As Avengers: Endgame inches ever closer, it’s time once again to predict the fates of its now-iconic characters. This week, we focus on the heroes that didn’t make it out of Infinity War in one piece.
But no one stays dead in comics. So as we take a closer look at all those we’ve lost, let’s ponder the potential for their return. Because as Captain Kirk once said about his own fallen (and soon resurrected) colleague, “There are always possibilities.”
Unless you’re Batman’s parents or Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, death is never permanent in comic book stories, so of course, many of the deceased heroes from Infinity War will somehow be returned to life. And while I’m not going to try and predict exactly how they’re all brought back, let’s instead focus on who will return and what that might mean for the future of the MCU.
In keeping with heroes from the stars, let’s begin by checking in with two of the mightiest…
He was right.
Not only did the Mad Titan beat the living Hell out of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), he then tragically killed Heimdall by stabbing him through the heart, before brutally choking out and snapping the neck of the greatest trickster of them all, Loki.
And now, with a bevy of superheroes joining them on the sidelines, what’s in store for Loki and Heimdall in Endgame?
Not much, I’m afraid.
While I believe we will see many (if not most) of the fallen heroes returned to life (or existence, whatever) before the Endgame credits roll, I don’t think this will be the case for our two deceased Asgardians.
Despite how awesome Idris Elba is, Heimdall was never a major character in the MCU, so his death was pretty much a given. And as far as Loki is concerned, Thanos made a point of saying, “No resurrections this time,” essentially speaking for the filmmakers to let us know that Loki will stay dead (for once). Yes, he has his own Disney Plus television series on the way, but unlike the upcoming Black Widow film, I believe we’ll see Loki’s story told via prequel.
Who knows, with the Infinity Stones and Quantum Realm in play, maybe both Heimdall and Loki will be returning to life (especially if my forthcoming prediction about a certain other Asgardian comes to full fruition), but for the here and now, I can’t see it.
PREDICTION: Both remain dead.
I don’t think we’re quite ready to leave the cosmos behind. So…
Like Captain Marvel back in Part One, this one seems quite easy.
The Guardians of the Galaxy really took a hit during Infinity War, didn’t they? All but Rocket (Bradley Cooper) were killed or became victims of the Snap, leaving us to wonder… how will James Gunn bring their third film to life? I mean, he didn’t set up Adam Warlock for nothing, right?
Well, it’s not a huge call to assume that through the magic of storytelling, ALL of the Guardians will be returned to life before Endgame is said and done.
PREDICTION: The Guardians of the Galaxy will ALL return to complete their trilogy.
But what about…?
GAMORA (Zoe Saldana).
She wasn’t a victim of the Snap. She didn’t fade away into ash after Thanos clicked his fingers and changed reality. No, she was killed the old-fashioned way, so if she’s coming back, how does it happen?
In the finale of Infinity War, just after Thanos has executed his most-heinous plan, we get a glimpse of him seemingly surrounded by a mystical, orange realm and confronted by the younger version of Gamora (Ariana Greenblatt) we saw earlier in the movie.
Safe to say, it appears as though this was the reality inside the Soul Stone, an existence where the spirits of those offered up as sacrifices (to obtain said Stone) wind up. Okay, sure, but if Gamora is essentially ‘still alive’ inside this realm, how does she get out?
Enter NEBULA (Karen Gillan).
I believe Nebula is the key to her sister’s restoration. I can see the majority of those taken by the Snap coming back thanks to Quantum Realm shenanigans; but personally, I think Gamora’s return is going to be as gut-wrenching as her death.
When Red Skull offered Thanos a chance to collect the Soul Stone, it came with a heavy price: the death of one he loved. “A soul for a soul.” The Russos were adamant we as viewers understood exactly how obtaining the Soul Stone could be achieved, and I believe the reason was to plant the seeds for a similar exchange in Endgame.
Put simply, if Gamora is indeed alive (in some form) inside the Soul Stone, the only way to bring her out is to offer another soul in her place. Nebula will be that soul. She’ll offer herself to the Soul Stone in exchange for her sister’s life, and commit herself to a new plane of existence while a newly-resurrected and tearful Gamora laments her sister’s ultimate sacrifice.
