WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.
The finale of Marvel Studios first few phases is almost upon us, as Avengers: Endgame is set to close out the "Infinity Saga." With so much secrecy behind the film and where it will leave the heroes, fans were left with a lot of questions about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We now know where some of the heroes of the MCU are left after Endgame, but the films currently in production don't reveal many plans for Marvel Studios' next wave of films. However, through careful examination of the source material, it is possible to begin preparing for a few possibilities we might see on the big screen with 10 Marvel stories to read after Avengers: Endgame.
Out of all the Marvel stories on this list, this may be the most important to read because we know for a fact that the Eternals are heading to the MCU. Rumors began last year about the development of Eternals, with recent casting rumors reporting that Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Ma Dong-seok are up for lead roles in the film.
While the Eternals were created by Jack Kirby and the original series is a fantastic read for that reason alone, it's really the Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. volume of Eternals that might have the most relevance to any MCU plans. The series follows Ikaris as he attempts to awaken his fellow Eternals from their human lives, which would help introduce the Eternals to the MCU.
9 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
To clarify, we aren't talking about the team that was first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy who fought alongside the Avengers during Infinity War. While we are sure to see more of Star-Lord and his crew after Endgame, there was another group of characters introduced by James Gunn in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that could play a large role in the future of the MCU.
James Gunn introduced the Ravagers, led by Sylvester Stallone as Stakar/Starhawk, though they are known in the comics as the original Guardians of the Galaxy, which was the first appearance of Yondu. Gunn has previously stated that the team might play a large role in his future cosmic plans in the MCU, so brushing up on their team history is a good idea moving past Endgame.
8 SAM WILSON: CAPTAIN AMERICA
While Iron Man's finale in the MCU was easily one of the saddest moments fans have witnessed over 10 years of the MCU, Steve Rogers goodbye was fitting and full of hope, just like the character deserved. His departure from the MCU also left the shield in the hands of the new Captain America, Sam Wilson.
Wilson's time as Captain America in the comics didn't last too long when compared to some of the other men who have wielded the shield, though he served the costume well, and did things his own way using his newfound notoriety as Captain America to try and make some positive changes. The series also showcases a way that old Steve could still factor into the MCU.
Thor may be sticking around the MCU for a bit longer, but Cap and Iron Man's stories have largely run their course. Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the whole MCU back in 2008's Iron Man and has starred in multiple franchises with the shared universe over the last 10 years. With Endgame giving Stark the sendoff he deserves, it's time to look towards a new crop of heroes who could appear.
Of course, there's a way for RDJ to still have a role in the next wave of MCU films. Fans need to look no further than the second volume of Invincible Iron Man, which introduced new character Riri Williams, a young genius with her own suit of armor who is gifted with a holographic AI of Tony Stark himself, who helps her become her own armored hero, Ironheart.
6 YOUNG AVENGERS
There was a lot of speculation that Endgame was setting up a new generation of heroes, and some of those rumors could still be fleshed out, considering the status of some of the new characters, or older versions of characters, introduced during Avengers: Endgame.
With Hawkeye's daughter, a grown-up Cassie Lang, and potentially Stark's daughter playing a part in the film, we could be seeing the beginnings of the MCU's version of the Young Avengers. Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung introduced the first team of young heroes with mysterious ties to the Avengers, which could make for important reading after Endgame.
5 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Brie Larson's Captain Marvel is the newest addition to the MCU, which means she is likely to have a large presence moving forward after Endgame. Considering the character has been off-world for years after her appearance in Captain Marvel and during the five-year time jump in Endgame, it might be time for Captain Marvel to stick a little closer to Earth.
The third volume of her self-titled series may give us a possible direction for her time on Earth, as Carol Danvers is made commander of the Alpha Flight Space Program. Living and working aboard an orbiting satellite, Captain Marvel works with Alpha Flight to protect Earth from galactic threats, which the MCU could certainly use after Endgame.
4 THE ULTIMATES
Leader of Alpha Flight might not be the only role for Captain Marvel to play in the MCU following Endgame, especially if the film ends without an active Avengers team as some have theorized. Carol wasn't exclusive to the Avengers in the comics and has joined up with a few other powerful members of the Marvel Universe to form a group known as The Ultimates.
The Ultimates roster includes Captain Marvel, as well as other MCU newcomer Black Panther, giving a further reason we might see The Ultimates in the MCU feature. The team also includes the brilliant and powerful Blue Marvel, dimensional hopper America Chavez, and Spectrum, who has already appeared in Captain Marvel as the young Monica Rambeau in the MCU.
3 SECRET INVASION
When it was first announced that the Skrulls would be appearing in Captain Marvel, fans were instantly looking towards an ominous future in the MCU thanks to the shape-changing aliens. The comic versions of the Skrulls have always been a threat to Earth, which was never clearer than in Secret Invasion when their plans to infiltrate and take over Earth were revealed.
While Captain Marvel introduced a much different version of the Skrulls than fans were expecting, that doesn't mean all of the Skrulls share the same refugee qualities seen in the film. Any future appearances by other Skrull colonies in the galaxy could very well lead to the Secret Invasion, which would serve as another huge event for the MCU to work towards over the next few years.
Of course, that isn't the only event that the MCU could be heading towards, but before we get to that, the MCU would potentially need to introduce a new character. We've already seen the Nova Corps of Xandar in Guardians of the Galaxy, but as revealed in Avengers: Infinity War, Xandar was destroyed by Thanos when he obtained the Power Gem.
The destruction of Xandar kicks off the debut of another Marvel hero who would make a great addition to the MCU, Richard Rider. Following Xandar's destruction, Rider is entrusted with the power of the Nova Corps and becomes the last Nova, a teenager with cosmic-level powers that could play a huge role in the development of the Cosmic MCU.
Once Nova is properly introduced along with other pre-existing elements of the Cosmic MCU, the pieces may be in place for the next event to follow the "Infinity Saga." Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and potentially even a few characters from the recent Fox acquisition like Silver Surfer and Galactus could all play a large role in an adaptation of Annihilation.
Annihilation sees the threat of Annihilus and his armies threaten to overtake the Marvel universe, with Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and other cosmic heroes coming together to stop his unending horde. There have been clues, rumors, and speculation about the possibility of the MCU facing Annihilation after Endgame, so it might be time to catch up on the cosmic side of Marvel.