Avengers: Infinity War Speculation

By Shamus
on Dec 3, 2017
Filed under:
Movies

So the Infinity War Trailer dropped this week. It’s pretty good. I really like the angle they’re taking with Thanos, our villain. He’s not just some boring sadistic space monster. He’s a big dude with big goals, but he seems to enjoy the prospect of mopping the floor with the heroes. His design is interesting as well. He doesn’t look cruel or insane. If anything his design makes him look thoughtful.

It’s interesting the movie is called “Infinity War”. Originally it was titled “Infinity War Part 1”. We know this movie and the next were shot together and form a single story. Maybe the sequel will be called Avengers: Infinity Plus One War.

It’s been a long road to get here. The Marvel Cinematic Universe turns 10 next year, and a lot of the old guard are preparing to leave. I’ve been wondering about this since the whole MCU plan was announced. It’s a remarkable opportunity: The chance to introduce a superhero, grow them for a decade as they experience multiple character arcs, and then kill them off for good. TV shows can’tIt’s not IMPOSSIBLE, but what are the odds of making it this long without getting canceled, the public losing interest, the key creative people moving on, or the meta-plot dissolving into nonsense as it passes through multiple writing teams? do these kinds of long-running stories, and in comics you can’t count on anyone staying dead. In a lot of ways, this is exactly what I’ve always wanted from superhero stories. Stories that are long but not unlimited, with characters that die when the writers run out of interesting things to do with them. It’s a shame these things are so expensive to make, because I’d love to see a lot more heroes explored in this format.

The Marvel movies are to the box office what John Cena is to wrestling. It’s almost boring to see them win all the time. Sometimes I wish they would fumble one of these things just so we can see how they’d handle it.

But that’s silly. We’re getting two or three incredible movies a year and that’s more than enough entertainment for me. Rather than wishing Marvel would fail, it’s probably more sensible to wish DC would pull it together and start giving us a rival series of similar stature.

Anyway, we’re about five months from the first Infinity War movie, and so I’d like to engage in a little speculation as to what they’re going to do, who’s going to die, and how things might play out.

I have no insider knowledge so nothing we discuss here can be considered “spoilers”, but I will be spoiling some earlier Marvel films and comics and such. For the record, I’m all caught up on the Marvel movies except for Thor: Ragnarok, which I plan to see in February when it comes out on video. 26 years ago I read the Infinity Gauntlet comics, which is what this movie is loosely based on. So if you’ve fallen behind on your Marvel-watching and you’re shy about spoilers, then maybe give this post a pass.

Still here? Great. Let’s do this…

Who Dies?


Link (YouTube)

Iron Man

It’s no secret that Robert Downey Jr. is done with the series. I can’t say I blame him. He’s been doing this longer than anyone else. I’m sure Iron Man will die in these movies. The big team image in the trailer doesn’t feature him, which means he might not even survive the first movie. Then again, movie trailers are famously unreliable these days so we probably shouldn’t read too much into his absence. Maybe in the movie the camera pans right and he’ll stomp into frame in the enormous Hulkbuster ArmorElsewhere in the trailer we see the Hulkbuster Armor, and it does indeed look like it’s in this same jungle location..

Who will replace him?

Obviously James Rhodes / War Machine is the replacement for Iron Man in terms of combat, but in terms of story? Stark is a brilliant inventor with a razor witBy the standards of movie banter.. He’s wealthy, informed, and he’s got some leadership skills.

Rhodes hasn’t shown any leadership skills. Sure, he’s in the military and he has rank over other guys, but in the movie they’ve shown several times that he’s not really on the same level as the other superheroes. He usually plays straight man to someone else’s antics. He’s not cool, or brilliant, or inspiring.

Sure, in the real world he’d totally be in line for a leadership position in the Avengers. But from a storytelling point of view it feels like the writer would be painting themselves into a corner. He’s not a big enough character or screen presence to take on that role, and if he did you’d have a stable, sensible, well-grounded, perfectly ordinary guy in charge. That’s a recipe for boring stories. He’s not a fan favorite. Heck, I think he’s had less screen time than Stan Lee.

In short, War Machine can take over as the guy in a robot suit and he might even take on the Iron Man name, but he’s not going to really take over as Iron Man in terms of leadership or story importance.

Captain America

I wonder where his shield is? It doesn`t appear anywhere in the trailer.

I wonder where his shield is? It doesn`t appear anywhere in the trailer.

Chris Evans has made it clear he wants to direct and he’s tired of spending so much time in the gym. While I appreciate the time he’s spent making himself look so perfect for the part, I can’t blame him for wanting to move on. Like Iron Man, I think Captain America is going to die. It just makes sense from a storytelling perspective.

Who will replace him?

This is easy. The writers have been planning for this from the beginning and they already have Bucky / Winter Soldier ready to take over. They’ve been carefully maintaining his shaggy hair and perma-stubble so we can get that big “oh wow!” moment of transformation when he cleans himself up to don the star-spangled suit.

Yes, they left him on ice at the end of Civil War. He’s got a bunch of Hydra mind-control nonsense in his head and his robo-arm got blown off, but it’s obvious the writer can thaw him out whenever they need. Scarlet Witch’s mind powers are vague enough they could justify her “erasing” the Hydra conditioning, while at the same time also erasing as much or as little of Bucky’s memories as they need to make the story work. And the robo-arm? Bah. In this universe you can probably just order a fresh one on Ebay. Stark probably has a drawer full of robo-arms.

The only question is: Will they thaw him out before Tony Stark dies? Stark has a huge grudge against Bucky. This is a comic book movie. Memories can be erased and robo-arms can be replaced, but it would be an extreme sin of storytelling to sweep that conflict under the rug. If Stark and Bucky have to fight side-by-side, then the writer will need to deal with this.

You could make it one of the side-plots. Both of these characters need closure. Bucky needs to lay his murderous past to rest and stop feeling guilt about things he couldn’t control, and Stark needs to forgive him so he can move on. If Steve Rogers dies at the end of the first movie then they can thaw out Bucky at the start of the second. Then Stark and Bucky can hammer out their differences as they bond in the process of saving the universe. Just before the big showdown, they could settle their differences and Stark could name Bucky as the new Captain America, which is likely to stick once Stark snuffs it.

I dunno. That’s just one of a dozen ways they could handle it. I’m happy as long as they don’t ignore it.

Again, Bucky can replace the Captain in combat, but not leadership. We’re still left without a leader for the team. Sure, Nick Fury is in charge if Marvel wants to keep paying for Samuel L. Jackson, but I’m talking about leadership on the field.

Thor

You can’t just casually kill off superheroes, particularly not ones we’ve spent so much time with. If someone is going to die, we need to spend screen time on it. We need to give them their heroic moment, their shocking death, and then allow all these other characters to react to it. Then people need to discuss it later so it doesn’t feel like everyone forgot them. If you try to stuff too many deaths into one movie you risk ruining the pacing, and if you do them in bulk then it can feel cheap and unsatisfying. So in terms of basic screen time, there’s only so many heroes you can kill in a given movie.

So I’m kind of thinking Thor survives. Again, I don’t know what happens in Ragnarok yet, but rather than kill off a small-g god, it seems more expedient to have him return to Asgard to rule / rebuild. I imagine Ragnarok left him with plenty to worry about back home.

In the future, Marvel can bring him back for brief throne-room cameos, like they did with Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

Who will replace him?

I don’t know. Everyone is raving about Valkyrie in Ragnarok, but I don’t know if her personality / powerset lends itself to teaming up with the Avengers.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye will live, because if they kill him off I’ll never forgive them.

He’s not in the trailer, but then neither are Ant-Man and Bucky. Maybe they show up in the second movie.

EDIT: Obviously Bucky is in the trailer. He’s RIGHT THERE in the big group shot. I guess I was just too obsessed with Cap and his missing shield to notice?

Anyway, showing Hawkeye going home to is family would be a good way to cap off the movies, like showing Sam going back to the shire.

Black Widow

I have no idea. I haven’t heard any rumors about her wanting to stay or leave. On the other hand, it’s not totally clear what use an ordinary human assassin will be against Thanos. I guess the writer will find something for her and Hawkeye to do.

I’d like it if they started making Black Widow movies to replace Captain America. Yes, they could keep making Captain America with Bucky, but I think Bucky isn’t an interesting enough character to make us care to see an entire movie about him. Meanwhile, Black Widow is all mystery and secrets and hidden agendas and has a much more commanding screen presence. She can pick up where Captain America left off in terms of discovering and thwarting Hydra’s nefarious plans.

Then again, maybe she’s had enough Marvel by now. Hard to say.

Everyone Else

Ant-Man has movie that comes out after the Infinity War is over, so we know he’ll live. Scarlet Witch has only been in a couple of movies and I’m sure Marvel has her for a few more. Same goes for Black Panther. Same goes for Spider-Man.

Drax seems doomed to die trying to get revenge on Thanos. Sure, the writer can save him if they want, but that sounds like a good end to his character.

Dr. Strange ought to live. In the comics, a character named Adam Warlock was a key player in the war against Thanos. I don’t want to say he was the “main character”, but he was the one making plans and giving everyone exposition. Since he doesn’t exist in the MCU, I’m betting some of his exposition duties will fall to Dr. Strange.

It seems like Vision really ought to die. He was brought to life by the infinity gem in the middle of his forehead, and the trailer clearly shows the bad guys performing an gem-ectomy on him.

I don’t have any guesses regarding Hulk. This is one character you really can’t pass on. There’s no Hulk Jr. waiting to take the mantle if Hulk dies. Honestly if Mark Ruffalo wants to quit then it’s probably best to re-cast the role.

So Who’s in Charge?

Spoiler: Thanos is not a good person.

Spoiler: Thanos is not a good person.

In the future, who will lead the Avengers into battle? Both Stark and Rogers are going to die or retire in such a way that we’ll never see them again, and those guys were the leaders of the group. Nobody else on the team has been portrayed as leadership material.

And again, I’m not just talking about skills and seniority. I’m thinking about who makes a good leader from a storytelling perspective. Who has a dynamic personality that can drive a plot? Who has the affection and recognition of the general audience? Who’s going to look good standing front-and-center on the poster for Avengers 5?

Scarlet Witch is too young and not really a leader. Vision is much too sedate to be screaming “Secure the MacGuffin before it’s too late!” in the heat of battle. Hulk is too Hulk. An Asgardian (Thor or his replacement) would be good at the job, but it would be awkward having a leader that only shows up during cataclysms. I’m pretty sure Spider-Man has lead the team in the comics, but not when he was a stammering teenager.

Let’s look at the candidates.

War Machine is not a commanding screen presence. He’s not an interesting character except as a foil for others. While Don Cheadle is a great talent, he’s not a blockbuster movie star and it’s hard to imagine him at the center of these stories. If the writer wanted to make Rhodes the leader they would need to spend a lot of time with him in Infinity War. They would need to give him some more personality flaws, some goals, and some relationships with people other than Tony Stark. And since he doesn’t get a single line of dialog and we never see his face in the trailer, my guess is that he’s going to continue to be a side-character.

Black Widow seems like a bit of a lone Wolf to be doing that sort of thing. Scarlett Johansson is certainly a big enough star to pull it off and her character is plenty interesting. The writer could make it work if they wanted, but it feels like Natasha Romanova wouldn’t want the job. Also, Scarlett Johansson has been doing this a long time and maybe she’s ready to move on from the MCU.

Falcon seems like an okay fit. He’s not really main character material right now, but he’s closer than War Machine.

Winter Soldier is a basket of crazy with a murderous past. From a logical perspective he’s a terrible choice, but from a screenwriting perspective he’s a good one. The audience already knows him, and he has established relationships with other people. It’s a safe bet he’s going to take on the Captain America name, and leadership of the Avengers comes with the job. It has to be Bucky.

