Now that the dust has settled from Avengers: Endgame, thoughts will inevitably turn to where the MCU goes from here. Marvel’s three hour spectacle is packed with action, unites every major character from the cinematic universe that featured throughout the past eleven years, and has easily passed the 2 billion dollar mark at the box office, making it the second highest grossing movie of all time.
But, while it was a thrilling conclusion to an epic interconnected series of stories, Endgame leaves us with many questions that will need to be answered going forward. Let’s take a look:
Is everything post Endgame now taking place in the future?
We know that Infinity War took place in 2018. And we saw that 5 years passed in Endgame before the Avengers were able to finally beat Thanos and reverse the snap. So, does this mean that any upcoming movies will now take place from 2023 onwards (unless they are identified from the outset as a prequel, of course)? Which leads to another question…
Were all of Peter Parker’s friends snapped away by Thanos?
At the end of Endgame, we see Peter Parker return to Midtown High were he is greeted by his best friend Ned, and it’s presumed that all the other students like MJ, Liz and Flash are around too. Were all of Peter’s friends snapped away by Thanos along with him?
It would be extremely convenient if that were the case, considering that the next movie in the MCU is Spiderman: Far From Home, in which Peter is still at school. So, did all of his friends get snapped instantly back and are the same age still? Or did some survive the snap, and are now five years older, and inevitably left high school by the time Peter is snapped back into existence? That would be a more interesting scenario in my book.
How can Gamora still live but Black Widow be dead, despite both dying in the same way?
As we know, both Gamora and Black Widow were sacrificed in order to obtain the Soul stone, in Infinity War and Endgame respectively. We are told various times that their deaths can’t be changed.
And yet, we see Nebula transport the 2014 version of Gamora to the present timeline, and when the movies ends, it’s implied that she stays there because we see that Star-Lord is trying to locate her. Technically she is different in that she is four years behind where she was at the point of her death, but her death was undoubtedly prevented by doing this.
So if Gamora can be brought back by simply going back in time and bringing her to the future, why didn’t the other Avengers do the same for Black Widow? I mean, she did willingly make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save them all, so the least they could have done was try!
Having said that, Nebula also brought Thanos forward from 2014, and the machine to do so was destroyed by his ship arriving, so it would have to be rebuilt. As we know, that much talked about Black Widow movie is happening, and it’s going to be a prequel. But maybe it’s also a sign that the character still has a future in the MCU.
If Gamora and Black Widow are still technically dead, does it mean they are inside the Soul Stone?
During the final battle with Thanos and his army, after he is snapped back into existence, Peter Parker reveals to Tony Stark that all the snap victims had been inside the world of the Soul Stone and that no time had passed for them at all, despite five years having passed in reality. He also mentions that Doctor Strange told them all that they had to go back because Stark was waiting for them.
Then after Stark’s funeral, we see Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye talking by the river. Hawkeye remarks that he would have liked for Black Widow to know that her sacrifice wasn’t in vain. Scarlet Witch replies, saying that she did know.
Now, this could simply be a case of Scarlet Witch comforting Hawkeye by saying that wherever she is Black Widow knows they won. But what if there is more to it, and Scarlet Witch actually KNOWS that Black Widow knew they had won, because she was in the Soul Stone with everyone else but had to stay behind when they all came back?
But because it had been established that the sacrifices to obtain the Soul Stone were permanent, her and Gamora couldn’t leave the world contained within the stone?
Is Loki still dead?
Any MCU fans will be well familiar with Loki appearing to die before coming back somehow at this stage. But when he died in Infinity War at the hands of Thanos, it seemed that he had finally died for good this time.
And yet, when the Avengers go back in time to retrieve Infinity Stones during the Battle of New York that happened in 2012 during the events of Avengers Assemble, we see that they mess up and Loki is able to escape. So does this mean that he is still dead? Or does his escape there mean his death never occurred?
The character is due to get his own spin off TV series when Disney launches their streaming service later this year. But allowing this little wrinkle to happen also opens up other cans of worms for the MCU…If Loki and Gamora can come back, why not Black Widow? Why not Vision, who was killed first by Scarlet Witch in order to destroy the Mind Stone, before having it ripped from his head by Thanos? Could other big events have been altered, like the death of Quicksilver during Age of Ultron for instance? Endgame just proves even further that there is no easy way to incorporate time travel and keep a completely coherent story.
