Now that Avengers: Infinity War has arrived, fans are already beginning the wait until the story is concluded in Avengers 4. It’s going to be a very long year, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to fill the time with. In addition to the upcoming releases of Ant-Man & The Wasp later this year and Captain Marvel early in 2019, there are a lot of comics worth exploring. Based on the events and revelations of Avengers: Infinity War there are plenty of elements swirling about that could lay the groundwork for the final defeat of Thanos.
We’ve brainstormed a list of some big comics events and popular stories that might tie in to the conclusion of this story. Some have already been used in the films, while others are dark horse candidates that could surprise audiences in a big way next year. So as you prepare to go an entire year without knowing how things wrap up, these are our top picks for research on what could come next.
Here’s the thing though, and we can’t stress this enough…
Warning: there are SPOILERS ahead!
If you have not seen Avengers: Infinity War yet and do not want to risk having major plot points in the film spoiled, then do not read the rest of this article until after you have seen the movie. It will still be here after you return from the theater.
With that out of the way, let’s dig in to see what the future may hold for the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Infinity Gauntlet #1-6
Written by Jim Starlin
Art by George Perez, Ron Lim, Josef Rubinstein, Tom Christopher, and Bruce N Solotoff
Avengers: Infinity War has already lifted an incredible amount of visual and plot details from the definitive Thanos story. However, the Mad Titan is still at large, meaning the heroes need a plan to save the day. Elements of that are likely to come from this story, especially when you remember that Nebula is still around and elevated in the story by the loss of her sister and partnership with Tony Stark.
Fear Itself: Book of the Skull and Fear Itself #1-7
Written by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker
Art by Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger, and Scot Eaton
There are two key elements from this event to watch out for. First, the combination of Norse mythology and return of the Red Skull make for a deadly and surprising team-up. If Skull was more than a cameo, then this comic will likely provide lots of inspiration. Second, Eitri’s existence and his key role in building weapons to fight Thanos reflects his place in this story. Don’t be surprised if Peter Dinklage returns to forge armor for Iron Man in Avengers 4.
Infinity: Free Comic Book Day #1 and Infinity #1-6
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jim Cheung, Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver, and Mark Morales
The movies have already pulled a lot of inspiration from this story, but that doesn’t mean they’re about to stop. With Adam Warlock and Silver Surfer unlikely to appear, different solutions to the problem of Thanos will have to be constructed. This event features a lot of combat with the Mad Titan and a particularly paralyzing conclusion to his rampage. Thanos could meet a similar end next year.
Thanos (vol. 2) #13-18
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Geoff Shaw
This very recent story certainly didn’t directly influence the script for Avengers 4, but it’s understanding of Thanos’ core flaws and why he fails provides excellent insight into what may come next. Issues of ego and conflicting desires surrounding his notion of love make it impossible for any of Thanos’ victories to last. This excellent tale captures all of those issues wonderfully and likely connects to whatever downfall screenwriters already have planned.
Captain America: Reborn #1-6
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice
For Captain America, the conclusion to Ed Brubaker’s run on the character may provide inspiration. Even if it isn’t featured in Avengers 4, this could offer source material for a new Captain America film with Steve Rogers’ successor battling his greatest villain. The Red Skull’s return in this series simply can’t be beat.
FF (vol. 2) #1-16
Written by Matt Fraction and Lee Allred
Art by Michael Allred
Ant-Man was one of two key players left out of the first film, and it’s unlikely that he’ll remain distant in part two. Given his absence was to protect his daughter, it seems likely that his return would be driven by her potential death at the end of the film. This is a thread that has already been explored in comics when a grieving Scott Lang leads a team to defeat Doctor Doom who was responsible for the death of his daughter. Ant-Man may not play as central of a role, but his arc might be very similar.
Hawkeye (vol. 4) #1-5
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja and Javier Pulido
Everything about Ant-Man’s return applies double to Hawkeye. Ever since Avengers: Age of Ultron, his story has focused on the protection of his family, something that is now impossible with Thanos enacting his plan. If Hawkeye returns, he will likely have lost some or all of his family, resulting in a much messier version of the character. That version already exists in the comics in Hawkeye’s most popular series to date. If we’re lucky, the family dog will survive and accompany him in Avengers 4.
Captain Marvel (vol. 7) #1-6
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy
One thing we know for sure after the post-credits sequence is that Captain Marvel will play a central role in Avengers 4. There are a lot of great comics featuring Carol Danvers, but no better place to start than the beginning of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on the character. This is the story that introduced the insignia, costume, and attitude we are most likely to see reflected in the solo Captain Marvel movie and Avengers 4. If you’re looking to study up on the newest hero to join the team, this is where to begin.