After 10 years and 18 films, it's all come down to this. The Avengers have been scattered after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and now a threat from space is coming for Earth -- a threat the likes of which they have never seen before. Thanos is coming for the Infinity Stones, and he will let nothing stand in his way. If they have any hope of stopping this Mad Titan, the Avengers will have to band together once more, and to expand their ranks like never before. Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy -- there is no one who will not take part in this epic fight for survival.
But what will come next? There's no way for any of us to know. Marvel has been so secretive in its buildup to the release of Avengers: Infinity War that we have no idea who will make it out alive, what is up with Hawkeye or where the Soul Stone is. And we know even less about what lies beyond this film, what will go down in Avengers 4, and Marvel's upcoming Phase 4 of movies. Today, CBR scours the Internet to list 15 insane fan theories about the Avengers post-Infinity War that might turn out to be true.
15 AVENGERS 4 WILL FEATURE TIME TRAVEL
Since fans have no idea where Infinity War will leave things off, many have been looking to behind-the-scenes pictures and leaked material for any type of information on the movie. With the Infinity Stones in play, the possibilities are more or less infinite, and some have begun to theorize that the movie will go back in time throughout the history of the MCU.
Several pictures from the shoot depicted a return to Tony Stark's destroyed workshop, the Battle of New York and Hope Pym with her Ant-Man haircut. On top of that, leaked pictures also showed that a World War II era scene was being shot, which adds more fuel to the fire. While the movie might just feature extensive flashbacks, most fans believe that the Avengers will actually travel back in time.
14 ANT-MAN AND HAWKEYE WILL HOP THROUGH THE MULTIVERSE
While fans pour through every marketing material and Infinity War poster to find clues about the movie, everyone has noticed that Hawkeye and Ant-Man are nowhere to be seen – which is curious, considering that both had important roles to play in Captain America: Civil War. Since they are kept out of the trailers and the like, many believe that it's because their mission is one that is top secret.
With Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet in play in the next Avengers movie, some believe that Avengers 4 will feature Hawkeye and Ant-Man as the last two remaining survivors of Earth, hopping through the Quantum Realm, from universe to universe, to recruit alternate versions of the Avengers to join in the fight against Thanos. It might seem a little far-fetched, but it certainly sounds like a cool possibility.
13 STARK'S B.A.R.F. TECH WILL RETURN
Several leaked pictures of the Avengers 4 shoot have shown Tony Stark, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk back in the climactic Battle of New York, which took place at the end of the first Avengers movie. Of course, Tony is not wearing his Iron Man armor, but a S.H.I.E.L.D. suit instead. Also, Ant-Man is there, when he wouldn't debut for another few years.
The mystery deepened when a box was spotted on set marked “B.A.R.F.” As viewers might recall from Captain America: Civil War, B.A.R.F. is the name of Tony Stark's augmented reality technology that allowed him to revisit scenes from his past. Many fans therefore believe that certain characters will use this technology in Avengers 4 to revisit the Battle of New York, and perhaps find crucial information about Thanos.
12 AVENGERS 4 WILL BECOME SECRET INVASION
We have known for a very long time that the title for the third Avengers movie would be Infinity War. And for a long time, we were led to believe that the sequel would be titled Infinity War Part 2. However, that is no longer the case. In fact, the real title of Avengers 4 is a closely kept secret, one that Marvel doesn't wish to divulge just yet. This in turn led fans to believe that the title is one known to comic book fans.
For that reason, many turned to the comics to find possible answers. While there are many theories floating around about the real title of Avengers 4, one of the most popular is Secret Invasion, which is the title of a comic book that saw the shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls take over the Earth.
11 BLACK WIDOW WILL LEAD A-FORCE
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of female superheroes introduced in the MCU. From Valkyrie to the Wasp, Okoye and Shuri to Mantis and the upcoming Captain Marvel, fans now have many strong superheroes to look up to. For that reason, many fans have begun to subscribe to the theory that Marvel may be planning an all-female Avengers movie: A-Force.
In fact, it was recently confirmed that Marvel was developing a solo Black Widow film, with actress Scarlett Johansson firmly involved in the creative process of the potential flick. Since the actress has also been very vocal about wishing to see all the powerful female heroes of the MCU stand together, some fans truly believe that she could be a driving force for such a vehicle.
10 CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL ARRIVE IN AVENGERS 4
Many fans are eagerly awaiting the cinematic debut of Captain Marvel, and the fact that her solo movie, which will be set in the 1990s, takes place in-between Infinity War and Avengers 4 have led some to believe that the character will have a part to play in the team-up movie. Since her film is essentially an extensive flashback, some believe that we might even see her before the end of Infinity War.
If the character appears in a cameo capacity, the Captain Marvel film will then serve as a proper introduction, giving fans all they need to know about the character and where she has been for all of this time, before bringing her in Avengers 4 to help in the fight against Thanos. With her power levels, she just might be what the team will need.
9 THE FANTASTIC FOUR WILL ARRIVE IN NEW YORK
It may not be a done deal yet, but many fans think that the Fox/Disney deal is all but assured. If Disney does indeed manage to purchase all of Fox's assets, it means that the MCU will now be back in possession of its most beloved family of superheroes, the Fantastic Four. If the deal is only about a year away from completion, it means that we could see the team in the MCU around the time of Phase 4.
But what if they are already a part of the MCU? There are some theories floating around that the Fantastic Four were the ones who purchased Stark Tower in Spider-Man: Homecoming. While the identity of the buyer was not divulged, it would make sense for someone like Reed Richards, a deep-pocketed scientist, to want to buy such a building.
