Hopefully, you’ve seen Black Panther by now. Twice. Instead of doing a review like I typically do, I decided to scrap that idea in favor of bridging the Black Panther movie to the remaining movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are surely a lot of shakeups ahead, so this is far more interesting anyway. Most of this, all of this actually, is conjecture. I want to have a bit a fun and predict what I think will happen in Infinity War and beyond.
After the events of Civil War, Captain America leaves Bucky in Wakanda. to not only have his arm repaired but to remove the mental coding of the Winter Soldier as well. The post-credits scene of Black Panther shows Bucky awakened by kids who call him “White Wolf”.
While Marvel will have to do some bending with this character, if he is indeed Bucky, that insinuates that he has found a role in Wakanda. He might even command those Wardogs that Killmonger spoke of.
In this clip in the trailer, Bucky is running alongside Captain America and Black Panther. He’s also holding a gun with that new vibranium arm. So while he might not be a direct translation of this character, he might be the MCU’s analog.
Speaking of, what has Cap been up to these days? Well, he colored his hair because that’s what one does when they’re on the run from a global organization for war crimes.
Important to note that a lot of the action in this trailer and what seems to be a big climax, takes place in Wakanda. This movie is the first real appearance of Thanos, but I don’t think he’ll be featured prominently as the villain. Allow me to explain.
This foot on Vision’s chest belongs to a member of The Black Order. He’s probably removing Vision’s Infinity stone and returning it to Loki’s scepter. Bye bye, Vision. Let’s pocket this for now, though.
That foot belongs to this nasty guy on the left, according to these leaked figurines. Let’s not focus on him right now though, let’s focus on the member of the Black Order standing next to him.
Cap catches a spear thrown by someone in this trailer. Because it isn’t a Marvel movie unless someone catches their opponent’s weapon so it’s about time the good guys had a turn. This spear belongs to Promixa Midnight, once again, shown second from the left up above. Proxima Midnight is known for waging war on Wakanda in attempt to recover the Infinity Gems.
If you’ve been keeping count, so far we have Space Stone (Tesseract), Mind Stone (Loki’s Scepter), Reality Stone (Aether), Power Stone (Orb), and the Time Stone (Eye of Agamatto). The Infinity Gauntlet needs six stones, which leaves the Soul Stone. I’m guessing it’s in Wakanda since this seems to be one of the main settings of the movie.
From the trailer, these Avengers will be present in the big showdown in Wakanda:
- Captain America
- Black Panther
- War Machine
- Black Widow
Before moving on, I’d also like to make note of Banner/The Hulk being in the Hulkbuster armor, not Tony. This was previously used in Age of Ultron to stop Hulk, now Banner will use it in battle.
The other locale that will be featured heavily in Infinity War will be New York. The trailer opens with Hulk being discovered by Doctor Strange. This leads me to believe these events occur before the final showdown in Wakanda. New York is still significant, nonetheless. One Infinity Stone is dangling around Doctor Strange’s neck, so this makes things a little complicated.
Also, which comes as no surprise, Spidey will be in the New York fracas as well.
Now, I enter prediction zone. This is what I think will happen with the rest of the characters.
I just can’t see Vision making it out of this. 1) He has an Infinity Stone. I know these trailers try to deflect but I don’t think there’s a way around this. 2) He’s too powerful. In fact, MCU has taken great lengths to neutralize their most powerful on-screen characters. It’s what I call the “Superman problem”. A hero too strong usually doesn’t make a good movie. Vision meeting his demise early. These events will probably serve as a catalyst to the story.
Next up, Wanda. Losing Vision will definitely break here, similarly to what happened when she lost Peter. She’s another extremely powerful
mutant Avenger and the full depths of her power haven’t been on display in a movie…yet. I think she potentially goes too.
If I could place my bet on a character death with 100% certainty, I’d put it all on Black Widow. Although a Black Widow movie is allegedly in the works, I think that’s a confirmation of her death rather than a promise she’s going to return. Black Widow was introduced at a time when not much depth was given to marginalized characters like women and people of color. There’s a lot to Natasha’s story but with five million female Russian spy movies coming out every year (Here’s looking at you, Red Sparrow) what other reason would this movie be made if not to honor a character who was often forgotten although she was constantly present? An unconnected, one-off origin would be the perfect thank you to Scarlett Johansson.
To recap, Vision and Scarlet Witch are a strong maybe, Black Widow is a definitely, and the remaining crew, with the addition of Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man will carry over into Avengers 4.
Where is Ant-Man, anyway?
I have no idea why the Ant-Man & The Wasp movie is happening after Infinity War but I do know it’s set after the events of Civil War but before the events of Infinity War. AJ, our resident comics expert, disagrees with my placement of the Soul Stone. He thinks it could potentially be in the Quantum Realm with Janet Van Dyne. Either way, there wouldn’t be a sequel to Ant-Man if there weren’t lager implications for Avengers 4, which isn’t named Infinity War 2 anymore. It’s currently working under the title, Gauntlet, although that’s definitely set the change. I think this reinforces my idea that Infinity War will be about the race for the infinity stones whereas “Gauntlet” will be the actual war.
Before discussing Avengers 4, there is another important movie to discuss. Because it’s important to address the biggest card the MCU has been waiting to throw down: Captain Marvel. She epitomizes the “Superman problem” which is why her introduction is coming so late. From what we know, her story is set in the 90s. When Feige was asked where she’s been this whole time, he responded: “out there“.
Captain Marvel will take place in the 90s. It stars Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson without the eyepatch. It makes sense to put this drop this movie back a decade or two because Captain Marvel is entirely too powerful for this to all have happened on her watch. Sorta like removing Thor from Civil War. If he was in that movie, a fight would have been unlikely.
So between Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, there are clues to the events of Avengers 4/Gauntlet here, but I can’t quite piece them together. I do think the events of Avengers 4 retires the current roster as we know it. My guess, the new look Avengers beyond the conclusion of this phase would be Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Ant-Man & The Wasp. I also think Bucky takes over as Captain America in place of Steve. Tony could retire Iron Man or even pass the torch to Shuri. I take no credit for this idea, it has been floating around twitter but I like it a lot.
Final prediction: I think Infinity War is only Infinity War by name. There might be one minor death but don’t expect the entire roster to be cleaned. That big battle we’re all waiting for is coming in Avengers 4.