Over the past few months, Marvel Studios' cast, crew, and execs stated repeatedly that Avengers: Infinity War will act as the beginning of the end for what we currently know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Between the upcoming film and the still-untitled fourth Avengers film due in 2019, Phase Three's conclusion won't just wrap up storylines, it will very likely wrap up heroes... in body bags! Yeah, that was a reach.
Anyway, Infinity War is surely gonna result in some casualties, many of which fans aren't gonna be too happy to see. But hey, that doesn't mean you can't make some money off the fictional tragedies. Below is a list of MCU characters most likely to qualify for an In Memoriam montage, starting with the least likely and working our way to the all-but-done deals. Of course, multiple people on this list could, and probably will, meet their maker, but that's what side bets are for, right? (Seriously, that's a real question, gambling is complicated.)
With the first trailer now out in the world, it's time to place your bets, people. The Avengers: Infinity War Dead Pool (not that one) is here!
Winter Soldier - Odds 6:1
The MCU squeezed a surprising amount of life from Bucky Barnes and his transformation into Winter Soldier. After rescuing him from Hydra (and himself) during the second Captain America flick, Steve Rogers delivered his longtime best friend to the Black Panther in Wakanda at the end of Civil War. Barnes has been on ice since then, but clearly thaws out in the trailer to lend an armored hand to the Avengers in their battle against Thanos. Like Loki, he already "died" once in the MCU, so any mortal danger he faces will likely be more permanent this time. Still, his death isn't as likely as some of his fellow heroes -- someone's gotta help keep the Avengers going post-Phase Three, after all.
Iron Man - Odds 5:1
Captain America may be "The First Avenger," but everyone knows it was Iron Man who kicked off this entire MCU saga back in 2008. He's gotten three standalones, co-headlined Civil War and mentored Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Tony Stark seems pretty tired these days. He's talked often about about not wanting to don the suit forever, hoping to settle down and lead a quiet, billionaire life with Pepper Potts. As such, having Tony Stark be the first one to shuffle off this mortal coil would provide a nice bit of symmetry for the MCU. However, for reasons we'll get into shortly, Stark actually isn't as likely a goner as some other Avengers and their associates. Besides, if Marvel really wanted storytelling symmetry, they wouldn't kill him off until the last Phase Three film...
Loki - Odds 4:1
The God of Mischief faked his death once before back in Thor: The Dark World, but as the saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on the writers, because that would be pretty lazy." Knowing this, the odds really aren't in his favor this time around. The brief glimpse we're given of Thor's stepbrother shows him offering up the Tesseract to someone very tall and very imposing, and given that it's also the Space Stone, that tall and imposing someone is likely Thanos himself. Loki consistently weaseled his way out of past dangers, but it's hard to see how he'd figure largely into Infinity War's plot since he was the main antagonist for the first Avengers flick. Narratively, it makes decent sense for him to head off to Valhalla in order to further the Mad God's badness.