Avengers 5 Title Was Hidden in a Phase 4 MCU Series

After confirming that Phase 4 will be the lone Marvel Cinematic Universe phase without an Avengers movie, Marvel President Kevin Feige dropped the bombshell announcement that Phase 5 would be home to two installments of Earth's Mightiest franchise in the same year. 2025 will see Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars hit theaters just seven months apart. While all eyes have been locked in on a live-action adaptation of Secret Wars for years, The Kang Dynasty is actually the project Marvel has been planting the most seeds towards. The most obvious of those came at the end of Loki, when Jonathan Majors made his much-anticipated MCU debut as He Who Remains, a Variant of Kang the Conqueror.

Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie elected to kill He Who Remains, consequently sending the Sacred Timeline into chaos. This resulted in the apple-eating Variant hauntingly whispering, "See you soon," alluding to the much more sinister iterations of his character that would be coming.

Since then, Kang has been fairly quiet. Multiversal projects like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness neglected to even mention the conqueror's name. While appearances and allusions to the big bad have been limited to Loki, Marvel did sneak in a blatant reference to the endgame for Kang in this past winter's Hawkeye.

Various trinkets recovered from the Avengers Compound wreckage were sold off at a black market auction, including a prized watch that belonged to Linda Cardellini's Laura Barton. The watch was emblemed with a SHIELD logo, alongside the number 19, indicating Laura previously worked as SHIELD's Agent 19, better known as Mockingbird. The watch also came with a notable tag, which read "Lot Number 268 – Avengers Compound."

As is often the case with numbers in comic book projects, these digits are far from random. 268 corresponds to Avengers #268, a June 1986 issue that kicks off a storyline called "The Kang Dynasty." Within that specific issue, the Avengers are made up of Namor the Sub-Mariner, Monica Rambeau's Captain Marvel, Steve Rogers's Captain America, Black Knight, Janet Van Dyne's Wasp, and Hercules. Interestingly enough, all six of those specific characters will have been introduced into the MCU by the end of this year.

This is not the first time Marvel has alluded to its future plans in its previous projects.

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Iron Man 2 famously included a map with multiple checkpoints, including areas marked for Wakanda and Talocan (the MCU's Atlantis). Spider-Man: Far From Home mysteriously left a street sign exclaiming, "We are so excited to show you what comes next!" as it counted upwards.

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With over a dozen projects on the horizon until Avengers 5 arrives, expect many more hints, both blatant and subtle, to Earth's Mightiest Heroes' next challenge.

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty hits theaters on May 2, 2025.