PREDICTION: NEBULA dies / takes Gamora’s place in the Soul Stone.
What about the other victims of the Snap? If they all return, then what? Well, let’s continue with the MCU’s perfect odd-couple…
Two very popular Avengers and both of Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) closest friends were reduced to ash in Infinity War. Bucky was even the very first to go, kicking off a horrible trend that soon claimed Sam as well.
However, like all other Snap victims likely to be brought back in Endgame, both Bucky and Sam are going to have their work cut out for them heading into the future. If what many (including myself) assume is going to happen to another prominent Avenger actually happens, then both Sam and Bucky are going to need each other more than ever.
More on that in Part Three…
Going forward in the MCU, Bucky and Sam’s predicted newfound and strengthened friendship is going to be interesting and no doubt inspiring to watch, forming a formidable pairing in a new-look Avengers squad.
They may even find themselves as good-natured rivals, fighting over a certain shield.
PREDICTION: Both return to compete for a vacant star-spangled moniker.
Now, don’t forget the King and the Princess…
While it’s pretty safe to assume a resurrected T’Challa will return to his juggernaut franchise as King of Wakanda (with Danai Gurira’s Okoye) and likely take up more of a leadership role in a new-look Avengers line-up, I’m more interested in what might happen to Shuri in a post-Endgame MCU.
If, as I already predicted in Part One, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) finally retires and leaves behind the Iron Man persona forever, the Avengers will have a spot open for a plucky, genius-inventor in a mechanical suit of armour.
I think Shuri’s primed and ready to adopt the role of Ironheart, a character from the Marvel Comics, who, while admittedly not traditionally Shuri, is ripe for the picking. Since Shuri was at times the actual Black Panther in the comics (and since Chadwick Boseman isn’t going anywhere for a while), why not pay tribute to the character and have her become the new (for lack of a better term) Iron Man? Letitia Wright is a talented young actress who can more than hold her own against the Hollywood heavyweights, so give her a larger role in the MCU, one that’s better than just her brother’s weapons designer.
Now admittedly, it’s not my original idea, but making Shuri into Ironheart is certainly one I can really get behind, especially if Endgame is the last we’ll see of Tony Stark (in the suit).
PREDICTION: T’Challa returns to the throne and Shuri becomes Ironheart.
Admittedly, there isn’t a huge amount to predict about this next batch…
DR. STEPHEN STRANGE (Benedict Cumberbatch), NICK FURY (Samuel L. Jackson) & MARIA HILL (Cobie Smulders), HANK & JANET PYM (Michael Douglas & Michelle Pfeiffer) and HOPE VAN DYNE / THE WASP (Evangeline Lilly).
Let’s keep it short-but-sweet. Since these guys are all very likely to be resurrected, I don’t have a lot to say about their futures. Dr. Strange will return to the Sanctum Sanctorum to keep protecting our reality, Nick Fury and Maria Hill will go back to their S.H.I.E.L.D.-like existence (with the slight-slight-slight possibility Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) somehow returns alongside them), and the Wasp and her parents will continue to work in the advancement of miniature / Quantum Realm technology, no doubt with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).
It’s pretty simple and not at all Earth-shattering, but there you have it. Sorry.
PREDICTION: Strange, Fury, Hill, Hope and the Pyms return to continue in their various MCU franchises.
Now, unlike the previous predictions, the next one concerns the most tear-inducing post-Snap-death of them all…
PETER PARKER / SPIDER-MAN (Tom Holland).
This one broke our hearts. Big time.
We watched with shock alongside Tony Stark as Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis and Dr. Strange faded from existence, proving to movie audiences that Thanos’ actions had immediate and dire consequences. Then things got even worse, once we heard those now-infamous words, “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good…”
Watching Peter go was easily the most devastating loss of Infinity War. I mean, you’d think of all people, Marvel wouldn’t kill off Spider-Man, their number one guy? But they did.
“But wait,” I hear you say. “You’re so confident that all the heroes killed by the Snap are coming back. Why single out Spider-Man?”