So here’s my take:

Can Thanos grow a beard? I have to imagine shaving that bumpy chin would be a challenging job.

Can Thanos grow a beard? I have to imagine shaving that bumpy chin would be a challenging job.

While I don’t know what happens to Hela in Ragnarok, I’ve been assuming that they’re going to follow the comics and have Thanos be in love with herI don’t know if Hela and death are actually the same character, but for for the purposes of movie adaptation it’s close enough., which will form his central motivation. He’ll show up on Earth to claim the gems and we’ll get our movie. Steve Rogers will die in the conflict. The Avengers will go for reinforcements in the second movie. This means bringing out second-stringers like Hawkeye and Ant-Man, as well as welcoming newcomers like Nova.

Bucky is revived at the start of the second movie, and then we spend the rest of the movie watching him go through moments of growth / reinvention so that he’s ready for the mantle of leadership when the time comes. This would retroactively make the events of Civil War even more important, since it would mean Captain America wasn’t just saving the life of his friend, but also the future leader of the Avengers. Part of this process involves working through things with Iron Man. Iron Man dies in the big fireworks show at the end, along with any of the other big stars that want to retire from making Marvel movies.

Family man Barton (Hawkeye) is used to bring us back to normalcy at the end and let us leave the theater feeling warm and hopeful.

I’m not predicting that’s what will happen. (EDIT: And since Bucky is in the trailer, it clearly CAN’T happen this way. That’s fine with me, as long as the feud with Stark isn’t dismissed with a hand-wave.) I’m just saying that if I was the writer, that’s what I’d do.

So what’s your take? Are you excited for Infinity War? Any guesses on who will live or die?

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] It’s not IMPOSSIBLE, but what are the odds of making it this long without getting canceled, the public losing interest, the key creative people moving on, or the meta-plot dissolving into nonsense as it passes through multiple writing teams?

[2] Elsewhere in the trailer we see the Hulkbuster Armor, and it does indeed look like it’s in this same jungle location.

[3] By the standards of movie banter.

[4] I don’t know if Hela and death are actually the same character, but for for the purposes of movie adaptation it’s close enough.


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A Hundred!A Hundred!201221 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. The_Hansard says:

    I hope I’m right………………..

    Captain Marvel will replace Captain America

    In the comics she’s already led the Avengers and Alpha Flight so she would be a natural fit for the vacant leadership role

    • MichaelGC says:

      The Wasp would be another possibility – founding member and led the team for many years in the comics.

      • Daimbert says:

        I mention it below, but from looking at the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie the daughter is going to take up that mantle. It could still work, though.

      • Christopher says:

        The Wasp leapt to mind for me too, but in the MCU she hasn’t even met any avengers besides Ant-Man yet. If all the big boys are busy being dead or vanished or whatever after Infinity War, I’d say it’s Black Widow or Hawkeye’s turn, as funding members. Maybe Banner, but that reaaaally depends on how his Hulking is going at the moment.

    • MarcellusMagnus says:

      That might be a hard sell, since her own solo movie comes out a mere 2 months before the Infinity War sequel (where the transition would presumably happen). And she is practically unknown to the general public. By contrast, Captain America’s first film came almost a year before The Avengers – and that was with a well-known, iconic character!

      I don’t see a lot of ways to make that work, short of cramming her origin story into Infinity War (because you can’t just do a simple cameo like Spidey in Civil War with a relatively unknown character), and then making the Captain Marvel movie basically Infinity War 1.5 (because it would be weird for a prominently featured character to take some time out for a solo adventure while the rest of the MCU is still wrapped up in a cosmic disaster), an then have her arc reach its zenith in The Film Formerly Known As Infinity War Part II. But at that point, you’d be betting a whole lot on a previously unknown, unproven character.

      I don’t know. Maybe Marvel Studios has the balls to actually pull it off. I hope they surprise me… :)

    • Grampy_bone says:

      This sounds likely as well. Though in the comics, at one point Star Lord had the shield…

      They’ve said Carol Danvers will appear in these movies at some point, so her leading the charge in Infinity War 2 and picking up the pieces from the destroyed avengers would probably work. Really interesting to see an “occupied Earth” since it’s likely they’ll lose in this movie.

  2. Leslee says:

    MCU needs at least 35% more women. I’m so bloody tired and bored of stories about male superheroes.

    My vote is also for Captain Marvel.

    • Daimbert says:

      I’m curious: how do you think the stories themselves will be different if it is a male or a female superhero?

      • Leslee says:

        How would I know? The only stories that have been told in the past 15 years have been Cat Woman (ARGH!), Elektra (Meh) and Wonder Woman (Finally!).

        • Daimbert says:

          It’s just odd to ask for a female character when you’re bored of the male characters without having any idea that the female character stories will be any different. And I personally avoid any media where I feel that it’s inserting a female character just to have a female character in it; my impression is that those tend to be very, very bad.

          You could replace the Captain America spy-style movies with Black Widow/Mockingbird, which would be fun if you could get Adrianne Palicki — she did a good job with it in Agents of SHIELD — but you wouldn’t want to do that and the Captain America movies in that style. There are other female characters that might allow for new things to look at, but at the end of the day I’m not sure that you’d get things that are that different without making them terrible, and if they don’t shake things up they’d probably bore you as much as what is happening now.

          • Wolf says:

            It seems problematic that male heroes are so standard that putting a female hero in one of those makes you demand a good reason, so as to not make it feel hamfisted.

            On the other topic. Properly describing what changes you would expect from more female heroes is not an easy task. I have vague feelings that Buffy was decidedly better for having a female lead, but I can’t easily put those in writing. But I know that the dynamics change non-trivially.

            • Daimbert says:

              It seems problematic that male heroes are so standard that putting a female hero in one of those makes you demand a good reason, so as to not make it feel hamfisted.

              But I didn’t. Leslee started out by saying that we needed to put female superheroes there and gave the reason that she was bored of the stories of male superheroes. My reply was simply asking if there would be different stories told if we used female superheroes rather than male superheroes.

              On the other topic. Properly describing what changes you would expect from more female heroes is not an easy task. I have vague feelings that Buffy was decidedly better for having a female lead, but I can’t easily put those in writing. But I know that the dynamics change non-trivially.

              In some cases, sure, but we can in general do better than merely asserting that. As a separate example, I think the Fatal Frame games worked a lot better because they had a female and generally female leads, because a young teenage girl walking around in a haunted house or village definitely adds a feeling of vulnerability that, say, someone like James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2 doesn’t. I also think that the story of Jessica Jones wouldn’t work if that was a male superhero, for similar reasons. But I don’t think those are the only stories we can tell.

              To be clear, there are a number of female superheroes that I’d like to see in various media. But the “We need female superheroes for … some reason” line kinda bugs me.

            • Shamus says:

              Sort of replying to this thread as a whole:

              This debate is always interesting to me because of how quickly you end up with two groups of people arguing with each other even though they basically want the same thing.

              Okay, there’s a small group of weirdos who DON’T want female heroes for various reasons. I’ve never actually interacted with one, but I know they exist. Let’s agree that these people are not relevant to this conversation and set them aside.

              So the rest of us just want good stories about characters we like. Some people want heroes more like them. They want a hero that is female / young / gay / a minority race / a particular religion / a particular ethnicity / etc. But when they say “I want a hero that is X!” they immediately get push-back from people warning against tokenism.

              I strongly suspect this is an age thing. I remember token characters when I was young. There were all the “regular” characters, and then “the girl”. Or the “normal people” and then the “ethnic guy”. Superfriends had four or five brazenly token characters, and they were AWFUL. Just shockingly bad. Bad in a “I’m embarrassed this was created by my culture” kind of way. These characters were dumb, yes. But there was this awful air of sanctimony about them, like if you pointed out how terrible they were then you must hate the group they’re supposed to represent. On top of those were the mandated-by-corporate diversity groups that were awful because making the group “diverse” was more important than making them good characters.

              You could even make the case that bad characters characters HURT diversity. When Catwoman was a pile of trash, we all thought, “Gosh. What a horrible movie!” But I worry that somewhere in Hollywood some mogul thought, “Gosh. Racist America sure doesn’t want to see movies about black women. Better not greenlight any more of those!” I don’t know. I can’t prove it, but it seems plausible. (So much easier to accuse those yokels in flyover country of being racist than to admit you greenlit a terrible movie.)

              So I understand the trepidation when you hear someone is going to make a story “more diverse”. A character created for the wrong reasons can hurt a movie, ruin a beloved character, and maybe even make Hollywood MORE cautious when it comes to choosing characters.

              But having said all that, I totally trust Marvel on this. (And I guess I have to trust DC even more. Yes, the DC universe is a mess, but Wonder Woman was really good.)

              The problem Marvel has is that they’re basically using everyone they can at the moment. Scarlet Witch, Gomorrah, Nova, Valkyrie, and Black Widow are already in the movies. Ms. Marvel and Wasp are on the way. Everyone else is owned by Fox or Sony. (Marvel has a LOT of female supers, and they’re nearly all mutants, which means they’re currently controlled by Fox.) Who is left that’s famous enough to get fans excited?

              Aside from Squirrel Girl, I mean.

              • Shamus says:

                You idiot. You’ve written a post in the comments again.

              • Daimbert says:

                But having said all that, I totally trust Marvel on this.

                I don’t because they haven’t really reacted to those calls in the MCU yet, except for maybe with Black Panther, and at least that character was a long-time established Avenger. I’d have to wait to see how Captain Marvel and Black Panther work out in their own movies.

                The problem Marvel has is that they’re basically using everyone they can at the moment. Scarlet Witch, Valkyrie and Black Widow are already in the movies. Ms. Marvel and Wasp are on the way. Everyone else is owned by Fox or Sony. (Marvel has a LOT of female supers, and they’re nearly all mutants, which means they’re currently controlled by Fox.) Who is left that’s famous enough to get fans excited?

                Marvel was a success with a team where one of the most prominent characters was ROCKET RACCOON, and had a success with ANT-MAN (and not the Hank Pym version). I’m not sure that “famous” matters all that much to the MCU [grin]. And there are a large number of female Avengers they can call upon for various roles: She-Hulk, Tigra, Jocasta, Spectrum (Captain Marvel for a while), Mantis, Hellcat, Moondragon (who has a link to Valkyrie), Mockingbird (only in Agents so far), the two distinct Spider-Women, and a host of others. You probably don’t want to start them with a solo movie … but I’d say the same thing about Captain Marvel and would have said the same about Ant-Man …

                • Viktor says:

                  America Chavez, Elsa Bloodstone, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel(the new one whose solo series was ridiculously successful). Either solo or as part of their various teams. And those aren’t even deep cuts. Give me a Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur movie, Marvel!

                  • MarcellusMagnus says:

                    Hmm…

                    Spectrum (Captain Marvel for a while)

                    Elsa Bloodstone

                    Too bad Tabitha “Boom-Boom” Smith is a mutant (and therefore belongs to Fox), because now I want to see a Nextwave film.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    I’m staying away from the newer heroines and sticking with the classic ones just because their inclusion would be less controversial and easier to tie to a specific storyline where they played a major role.

                  • Bryan Bridges says:

                    Kamala, the new Ms. Marvels comic was mostly below twenty thousand sales. That is actually very bad, although some critics gave it an award. Similarly, Carol Danvers, the new Captain Marvel, had incredibly bad sales. That is why her solo series had to be relaunched several times in just two years. I also want more female super heroes, but the ones of the marvel now iniative are utterly terrible.

                    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

                      Bryan, this is a bad post. You state that the sales of two titles are low (only counting single issues and not trades or digital, which is the two categories in which Ms. Marvel excels) and then somehow this leads you to the statement that the heroes themselves are terrible? I have mixed feelings about the Captain Marvel series in recent years, but Ms. Marvel is the best “young hero” title from Marvel or DC for the past 5 years or so.

