Whether you enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War or not (most people did), you have to agree that the film’s ending left a lot of characters in a perilous position. With 50% of life on Earth decimated due to Thanos’ deadly snap, the remaining heroes have a lot on their plates so say the least. With more new and returning characters coming into the Avengers fold (Captain Marvel, Hawkeye/Ronin, Ant-Man, etc.), it’s anyone’s guess which heroes will be the most effective and which ones will be pointless. We know that the core group of Avengers -- Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, and Hulk -- have all survived, but what other heroes will step up and play a big role in Endgame? Well, we know that Captain Marvel drops in March. a full month before Endgame, but since Brie Larson has been purposely coy about her character’s role in the later movie, it’s safe to say she’ll be in the mix somewhere.
We’ve also seen Hawkeye transformed into Ronin in the Endgame trailer, so if Black Widow has anything so say about it, he’ll be part of the conclusion as well. Elsewhere, Ant-Man appears at the end of the trailer, and, knowing that he survived the snap by getting stuck in the Quantum Realm at the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp, we can assume Scott Lang will be involved in the ending as well. But which other heroes will step up and save the day in Endgame? Let’s take a look at the heroes who need to show their skills and others who will, much like us, have nothing to do but wait for the harrowing finale.
20 STEP UP: ANT-MAN
Ant-Man has a huge role to play in Endgame. We know from the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp that he was stuck in the Quantum Realm during Thanos’ snap at the end of Infinity War, so we assume he’s probably still alive. Furthermore, we see Ant-Man at the end of the Endgame trailer outside of the Avengers headquarters with an old van. Captain America asks if the surveillance video of him is an old message, but Black Widow assures him it’s live.
Another factor is that we don’t know the status of Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie, so she could play a big role in Endgame as well. Either way, we know that Ant-Man will likely have a big role in the conclusion.
19 USELESS: NICK FURY
In the post-credits scene of Infinity War, we see Nick Fury with Maria Hill outside when Thanos’ snap takes place. Both Fury and Hill are eliminated, but then we see that Fury has used his last breath to summon Captain Marvel via a paging device. It’s not likely that Fury himself will show up to solve the crisis in Endgame, but his quick thinking action to get Captain Marvel involved will probably be crucial.
Of course, Captain Marvel arrives in theatres in March, so it’s possible the Carol Danvers solo film will introduce or change the way we think of Fury’s character. It’s likely that he’ll be useless in Endgame though, as he hasn’t appeared in the trailers so far.
18 STEP UP: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Just like Ant-Man, Captain America will likely be one of the major players in the conclusion to Endgame. In the first trailer, we see him sitting with Black Widow seemingly devising a plan. When Natasha says, "This is going to work, Steve,” he responds with “I know it is, because I don’t know what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.”
Some fans are predicting this line is foreshadowing that he’ll die saving his friends. Either way, we know that this could be the end for Captain America as it’s been reported that Chris Evans could be exiting the MCU after Endgame. Cap has been pivotal in the MCU so far, so he’ll no doubt go out with a bang.
17 USELESS: SPIDER-MAN
Spider-Man seemed to be just getting his legs as a full time Avenger when he was taken out by Thanos’ snap. After following his mentor Iron Man and coming into his own in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker was swiftly “killed” in an instant. He probably won’t save himself in Endgame, but we obviously know that he ultimately survives as Spider-Man: Far From Home is confirmed to be released in summer 2019.
So how does Spidey avoid peril in Endgame? Well, we know from the trailer that his teacher Tony Stark is lost in space but has attempted to transmit a message for help, so if Tony survives, Peter might be the first person he tries to save.
16 STEP UP: BLACK WIDOW
We know for the aforementioned trailer scene that Black Widow is alive and well, and that she’s hatching a plan with Captain America and possibly others. Her and Cap see Ant-Man at the conclusion of the trailer, as they are supposedly watching a live video of him outside trying to convince them to let him in. Black Widow will be central to the action in Endgame, and some fans think time travel will be part of her character arc.
According to this theory, Natasha’s hair has given clues as to where she is in time over the years, and fans have noticed that her hair is different when she approaches Ronin versus when she’s sitting with Steve Rogers. Her role in Endgame will no doubt be pivotal.
15 USELESS: BLACK PANTHER
In Wakanda, Black Panther disappeared after Thanos’ snap. His fate is somewhat unknown, but considering Marvel is already considering a sequel for the enormously successful Black Panther, we can assume T’Challa returns to the MCU somehow.
