This article contains Avengers: Infinity War spoilers.
With Infinity War solidly in the rear-view mirror, thoughts have naturally turned to next year’s follow-up Avengers 4 in which some or all of our favorite characters will live again, possibly for the last time.
Right now, all we know about Avengers 4 is that it WON’T be called Infinity War Part 2, and that the reason it wasn’t released in advance is because it could constitute a spoiler. Assuming that Marvel Studios and its creators haven’t been lying to us, we had to wonder: what are the options, and what might the movies contain?
Of all the potential options, this one seems the most likely. First off, it starts with a homophone for the number four, and this is, after all, the 4th movie. It also references the rallying cry “Wakanda Forever” which has proven hugely popular in Black Panther. And, of course, in terms of potential spoilers, the title Avengers Forever instantly lets comic fans know that this story will involve time-travel. After the ending of Infinity War, a reference to time travel would make it reasonably clear how Thanos is going to be defeated. If you had to put money on anything, this is where you should put it.
The only problem is that the Russos recently called Avengers: Forever “the closest guess” they’d seen. Are they really going to quibble over a colon, or is the reason it’s the closest guess because it’s actually just the title. How much closer can you get?
Avengers: Heroes Reborn/Heroes Return
In the late ’90s, Marvel farmed out its core heroes to creators working at Image Comics after sales on (and interest in) the Avengers titles dipped. The storyline, Heroes Reborn, saw Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Fantastic Four transported to a pocket universe where they lived their lives over again. Twelve issues later, when they made their way back to the “real” Marvel Comics universe, the storyline and subsequent relaunch was called Heroes Return.
Either one of these titles would fit a movie in which a number of thought-dead heroes returned to a world in which the general public through they had perished, though the former would certainly recall some, er, creatively uneven comics in a way that makes the latter only a sliver more likely.
Preceding the Brian Bendis era of Avengers, this major story saw the Avengers falling prey to a variety of threats before being “permanently” undone by the actions of the Scarlet Witch, who had been driven insane by her limitless powers. All things considered, this storyline would’ve made a better title for Avengers 3 than Avengers 4, and despite her prominence in Infinity War, there is a relatively minor hurdle to clear in that what’s left of the Scarlet Witch would currently fit in a modestly-sized ashtray.
Regardless, the Scarlet Witch may yet be back, and if she is she could potentially do something that leads to the team being disbanded. But I wouldn’t expect them to end TWO movies on a downer… right?
The New Avengers
Hey, if it worked for John Steed, it can work for Steve Rogers. But jokes aside, after the Avengers had been “disassembled” by the Scarlet Witch’s breakdown, the team re-formed as “The New Avengers” with a new lineup which included (for the first time) Spider-Man, and a mysterious new character named Ronin – and later characters like Dr. Strange and Captain Marvel. Not only is Spider-Man already on the team (er, aside from being a pile of dust) but set pictures have shown one of the Avengers wearing a costume that is, at the very least, more like Ronin’s than the one you’d traditionally expect to see on them.
Unfortunately for this title, there’s not a huge amount it can spoil from the situation the team is left in at the end of Infinity War. It’s possible, but no more apt than many on this lift.
Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet (or Infinity Crusade)
The movie of Infinity War actually matches the story of Infinity Crusade more closely than its sequel, Infinity War. But that does mean Marvel has two potential trilogy parts to use up in Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity Crusade. I’m not sure either of these passes the ‘is a spoiler’ test, not least because Marvel Studios has been extremely vague in adapting stories as it is – and Infinity War contained NONE of the other-universe doppelgangers of its comic version.
All that said, the Russos COULD have meant that knowing the title of Avengers 4 was Infinity Gauntlet would make it clear that the aforementioned glove survived Infinity War, which would be a spoiler. Outside change, anyway.
Avengers: Galactic Storm/Kree-Skrull War/Infinity
All storylines which you could loosely adapt into a movie by combining the elements of Infinity War – space travel, aliens, Infinity Stones and Thanos – but let’s be fair, none of these really stand out. It wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Captain Marvel’s own movie (or its sequel) adapt the Kree-Skrull War in some form. Galactic Storm, meanwhile, sounds too generic. And Infinity is too close to Infinity War.
Again, nothing’s off the list, but… let’s not get too excited about these.
Because it’s Avengers, but with a few characters missing.
Avengers 4 opens on May 3, 2019. The full Marvel movie release schedule can be found here.