                • MarcellusMagnus says:

                  She-Hulk, Tigra, Jocasta, Spectrum (Captain Marvel for a while), Mantis, Hellcat, Moondragon (who has a link to Valkyrie), Mockingbird (only in Agents so far), the two distinct Spider-Women

                  Out of that list, I can see She-Hulk and maybe the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman have potential mainstream staying power. The rest, not so much. There is no film studio that could possibly make Tigra interesting…

                  The one I’d like to see is Kamala Khan (the new Ms. Marvel). She could be introduced to the MCU through the Spider-Man films, given that Homecoming’s character dynamics already took a lot from the Miles Morales Spider-Man.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    There are two cases to consider. First, as support members in the Avengers and second as stars in their own solo movies. All of my suggestions, I think, work as secondary characters, and after Marvel made a successful movie out of the Scott Lang Ant-Man I have some faith that they can do it with anyone [grin].

                    Jocasta follows from Ultron, and ties into the Frankenstein mythos. Julia Carpenter’s Spider-Woman has an interesting hook up to the Accords. Moondragon allows for an excuse to continue Valkyrie’s redemption arc and ties into Guardians as well. Mockingbird was already in AoS.

                    As for Tigra, she’s a catgirl. Are you saying that Marvel can’t make money with a catgirl [grin]?

                  • Sartharina says:

                    Tigra doesn’t need to be interesting to have a dedicated fan turnout.

                • Baron Tanks says:

                  I just wanted to chime in, as a general nerd with some knowledge of comics (greater than the average moviegoer, smaller than someone that grew up with them), none of these names

                  She-Hulk, Tigra, Jocasta, Spectrum, Mantis, Hellcat, Moondragon, Mockingbird

                  meant anything to me outside of She-Hulk and Mockingbird. And Mockingbird only cause I heard because that’s what Adrianne Palicki is supposed to be, not because she is portrayed like a superhero in the show she plays the character in. Now I’m not saying you can’t do a movie with those (we saw them change Guardians from nothing to A-tier and characters like Iron-Man from also-rans to top tier) but they’re definitely not on the level as the famous females that Shamus alluded to and definitely not names that will sell a movie on the character alone as arguably a Catwoman or Wonder Woman would (regardless of the relative quality of associated movies).

                  • Daimbert says:

                    How much did Black Widow mean to you before she appeared in the MCU? How about Ant-Man? Hawkeye? Black Panther? As I said elsewhere, Marvel is less big name dependent in general than DC is, and a lot of their big names weren’t theirs to use. I think part of Marvel’s success is that they had to focus on storylines rather than on big names — or stories with big names — and that really works. Many of the characters I’ve mentioned have great tie-ins to the stories that Marvel has already used.

                    • Baron Tanks says:

                      I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m just saying there’s multiple tiers of renown. I’m not entirely in key to general awareness, but I knew about Ant-Man and Black Panther at least (not Hawkeye, I’ll give you that). But yeah, they’d have to pull the same thing as with Guardians, which they could be very well capable of again. Let’s hope they can make that work again :)

              • BlueHorus says:

                Oh, so that’s why I sometimes hear ‘Token Character’ used as an insult. I think I might be a bit young for the really bad examples of Token Characters, who combine well-meaning zeal with clumsily offensive steryotypes in the worst ways.
                Good to know.

                When Catwoman was a pile of trash, we all thought, “Gosh. What a horrible movie!” But I worry that somewhere in Hollywood some mogul thought, “Gosh. Racist America sure doesn’t want to see movies about black women. Better not greenlight any more of those!” I don’t know. I can’t prove it, but it seems plausible. (So much easier to accuse those yokels in flyover country of being racist than to admit you greenlit a terrible movie.)

                This rings so true. It’s not so much inherent racism in film-making as it is simplistic, money-focussed thinking. Though I’d say less ‘America’s too racist for this’ and more ‘this movie had a black woman and didn’t do well. Ergo, no more black-women movies’. Hanlons Razor comes to mind.

                • Shamus says:

                  “I think I might be a bit young for the really bad examples of Token Characters”

                  If you’re curious, check out Samurai, Apache Chief, Black Vulkan, and El Dorado:

                  http://www.seanbaby.com/super.htm

                  Their heartfelt and earnest attempt at diversity was so bad it almost qualifies as a hate crime. </hyperbole>

                  • BlueHorus says:

                    Bwahahaha!
                    The road to dumb, offensive characters is paved with good intentions, huh?

                    Also, that site should have a TVtropes-style ‘kiss the next few hours goodbye’ warning. But then again, I’ve heard of Seanbaby before, so I should have expected it…

                • Daimbert says:

                  This rings so true. It’s not so much inherent racism in film-making as it is simplistic, money-focussed thinking. Though I’d say less ‘America’s too racist for this’ and more ‘this movie had a black woman and didn’t do well. Ergo, no more black-women movies’. Hanlons Razor comes to mind.

                  Yep, stupidity is my explanation for this, because they generally are. Take the “Black Catwoman” example. There’s an obvious counter to that: Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman. In the 60s. Well-received. Unless we’ve massively regressed, I don’t think making Catwoman black is the issue [grin].

              • Sartharina says:

                Greer Grant isn’t famous, but she’s there

              • Rack says:

                To me this comes from a language distinction. Tokenism solves the problem of NEEDING more diverse characters, but is hardly ever the solution to WANTING more diverse characters. The former implies diversity above story and that’s where shabby tokenistic characters came from.

              • Dev Null says:

                The problem Marvel has is that they’re basically using everyone they can at the moment.

                They could invent an original character, instead of just re-hashing old comics? I know that’s not going to happen for various commercial reasons, but gosh I wouldn’t mind seeing something actually NEW for a change…

              • Sicod says:

                And Squirrel girl started out as a mutant….with no connection to the X-men….who now is no longer a mutant for some reason in the comics….who can say.

              • Grimwear says:

                I’ve seen this a lot where people keep saying Wonder Woman was good but having watched it myself I don’t really see it. Maybe I’m missing something but the end seemed a disjointed mess where Wonder Woman kills the “bad guy” and realizes he’s just a man and not Ares as assumed and we all get to go “Yes humans are complex and you’re naive”. Which then builds into her background where she hides from the world and becomes a recluse which she deals with in Justice League. But instead it’s SURPRISE Ares was involved the whole time! But then DOUBLE SURPRISE it turns out he wasn’t actually controlling the humans at all and simply gave them the means to wage war which they did on their own. Then…why once Wonder Woman defeats Ares do we get that scene where the evil Germans who were trying to kill the good guys rip off their masks to reveal wide eyed young children with everyone proceeding to hug? Implying Ares was controlling them after all.

                It was almost a situation where the studio was worried that if they showed WW as being wrong in regards to humans and Ares people would think she was dumb so she had to end up being right, sacrificing the plot in the process. It really ruins her backstory in the long run. Also Chris Pine who I’m not a big fan of, really liked him in this movie though the scene where he asks WW for help and she’s having her big doubtful moment about humanity (which is great and further ruined when Ares shows up 2 seconds later) could have been really good! It was their perfect Sam and Frodo moment where Chris Pine gets to say, “There’s good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for!” Add in some more lines about how humans aren’t perfect but we try. Instead they chose a take where he can’t put his thoughts together and just fumbles out some words while trying not to cry and it…falls flat.

          • Leslee says:

            So a (white) male character is automatically the default for any story and any change to that must be justified? Do you not see how this is a problem?

            • Daimbert says:

              So a (white) male character is automatically the default for any story and any change to that must be justified? Do you not see how this is a problem?

              Um, I was replying precisely to what you said: that you wanted more stories about female superheroes because you were tired and bored of the stories of male superheroes. Adding female superheroes shouldn’t fix your boredom if the stories stay the same.

              I don’t support adding female characters for the sake of adding female characters, and what you talked about was wanting things different, which I don’t see happening too much with the characters I could see being available. And you yourself could not think of any different stories with the female characters in the Marvel stable.

              • Christopher says:

                I don’t wanna step on any toes if I can help it, but I think it’s pretty clear how being tired of movies with men would be improved by having movies with women instead, dude.

                • Daimbert says:

                  The original question was my subtle — others might call it “passive aggressive” [grin] — way to get her to just flat-out say that instead of talking about “stories with”.

                  I’m the sort of “Male, female, it’s a superhero story” type of person Shamus talked about in this thread.

                • Grampy_bone says:

                  The real issue with female heroes is they are boring. In Current Year the only flaw women are allowed to have is Low Self Esteem or Not Believing In Themselves Enough. This self-esteem comes entirely from outside sources, so the female hero’s only goal is to get everyone in the world to validate her enough to fight the bad guy. It’s pathetic.

                  • BlueHorus says:

                    That’s bad writing/outside culture intruding though. Not a problem inherent to female superheroes.

                    Since when did Wonder Woman need outside validation?
                    Samus Aran?( Well, Metroid:Other M, but that’s one reason why that game was so unpopular.)

                    • Grampy_bone says:

                      On the other hand, it didn’t seem to hurt The Witcher 3, Logan, or The Last of Us. People will seem to accept the annoying “Plz Validate Me!” female character as long as they get a grizzled male badass somewhere else in the story.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Um,neither ciri nor laura were annoying,suffering from low self esteem,nor from lack of belief in themselves.In fact,ciri was the more interesting one while geralt was the boring one in witcher 3.Heck,even some of the characters in that game were making fun of geralt for being a bore.

                  • Shoeboxjeddy says:

                    Well this is questionable. Gamora’s flaw revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was lack of empathy (understandable due to traumatic upbringing). Wonder Woman’s flaw was naivety and a poor background in political tactics. Scarlet Witch is so far just not very good with her powers, which has nothing to do with self esteem and more to do with being green.

              • Awetugiw says:

                Adding female superheroes shouldn’t fix your boredom if the stories stay the same.

                I think you are severely underestimating how much a mere change of avatar matters. Have you ever played World of Warcraft? Have you noticed how different it feels to play a Tauren character and an undead character? Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Some people say that they are indifferent to what character they inhabit. But for the vast majority of people, the two races feel vastly different. You press the same buttons to use the same abilities while doing the same quests, but they still feel different.

                Much the same applies to whether the protagonist (or other characters) in a movie are male, female or neither. If you change the gender of the protagonist, and change nothing else (except a few pronouns and names), the movie will feel different.

                So, no, it does not follow from the fact that someone is bored of male superhero stories that they would necessarily be bored of female superhero stories as well.

                • Daimbert says:

                  For me, when playing one of those games, the reason the change of race or avatar is more interesting is because it allows me to start or experience different stories. For MMOs, it also might mean being in a different starting area which has a different feel to it which can make it more fresh. I’m not convinced that that will work for superhero stories unless one is more interested in the character being more like you than in the stories you can tell with that character.

                  Yes, the same story can get a different feel with different characters, but a lot of that is because of implications of that, say, race or gender being in that role. But just sticking a female character into that role won’t really hit that unless you plan for that, which is part of what my question was after, and what my examples addressed.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Have you noticed how different it feels to play a Tauren character and an undead character?

                  Yes,because you get a different set of abilities.Compare that to something like fallout 4,where no matter who you pick,you get the exact same story,despite the fact that the husband and wife have very different backgrounds.The only thing a different skin has in most of these games is what ass do you wish to stare at for the most of the game,and maybe what voice do you want to hear reading your responses.Pretty shallow.

                  • Awetugiw says:

                    Are the (rather trivial) racial abilities the sole reason why they feel different for you? For me they aren’t; the main difference for me is really the feeling of inhabiting either a huge, calm and patient Tauren or a decidedly less calm Forsaken.

