Transporter Room 3. Or do both!
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