Where was Sharon Carter?
The Russo Brothers revealed last year that Sharon Carter was in an early draft of Infinity War, featuring in scenes that showed her making a go of her relationship with Captain America. Given the events of Endgame, which saw Cap returning the Infinity Stones to the various points in time that they took them from and then deciding to remain in the past and live his life with Peggy, it made sense not to develop this romance further to avoid an awkward situation.
But why leave her out all together? Her absence didn’t make much sense in Infinity War, when it was a case of all hands on deck to stop Thanos from getting the Stones, and she had been established as a tough fighter in the Captain America Trilogy. They could have explained her absence in Endgame by saying she was snapped, and then just have her feature in the final battle along with all the others.
And does her absence now mean that the character is finished in the universe now? It would be a shame, considering that Emily van Camp was perfecting casting for the character and now that Black Widow is supposedly dead, it leaves room for another expertly trained secret agent. Van Camp also has a long history in TV work, so they could even use her character to create a stronger link between the Agents of Shield show and the movies, that has been sporadic thus far.
Can we expect an all-female Avengers line up at some point?
Endgame had a surprisingly controversial scene, which saw all the female superheroes of the MCU unite to help each other get the Infinity Gauntlet through Thanos’ army. A lot of people on social media (insecure fanboys mostly) complained that the scene was forced. In my opinion, that’s a stupid criticism and I loved the scene. If that had been the male heroes lining up together, very little would have been said, I bet.
Not only is it important to highlight the female heroes of the MCU, this scene teased the possibility of A Force, which was an all female Avengers line up in the comics. Could we be seeing an all female team up movie in Phase 4 or 5 of the MCU? I think it could be cool, because there are some interesting characters in the mix there already.
Speaking of team ups, who will be on the next official Avengers lineup?
With Iron Man and Black Widow dead, Cap and Hawkeye retired, and Thor seemingly joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk seems to be the only Avenger left. So who will be joining him now in future instalments as official Avengers team members?
Nick Fury appears to be trying to recruit Spider-Man in the Far From Home trailer. And Captain Marvel and Black Panther are pretty safe bets too. Sam Wilson became the new Captain America at the end of Endgame, so he will likely feature as well. I’d imagine Scarlet Witch would be in contention there too, seeing as she has been there for a while, even if not as one of the top tier team. I could also see them rounding out the roster with Ant-Man and the Wasp too.
How will the X-Men be incorporated into the Universe?
They have been completely absent from the MCU over the years, but now that Fox has been merged with Disney, it is only a matter of time before the X-Men make their debut. But how will they appear?
There has been some speculation that Disney/Marvel will try and introduce the Fox iterations of the X-Men to the universe, but I really can’t see this happening. The Fox films will draw to a close with Dark Phoenix in June, and then the MCU will completely recast and start from scratch.
Another way I thought they could introduce them would be through Tony’s world saving snap in Endgame…what if this also somehow creates mutants in the world?
Or they could simply just say that mutants have existed all along, but that would be a bit weird…if they were there all along, where have they been when the world was going to hell multiple times?
However they do it, I’m excited to see these characters in the MCU. Although I will miss the Fox version of the team…they were my childhood!!
How will the Fantastic Four be introduced?
The Fantastic Four are also migrating over as part of the Disney/Fox merger, but they will be much easier to incorporate I think. Now that Tony Stark is dead, I won’t be surprised if Pepper takes a step back and maybe even sells off some of Tony’s estate.
What if Stark/Avengers tower becomes the Baxter Building, the famous home of the Fantastic Four?
The Fantastic Four also bring with them the possibility of Galactus, a cosmic, planet eating villain from the comics that is rumoured to be the MCU’s next big bad. And as we heard Captain Marvel say in Endgame, there are LOTS of other planets that weren’t lucky enough to have an Avengers team protecting them, so they will be easy prey for him.
The Eternals movie is due to start filming this Autumn (with Angelina Jolie attached to star) and could be a way to tease the presence of Galactus going forward.
Overall, while Endgame was an enjoyable watch, it does have some glaring plot holes and throws up many questions for the future of the MCU. But, given how engrossed people have been over the last 11 years, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down and has plenty of characters and stories to see it into the next 11 years at least!