                    But it does depend quite strongly on how you experience the game (or movie, book, etc). In the Fallout 4 example that you mention, I also don’t care at all what my character is. But that is a matter of immersion: in WoW I felt like a Tauren, in Fallout 4 I felt like someone playing a vault dweller (or whatever your title is in Fallout 4).

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      in WoW I felt like a Tauren, in Fallout 4 I felt like someone playing a vault dweller

                      And thats precisely the point Daimbert was initially making.Just offering a gender swap* does not solve the problem.

                      *Or any other kind of swap

                    • Cedric says:

                      the main difference for me is really the feeling of inhabiting either a huge, calm and patient Tauren or a decidedly less calm Forsaken.

                      Interesting, I played my Tauren and Forsaken is exactly the opposite fashion. Wait isn’t using someone’s outer appearance as the basis for their personality and defining traits supposed to be wrong?

            • Grampy_bone says:

              >So a (white) male character is automatically the default for any story and any change to that must be justified?

              You’re begging the question; no one said this.

              Meanwhile what you’re saying is 100% sexist: mandating a quota based on gender. You’re never going to see 50/50 gender parity in any situation where people are able to exercise free will. People have preferences, deal with it.

              • Shamus says:

                “Meanwhile what you’re saying is 100% sexist:”

                Hey hey hey. Take it easy. She just said she wanted more female heroes. Even if you think things are fine the way they are, there’s no reason to escalate or make this personal. (“Sexist”, like “racist” is a word with a double meaning that can say either “prefers A over B” or “is a horrible person”.)

                “People have preferences, deal with it.”

                Yeah. She has a preference and she expressed it. That should be fine. If I said I think a 100% female MCU would be better, that should be fine too, even if you disagree.

                • Grampy_bone says:

                  Fair enough, I invite Leslee to explain why white male heroes in movies are “A problem.” After all, the word “problem” implies it’s wrong and that it needs to be “fixed,” which goes beyond a mere preference.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    To be fair to Leslee, that was more aimed at the — mistaken — impression she had of my argument that white male heroes were the default and female or non-white heroes had to be justified. That is a bit of a problem, but my comment was aimed at her wanting to replace them to somehow alleviate her boredom with the stories without being able to say how the stories would be different if we did so.

                  • Viktor says:

                    Speaking for myself: there’s an old joke. “They say to write what you know, which is why there’s so many books starring middle-aged english professors contemplating adultery.” The problem there should be obvious.

                    Marvel currently has 2 major types of heroes. “Smart, confident, white dude is snarky” and “Smart, angsty white dude is sad.” They aren’t trying to see the world from other perspectives and see what other stories are worth telling, so everyone they pick feels like the same person. I’ve been bored with them ever since GotG and this debate shows I’m far from the only one.

                    Speaking for others: Right now there’s no gay characters in Marvel*. We’re up to maybe 3 females who aren’t just the love interest, and they tend to get left off the merch and haven’t had any solo movies. Several black dudes, but relegated to the sidekick roles. How do you think that feels for kids from those demos watching the movies?

                    *Ragnarok apparently made pansexual genderfluid Loki canon, but since I haven’t seen it yet I don’t actually know if that’s true or if people are reading into it.

                    • Scampi says:

                      Marvel currently has 2 major types of heroes. “Smart, confident, white dude is snarky” and “Smart, angsty white dude is sad.”

                      I believe this is too simplistic a view on the topic, possibly due to a reduced view on what makes a character (though the part about all of the major heroes being white dudes is, obviously, true).
                      Your juxtaposition makes a cleavage between those 2 types, where the difference is their outlook from the view of temperament.
                      There are also other possible cleavages which would divide the same characters by different lines:

                      Your line would, for example, divide some characters this way:
                      confident, snarky:
                      Tony Stark, Peter Quill, Scott Lang, Stephen Strange, Thor

                      angsty, sad:
                      Bruce Banner, Hank Pym, Steve Rogers

                      These are my ideas of how I estimate these characters might fit into your theme
                      Depending on how you perceive these characters, they might also fit the other side (e.g. if I included Peter Parker, he might be angsty as Peter, but turn into snarky Spiderman once things get heated): Quill and Lang as well as Tony Stark might also come across as angsty instead of snarky, but I think their snark is more important to their usual ways of handling things.
                      You might also divide them up by other characteristics:

                      vocational:
                      Soldiers: Thor, Rogers
                      Scientists: Stark, Banner, Pym, Strange
                      Rogues: Lang, Quill

                      Depending on the viewpoint, Strange might be considered a scientist (medical doctor) or a soldier (Sorcerer Supreme: leader of a mystical defense force)
                      Would I then say there are 3 types? Soldiers, Scientists and Rogues? No, of course not…

                      Maybe I might stay with vocations but decide to focus on their level of education instead, which might massively shape interactions:
                      Phd: Banner, Strange, Pym
                      Masters Degree: Stark, Lang
                      No higher education: Thor, Quill, Rogers (was an arts student before WWII, so I think he didn’t finish his studies)

                      We might also divide them, for example, by political affiliation or along the D&D-Style order vs chaos axis and it might divide them in new and interesting ways.

                      These are already details that will grant these characters very different characteristics and, as I said, I believe it to be too simplistic to divide them up into “2 kinds of characters”.

                      Also, I’d like to know which characteristics the mentioned critics would like to see (while apparently dividing them up along a singular imaginary axis of confidence).

                      Of course there are LOTS of different relevant characteristics characters might have, including skin color and sex/gender and mixing them in convincing ways allows for more varied characters, but also, the existing characters are not as minimal as implied imho.
                      The problem is, I believe, more in the nature of the medium. The MCU consists of movies about super heroes, where a large focus lies on the action part, allowing only minimal character expression, what limits them to what seems most relevant to the plot. If characters had more time to breathe, the differences might become more obvious (not to say they WOULD, but it would be possible), but they don’t.

                    • Kathryn says:

                      >>How do you think that feels for kids from those demos watching the movies?

                      This is something I genuinely do not understand. The only thing I have in common with Geordi LaForge is an engineering degree, and that didn’t stop me from having him as my childhood hero. I don’t have much in common with Hermann von Helmholtz, either, and he’s still my hero today. Are there really people out there who think, “Gosh, that Geordi LaForge guy has different genitals and skin color from me, so it doesn’t matter that he is highly intelligent and a great problem solver who maintains a positive attitude. I’m going to have Beverly Crusher for my hero instead”?

                      And by the way, I do indeed belong to a “demo” that is very rarely represented in any media; the only exceptions I can think of are one-off comic relief bits in various sitcoms and a movie where the character in question was a one-dimensional stereotype being used to tell the main character’s story. So my failure to understand this point of view is not a lack of relevant life experience.

                    • MadTinkerer says:

                      Pansexual genderfluid Loki isn’t a Marvel thing, it’s a classic mythology thing. Marvel Loki isn’t exactly Mythical Loki in the same way Marvel Thor isn’t exactly Mythic Thor. But in terms of precedent, pansexual genderfluid Loki is just proper characterization.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      How do you think that feels for kids from those demos watching the movies?

                      What does the superficial characteristic of a character such as their race,gender or sexuality have to do with who you identify with?How come I was inspired by ripley and sarah connor at the same time as murphy and at the same time as venkman?How come I always identified with scully over mulder?I really dont get the argument that kids cant identify with fictional characters that dont look like them.

                    • ehlijen says:

                      Daemian: That’s because you are dismissing the notion that to others, those are not superficial traits. If girls see nothing but stories where the men are the heroes, and are surrounded by boys who conclude that that means men are more heroic (a not unreasonable conclusion to make from such limited data), then they are quite likely not going to identify with the male heroes instead.
                      You have an easy time identifying with strong female characters because you are used to the idea that men can be strong, as that is a common idea in media. A female viewer will not have as easy a time identifying with a strong male character, because the majority of female characters that have calibrated their baseline expectations are not strong. And on top of that, the ability to identify with fictional characters varies from person to person as well; just because you find it easy doesn’t mean everyone does.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      You have an easy time identifying with strong female characters because you are used to the idea that men can be strong

                      Except I never identified myself with strong characters,I preferred skilled and smart ones.I never identified myself with conan or rambo.Even though I like those two,I was never even close to them.But a smart officer who overrides her emotions to deal with a hostile alien world?Hell yeah.An ordinary girl who needs to use the environment to beat an unstoppable killing machine?Definitely.A regular joe fused with a computer in his head?Damn straight.A nerdy conman dealing with ghosts?Sure thing.

                    • djw says:

                      Conan as written by Robert Howard was actually a pretty smart guy. Well, cunning at least. Definitely not a big dummy who won battles via slow pose downs and broken english with an austrian accent.

                    • Urthman says:

                      Except I never identified myself with strong characters,I preferred skilled and smart ones.I never identified myself with conan or rambo

                      Now here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine a world where characters in movies and books are almost always Conan or Rambo types and very seldom feature smart types in important roles. And not only that, the vast majority of these stories are written, directed, and produced by dudes who are more the Rambo type of he-man than an intellectual type.

                      Now let’s say people like you who lived in that world said, “I’d like to see some stories that feature smart characters instead of just always about strong guys.” And all the strong guys say, “That wouldn’t make any difference. What matters is if it’s a good, well written, well filmed story, not what type of person the main character is.” The intellectual people respond, “Actually it would make a big difference.”

                      Now imagine me, a third party who is neither a strong guy nor an intellectual hears this argument. Do you think I should give both opinions equal weight? I would say no. I’d say the intellectual people who are largely left out of the process at every level are much more likely to know if there’s something important to be gained by making some stories about intellectual characters. I’d think it was pretty likely that the strong guys making these stories might be unaware of significant things that are lacking in all the strong-guy centered stories.

                      And I also think in our world it only makes sense to presume that if women say “There’s something to be gained from making more stories featuring women” and men say “I don’t see why that would make any difference,” then there might be things the women see that the men haven’t noticed. As a dude, I think it would be intellectually dishonest to not examine my opinion on the subject with extra skepticism and to listen to a woman’s opinion on the subject with a more open mind.

                    • Scampi says:

                      @Urthman: While I definitely agree with the idea that the people left out should be the ones who might notice unrealised potential and things missing out: I also have to say that very often the people complaining are also incapable of actually offering any advice on things that are, actually, missing from stories.
                      If I claimed we needed more of a specific type of person in media, I believe I’d have to make a case why this type has to offer anything new to the medium and how it would be an improvement over the current state.
                      If there was actually no difference at all between having male or female protagonists, one might equally as well make a case for parity as for everything being dudes (or women) by default because: hey, who cares? It makes no difference either way. I believe there is only anything to be gained if there is a good reason for the inclusion of (more) female characters that will improve the story itself. I don’t see meta-reasons like representation of demographics as an improvement of storytelling unless the story calls for it.
                      I believe there surely are differences between men and women, so including more female characters surely will imho improve storytelling, but it will have to rely on stories that explicitly make clear the same story couldn’t be told with a male character. Elseways I wouldn’t necessarily see it as an improvement.
                      If you took any movie (where this is possible, of course) and just genderswapped the main character (or maybe even all characters), the story would be none the better for it. It would imho only improve the story if some (=at least one) character’s swap suddenly brought something interesting to the table that wasn’t conceivable before.
                      To conclude: If people claim female characters are seriously missing from media, I’d hope they have any idea which kinds of changes this might bring, instead of just claiming it meant an improvement ‘just because’. I’m missing good arguments from people who claim there is a serious need for more of ‘X’.

                      In your example it would be very easy to explain why a smart person would be an improvement in writing a good plot in general. Nonetheless, if a specific plot doesn’t call for a smart person (and is maybe even hindered by them): Would you destroy a (well written) plot that depends on a characters ignorance just because you wanted to include a smart one?

