In comic books, character deaths are no big thing. Well, at the time they’re huge, and often come at the end of month-spanning publisher events, countless tie-in series and a final splash page sure to get everybody talking. But in the films, a comic book death could mean counting that actor out forever, and that has fans cautiously excited about May’s Avengers: Infinity War. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to death. We’ve seen characters like Odin, Quicksilver and Agent Phil Coulson bite the dust (though that last one is a bit of a stretch given Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) without returning. That’s not mentioning the countless villains who perish at the end of their respective films. You know, like Ultron, Ronan and Crossbones.
That could all change soon enough. The forums and message boards are ablaze with speculation on who could tap out in this next round of movies, from theories on Vision’s Infinity Gem origin to an Asgardian reckoning via Thanos. And there is plenty of evidence from the comic to support any number of character deaths on the horizon for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — and maybe some villains, too. Here are 15 deaths from Marvel Comics that could be next in the MCU.
Gamora’s story in the Guardians of the Galaxy films has been fairly nuanced since her introduction in the original 2014 movie. But as Gamora races to take on her father in Avengers: Infinity War, we have to wonder if a famous comic book “death” will find its way to Gamora in the next crossover flick.
After a gripping duel with Thanos, Gamora took on a mortal wound from her father, and the only one to save her soul, literally, was Adam Warlock.
Warlock absorbed Gamora and the other fatally wounded heroes and sent them to “Soulworld” inside the Soul Gem. Gamora only recently confronted her “soul” self in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics. We wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this happen in Infinity War or Avengers 4.
While Spider-Man has indeed met a sort of death in the mainline Marvel Comics (when Doctor Octopus switches bodies with him at a moment before his death), Peter Parker’s Ultimate Comics death is a much more likely scenario for the death of the MCU wall-crawler. After being shot by The Punisher during a botched Captain America assassination attempt, Spidey then went on to go toe-to-toe with the entirety of the Sinister Six.
Spider-Man would eventually be felled while taking out the biggest of bads, Norman Osborn, which paved the way for Miles Morales’ entry into the Marvel Universe as Spider-Man. With most of the pieces in place (sans Osborn), we could see this shaking out a few Spidey films down the line. Though, the previews for Infinity War have us second-guessing ourselves.
13. BLACK WIDOW
Natasha Romanoff’s death might be the most recent comic death on this list, coming at the end of the Marvel Comics “Secret Empire” event, when Hydra Captain America breaks her neck with his shield. It was fairly gruesome, especially given her actions in the event were pretty morally sound, training super-children to overthrow a fascist government.
And Romanoff’s death would be one that shakes the Marvel Cinematic Universe to its core.
She’s been a heavy hitter since her debut in Iron Man 2, but with a Black Widow film seeming likely for the future, we can’t imagine Marvel would want to take her off the board just yet, even as a red herring. And with her death surely being retconned in the comics, it’d be a decision quickly regretted by the studio.
12. IRON MAN
In many ways, the death of Tony Stark might seem like the most obvious and unavoidable death coming soon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has been there from the beginning, and with his story coming full circle at some point during Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him exit stage left before the credits roll.
And a recent comic event, Marvel’s “Civil War II,” featured a fairly prominent Tony Stark “death,” as the character was bested by Carol Danvers and sent into a coma just to keep him breathing. And maybe that’s the best route for the MCU? Keep Stark out of the picture, only for him to make an eventual triumphant cameo/return. We’re here for it.
11. SCARLET WITCH
Wanda Maximoff has been coming into her own over the last few Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover films, most recently during Captain America: Civil War. But with her relationship with Vision growing, could we see the death of the Scarlet Witch sometime soon in the MCU?
It may not be likely, but she has died before in the comics, albeit briefly.
Following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men and the creation of the Avengers Unity Division (which saw mutants, humans and Inhumans team up), Wanda was suddenly killed by Rogue during a mission where she was mistaken for betraying the team. The death was quickly reversed by Havok and time travel hijinks ensued. Oh, and the Red Skull then had possession of Charles Xavier’s brain. So… not a good look for the Marvel Universe.
While it would still come as a major shock to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is one death we could see happening. Why not? Hawkeye has recently shown us that he has a family, amping up potentially all of the emotions of a potential death. But with rumors of a new look for the Hawk guy in Avengers 4, we’re not totally sure. But he has died in the comics.
During a stint on the Avengers, Hawkeye’s arrow quiver (full of explosive arrows) is set on fire. So, you know, rather than toss them off, he doubles down and flies into a Kree warship, effectively sacrificing himself for the good of the team. But of course, he makes a resurrected return pretty soon after during the wild events of “House of M.”
Another death that was quickly rescinded, and recently at that, was the death of Thor Odinson during the events of Jonathan Hickman’s lead up to the “Secret Wars” event. Thor faced down hordes of Beyonders at the end of the universe and wouldn’t go down without a fight, back-to-back with Hyperion as they sacrificed themselves to prevent the end of everything.
And while Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a far cry from this point in comics history, his death would still signify something greater than himself.
