Avengers: Infinity War is truly the culmination of ten years worth of MCU films, serving as a sequel to several different sub-franchises and either ending or continuing several different plotlines and character arcs. So Infinity War will dictate how the rest of the MCU is going to proceed moving forward.
Fiefo had already written his signature Five Inconsequential Questions piece about Avengers: Infinity War (read that if you haven’t already), and I’d like to mirror him by writing about five different questions myself, but of the more important kind. The questions here are questions that each MCU fan should be asking about, that MCU fans will be speculating about, and hopefully will be answered in the upcoming MCU films.
Before you proceed, I will be talking about Infinity War specifics so please, don’t read any further if you want to avoid spoilers. If you have seen the movie, feel free to proceed.
Question 1: Is the Thor franchise effectively over?
Unlike the Steve Rogers and Tony Stark characters which had arcs that felt like they were getting close to the end, Thor: Ragnarok felt like a soft reboot of the Thor character and the franchise, a new beginning towards a bold new direction. Ragnarok was very different in tone and changed many of the franchise’s signatures, even killing off several mainstays. With Thor, Loki, and the rest of the surviving Asgardians drifting off in space, searching for a new place to call home, I really thought that it extended the Thor franchise beyond a trilogy.
But then here comes Avengers: Infinity War and it’s now popular opening scene. Heimdall and Loki are dead, and it seems like the rest of the Asgardians are, too. (Later on, Thor explicitly states that Thanos killed half of his people). Almost every Thor supporting character has already been killed. We don’t know if Valkyrie and/or Korg survived Thanos’ attack. We don’t even know if Sif is still alive. And Thor… it looks like Marvel Studios have something else planned for the original six members of the MCU Avengers.
So does this mean that Thor will end as a trilogy? That we won’t get to see what happens to the rest of the surviving Asgardians? That popular characters Valkyrie and Korg won’t ever return (at least not in a Thor film)? Will Thor be retired at the same time as the rest of the Avengers Big Three?
Question 2: What “winning outcome” did Doctor Strange see?
One of the most important scenes of Infinity War involves Doctor Strange meditating, using the Time Stone to view 14,000,605 alternate futures, trying to see how the heroes can beat Thanos. He explicitly states that he only saw one future where they had won. Later on, Doctor Strange plays along with Star-Lord’s plan to take the Gauntlet off of Thanos and it seemed to work perfectly – before Star-Lord lost his cool, allowing Thanos to overpower the heroes in the Titan battle. With Thanos gaining the upper hand, he is able to easily deal with the heroes, eventually incapacitating Tony Stark. As he was about to kill him, Doctor Strange offers an exchange – the Time Stone for Stark’s life.
So what exactly was it that Doctor Strange saw? Did he see that Tony Stark would be critical to the winning outcome? Or did he see himself giving away the Time Stone in order for the heroes to win? Why did he play along with Star-Lord’s plan if he knew it was going to fail and that he would end up giving the Time Stone to Thanos anyway?
It seemed like Doctor Strange was trying very hard to defeat Thanos, so I wonder what exactly and how much of that winning alternate future did Doctor Strange see. And if that winning alternate future is what plays out in Avengers 4 – it probably is, right?
Question 3: Will Rocket have a significant role to play in the next film?
Once you get over the shock of Infinity War’s ending – several of our heroes disintegrating into ashes – there’s a pattern that clearly emerges: most of the Phase Two and up characters are the ones who bite the dust, leaving only the Phase One characters alive.
There are exceptions – Nick Fury and Maria Hill are both Phase One characters that are dusted (in the post-credits scene), but they’ve always been supporting characters. Nebula, Okoye, and M’Baku are also left standing – and they’re also supporting characters. Pretty much, the separation between Phase One and non-Phase One characters holds up.
This tells us two things. One, this ending will be undone in one way or another because Marvel can’t really kill off their next wave of heroes (unless the future film announcements are just pure acts of misdirection and we’re not really getting a Guardians 3 or a Spider-Man 2). Two, that Marvel has big plans for the original Avengers line up of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk and even Hawkeye (I’m betting he’s alive and well).
There’s one character that stands out that doesn’t fit all this cleanly – Rocket, our lovable sweet rabbit. He’s the sole Guardian left standing, he was part of the end shot of the surviving heroes in Wakanda where Steve Rogers exclaims “Oh, God…” (my memory is hazy but I don’t think Okoye or M’Baku was in that shot). So I’m thinking – is Rocket’s inclusion in all this a lead up to a more significant role?
Why this question is important involves current fan theories about Avengers 4. There is some speculation of time travel, because of leaked Avengers 4 set photos depicting the main cast in their original The Avengers costumes and outfits. Whether they actually travel back to the past or send their consciousness through time (a la X-Men: Days of Future Past) is left up in the air.
If Rocket has a significant role in all this, then that blows the transported consciousness theory up – there’s no Rocket in The Avengers. So why was Rocket left standing? Is it simply to milk Groot’s death for as much as they can?
Question 4: Which of the “dead” are coming back?
Let’s face it, because we know that there’s a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming, we already know that the ending of Infinity War won’t stick. Black Panther was such a huge success, Marvel Studios is sure to follow that up with a sequel, right? So they have to be brought back to life – audiences won’t buy the excuse that they’ve been shifted into an alternate reality.
Now there’s some speculation that the characters killed as a result of the “finger snap” would be brought back, but anyone else dying outside of that would remain dead. This question doesn’t seem to be that important. I mean, who died outside of the finger snap? Gamora, Heimdall, Loki, and the Vision right? All minor characters, save for maybe Gamora.
But don’t forget that there’s an Avengers 4. The surviving heroes will be working to undo the events of Infinity War. In this new quest, several more heroes can die, heroes like Cap and Iron Man. If all they can undo is the finger snap and not everything, then the stakes in Avengers 4 are going to be even higher.
Question 5: Where has Captain Marvel been all this time?
This question is probably the biggest reason why I think audiences should be hyped up about Captain Marvel. I mean, if she were such a bad-ass hero that Nick Fury would think to contact her first before anyone else, then why didn’t he reach out to her during the New York Chitauri invasion? Where was Captain Marvel when all those incidents during Phase Two were going on?
If all the information released to the press about the upcoming Captain Marvel film is true, then the movie is going to be set in the 1990s. That means that Captain Marvel has been in active duty even before Tony Stark invented the Mark I armor, and that she pre-dated the Avengers by several years.
So why hasn’t she been active? Why is she only appearing now, after Thanos had already killed off half of everything living in the universe? Don’t these questions get you more interested in whatever answers are in the upcoming Captain Marvel film?
And there you have it, five of the most important questions that resulted from Avengers: Infinity War. What other questions can you think of that involve Infinity War or the rest of the upcoming MCU films? Let us know by leaving a comment or two below!