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      @Urthman

                      Theres a difference though.One is not born a hacker,or a boxer,or a soldier,or a gladiator.In fact,conan was very much shown to be nurtured into being a big strong guy who fights,even though he was a weak kid,then later he knew nothing about fighting.Also,one fighter is similar to another,sharing certain traits like the will to constantly exercise,watch their diet,have a desire for combat,etc.Similarly,one professor has many traits shared by other professors,one conman has many traits with a conman of a different kind,etc,etc,etc.

                      But what links two black people other than the melanin in their skin?Does it influence their choses profession?Their interests in movies,their political affiliation,their hobbies,athleticism,…..?I have more in common with Neil deGrasse Tyson than the president of my country,whom I share the place of birth with,gender,skin pigment and sexual orientation.

                      Now yes,there are stories which are specific to certain groups of people,due to how our society has evolved and how certain pressures operate now.You certainly cant make 12 years a slave with a white guy as the titular slave.You cant make a story about motherhood with a man in the leading role*.

                      But a story set in a fictional world,that revolves around super powers or spaceships?You can cast anyone there,and anyone can be good or bad regardless of how they were born.Thats why wonder woman is great while superman sucks.Thats why terminators 1 and 2 are great,while the rest suck.But also why the original ghostbusters is better than the remake.

                      Now would it be better for more female leads?Absolutely.Because actresses deserve to excel in roles they are good at just like actors do,not because little girls cant identify with guys.Same goes for non white actors.Id love to see Idris Elba as james bond.Not because he would inspire black kids,but because Idris Elba is a good actor who deserves to be prominent in movies that arent shit(at least ragnarok gave him a tiny bit more to do).

                      *Though Schwarzenegger did try that,proving my point.

                  • ehlijen says:

                    Here are my takes as to why it’s a problem:
                    -Any bias in writing will limit your stories. For a project as prolific as the MCU, that’s going to become a problem sooner or later. They need to diversify to open up new directions for their stories to go. My suggestion would not be to have the same writers write women or ethnic protagonists, but to actually bring in new writers of those categories, to really lose the bias.
                    -A bias in gender or race for characters will create a bias in the acting profession, and in fact is doing so right now. This creates a feedback loop were roles are written for experienced actors (who happen to be white males), leading to only white male experienced actors being available for many projects.
                    -The more traits characters share, the harder it will be to distinguish them, which is important for marketing. Take the infamous PC gaming tradition of grizzled 30something white male protagonists, and tell me, how many people can identify a game just based on a face image of one of them?
                    -And finally, if movies keep setting certain scenarios as the default, many viewers will accept them as the default, even if there is no good reason to do so. Marvel tends to have male heroes and female love interests/emotional support characters. That contributes to women being seen as that by default in the real world, too, which is not good. Besides the gender policy issues, no one should be seen as a supporting character by anyone, but that is in essence what happens at times.
                    So yeah, for writing, marketing, equal employment and social responsibility reasons, Hollywood in general should diversify their stories.

                    • Redrock says:

                      Well, we have to admit that we are talking about a pretty narrow subset of stories – stories revolving around violent protagonists. And, historically, for better or worse, women have always been relegated to support roles when it came to conflict. I’m all for gender equality in the military, since my country has a mandatory draft for every boy over 18, but, well, I think even disregarding the cultural baggage here, there is a real psychophysiological difference in male and female attitude towards violence and especially engaging in violent activity. Should we aim at 50/50 gender representation in violent protagonists? I don’t know, but I feel that it would be forced. I feel like the better solution would be to re-think what a protagonist does and should be, and then move on to the idea that it doesn’t have to be grizzled white dude.

                      Like, maybe we should try having hackers or scientists or doctors or journalists not be support roles. And from then we can move past gender-specific traits (e.g. brawn) for those characters. To illustrate the point: I have no problem with Cap or Iron Man or Thor being and staying male. But, say, Robert Langdon from the Dan Brown stories could very well be a girl, and nothing would be lost. And we need more Robert – or, perhaps, Roberta – Langdons in our fiction, that’s for sure.

                      On that note, it took some adjusting, but yes, the Doctor is a fantastic choice for a gender swap, because the Doctor isn’t about physical violence. A female Doctor works.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      And, historically, for better or worse, women have always been relegated to support roles when it came to conflict.

                      Thats a fine argument for stories set in the real world.But superheroes arent set in the real world.And unless you draw inspiration from the real world(like with thor),you can make your protagonist be whatever.Thats why wondy can be on the same level as superman.

                    • ehlijen says:

                      Redrock: Aren’t you basically arguing that because a thing has always been one way, it shouldn’t change (and a lot of people would argue with that)? Why can’t there be stories with violent women now, just because there haven’t been many before? (Also, I would not describe violence as the primary attribute of superhero movies: that’s heroism and powers. Violence is a much broader category of movies.)
                      And what’s so forced about a 50/50 split? The current ratio is just as forced, in my opinion, though by inertia rather than intent.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      For a project as prolific as the MCU, that’s going to become a problem sooner or later.

                      It already is a problem because the stories mcu is drawing from tend to focus mostly on white dudes.Detective comics comics was historically a bit more diverse,whereas marvel is trying to play catchup in the past few decades.Most of the female or non white marvel heroes are either just gender swapped originals(spider woman,she hulk,etc),or an established costume that changed hands(like spiderman).And the place where marvel comics had a more diverse cast has been sold off to other companies(x men and fantastic four).This has really limited the number of heroes mcu can deal with.

                      HOWEVER,even with all those limitations,theyve managed to introduced and make popular a number of diverse heroes,and I really dont see why they couldnt have made a stand alone black widow or wasp movie already.Heck,seeing how ant man was a bit obscure amongst non geeks before the movie,and how they did not start with the original pym,I dont see why the wasp couldnt have come before ant man as a movie.Its not like disney hasnt already proven that female protagonists can carry a movie on their own.

                      Take the infamous PC gaming tradition of grizzled 30something white male protagonists, and tell me, how many people can identify a game just based on a face image of one of them?

                      Thats because most of those dont have any distinguishing characteristics.You dont have a rich playboy,a family man,a geeky kid and a boy scout.Heck,due to the limitations of video games,they all share practically the same height,similar body type,and have rather similar faces.

                    • Redrock says:

                      ehlijen: No, I’m not at all arguing that things should stay the same just because they have been a particular way for a long time. I’m arguing that superheroes typically adhere to the idea of a perfect man. Female superheroes, unfortunately, are often the same, but with boobs. We don’t just need more female superheroes. We need to rethink what a superhero is, apart from a ridiculously handsome guy or incredibly bodacious gal punching, kicking, shooting or otherwise inflicting pain on bad guys. Sure, we can have more girls kicking butt in movies, why not. But it will rarely seem natural, especially if these girls keep doing it in high heels or latex catsuits.

                      And yeah, while violence in fiction is a broader category, it’s still the main way a superhero interacts with the world around them. Violence and in rare cases just pure physical strength, like for lifting heavy objects. That’s pretty much 90% of comics’ understanding of heroism, and I say that as a comics fan.

      • BlueHorus says:

        It’d be nice if they weren’t different: the only thing would be that the actor in the main role is actually an actress.
        But as it stands that would be somewhat remarkable. Film-makers, for whatever reason, feel the need to emphasise a characters’ female-ness or work it into the plot somehow, particularly if she’s the lead. Sometimes they do it well (Aliens) and sometimes they do it awfully (Catwoman), but a film in which the main character is just female? I can’t think of one offhand. Maybe Wonder Woman (I haven’t seen it yet)?

        Think Samus Aran in the Metroid Games (before Metroid: Other M came along to embarrass itself). Think Black Widow, who’s just another SHIELD Agent and could with very few changes (name, a few lines, maybe?) be a man.
        Just putting more women in films seems to be harder than you might think.

        • Blackbird71 says:

          I’m not sure how well the Black Widow gender swap would work actually. I’m thinking of her “interrogation” scene. She was able to pull that tactic off because the subjects of her interrogation were (mistakenly) not intimidated by her. If the person they believed to be their captive had actually been a man, as proportionally strong and physically fit as Black Widow, would they have been as careless? At the very least, when the call came through and their “captive” started acting like they were the one in charge, I’d think they would get very suspicious and be more on their guard.

          I don’t read comic books, so I can only go off of the movies ( I assume that the comics would have more info on this). With the movies we have so far, we don’t really get to see a lot of how Black Widow operates on her typical undercover missions (with the exception of the early part of Iron Man 2), but given what’s been seen I have to assume that as primarily a spy/assassin she uses feminine characteristics to charm others into getting what she needs and lull opponents into a false sense of security. A male character can pull off the charm part in a similar manner (see James Bond), but the false sense of security is a little more difficult for a male to pull off. Like it or not, there is a longstanding cultural and even biological disposition to view women in general as weaker than men, and I think this is an advantage that the character would lose if she were replaced with a male.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        Well for one, the MCU can’t just fall back on the same character arc that every single lead male hero had in his first film, i.e., “guy who doesn’t quite have his shit together gets more of his shit together and impresses lady who appears to have had her shit together from the beginning.” I mean, even if Captain Marvel’s origin ends up being that but gender-flipped, at least it’s something we don’t really see in genre action-adventure films.

    • The_Hansard says:

      I think that the problem is that Marvel have only used Black Widow so far and her story doesn’t really suit Marvel’s type of stories…. She’s very murdery……… I guess you could try and do her backstory in a Punisher type of way??

      • Viktor says:

        Black Widow is a damn James Bond reskin in a world with terrorists who throw lightning. If Marvel can’t make a profitable movie out of that they’re incompetent.

        • evilmrhenry says:

          The difficulty is less in making a good movie, and more in making a good movie that has the same tone as the rest of the MCU.

          • Christopher says:

            I think she was pretty great in Captain America 2, which was essentially the kind of movie she’s have on her own. If the Russo brothers are still breathing after the Infinity War movies, I’d take a Black Widow movie easily.

            If Cap dies, or goes away or whatever, and the rest of his part of that universe is Widow, Falcon and Bucky… I’d take Widow any day of the week.

          • Viktor says:

            I’d argue the focus on a consistent tone for the movies has resulted in a MCU that feels stale at the moment. Give me a Cold War style spy thriller starring Widow, give me a comedic take on superheroes like Nextwave, give me an utterly brutal dystopia where we follow the resistance as they fight a Doom-style super villain dictator. Keep a few standard superhero franchises going at all times, but experiment a bit with the others so that they’re not just Iron man with a slightly different level of snark.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Even if they cant fit the widow into their fun fun universe*,they have introduced both the wasp and scarlet witch that are easier to mold into it.Or they could pick a different superhero entirely.They might not have a very known one like the wonder woman,but they have managed to make good movies out of obscure heroes before.

            *which they most definitely can,but for the sake of the argument lets say they cant.

      • Decius says:

        They managed her introduction scene perfectly. (I’m in the middle of an interrogation here).

        But you can’t make a movie leading to that scene, because the buildup is entirely planning and understanding and doesn’t lend itself well to a montage the way Tony Stark building a new suit does.

        We need vignettes of Black Widow, not whole movies.

        • BlueHorus says:

          ???

          Or, possibly, one could have an entirely different spy-themed story for her, that isn’t related to a scene we’ve already had.

          As said above – A James Bond-style plot with Black Widow in the lead role, tricking and deducing and sleuthing and kicking ass all the way to the bottom of a conspiracy would work, and there’s at LEAST a few good movies in that premise. Marvel coud certainly do it.

  3. Angelo says:

    He’s not in the trailer, but then neither are Ant-Man and Bucky

    Isn’t Bucky the leftmost character in the first screenshot? Also he’s at 1:52 in the trailer, reloading a rifle.

