Marvel fans are trying to process the events of Avengers: Infinity War right now, but that hasn't stopped talk of what's coming in Avengers 4! More than that, fans are talking about what comes next after the Infinity War sequel, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expected to get something of a soft reboot.
We're particularly excited by all the setup and foreshadow that has started with Avengers: Infinity War, and are looking forward to how those storylines will likely come to fruition in MCU Phase 4. Read below for eight great MCU storylines that will be set up by Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
Captain Marvel is currently poised to be one of the major saviors of the MCU, after Nick Fury contacted her just before Thanos erased half the universe. We have no idea how the Captain Marvel movie will connect to Avengers 4, but there are major fan theories that the Infinity War sequel's post-credits scene will reveal Carol Danvers' shape-shifting alien foes The Skrulls have infiltrated the MCU. Indeed, "Secret Invasion" seems like the logical next step for MCU Phase 4's over-arching storyline, and that's fine by us!
This Marvel Comics storyline came from the same writer (Jonathan Hickman) that wrote the Infinity story that Avengers: Infinity War is heavily based on. In it, various realities of the Marvel multiverse are combined into one world controlled by Doctor Doom, before being merged into one amalgamated Marvel Comics Universe. Clearly, after Infinity War there will need to be some method to explain how Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four characters end up in the MCU, and there are already hints that a "Secret Wars" movie will pave the way.
It's clear from Avengers: Infinity War's final act that Wakanda will never be the same again after both the Black Order and Outriders' attack, and the tragic loss of the Wakandan people and their king, T'Challa, after Thanos used the power of the Infinity Gauntlet for his terrible designs. No matter what happens in Avengers 4, Wakanda will have had to soldier on without its king, and that means other prominent figures will have had to step up in T'Challa's place. Shuri is expected to take up the throne and Black Panther mantle like she did in the comics, and based on the losses Wakanda suffered, T'Challa's return may not receive a warm welcome. Phase 4 could easily see the king of Wakanda get banished from his homeland, forced to make his way as a full-fledged Avenger.
After Avengers 4, it's widely speculated that the "O.G. Avengers" team from the first film -- who were all conspicuously spared from Thanos' terrible wish -- will either be killed or retire as a result of restoring the universe to its proper order. In the wake of that event, many fans expect that Phase 4 will bring some kind of "New Avengers" reboot of the team, using some of the newer characters that have joined the MCU or new versions of characters we know.
One of Avengers: Infinity War's most powerful scenes is Rocket and Thor reflecting on all the tragedy and loss the latter hero has suffered during Phases One through Three of the MCU saga. When Avengers 4 is done, the story of Thor and the Asgardians will definitely need to be addressed, and the Thor Phase 4 movie could do that in any number of ways. The comics have seen Thor lose his Thunder god status, Asgard resurrected as a city that floats over the middle America heartland, and even seen Thor continue as "Odinson" while a new host (Jane Foster) became a female version of Thor. Any one of those (or all of them) would be prime subjects to tackle in a Phase 4 film.
The loss of major S.H.I.E.L.D. figures like Nick Fury and Maria Hill at the end of Infinity War will leave a big hole in government-sponsored espionage and law enforcement -- which is exactly where the first threads of a "Dark Reign" storyline for Phase 4 could begin to sprout. In the comics, "Dark Reign" saw Spider-Man nemesis Norman Osborn put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s replacement, H.A.M.M.E.R., and use the opportunity to fill the organization with supervillains who pose as heroes.
One of the biggest bits of chatter about the future stories that Infinity War is setting up is no doubt Nova! When Infinity War begins, Thanos already has the Infinity Stone that the Nova Corps was guarding, and later we hear that the Novas' home planet of Xandar has been ravaged. With the Nova Corps seemingly gone, Phase 4 is free to introduce the Corps' last Centurion, the Marvel Comics Nova we know and love. According to Kevin Feige, that might already be in the works...
The original Marvel Comics "Infinity Gauntlet" storyline ended with the six Infinity Gems (now Stones) being split up between six "Guardians" working under Adam Warlock, who each mastered and protected a stone, so that they would never be gathered together and used for evil again. Avengers 4 will need to find some way to disperse the all-powerful Infinity Stones once Thanos is done with them, and some version of the Infinity Watch seems like both a likely way to handle that, and a great ensemble comedy addition to Marvel's cosmic movie lineup.
What other Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 movies do you think will come out of Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.