WILD SPECULATION: WHICH CHARACTER WILL USHER IN THE NEXT PHASE OF THE MCU?
Here we are, standing in line and boarding the Hype Train for the next two Avengers movies. The Infinity War is a cosmic battle requiring all the major Marvel heroes coming together to stand against the power of Thanos. It’s gonna be super sweet!
So what might we expect to see?
- Tony Stark upgrading Peter Quill’s Zune with playlists that’ll melt his brain?
- Black Widow and Nebula Double KO’ing each other with simultaneous flying scissor locks?
- Doctor Strange being annoyed while babysitting a freaking-out Spider-Man in space?
- Iron Fist trying to deal with flashbacks to the last time he was punched by a cosmic badass?
- We FINALLY hear Cap call out “AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE!”?
- …then what?
How does the next phase of Marvel movies progress? And which character ushers us through? Until now, our guide has basically been Tony Stark. Since his first movie in 2008 and the post-credit scene that made the lofty promise of bringing multiple heroes together for the “Avengers Initiative,” Stark has been the MCU’s backbone. With the conclusion of that promise, it’s likely we’ll see a new wave of heroes, so let’s look at some possibilities on our new surrogate leader:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Why: Outside of the Avengers, this is the heavy-hitting team of the MCU. They have the popularity and equal measures of family drama and quirk to keep the spirit of the MCU going. Also, space-traveling rogues have a good track record of longevity (at least with fans, if not TV shows killed by FOX).
Why Not: They’ve already got two movies under their belt and you’ve got to imagine it’ll be difficult to keep the full cast beyond their third stand-alone film. On that same note, they’re an excellent ensemble, but this role of usher needs to be easily moved in and out of movies. Doing that as a group would prove particularly complicated.
Why: He’s the poster boy for Marvel in almost every way. Now that Marvel Studios can claim him (in partnership with Sony, still), I’m sure they have big plans for the character’s future. He’s already been taken under Stark’s wing and his mind for humor, tech, and Responsibility would make him a natural figurehead in the films to come. Spider-Man is often a “team-up” hero and his tendency to always get knocked down to get back up makes for endless stories.
Why Not: Yes, Marvel Studios can claim him, but not 100%. It seems like it must be considered on some level that the figurehead of the MCU should be fully under Marvel’s control. Story-wise, Peter Parker might be a great hero, but he does not often project the supreme confidence that Stark does, which may actually change the tone of many of Marvel’s movies.
Why: She’s got cosmic powers, a military background, and often moves in high-tech or sci-fi circles. Basically, she’s already an amalgamation of the MCU’s current heavy-hitters. She’s also a blank slate. She has a growing following in the comics, but we haven’t met her yet in the films and can be tailored to whatever role she’s needed for. She also has the potential to open up the films to new audiences who may be looking for (to borrow a comics term) a “jumping on” point. She has her movie slated and in development, already, and there’s a good chance she’ll be debuting when the Avengers take to the stars.
Why Not: She’s a blank slate. With other options like Spidey already on the table, does the next major player of the MCU start from scratch? She may end up being the next Captain America figure, certainly, but without having met her, it’s unclear if she has the character charisma to take the reins.
Then there’s always the truly wild speculation, like…
Marvel doesn’t own their movie development rights, but after two less-than-successful runs at “Marvel’s First Family,” I’d imagine there may be a deal reached to bring them home. It’s highly unlikely, but having a strong team with a limited roster could be a great fit. Also, Chris Evans double duty.
However, there’s always the “ace in the hole” with…
…because I believe he can do just about anything.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, just having fun. Doctor Strange will be around for a bit, so I expect more from him and Spidey. I’m also very excited to see what Black Panther brings to the films. Got any thoughts and/or suggestions? Let us know!