  4. MichaelGC says:

    Indeed no sign of Ant-Man that I noticed, but Bucky is in the trailer. He’s there in the left of the pic you have under the ‘Captain America’ heading, and also shows up at another point staring determinedly off into the middle-distance. (Or even the “Middle-Earth-distance”: it’s during that Jacksonesque fight scene.)

  5. Daimbert says:

    They could solve a number of problems by bringing back Hank Pym and the Wasp. Looking at the Ant-Man movie, Pym’s daughter is going to step into the Wasp role, but they could also always rescue the original and pass it back to her. No matter how they go about it, Hank Pym has the super smart inventor who can be snarky line down, and so could fill in a lot of what Stark provides, while it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to use the fact that he’s in the Stark role to have Wasp — whichever one — take over a leaderless Avengers, which would provide the conflict that they had in the comics when Wasp took over leadership, where she wasn’t really trusted by the team because of her inexperience, but ended up being a capable leader anyway. All you need is one of the “Elder Statesmen” like Ant-Man trusting her and with no other strong candidates you could put her in that role.

    Alternatively, you could have Falcon take on the Captain America mantle and give that role to him. He was/is Captain America in the comics.

    Hawkeye has also led the team in the comics, but that worked better when he started as the irresponsible troublemaker and not the mature person he is in the MCU. To have him take over the leadership would just be boring.

    To give it to Captain Marvel is, in my opinion, dangerous. It really depends on how well the establish her character in her own movie. Add to that the fact that a lot of the charm of the character is her insecurities, either you take all that away and make her a generic “strong female” character, or you make it implausible for anyone else to accept her as leader. If the Captain Marvel on the screen doesn’t work, dropping her directly into the leadership role will kill the movie, and they might not know that until it’s too late.

    One thing about the Avengers, though, is that they have always had a fluctuating membership and so have lots and lots of characters that they can bring in when others decide to leave. They haven’t touched Wonder Man yet, whose backstory ties back to Ultron, and haven’t used Jocasta either, who also links back to Ultron. If they need to replace Thor to have him focus on the Asgardians, they can always bring in Hercules. Black Knight would be a good option because he doesn’t rely on special effects, and so is cheap. Considering her link to both Guardians and the Avengers (and the original Valkyrie), Moondragon is a safe bet if they’re smart. And there are a host of others. Marvel depends so much less on big names that cycling in new characters means that you end up replacing “big” characters with ones that weren’t that much less known than the ones they’re replacing, and so it will work out if they are written well. So losing characters isn’t as devastating as, say, killing off one of the DC Big Three would be.

  6. Syal says:

    My guess for Iron Man’s replacement is Black Widow. Maybe Pepper, if she’s even still in these movies.

    My guess for who dies: everybody dies in the first movie, and then in the second movie Squirrel Girl shows up, beats up Thanos, takes the Gauntlet and undoes the first movie.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      That sounds amazing. Unfortunately, I’d guess they won’t introduce characters without some lead-up, and I haven’t seen any Squirrel Girl signaling so far. Maybe Thanos can become the leader of the Avengers?

    • Fade2Gray says:

      The way they’re talking about what happens post-infinity war, I wouldn’t be too surprised if something that dramatic happens.

      • Dev Null says:

        It’s a comic, and they’re about to kill off a bunch of characters. They’ll do what they always do; spin off an alternate universe, resurrect all the dead people with different artists / actors, and sell us the same round of origin stories all over again with slight twists.

  7. Sarfa says:

    Adam Warlocks cocoon was seen in one of the post credits sequences of Guardians of ths Galaxy 2 (as well as in the collectors collection in the first one) so I think he’s appearing in the MCU eventually.

    I could see the successor to Iron Man being Doctor Strange. They’re both geniuses who get the sarcastic lines and occasionally act like gits, that is they have similar personality types. And there is very little practical difference between super science and magic.

  8. baud says:

    One of the post-credit scene of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there was a hint about Adam Warlock.

    • Christopher says:

      I remember reading up on that, and he won’t matter at all. He was originally supposed to be part of the movie and was cut except for his cameo at the end, and Gunn and Feige have stated that he’ll be in Guardians 3 if anywhere.

      “He’s not. He’s not in Infinity War. But he will be a part of the future Marvel cosmic universe and a pretty important part of that.”

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Because of how stupidly revealing the trailers are these days,Im avoiding these like the plague.Im going into this one 100% blind.

    • Philadelphus says:

      Yeah, me too. I’ve seen enough Marvel movies now to not need to see a trailer to be interested in another one, and I like going in blind. (I saw Thor: Ragnarok recently so blind that I hadn’t even seen the movie poster, which made the reintroduction of a certain character on it even more awesome for me…)

  10. Sicod says:

    A couple of notes on future Captain America.

    Both Bucky and Falcon have taken that position in the past in the comics, so both are viable choices.

    Now, as a movie company interested in international revenue that would give an edge to Bucky because white protagonists (unless your name is Will Smith) tend to do better in international box office.

    They could also jockey for the role. And if the wanted to go an interesting route they could throw in John Walker (comics US Agent) as the governments preferred replacement…who is an ahole to begin with, as the role is fought over. He also has been Captain America in comics.

    Also, with your predictions, there is one character you were talking about who is current dead in comics. Black Widow was killed by Nazi/Hydra Captain America. I don’t know that the character’s death will mean anything in the movies, but sometimes the movies do draw from the comics pretty directly.

    • Daimbert says:

      John Walker would make for an excellent next Captain America movie, with him taking over and Falcon and Bucky reluctantly allowing it, having to step in when Walker isn’t living up to the mantle, and then having to decide amongst themselves who takes up the mantle when they take it away from Walker. A movie like that would also leave room for a more spy-style movie for Black Widow and/or Mockingbird.

      • Viktor says:

        Please don’t tempt me by mentioning Mockingbird in these discussions, that will only lead to disappointment. I already had to cut a section from my post about the role of Hulk and the job of mad scientist being perfectly suited for a giant red dinosaur and a tiny black girl, respectively.

        • Daimbert says:

          With Mockingbird, though, she has been in Agents of SHIELD, which is probably winding down soon, and the personality there would work well with Black Widow. If they can get Palicki back, to me it’s a no brainer.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      The comics are more used as storyboards for future ideas rather than statements of intent that the movies HAVE to follow. The death you’re talking about is unpopular and part of a generally disliked storyline. If that character dies in the movies also, I would NOT consider it related.

      • Sicod says:

        Depends on how the character dies.

        Like I said, it is only sometimes that comics plug in directly into the movies. Usually it is less direct. See Loki is the cause of the formation of the Avengers in the comics and the movies, but under very different circumstances and Captain America taking an ice nap.

  11. Ardis Meade says:

    Am I the only one who see Black Panther as a good choice to fill the Avengers leadership role?

    • David says:

      I was thinking that too, though we’ve seen so little of him so far. And considering he already has a country to run and protect, he might not have time to handle the day-to-day Avenging.

    • krellen says:

      Black Panther is absolutely my top choice. He’s a king, so clear leadership ability there, and he presides over a nation that rivals Stark for tech dominance. Plus, T’Challa is canonically one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe; on paper, Black Panther is the perfect replacement for Iron Man.

      But they won’t do it, because he’s black.

      (Prove me wrong, Marvel!)

      • Daimbert says:

        But they won’t do it, because he’s black.

        (Prove me wrong, Marvel!)

        It’s EXACTLY comments like that that cause all of the controversies over that sort of casting or choices. Even fans sympathetic to that will look askance at the choices if they think it’s being done to “prove someone wrong”.

        • krellen says:

          As soon as I have a megaphone loud enough for Marvel Studios to actually hear me, I’ll care.

        • BlueHorus says:

          It’s EXACTLY comments like that that cause all of the controversies over that sort of casting or choices.

          That’s a very narrow view. I’d say it’s a response/continuation of the controversy.
          Krellen’s almost certainly right: Black Panther won’t get that role, because he’s black.
          Imagine he did get the role of leading a group of fictional superheroes in a comic-book movie. Just the fact of his blackness would cause controversy of the ‘it’s political correctness gone mad!’ or ‘keep your leftwing bullshit outta my comic books!’ style comments. Even though he’s probably well suited.
          Remember when Idris Elba was cast as Heimdall in Thor? Awesome actor, well-suited for what was a very minor role in the film, but some people still managed to lost their shit about all the political correctness ruining their movie. Guy’s a good actor, his colour mattered in the film, get on with your lives.

          My point? Overreaction about the race/gender of casting choices goes both ways.

          • Daimbert says:

            I say that because of how those sort of statements play to the people who are at least semi-fans but aren’t obsessed with it or completely well-versed in it (which probably applies to me in a lot of ways, so I’m speaking with some experience). Yes, if you work to diversify a cast, some people will react. But the middling fans, in general, won’t really care unless it seems blatant. So, with Heimdall, there were comments but I, as a Not-So-Casual observer who knew Thor, only found it to be of mild interest because a) it was Heimdall, who isn’t that important a character and b) if it was pandering, it was really, really mild. But if it becomes a big deal in mainstream media to diversify a particular work and then it makes a big move that doesn’t seem to make sense to the casual fan, then they react as if it is pandering, even if it works. That can make them skip the work entirely without giving it a chance because of the controversy.

            But if there are good reasons in-universe reasons to use that character, casual fans might know it AND a lot of fans will use that to defend the choice instead of appealing to diversity, which can help tamp it down a bit.

            Look at the Justice League cartoon, for example. They admit that they made some of their choices because of diversity, but the choices worked and made sense, so most casual fans — myself included — didn’t notice and/or didn’t care. I don’t think Black Panther would make a good leader given the character — both in the MCU and in the comics — and don’t even have a “Was well-known as a leader of the Avengers” to fall back on as an argument. Wasp, on the other hand, has that, and so I’m much more comfortable suggesting that.

            • Viktor says:

              Whereas I would argue that you didn’t notice how diverse Justice League was because it wasn’t diverse. You had 2 women and one black guy, basically all Americans, on a team of the seven greatest heroes in the world. We’re doing better than we used to, in that now the token representation tends to be well-written and get some of the spotlight, but it still doesn’t reflect reality.

              • Daimbert says:

                They made choices to increase diversity. I found the choices reasonable and natural without feeling like they were pandering. Whether they needed to do more or not, that shows that they were successful.

                • Viktor says:

                  Except they did pander, they were just pandering in the other direction. You don’t see a group composed of 80% white people and 70% men unless someone is intentionally making it that way, and that stands out as obviously flawed to anyone who is used to interacting with groups that more accurately reflect the actual country, let alone the world.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    Um, this is Justice League. You have to have Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman without a doubt. Then you have the secondaries to slot in. Flash is always a good choice here. Then Green Lantern and one of the Hawks do fit. Since Green Lantern and the Hawks have alternates, they chose the black Green Lantern and the female Hawk instead. The others don’t have alternates. Given what DC had to work with there — remember, I’m talking about the CARTOON here — it seems like they did an admirable job.

                    • Viktor says:

                      Why Flash, why an existing GL? You’re aiming it at kids who have never read a comic, not comic nerds, so there’s no need to focus on the big 5. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, I agree, those are required, and since toy sales are concentrated in the US, I agree most of the chars should be Americans. No kid will recognize the other names though, so why not go with a new Green Lantern that you can give some personality to? Why go with Flash over Zatanna, Vixen, or Fire? Why is Wonder Woman white when she should really have a Greek accent and look southern European or even Arabic? The creators chose which heroes to include, and they went with ones that were created in the 40s to the 70s, with all the baggage that brings. And it looked normal to you, so great, but for a lot of people, that sort of thing looks forced and awkward.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Why is Wonder Woman white when she should really have a Greek accent and look southern European or even Arabic?

                      Ummm…..She already looks southern european.

