Avengers: Endgame has come and passed and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are left wondering what's next. While that's likely to change — at least partially — when San Diego Comic-Con rolls around later this month, we still have a few weeks left to speculate the upcoming slate of films. Spider-Man: Far From Home — which is either already in theaters or hits theaters tomorrow, depending on where you're at — has been confirmed to not only serve as the end of Marvel Studios' Phase 3 but the entirety of the "Infinity Saga," or the first decade of films from the massive studio.
By this point, it's pretty safe to say Marvel Studio is going to stay away from the over-arching storylines that take nearly two dozen films and 10 years to complete. That's why we're thinking Kevin Feige and company will decide to go with "waves" instead of phases or sagas from this point forward. Shorter arcs that take place over just a handful of movies and while not as expansive of the "Infinity Saga," the waves would still promote and foster crossovers between the characters involved in the films.
What should be the first wave, you ask? There's no doubt in my mind that Marvel Studios will adapt the fan-favorite cosmic tale Annihilation at some point or another. In fact, kick this whole wave setup with the tongue-in-cheek "Annihilation Wave." For the uninitiated, Annihilation is a super popular cosmic event from the mid-2000s that involves Annihilus breaking out the Negative Zone and razing many intergalactic planets.
It features Richard Rider/Nova and the Nova Corps as the main antagonist and whole batch of antagonists previously own by Fox. Now that those characters are back at Marvel Studios, all of the main players can be used in a live-action, which brings us to our pitch on how to bring Annihilation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is already written and is ready for principal photography whenever that may be. Because of that, there's not much to expect from an Annihilation perspective. That is, of course, unless director/writer James Gunn is actually planning on introducing one Richard Rider to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The jury's still a bit out on the introduction, as leaks have suggested the film is already planning on introducing Moondragon, Lylla, and the High Evolutionary.
Either way, they could start the Annihilation Wave with a post-credits scene. Everything's calmed down from the Guardians taking on the High Evolutionary when the team is called by someone — the Nova Corps, perhaps? — to monitor a sudden rip in space. As the Guardians arrive on-scene, they're investigating the tear when "WHAM!" bugs start flying out of the interdimensional tear in space. The Annihilation Wave has arrived.prevnext
Captain Marvel 2
So the yet-unannounced sequel to Captain Marvel could go a few ways in regards to the Annihilation Wave and I'll lay them both out here. Either way, there's a way Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) could be doing some more research into Mar-Vell — or she's already done that off-screen between the events of her solo film and Avengers: Endgame — and she ends up finding Mar-Vell has a daughter among the cosmos. Like her mother, the mother is a Kree with extraordinary abilities and before long, we find out it's Phyla-Vell.
The first scenario involves non-linear storytelling from Marvel Studios and would take place between the events of The Decimation and Avengers: Endgame, as teased by Larson's character in Endgame. In this scenario, Danvers is directly responsible for helping rebuild of Xandar and the Nova Corps. While I don't think we'd ever see Thanos (Josh Brolin) actually razing Xandar, I do think we could see Danvers helping the Nova Corps rebuild and in an effort to help them build a planetary defense system, Carol's able to use her Tesseract-based powers and help the Xandarians build the Worldmind. Somehow, she's able to use her powers, convert it into renewable energy that the Nova Corps uses as the Nova Force. While all of this is happening, perhaps someone's arrived on Xandar hoping to take advantage of its destroyed state — this could be a character like Blastaar, Ravenous, or someone else who'll later reappear in the main Annihilation film.
The second scenario would play off the Kree/Skrull conflict we first witnessed in Captain Marvel. Again, this could either happen between The Snap and Endgame or it could take place after Endgame, but the just is the same. Danvers is out among the cosmos trying to help keep order when she comes toe-to-toe with a Skrull radical by the name of Kl'rt. That's right, Captain Marvel and Super Skrull duke it out in the battle of the Titans. Maybe it's a situation where Talos and his people are easily manipulated because of their pacifism and Kl'rt thinks they should bring fire down upon the Kree empire. Better yet, maybe Kl'rt directly leads an attack on Hala and the Supreme Intelligence are forced to respond. This would be a way that Phyla-Vell could come out of exile and help Danvers stop the war between the Kree and Skrull once and for all.
In either scenario, all of the characters could be well aware of a rumor that some wave is wreaking havoc across the cosmos. It could either be another post-credits scene or a small B-plot (think Ayehsa in Guardians 2) where the wave itself and Annihilus are hardly in the movie.prevnext
No matter which way you cut it, the movie would serve as the Annihilation Wave's Avengers: Infinity War. It doesn't have a happy ending whatsoever — it's all about the arrival of Annihilus and his wave. It'd be about the persistence of the Xandarian people in the face of constant destruction.
Have an Annihilus-based movie in the first Nova flick is a risky move, but it's probably something they could work out, especially if Richard Rider is introduced in a previous movie like Guardians 3 or Captain Marvel 2. By this point, it'd feel redundant for Xandar get razed again, much like it does in the Annihilation event, so maybe they'd tweak that part of it and make it another planet. Or maybe they'd just for it and destroy Xandar again and force Nova to come up with a solution.
Either way, this all leads to...prevnext
The finale for the Annihilation Wave — Annihilation itself. Here's where the cosmic heroes team-up to take down Annihilus and his cronies that have been introduced in films past — Blastaar, Ravenous, maybe they'd tweak Kl'tr's story and make him a villain here too. Think of it as Thanos and the Black Order.
By now Annihilus has consumed too much of the universe the team does what they can not only to stop him, but reverse the damage done. With Annihilus and his wave taking out most of the planets in the universe, that'd make one certain planet-eater furious and better yet, Marvel Studios now has owns the live-action rights to that character. That's right — if they pull the strings right, this could all lead to the MCU's introduction of Galactus.prev