How Avengers: Endgame Gives the MCU a Clean Slate

Avengers: Endgame has been dominating at the box office for weeks now, providing fans with a pretty epic celebration of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become. While the film was filled with a lot of goodbyes and endings, it's safe to say that it set a pretty interesting framework for what could come in the franchise.

Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below! Only look if you want to know!

As anyone who has seen Endgame knows, the film has its fair share of significant moments, as audiences say goodbye to characters like Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Even with such a climactic ending, fans know that the MCU isn't done anytime soon, with Marvel Studios' "Phase 4" movies expected to be announced sometime this summer. While there's already been quite a lot of speculation about what Phase 4 will look like, the events and ending of Endgame arguably open up even more possibilities for the franchise.

For one thing, Endgame sets a new sort of status quo, as by the end, it placed almost all of the franchise's principal heroes in the same place at the same time. Odds are, you or another Marvel fan you know was pleasantly surprised by some of Endgame's character combinations - from James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) partnering up to rescue the Space Stone, to Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) having a delightful banter with Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland).

Now that a vast majority of the MCU's heroes have been in the same space together (and have survived Endgame's epic final battle together), there's very little preventing characters from all corners of the MCU from interacting with each other in the right context. Whether that leads to a massive team-up like the much-anticipated hypothetical A-Force movie or individual characters popping up in other solo movies, nothing feels impossible at this point.

There's also the nature of the sort of "plot armor" that was preventing certain characters from interacting together or engaging in certain storylines, which could very well be gone following the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. After half of the universe died and came back to life, the Sokovia Accords and other Captain America: Civil War fallout can essentially fade away, as opposed to creating more obstacles to box certain heroes in.

In addition to what was actually shown in Endgame, the film weaved in a massive plot device that could open up a whole new bit of possibilities -- the five year time jump. With the vast majority of Endgame taking place in 2023, there now are five years of potential MCU canon that have yet to be explored. Yes, the nature of the Snap kind of dwindles the pool a little bit in terms of existing characters, but there's still a lot of story that could be told, especially following the nonlinear structure of Captain Marvel. Some fans have already begun to speculate that the Black Widow solo film could be at least partially set somewhere in those five years, or that that stretch of time could be how the Fantastic Four and the X-Men weave their way into the MCU.

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Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame are in theaters now. Spider-Man: Far From Home will land in theaters on July 2nd.