                    • Redrock says:

                      Gal Gadot is Jewish, come on now. That’s not much “whiter” than Greek, I would think, as ridiculous as this whole conversation is. I still don’t think she is a good choice for Wonder Woman for a variety of reasons, but ethnicity? Surely not.

                    • Daimbert says:

                      Viktor,

                      Why Flash, why an existing GL? You’re aiming it at kids who have never read a comic, not comic nerds, so there’s no need to focus on the big 5.

                      Actually, they would have been aiming it at kids who were reading the EXISTING comics and potentially reading back issues, and also trying to get some kids who weren’t reading the existing ones and back issues. Given that, you want to put in the best known and so most demanded — and most in demand — characters. Ones who were carrying and had shown a consistent ability to carry their own books would be a plus. Flash had had his own TV series about a decade before, and so was clearly more in the collective consciousness than others were. And for GL they were to use the character that was known better and use a version that added diversity. About the only character that was less a founding member and/or more obscure was the Hawk … and they used HAWKGIRL for that.

                      So they had good reasons to stick with the Big 5, at least to start, if for no other reason than that you can call them the Big 5 [grin].

                      … so why not go with a new Green Lantern that you can give some personality to?

                      Because that’s the worst of all possible worlds, as you lose the link to the comics, so people who like the comics character won’t see it — or any version of it — in the cartoon, and people watching the cartoon won’t be able to find other adventures or storylines for that character in the comics if they like the character. Since they were able to use a diverse character for GL there, doing that made no sense.

                      Why go with Flash over Zatanna, Vixen, or Fire?

                      All of which got some prominent roles in the Unlimited semi-reboot. That being said, none of those would have been known outside of strong comic and Justice League fans. All the others were better known.

                      And it looked normal to you, so great, but for a lot of people, that sort of thing looks forced and awkward.

                      From the comics/story perspective, the only ones who could find those choices forced are people who don’t know the source material at all, which is rather the point: justifying on the basis of the source material rather than external culture concerns.

              • Decius says:

                “Basically all Americans”
                Except for the Kryptonian, the Amazon, the Atlantean…

            • BlueHorus says:

              Clumsy Edit: Bah. Meant to say Idris Elba’s colour NEVER mattered in Thor above. D’oh.

              Wasp is probably a better example for the purpose, if she does have a precedent (not that I know.) People would STILL complain about the politcial correctness or token casting of putting a woman in charge of the Avengers. And that probably means that there’s a very small chance of it happening, which sucks.

              But if it becomes a big deal in mainstream media to diversify a particular work and then it makes a big move that doesn’t seem to make sense to the casual fan, then they react as if it is pandering, even if it works. That can make them skip the work entirely without giving it a chance because of the controversy.

              I’d say that’s a big ol’ bag of ‘their problem’. You can’t be held responsible for all the ways other people are going to react to what you say or do, and hiding from that often does the story damage. I’m reminded of the discussion about the Punisher series, where Frank Castle did very little Punishing because of real life events it was similar to.
              But, of course, tell the people who count the money the film made that…

              • Daimbert says:

                I’d say that’s a big ol’ bag of ‘their problem’. You can’t be held responsible for all the ways other people are going to react to what you say or do, and hiding from that often does the story damage.

                I agree. My point is rather more about the surrounding cultural context hurting things like this. If you make a choice for good, solid story reasons, most of the audience will have no problem with it … but the surrounding context can make people think that it isn’t done for that, which many people WILL have problems with, and you don’t want to shut them out because they’re a significant chunk of your audience, whether you are aiming for diversity or not.

                In short, the context sucks and we should stop making it worse [grin].

                • BlueHorus says:

                  In short, the context sucks and we should stop making it worse [grin].

                  I’d say (probably) a very similar thing: people get so worked up about this stuff that they distort it.
                  Just having an ethnic minority or woman in a lead role is often turned into a political act by other people, some of whom decry it and some of whom embrace it, and then go on to get angry at each other. All over fictional superheroes. So in fear of igniting that row, Marvel/Disney haven’t really taken that risk yet.

                  Personally, I’d like to see a black or female lead just for the difference value; it just isn’t something you see a lot. Kind of like how Logan or Deadpool were NOT your usual superhero movie, or how Suicide Squad could have been great.

                  • Daimbert says:

                    Yeah, it’s a feedback loop. The one side gets mad over every attempt to add any minority character, the other side presents any objections as being a sign of that attitude, the other side fires back over the ones that are clearly token, and so on and so forth. And the poor people in the middle get so frustrated that they end up saying “Screw both you guys, I’m going home!”.

                    Or is that last part just me? [grin]

          • djw says:

            People are gonna lose their shit one way or another, because that’s what people do these days.

        • Supah Ewok says:

          t’s EXACTLY comments like that that cause all of the controversies over that sort of casting or choices. Even fans sympathetic to that will look askance at the choices if they think it’s being done to “prove someone wrong”.

          No, I’m pretty it’s comments exactly like THIS that cause the controversies. It takes two to tango. And at least Krellen has a point.

      • MarcellusMagnus says:

        He’s a king, so clear leadership ability there, and he presides over a nation that rivals Stark for tech dominance.

        Which is exactly the problem with him. Simultaneously being head of a sovereign state and leader of a global crimefighting and disaster response team of human WMDs just screams “conflict of interest”. Not to mention that neither of those are part-time jobs. If he were to abdicate the throne, however, I could totally see him leading the Avengers.

        (Incidentally, I have thought about Thor leading the Avengers, but the same arguments apply to him as well.)

        • krellen says:

          The Avengers aren’t full-time superheroes, nor a full-time superteam. They are a team formed and deployed in the most extreme of circumstances – exactly when you would expect the King of Wakanda to step up and lead.

          • Christopher says:

            It’s not like he doesn’t leave his country all the time to be with the avengers in the comics anyway. Dude can just delegate! Give the local villains some time to build up while he’s away, too.

          • Daimbert says:

            The Accords suggest that they would be a more permanent team, and Cap was training them after Age of Ultron, so while the original Avengers Initiative was just as an ad hoc reaction team, it’s grown beyond that already, and the Avengers in the comics were a pretty formal team, and a lot of their storylines rely on that. Black Panther is too busy to work either as an organizer like Professor X or a field commander like Cyclops.

          • silver Harloe says:

            Plus it’s clear from the trailer that Wakandia might suffer some losses here. It might not even be on the map when Thanos is done with it.

        • Redrock says:

          My problem with Black Panther so far is that he was portrayed as sort of an asshole in Civil War, basically acting like a vengeful maniac. Mind you, Civil War made everyone look bad and stupid and hysterical, but we still haven’t seeing any actual superheroing from T’Challa. Hope that changes with his solo movie.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            He started out like a guy blinded by vengeance,but by the end he recognized it to be his flaw and dealt with it.So yeah,that probably wont be his thing now.

          • Shoeboxjeddy says:

            On the contrary, Black Panther’s first action scene is essentially the exact same thing as the first time Captain America springs into action. Remember where he chases the car that has the assassin in it? The difference is, we in the audience know that Bucky has been framed while Panther does NOT know this and has good reason to believe the opposite. He later joins the law abiding team of Avengers in order to attempt to bring the person who killed his father to justice. Once he realizes he was wrong, he captures the real villain, Zemo, and REFUSES the temptation to kill him for his own satisfaction or to let Zemo take the easy way out and escape justice. It’s Tony who becomes a vengeful maniac by the end of the film.

            • Redrock says:

              Yeah, but Panther still hasn’t done anything heroic in the whole movie. Didn’t save a kitten out of the tree or helpa granny cross the road. His solo movie really needs to make him a hero and, hopefully, not just for Wakandians. I really don’t like superheroes fixated on a specific nation, which is why I’ve never really liked Cap, as you can imagine.

              But I’ll reiterate – I consider the Civil War movie to be pretty terrible overall and I think that it did a disservice to most characters involved. They all had to be made to look like idiots just so we could get that sweet airport scene. Well, except fot Peter. Peter was fine.

              • Shoeboxjeddy says:

                Had Bucky been a villain, risking his life to catch him and bring him to justice WOULD have been heroic is the point. It’s the same as Spider-Man going after the mugger that killed Uncle Ben… except in this case the mugger was framed. His character will, of course, be more developed in his eponymous film. I also think “characters take actions that make sense from their limited perspective” being called idiots is a major weakness of modern fanboy criticism.

      • Cubic says:

        Black Panther takes up the mantle of Captain America and by this assumes the leadership. You’re welcome.

    • Chad says:

      I’m with you on this one: a new-ish, charismatic character with oodles of resources, advanced tech, and a built-in secret base where several of the ‘rogue’ Avengers have been hiding out. On top of that, he’s about to get a title-feature all about him dealing with leadership issues.

      I dunno if they’ll do it, but they’ve certainly given themselves the option.

    • Perceptiveman says:

      He seems like the obvious one to ME! Especially with him doing some leadering in the trailer. (“Get this man a shield!”)

  12. Hal says:

    . . . You really need to see Ragnarok. Might alter some if your predictions.

    • Fade2Gray says:

      Honestly, it would probably only slightly alter Shamus’ predictions for Thor. I’d say more but, I don’t know how to do spoiler quotes and am too lazy to look it up. Just sufice to say that Thor could still easily end up doing pretty much what Shamus suggested. That said, Thor might end up getting more popular now than Marvel had planned (and Chris Hemsworth might be more interested in reprising his role now that he’s been given more freedom to portray Thor the way he wants) so we might see Thor come back out of his quasi-retirement post infinity war.

  13. Daimbert says:

    I don’t have any guesses regarding Hulk. This is one character you really can’t pass on. There’s no Hulk Jr. waiting to take the mantle if Hulk dies. Honestly if Mark Ruffalo wants to quit then it’s probably best to re-cast the role.

    It doesn’t quite have the same pathos, but if you want a Hulk tie-in replacement you can always go for She-Hulk. She tends to have far better control over her She-Hulk personality, but that shift still fits into the idea of it involving bringing repressed personality traits to the fore, which could also allow her to be more snarky as well.

  14. Joshua says:

    Other than the obvious Captain America/Iron Man deaths for thematic/practical reasons as discussed in the article, it seems likely that Vision will die just to get his gem, unless they pull off some interesting writing.

    Thor and War Machine seem safe to me, because they have both recently received near crippling injuries. Seems weird to maim them, and then kill them off in their next screen appearance.

    I’ve been skeptical of those calling for a Black Widow movie, because I’m not sure what her movie would be like that’s not already being done in the Marvel Universe under a different brand. She’s a Badass Normal whose skills include espionage and yet everyone in the world knows her identity. The type of movie that she would good in is already having its toes stepped on by the past two Captain America films, and maybe Agents of Shield.

    So, maybe killing Captain America off would actually be good for her character as she could now do the “Spy film set in comic book universe”, and maybe she would be good for taking over the leadership role of the Avengers. Not the type of role she’d do in the past, but the last few movies could show her evolving for that along with the reluctant leader role. Maybe Captain Marvel seems like a good fit for her persona (I don’t know anything about the character), but Black Widow is the established character that has paid her dues to *earn* it. It would be really weird for the audience to have a brand new character come in to take up the mantle, which is why I’m also hoping Dr. Strange isn’t given it.

  15. ElementalAlchemist says:

    One of the theories doing the rounds is that Thanos splits Banner and the Hulk into separate entities using the Soul Stone, so that’s Banner in the Hulkbuster suit presumably fighting alongside Hulk (unless they just CG’d the Hulk into that group shot to throw people off the scent). You see Banner working on the Hulkbuster in the opening shots. This would be a good way to let Ruffalo exit the role if needed.

    It’s pretty clear from the opening shot of Tony and the later shots, like where he gets flattened while in the suit, that he probably isn’t on Earth. It’s a reasonable bet that Dr Strange portals himself and Iron Man (maybe Wong and some others) somewhere across the galaxy/universe to fight Thanos while the rest of the team lead by Cap fight his mooks (the Black Order) back on Earth.