It’s not likely that he’ll be saved by his own family though, as we see briefly in the Endgame trailer that his half-sister Shuri was also eliminated as Bruce Banner is looking at a digital picture of her as one of the lost lives. With Black Panther gone, it’ll probably be up to the other Avengers that were involved in the Battle of Wakanda to save him, like Thor and Hulk.
14 STEP UP: CAPTAIN MARVEL
If any character can make a difference in Endgame, it’s Captain Marvel. She didn’t appear in Infinity War, so we don’t even know if Thanos knows who she is yet. Captain Marvel, which hits theatres in March 2019, will probably have a huge role in setting up Carol Danvers’ place in Endgame. We know that she’s summoned by Nick Fury via an old-school pager in the post-credits of Infinity War, but we don’t know if or when she’ll respond.
Some fans are speculating that Captain Marvel will come across Tony Stark adrift in space and desperate for rescue in the Milano, and Captain Marvel saving him would make perfect sense, even if it is a little too obvious.
13 USELESS: DOCTOR STRANGE
One theory states that Doctor Strange may have avoided Thanos snap, even though we saw him turn to dust at the end of Infinity War. When Stephen Strange looked into the future to see if there was any way to stop Thanos, he found one scenario where the good guys won, so maybe it’s all part of a bigger plan.
In any case, the Time Stone could be crucial in explaining how the team saves their friends who have all been supposedly “killed.” Doctor Strange hasn’t showed up in the Endgame trailers yet though, so it’s most likely that it’ll be his teammates enacting the plan rather than himself.
12 STEP UP: HULK
In the first trailer, we see Bruce Banner standing alone looking at pictures of his “missing” fallen teammates, including Scott Lang and Shuri. It’s clear he blames himself for some of the damage, not being able to control his transformation into Hulk anymore, and all. But maybe that’s the point: his character arc revolves around Bruce finding his way at the last moment, and he’ll be able to summon the Green Monster when he needs him the most.
We saw Hulk use the super cool Hulkbuster armor in Inifinty War as well, so we know he has alternatives should he not be able to subpoena his rage at the right time.
11 USELESS: THE WASP
At the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp, we see Janet van Dyne disintegrate along with the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. The current Ant-Man Scott Lang is stuck in the Quantum Realm, so he’s immune from Thanos’ snap. As The Wasp is a fairly new character and didn’t appear in any MCU films prior to Ant-Man and The Wasp, her likelihood of doing anything major in Endgame is very low.
Part of Lang’s motivation to save half of Earth’s population will no doubt be due to his relationship with Janet, but he’s also looking to save his friends. However, there’s a good chance The Wasp won’t even be mentioned in Endgame since she is such a minor character.
10 STEP UP: IRON MAN
In the Endgame trailer, we see Tony Stark adrift in space, already out of food and telling us all of the oxygen will run out the next day. But we do know a couple of things that could be beneficial to him. First, his Iron Man helmet works and presumably, it’s able to record the message he’s sending out to Pepper Potts.
Second, there’s a shot of Nebula later on and it looks like she’s on what looks like the Milano, possibly with Tony. So the situation probably isn’t as perilous as Tony is making it sound. He’s a brilliant engineer, so if there’s anyone in Endgame that can dig up a plan with limited resources, it’s him.
9 USELESS: ROCKET RACCOON
In Infinity War, Rocket Raccoon joined Thor to battle Thanos. After the snap, Rocket was the only member of the Guardians of the Galaxy to survive, and he was forced to watch his good friend Groot disintegrate in the process. Just when Rocket had overcome the trauma of being subjected to experiments and found an adopted family, he had to watch one of them “die.”
It’s unlikely that he’ll be able to do much as the lone Guardian stuck in Wakanda, as he’s always needed the team to help him get out of trouble. He’s a determined raccoon, but our guess is it’ll be one of the Avengers that comes through rather than this feisty rodent.
8 STEP UP: HAWKEYE/RONIN
Clint Barton was absent from Infinity War, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play a big role in Endgame. We know from the trailer that he’s transformed into the ninja assassin Ronin, and that Black Widow has found him unmasking himself after taking on a group of bad guys.
The reason he changed from Hawkeye to Ronin could be a key part of the story, and getting him to change back into a hero might be one of the challenges the Avengers need to overcome. Clint Barton will no doubt need to step up in Endgame, as the team needs all the firepower they can get.