8. THE HULK
Let’s be real. What better way to show that Thanos is a tried and true threat than by having him kill the unkillable? Yeah, we could see a world where Bruce Banner is taken down by Thanos in his quest for universal domination and the death of pretty much everything. And hey, there’s precedent for the death of Banner in the comics as well.
As part of the ill-fated and ill-received “Civil War II” event, Bruce Banner was taken off the board by his friend Clint Barton, Hawkeye, after Ulysses had a vision of the Hulk basically wrecking everything. He’s taken out in Banner’s form with an arrow to the skull. While a big deal at the time, Hulk already seems to be making his way back to the comics. So it goes.
7. JANE FOSTER
While we don’t realistically see this ever getting addressed in live-action, the death of Jane Foster could be a big driving force for Thor in future films. Honestly, though? We really just want to see Jane Foster take on the mantle of Thor for a bit — at least for one movie.
Her run in the comics has been stellar, and it would serve as a way to lead up to her death, just have Odinson lead Asgard while Jane becomes Thor.
And while Foster hasn’t actually died in the comics yet, her demise has been teased for the last year or so, as her character continues a losing battle with cancer, and she refuses to continue treatment for it. And with Marvel’s “Fresh Start” teasing a restored male Thor, one can only assume the worst.
6. NICK FURY
While Nick Fury and his son Nick Fury, Jr. have “died” countless times in the Marvel Universe (thanks to Life-Model Decoys) only one “death” has really stuck. Following the events of “Original Sin,” Nick Fury, found to be the murderer of The Watcher, was seemingly killed in an overloaded explosion in an attempt to take down Midas. He succeeds, but Fury is punished to silently watch the Earth forever.
OK, so that sort of death might be a little too much for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with Nick Fury already feigning death once in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it wouldn’t be so out of left field for him to die for real this time. It would be a Coulson-level loss for the team, and may serve as the continued beatdown courtesy of Thanos.
5. DOCTOR STRANGE
While it may feel incredibly sudden and unlikely for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange to bite the dust in the next few Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the comics precedence is at least there — albeit not super great. The Ultimate Doctor Strange met his end as part of the highly controversial “Ultimatum” event, where Dormammu made his head explode by crushing him inside his own cape.
That being said, we definitely don’t expect this one to happen, at least not any time soon in the MCU.
It would be gruesome, violent and a bit out of character for character deaths we’ve seen so far in the films. With Strange having bested Dormammu at least once already, we don’t the cape would do him in during a second bout.
Now this one we can get behind. Imagine it. We’re neck deep in Avengers 4 and we see Thanos go toe-to-toe with Drax the Destroyer. Then, for seemingly no reason other than very specific revenge, Drax punches Thanos in the chest and rips his heart out. Sound good yet? Well, that’s exactly what happened in the pages of Annihilation.
Could we see this happening in the films? Yeah, absolutely. The background has definitely been discussed, most recently in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but viewers might have more to gain from a character like Nebula or Gamora taking down Thanos. That all being said, we find it unlikely Thanos is going to make it out of this Phase alive. But maybe that’s just what he wants.
Scott Lang met his end in the comics because a former ally of his was resurrected by an evil Scarlet Witch and force to kill him via explosion. It was sudden and it was terrifying, but could a Scott Lang death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe be on the horizon?
It’s possible, especially given his apparent absence in Avengers: Infinity War.
But we don’t really see Scott Lang dying unless he’s one of the kills via Thanos in Infinity War or its follow-up. Of course, a universal reset could fix it, and given Ant-Man & The Wasp’s place in the timeline, it’s not completely out of the question. But we want more Paul Rudd, not less, so here’s hoping he’ll stick around for the long haul. Now Hank Pym on the other hand…
Alright, so Vision has only really “died” in the short-lived Marvel Mangaverse, by the hands of Doctor Doom, but with an Infinity Stone in his forehead, we think Vision may be next up to the end-of-life plate. In that sense, his death could feel more like Adam Warlock’s in the comics, and a removal of the Infinity Stone could mean a lot worse than just the absence of a beloved character.
But the comics version of Vision is no stranger to death, whether it’s the loss of Hank Pym, Ultron, a fused version of Hank Pym and Ultron or his own son and wife (more recently), he’s no stranger to the threat of death. Will he be able to stand against Thanos? We’ll know soon enough.
1. CAPTAIN AMERICA
As far as Marvel Cinematic Universe deaths go, the death of Steve Rogers may be just as likely as the death of Tony Stark. Captain America has had a rough go of things, losing his love, his original life and a handful of allies. And of course, Captain America’s death has just as grim of a backstory in the comics, something that some may see as long overdue in the MCU.
Steve Rogers was killed following the events of Civil War, when he is killed by a brainwashed Sharon Carter.
This death shook the Marvel Universe to its core, and eventually led to Bucky Barnes taking on the mantle of Captain America until Rogers’ eventual return to the fold. Would this be a solid out for the MCU? Sure, but with Crossbones off the board and Carter nowhere to be seen, it seems unlikely for now.
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