WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Judging by audience reactions worldwide, Avengers: Infinity War has proved to be the high-octane ride that the Russo brothers and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige promised. It paints Thanos as a threat that ends up being too formidable for the united front of the Avengers, Wakanda, the Sorcerer Supreme and the Guardians of the Galaxy, and truly does change the complexion of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In a rousing finale, the Mad Titan uses all six Infinity Stones to snap half of the universe's inhabitants out of existence, leaving us with an epic cliffhanger. Just before the credits roll, we see heroes like Steve Rogers, Thor and Bruce Banner among the heartbroken on Earth, and Iron Man and Nebula wallowing in their failures on Titan while Thanos retreats to what seems to be the Soul World to bask in his success.
Naturally, that leaves us wondering what's in the cards for Avengers 4? The studio is on the record as stating it didn't want to reveal its official title for fears of spoiling the Infinity War ending. But despite Feige warning that it may not live up to expectations, speculation is at an all-time high, and we actually do have a few ideas as to what it could be.
2004's Avengers Disassembled, as the title implies, shook up the traditional roster of the Avengers. Incoming writer Brian Michael Bendis wanted to shape a new era, and focused on an unhinged Scarlet Witch launching a series of attacks on Earth's Mightiest Heroes. His and artist David Finch's story ended with characters like Hawkeye and Thor dying, and the likes of Iron Man and Captain America pondering the team's future in the wake of disaster.
Now, while Infinity War isn't remotely close to this narrative, that doesn't prevent the MCU from co-opting the term 'disassembled' in the aftermath of Thanos' victory. After all, the Age of Ultron comic book storyline dealt with time travel, Hank Pym's failures and Wolverine hunting Ultron, whereas the movie detailed Tony Stark trying to stop the rogue artificial intelligence he created with Banner, basically illustrating the freedom Marvel Studios has when adapting the source material -- or co-opting its titles.
With Thanos killing off so many heroes in the MCU -- from Black Panther to Bucky Barnes to Scarlet Witch to Vision to Doctor Strange -- Earth's defenders really have been shattered, physically and mentally, thus providing the studio ample reason to repurpose 'disassembled.' What gives this title credence is that had it been revealed prior, we'd have known for a fact that Thanos leaves our heroes broken and defeated at the end of Infinity War, and while it's little surprise to those of us who live and breathe comics, the average moviegoer likely wasn't expecting such a massive loss of life.