7 USELESS: STAR-LORD
Peter Quill made an insanely dumb move in Infinity War. On Titan, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Mantis had Thanos more or less subdued when Quill learns that Thanos just killed his girlfriend Gamora. Quill can’t keep his cool and starts going crazy on Thanos. Iron Man has to loosen his hold on the Mad Titan in order to control Quill, leaving Thanos capable of breaking free.
Star-Lord was then snapped away on Titan, but even if he did survive, his temper and ego often cloud his judgement. He’s still a little bit immature and isn’t always the best at working with a team.
6 STEP UP: THOR
After spending a good chunk of Infinity War getting to know the Guardians of the Galaxy and fighting with them in Wakanda, Thor survived Thanos’ snap but watched alongside Steve Rogers Bucky Barnes disappear. We’ve already seen both Thor and Rogers in the Endgame trailer, so we know they are still alive and probably up to something.
We also know that Thor has Strombreaker, a powerful axe capable of killing Thanos. Thor came very close to killing Thanos in Infinity War, wounding him but not in the head, like Thanos suggested he should have done. This will be extra motivation for Thor, as he not only wants to rescue his friends but also has a personal vendetta against Thanos.
5 USELESS: SCARLET WITCH
Scarlet Witch was destroyed in Wakanda after Thanos’ snap, so she won’t be able to take part in whatever plans Black Widow and Captain America are hatching. She doesn’t appear in the Endgame trailer either, so it’s doubtful she’ll be back in any significant way.
As a refresher, Wanda Maximoff tried to stop Thanos by destroying the Mind Stone in Infinity War, but was unsuccessful. Thanos ripped the Stone from Vision’s forehead, killing him instantly. Even though Maximoff’s relationship with Vision was advanced in Infinity War, neither hero appears to be alive, so it’s unlikely either of them will have any more significant screen time.
4 STEP UP: WAR MACHINE
“What is this? What the hell is happening!?” That’s what James Rhodes shouts after Thanos’ snap at the end of Infinity War. With a powered suit designed by Stark Industries and built with similar features as Iron Man’s suit, War Machine might be one of the only heroes capable of rescuing Tony Stark, who we know is lost and adrift (possibly alone) in space.
Although Rhodey nearly perished and lost his legs at the end of Captain America: Civil War, he’s alive and well in Infinity War and confirmed to have survived the snap. He’ll need to step up in Tony’s absence and maybe we’ll see him with a bigger role in Endgame since his screen time in Infinity War was purposely dialed down.
3 USELESS: VALKYRIE
At the end of Thor: Ragnarok, we see Valkyrie board an Asgardian refugee ship with Thor, Hulk, Loki, and Heimdall. We know that Thanos stopped the group and killed Loki and Heimdall at the start of Infinity War, but we didn’t really see what happened to Valkyrie. Apparently, she was rescued by another Asgardian refugee ship and taken away from the others.
Valkyrie actor Tessa Thompson confirmed that her character is “thriving,” but it’s hard to imagine her playing a big role in Endgame. With so many other heroes ready to take on Thanos -- including Ant-Man and Hawkeye/Ronin, who are back in the fold -- it seems convoluted to bring in Valkyrie in any significant way.
2 STEP UP: NEBULA
Nebula (Karen Gillan) might turn out to be the most surprising hero in Endgame. We witnessed Thanos end her sister Gamora by throwing her off a cliff in Infinity War, so Nebula has extra motivation to seek revenge on her adopted father.
In the Endgame trailer, there’s a shot of Nebula standing by herself. It looks like she’s on the Milano, possibly with Tony Stark. We know she survived the snap, so however the pair is rescued (if they are in fact, together) and where in the universe they end up will likely have a huge effect on Nebula’s ability to affect the outcome of Endgame. She’s become a key character in the last few MCU films, so fans will be looking for a satisfying resolution to her story.
1 USELESS: SHURI
The fate of T’Challa’s half-sister Shuri was unknown until we saw the first Endgame trailer. In it, Bruce Banner is standing alone, looking at digital images of the heroes that are assumed to be “missing,” including Scott Lang and Shuri. If she’s gone, there’s almost no way she can affect the outcome of the story.
We know that Black Panther disintegrated after the snap, so it’s not like he’s going to be a big part of the conclusion either. However, much of the action of Infinity War happened in Wakanda, so even if Shuri isn’t part of the main story, we’ll probably get to see her fate at the end of Endgame.