I initially started writing a review for Avengers: Endgame, but there is just so much to unpack that I think it is better reserved for a podcast.
That said, this article is going to have a lot of spoilers from the movie. Please do not read on until you have seen the film.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is far from over, it’s obvious that Avengers: Endgame was a concluding chapter in many ways. Now that the credits are rolled, here are the 10 questions I am dying to get answers to:
1. Who Will Lead the Avengers?
Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff are now deceased, Steve Rogers is now 105 and has given the shield to Sam Wilson and Thor has joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. All of the natural leaders for the Avengers are gone and the only two original members who remain are Clint Barton and Bruce Banner. Now that Banner has merged his mind with the Hulk’s body, he has surprisingly turned into a prime candidate to take the lead, but Mark Ruffalo may be done with the MCU. Others have pointed to Carol Danvers as a new leader, but, as we saw in Endgame, her focus is on a universal scale and she mentions that other planets don’t have the heroes Earth has. I think it’s more likely she is a member, but not a leader. Instead, and credit to my wife for this suggestion, I think Wakandan king T’Challa will emerge as the leader.
Wakanda has the resources to build a new home base for the Avengers and T’Challa has already shown leadership qualities as the king of Wakanda.
2. How Will the Mutants Be Introduced?
While the Fantastic Four can be introduced with an origin film, it is harder to do this with the X-Men as their powers are granted from a genetic mutation that occurred during puberty. It’s hard to imagine a storyline where Charles Xavier and company are already adults and did nothing while the world was in chaos during any of the previous Marvel films. Instead, I predict that the actions of Endgmae actually cause a change that kick-starts the mutant genetics and allow the X-Men to enter the universe. More importantly, however…
3. How Does Society Perceive the X-Men?
Unlike the X-Men films, where Xavier’s pupils were fighting to save a world that feared and didn’t accept mutants, the storyline may be harder to sell as society in the MCU reveres the Avengers. People got Tony Stark bears at the end of The Avengers, someone showed off his Tony Stark tattoo in Iron Man 3, girls posed with Thor in Thor:Ragnarok and children posed with the Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. The current Avengers, however, differ from the X-Men because they (for the most part) acquired their powers by choice while mutant genetics has always been a cause for concern.
4. Who is the Next Big Bad?
It’s going to be hard to top Thanos as the premier villain of the MCU, but someone is going to need to take on this role. While Doctor Doom is one of the most popular villains in Marvel Comics and a worthy candidate, I think he would be better served in a role similar to Loki. He’s a complex character who does have redeeming qualities. Instead, one of the biggest names I hear who makes sense is Galactus, a cosmic being who consumes planets. A team-up effort to stop Galactus could be another two-part film with all the current characters.
5. Will the Ravagers Get Their Own Film?
At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Yondu got a proper Ravager funeral, and Stakar Ogord, Martinex, Charlie-27, Aleta Ogord, Krugarr and Mainframe, who were part of the original Guardians of the Galaxy lineup, reunited. While director James Gunn has said he has plans for them, nothing has quite come into fruition. With a large cast, which includes Sylvester Stallone and Ving Rhames, they have the potential for their own film, but won’t be able to take on the Guardians of the Galaxy mantle.
6. What Happens to the Defenders?
Over the past six months, Disney has slowly pulled out of their Netflix deals for Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and The Punisher. While they could return to Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, Daredevil and the Punisher are both significant characters for Marvel who could command their own films. Now that the universe is going in a cosmic direction, however, it may be hard to fit them in.
7. How Does the Black Widow Film Fit Into the New MCU?
Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone and they weren’t able to bring her back, but there is still an upcoming solo film for her, so how will this work? A prequel seems to be the most likely scenario, but it really doesn’t fit the new narrative of the MCU. Another suggestion I saw was that it could be a search-and-rescue film where Barton and possible Banner try to get her back, but I’d imagine there would be a lot of pushback if a solo film for the MCU’s most iconic female character was led by two men.
8. What About Loki?
While the crew time traveled to New York, they inadvertently allowed Loki to escape imprisonment by the Avengers with the Tessaract. Stark and Rogers instead had to travel to 1970 to get the cube, but they never went back to rectify their actions that allowed Loki to escape, who what happens? This change in the timeline could somehow be how mutants are created. More likely, it could be the setup for Loki’s show on Disney+/ We could also just never hear about it again, but it seems like a pretty significant detail to never be mentioned again.
9. The New “Iron Man”
Stark’s biggest asset, more than his suits, is his genius. Stark was a science wiz who not only created his own suits, but Spider-Man’s and War Machine’s too. At some point, these heroes will need an upgrade, or a new suit altogether. Tying into my earlier theory of T’Challa being the new leader of the Avengers, his sister, Shuri, has already shown that she is a genius in her own right and crafted the suits for Black Panther. I think she will become the new suit maker for our heroes, so get ready for more vibranium.
10. Could an All-Female Team-Up Film Happen?
One iconic moment in Avengers: Endgame was when Captain Marvel helped transport the Infinity Gauntlet to Ant-Man’s van with the help of several other women, including Valkyrie, Pepper Potts (as Rescue), Okoye, Scarlet Witch, Mantis and Shuri. The MCU has come a long way from Black Widow being the only strong female character and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them team up again in the future. Credit to my wife, who theorized this over a nice steak dinner at Wolfgang’s after the movie.