8 THANOS' ATTACK WILL CREATE MUTANTS, X-MEN
Since Disney is currently in the process of acquiring Fox's assets, many fans simply can't wait for the X-Men to come home to Marvel. If the deal goes through, then that means we could be looking at the arrival of the mutant race in the MCU. But with what we know of the universe, it would be difficult to retcon the existence of super-powered individuals all over the planet.
For that reason, some believe that Thanos' attack on Earth, along with the use of the Infinity Gauntlet, could lead to the creation of the mutant race on planet Earth. After all, a similar development occurred in the Infinity comic book event, which saw a fight against Thanos result in the detonation of a Terrigen Bomb. This subsequently created hundreds of Inhumans all over the world. For the MCU, it could simply be altered to mutants (after all, they've been doing the opposite for years now).
7 NAMOR IS COMING
The first Black Panther was an unparalleled hit that shattered box-office records. Now, everyone is already ready for a sequel. Sure, T'Challa, Okoye and Shuri will all be back in Infinity War, but many fans are excited for is the Black Panther's next solo adventure. Already, fans have begun to theorize on the identity of potential villains for the sequel, and some have landed on Namor.
Namor is the King of Atlantis, an ally of the Avengers, but also one who can prove to be quite antagonistic. He has a strong rivalry with Black Panther, one that is only given more depth considering that both men are Kings of ancient and advanced nations. Namor has attacked Wakanda before in the comics, and we could be looking at the newest MCU rivalry, one that would eventually lead to a team-up... or a pull-apart.
6 IRON MAN WILL DIE IN AVENGERS 4
Avengers: Infinity War is only the first part of a two-movie conclusion. Avengers 4 will be the final chapter of Marvel's Phase 3, and the total culmination of everything it has been building towards ever since the release of the very first Iron Man film, which of course started it all with Robert Downey, Jr. and his now iconic take on Tony Stark.
Since it seems less and less likely that the actor will stay with Marvel after Avengers 4, many believe that Tony Stark will make the ultimate sacrifice in the film. The character almost died already in the first Avengers movie, and his connection with Thanos could lead him to once again put it all on the line. It would be heartbreaking to watch, but it's also a theory that makes a lot of sense.
5 BUCKY WILL BECOME CAPTAIN AMERICA
Avengers 4 will be the final superhero adventure for many characters fans have grown to love over the years. With many actors departing from their roles now that their contracts are up, a void will assuredly be left. While some may end up re-upping their contracts, it doesn't seem likely that Chris Evans will return for further Captain America stories.
Whether Steve Rogers dies or walks away into the sunset in Avengers 4, it still leaves a spot open on the Avengers roster. Some fans have been waiting a long time to see Bucky follow in the footsteps of his comic book counterpart and pick up the Captain America shield, and this would be a perfect opportunity for the once-Winter Soldier to step into the shoes of Captain America for Marvel's next phase of movies.
4 NOVA WILL JOIN THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
One of the few movies that we know will come after Avengers 4 is the third volume of James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. We have no idea what the story will entail just yet, but we do know that it's supposed to be the final movie featuring this version of the team. This means that we might witness the introduction of new cosmic characters; heroes who could pick up the Guardians' mission to protect the galaxy.
Many fans are hoping that such a character will be Richard Rider, aka Nova. Rider is a fan-favorite Marvel character, one that fans have waited a long time to see in live-action. James Gunn recently teased that Nova might pop-up in the MCU one day, which has many fans believing that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be where it happens. Even if it is simply in a set-up manner or in a cameo capacity, many fans hope to see Nova in the next Guardians film.
3 SILK WILL DEBUT IN THE SPIDER-MAN SEQUEL
Spider-Man: Homecoming was all about Peter Parker coming into his own as a solo superhero. The movie featured Iron Man in a co-starring capacity, but didn't feature other heroes outside of that. Well, almost. Some fans were quick to theorize that one of Peter's classmates, Cindy, may just be the Cindy Moon from the comic books – a character who would come to bear the superhero identity of Silk.
While it may have been nothing other than an Easter egg, fans believe that the Spider-Man sequel could end up co-starring another Spider-based hero. And since Cindy was bitten by the same spider as Peter, it would actually make a whole lot of sense. Not only that, it could even allow Peter to have a partner of sorts – and maybe even a potential love interest to further complicate matters.
2 QUICKSILVER WILL RETURN TO LIFE
Many viewers were shocked to see new Avenger Quicksilver die in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The character was fairly new, and his relationship with his sister the Scarlet Witch was an important part of their story. With Thanos assembling the Infinity Gauntlet, some fans have begun to theorize that the Mad Titan will use the Reality Stone to, well, alter reality.
Just what that means exactly is up for interpretation, but some think that this might be a way to bring the deceased Quicksilver back to life. Whether in a big or small capacity doesn't really matter, because we would sure love to see Pietro come back, if only for a short while. Perhaps just long enough for Wanda to finally say goodbye. What's more, some believe that he may not come back alone: other dead character could also make a comeback.
1 RIRI WILLIAMS WILL BE INTRODUCED AS THE NEW IRON MAN
We may not be entirely certain, but it sure seems like Avengers 4 will be Robert Downey, Jr.'s last go as Tony Stark. But fear not, because if this fan theory is to be believed, the MCU will not be without an Iron Man for long. Riri Williams recently made her comic book debut after Tony Stark was believed dead. A young genius, Riri was able to make her own suit of armor, before becoming Ironheart.
If Downey, Jr. is really leaving the MCU, then the door would be open for a new, younger hero to replace him. Instead of recasting Stark, a new character would be introduced to fill the void, and fans believe that Riri could be that character. Then, it would be an all-new beginning for the MCU, one that is again spearheaded by a hero in a suit of armor.