Avengers: Infinity War was one of the biggest summer blockbusters in years, but attention has already turned to the film’s sequel, Avengers 4, which looks to provide some closure after its predecessor’s defeating conclusion.
Alleged promo art revealed earlier today gave fans’ their first taste of what the surviving Avengers (and friends) might look like when they return in 2019. There are some significant changes, chief among them being Hulk in a very uncharacteristic getup. Those details might offer some clues, both major and minor, about what we can expect from Avengers 4. The promo art is very likely tied to the film’s planned merchandising efforts, though. As such, take everything you see in it with a grain of salt.
For now, let’s break it down and see what we can glean.
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Black Widow provides the best measure at just how much time has passed between the events of Infinity War and Avengers 4. The promo image reveals that she has had enough time to grow out her hair and even dye it back to red after her run as a blonde in Infinity War. Also, she seems to have reverted to a sleek, black costume that is more in line with what she wore throughout the majority of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. This is a stark change after Infinity War saw her adopt a more utilitarian, militaristic outfit. Nonetheless, she still sports twin batons, which are a more recent addition.
Fans of Beard Rogers: lament. If the promo art is correct, Captain America will return to the clean-cut lifestyle for Avengers 4. But that’s not all. It also looks like Cap will once again fully adopt the Captain America mantle, as he has returned to a costume pulled straight from Captain America: Civil War. His Infinity War armor obscured the star on his chest and dropped the hero’s overall color scheme, but here we see both prominently on display again. There are some notable omissions, though, like his mask and shield. Infinity War saw Cap acquire a Wakandan shield in place of his original, circular one. Sadly, the promo art doesn’t do much to answer if his iconic shield will return in Avengers 4.
Hulk is, perhaps, the image’s most shocking element. First of all: Hulk in clothes. Well, it’s not exactly the first time that has happened, but it’s still enough to be taken aback. The second season of Avengers Assemble saw Hulk dressed up in a similar fashion, after all. Except not. On closer inspection, the purple markings on Hulk’s suit look eerily similar to that of Black Panther’s… the same Black Panther who died at the end of Infinity War when Thanos’ finger snap wiped out half the life in the universe. So, what the heck?
Infinity War saw the impossible happen to Hulk. He was beaten by Thanos, and as a result the hero refused to join the fight when Earth was under attack. It’s possible that an additional layer of armor is the bargaining chip Bruce Banner needed to coax the Hulk out of hiding. If that is Wakandan armor like Black Panther’s (some have also likened it to Professor Hulk's garb), well, it would make Hulk even more impervious by allowing him to fire back whatever kinetic energy Avengers 4’s baddies throw at him. Now, that’s a terrifying thought.
War Machine gets a significant armor upgrade in the promo image. It might be a trick of the angle, but it does look like War Machine’s armor is much bulkier, and perhaps even made from a new material. If the remaining Avengers are planning to go up against Thanos a second time, it would make sense for them to use every trick at their disposal. Perhaps the new armor is the result of Stark tech, or maybe it’s Wakandan in origin. More likely, it’s a combination of the two. Captain America: Civil War proved that, under all those layers of armor, even Rhodey is vulnerable. Outfitting the former pilot in a suit made with some Vibranium enhancements, though, might put his mind at ease.