Because I think Spider-Man’s story in Endgame will only be the beginning of a much longer arc for the character. However it happens, whether it be via the Quantum Realm, or time-travel, or simply gathering the Infinity Stones from Thanos and undoing what he did, however the Avengers manage to restore their fallen brethren, I am sure of one thing: Those brought back will have zero recollection of their former deaths.
Except for Peter.
We know Spider-Man has a new movie on its way. Far From Home is being released mere months after Endgame. So yes, we know Peter will be back to continue his own film series (and no, Kevin Feige, I’m not falling for your wishy-washy attempts to convince us that Far From Home is set before Infinity War).
Again, we ‘know’ Peter will be fine. Eventually. But take another look at the trailers for Far From Home. A lot of the scenes seem to focus on a more melancholy Peter Parker who doesn’t seem too keen to don his Spidey suit again, going so far as to leave it behind when he and his school pals jet off to Europe.
Why is he so down? I know many of you will simply say, “Uh, because Tony is dead.” Well, since I already predicted that Iron Man will survive in Part One, I think there’s more to it.
In my opinion, while the majority of the resurrected heroes will have no memory of their deaths (since they may never technically have ever happened), I believe that Peter’s ‘spidey-sense’ will somehow interject to make him question this new reality, and at some point he’s going to learn the truth, possibly from the horse’s, or in this case, Tony’s own mouth.
Learning of his own death will mess with Peter’s usually-glib mindset and cause him to ponder his own mortality, potentially creating a nagging little doubt monster to live inside his head. This will give Spider-Man an internal struggle to contend with in Far From Home to match his physical battle against the long-awaited Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), and this time, he won’t have (a happily retired) Mr. Stark to bail him out.
PREDICTION: Our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man returns, but with emotional baggage to work through in his own upcoming movie.
Speaking of emotional baggage, to finish off this round of predictions, we look at the MCU’s version of Romeo and Juliet. That is, if Romeo were a robot and Juliet was a witch.
While watching Spider-Man turn to dust in Infinity War was heartbreaking, seeing Vision die not once, but twice was equally as distressing. Not only did Wanda have to kill her lover to save the universe, she had to watch as Thanos used the Time Stone to bring him back and tear the Mind Stone from his forehead.
Anyway, like the others, Wanda will be back, through whatever means those affected by the Snap return to the MCU. But what about Vision? Like Gamora and Loki and Heimdall, he was killed before Thanos used his Infinity Stones. So how can he come back?
Personally, if it were up to me, I’d leave him dead. While I love Paul Bettany in the role, I feel there needs to be some lasting effects of death, and if I were writing the new flick, I’d leave Vision as grey as Optimus Prime’s corpse.
But, since I’m not writing Endgame and being that Vision is essentially a synthetic person, made up of the personalities of Tony Stark and his former A.I. – J.A.R.V.I.S., Bruce Banner and the ‘evil super-bot’, Ultron (James Spader), even without the Mind Stone, I think it’s safe to say Vision can be repaired.
Shuri was attempting to remove the Mind Stone from Vision before everything went wrong in Wakanda, so there is a decent chance he can exist without it. Maybe the combined talents of Banner and the ever-handy Rocket can fix him, or just maybe, if the Avengers get their hands on a different Infinity Stone, who says that one can’t replace the Mind Stone to create a new, different version of Vision? It would be interesting to say the least. However, I think we’ll see a newly-repaired Vision without a stone, leaving him vastly underpowered and ironically more human than ever.
Oh, but before we go, one more thing about Wanda…
Remember her brother, Pietro (Aaron-Taylor Johnson)? The speedster who died in Age of Ultron? Well, for one last Red Skull-like Russo Brothers surprise, I think he’ll be back. Either through time-travel, perhaps the power of the Reality Stone, or even an old-fashioned flashback, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Quicksilver.
Although, if the universe is about balance, then maybe Wanda’s bittersweet story will be to rejoice at the return of Vision, only to be haunted by the secondary death of her brother.
Time will tell. Perhaps literally in this case.
PREDICTION: Wanda (and Pietro) will return with the other Snap victims and Vision is repaired, but without most of his powers.
There’s one set of predictions left, where we’ll check in with (and predict the fates of) some of the greatest Avengers ever…
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