  16. Inwoods says:

    Not to spoil the new Thor movie, but you REALLY need to see it. I agree that Thor will be worried about the future of his people, but it may not go how you imagine it.

    Also it sort of sets up Banner as maybe “more” than Hulk? Obviously it’s a riff on Planet Hulk but his Banner side is questioning a lot “what do I do/what are all these degrees useful for.”

    It’s really, really fun to see Hulk smashing things, but maybe they want to put Banner in more of the leader role, and it could be fun watching him struggle to stay in control. I just mention it because Banner gets overlooked as a potential leader, and he’s really good at thoughtfully describing MacGuffins.

    • Steve C says:

      Ditto on “Shamus, you really should see Ragnarok in the theater.” It’s a straight up good movie. However anyone decides to rank Marvel movies, it’s definitely in the top set.

      It is almost guaranteed that it will be spoiled for you by February. That’s by design. too. Having a larger MCU means that they can put in spoilers into shows like SHIELD on purpose. If someone avoids paying for a ticket, then Marvel can give them a little jab of regret for doing so. The good news is Ragnarok is worth paying the ticket for.

    • Cubic says:

      Bruce Banner and a bottle of Ambien. Where’s the problem?

  17. MarcellusMagnus says:

    I wonder where [Captain America’s] shield is?

    Cap gave the shield up at Iron Man’s insistence after their fight at the climax of Civil War (on the grounds of “you don’t deserve to carry the shield my father made while you’re protecting his killer”). Presumably, the shield remains stashed at the Avengers HQ until Tony and Steve patch things up. Or Steve dies before that can happen and his successor receives it instead (obviously not if the successor is Bucky).

    • Lupis42 says:

      Also, the line about “someone get this man a shield” seems pretty relevant. I suspect that Cap putting his stars & stripes outfit back on will be a BFD, and he may never get to do it.

      • MichaelGC says:

        in the comics when they took his shield away his friend Tony made a new one for him ☹️🐼

        • MichaelGC says:

          as long as the feud with Stark isn’t dismissed with a hand-wave

          I was just messing about with my previous comment (whilst fondly remembering one of my favourite storylines – which is 30 years old this year! Older than some of you whippersnappers, I’ve no doubt 😆). However, thinking on it further, if Tony were to make a new shield that’d be one nice way to solidly and symbolically cement any reconciliation between the two.

          Not saying that’d be all it took! – the actual reconciliation itself would need to be prior, and there’d be plenty of other aspects to work through (not least the question of why not just give him his regular shield back?). But if Tony did make Steve a new shield as a capstone to a rapprochement I suspect I would start blubbing like a small child.

    • Redrock says:

      Isn’t Wakanda the world capital of Vibranium? I would think thay could make a dozen shields. And the scientists there would probably welcome a momentary break from designing cat armor.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Oh hey! Hey everyone! – I’m just watching Spider-Man: Homecoming and as they’re packing up Stark Tower HQ on moving day, one of the items Happy Hogan reads out from the loading list is: “the prototype for Cap’s new shield!”

      Squeeeeeeeeeee! 🙏 I shall dare to dream…

  18. Lupis42 says:

    What about Black Panther?
    Getting his own movie at just the right time, able to provide super science, hiding places and other resources just as Tony Stark is killed/retired, and the character shows a lot of potential maturity, intensity, and drive that would make a for good leader both socially and writer-wise. He’d get my bet.

  19. Ryan says:

    So Shamus, with regard to theories about Thor, both regarding the movie and his prospects afterwards, it might be wise to remember the movie’s name. The “Ragnarok” in the title isn’t to be taken lightly in this case. I’ll say no more on the matter, lest I spoil the actual story, except that I’m also hoping (right along with your own speculations) that Hela will be revealed as Thanos’s love interest.

  20. Christopher says:

    I think it would be a mistake to just replace Captain America with someone else under the mantle and keep making Captain America movies. They could do it. But who would watch it? I’m vaguely aware that a lot of the characters have been replaced by others in the mainstream Marvel comics lately(Thor being replaced with his girlfriend, Tony by some girl I have no idea who is and Captain America by Falcon), and I’m not sure how well that’s gone over. But personally, the name doesn’t matter at all compared to the person behind the mask. They can replace the actors, though I would prefer if they don’t, either with an in-universe reality-changing magic reason or not. They can kill off half the good guys, but I’d rather they don’t do that either, because I don’t want the heroes I love to be killed off because the actors are tired of portraying them.

    What I would prefer is if they gave all the old franchises a rest and let the new ones breathe, whatever they do with them. Guardians of the Galaxy can still go off on their own like they have so far. But Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel and Black Panther along with side characters like Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Black Widow or the upcoming Wasp? That’s a decent Avengers team. I’d like them to move on to someone else rather than get stuck on the old dudes.

    I have no speculation for the movies themselves that’s worth a damn. If the MCU had any other supervillains, I’d expect Thanos would summon them to fight for him in the first movie while he sat back and watched. But there aren’t any, because they just keep killing the villains off, so it’s just gonna be him and an army of random mooks again.

    Actually, what supervillains do we have? Zemo is still alive, but in MCU he’s just some regular dork. Mordo is out there. I guess Red Skull could be summoned back somehow, but he’s also just a dude.

  21. Viktor says:

    I will throw my hat into the ring on the side of Black Panther should assume the leadership role. Though I suspect Marvel may actually try to make it Strange instead, for obvious reasons. Captain Marvel is a distant third option, I don’t see the MCU being willing to risk a female lead being the focus of the Avengers movies. Same problem with Wasp, only even more so because she’s not a powerhouse.

    Pym or Banner could take over the “snarky mad scientist” job, they were even setting Banner up for it in Age of Ultron, but I don’t see either of them being good enough at that to follow Tony. Maybe they bring in someone new?

    I say Cap dies, Stark dies. I’d have said Stark gets disabled if it weren’t for them already pulling that with War Machine. No other deaths except maybe Hawkeye, Drax, or a similar small characters. Marvel doesn’t like breaking their toys, they prefer putting them away so they can bring them out later. But not dead doesn’t mean they’re still active and supporting a franchise, and I agree some will probably retire here except for occasional guest roles in other people’s movies.

    Falcon as Captain America with Bucky and Widow as part of the team. I could even see them making “America is not one person” a line in the movie.

    Thor might retire and only show up for big fights(Avengers movies only), but if so you can easily pass on the mantle(and movie series) of Thor to another. Valkyrie would be the obvious choice, but comics have Jane Foster or Beta Ray Bill.

    Hulk can’t hold down a series, and it’s not so demanding a role that Ruffalo has a reason to quit. No need to pass him on, just again have him show up where you need conflict. She-Hulk would be great, but I doubt Marvel will bother trying to make her work.

    Spider-man will continue. He might die off in a later movie if the actor wants to leave or the writers ruin the char, in which case they can replace him easily enough.

    I almost expect them to bring back Quicksilver in this movie. Whether they do or not, I hope we see a Wanda movie soon. You’ve got her, Vision, and Hawkeye? That’s a lot of characters that need more screen time and exploration that won’t get it in the main movies.

    Ant-Man and Strange survive and continue getting completely undeserved focus.

    Guardians of the Galaxy lose a member in this fight, maybe adopt one or two randos from another franchise, and go back to doing their own thing. They basically avoid all future crossovers after their presence here is used by movie critics as proof the film was overstuffed.

    Stan Lee dies while shooting his cameo, because he’s enough of a drama queen to do it.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch, but that’s the obvious ones.

  22. Grampy_bone says:

    Riri Williams is a candidate for Iron Man’s replacement, as long as they completely change her character from an insufferable millennial Mary sue she is in the comics.

    I’m more confused why they are using mass human wave attacks, in modern times, with all the wakanda tech available. They don’t have any armor, air support, or artillery? This isn’t lord of the rings people!

    • Scampi says:

      Well…that last one was baffling to me as well-especially since they make it obvious by having bucky run visibile carrying a gun, where I had to think: “Wait-why is nobody even considering using advanced weaponry? Why is Cap not carrying any weapon (he may still dispose of it once it has outlasted its usefulness)? Why Widow? Is any melee they can dish out more effective than modern or even sophisticated Wakandan firearms?
      And the Wakandan soldiers are ALSO all armed with melee weapons-this nation’s arms might not be so much high tech as lots and lots of melee weapons of vibranium.

      • BlueHorus says:

        So apparently what vibranium does is…wait, better be sure…

        *quick Wikipedia check*
        -What the shit? VIBRANIUM CANCER?! The metal in Captain America’s shield got cancer that made it explode? And then it spread to other, unrelated bits of vibranium via magic?!
        WHO THE HELL WRITES THIS CRA-

        Ahem. Anyway, vibranium absorbs energy via something-something-science babble, so it could in theory make a handgun that fires cannonballs without breaking the user’s hand/arm. Or a crazy-powerful railgun. Both of which would be awesome in a superhero movie.
        But no, let’s use it to make medievil weapons and cat costumes, sure.
        …Wait, wouldn’t an energy-absorbing material make a terrible melee weapon, though? You’d hit someone with it and they’d feel nothing.

        Science/snark aside though, melee combat makes for better cinema than modern warfare (usually). You can’t have people exchanging banter between blows or glaring at each other over crossed blades if the combatants are in different drone control rooms. Melee is more epic.

        • Scampi says:

          Oh, I never doubted that. I never really had a big issue with Cap or Widow being unarmed (though I couldn’t resist bringing it up). I wonder why the other people are equipped for melee-you know-the army, who is not needed to provide witty banter, epic pictures and epic blows. The people who, by all logic of cinematic battles amount to pretty much background and cannon fodder.
          I’m pretty sure the focus will be mostly on Cap, Natasha, T’Challa, Bucky and Hulk, who may probably provide enough melee and banter for this fight.

        • Sicod says:

          The answer to your question is Mark Waid. Mark Waid writes this crap.

          He is a great writer and almost always has a entertaining comic going.

          He just isn’t a scientist.

          Keep in mind marvel comics has a long and storied history of having no clue how science works. Hulk…radiation. Spider-man….radiation. Mutant…radiation! The cause of and solution to, all the world’s problems.

          Luckily they have the retcon cannon ready to go. Celestial meddling in human DNA explains the radiation does not equal cancer or death.

          Vibranium is a madeupium substance that does madeupium things. Don’t expect hard science from comic book writers.

          Keep in mind since at least the 50s I guess DC has claimed that Superman gets all of his power from sunlight. Sunlight reaching Earth does not have the energy available to do the work that Superman can apparently do.

          In other words the poster boy of DC comics and the namer for the term Superhero makes no frigging sense.

          • BlueHorus says:

            Sure, it’s somewhat silly to poke holes in the ‘science’ behind comic books. And if the story’s good, who cares? (Said story could well be really good. I don’t know.)
            I may have played up sounding angry, but actually I’m more amused than anything else.

            Just…why cancer? Well obviously ‘cos it’s catchy and memorable, but cancer doesn’t make you explode. And it’s not contagious. And metal can’t catch it.
            The name reminds me – not necessarily in a bad way – of this line from a certain B-movie.

            Though you could make a really good tongue-in-cheek Captain America comedy movie out of the Vibranuim Cancer story. Cap playing the straight man to a really silly plot could be a glorious thing.

            “Steve, look out! The vibranium cancer is spreading to-”
            “Don’t call it that! Seriously, who gave it that name? *mutters* I swear, someone’s getting a wedgie or something over this.”

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Just…why cancer?

              Why not?Its like a computer virus vs a biological virus.A biological cancer spreads rapidly,making the infected tissue grow,unrelated organs can then get infected by it via blood.A metalic cancer would therefore spread rapidly,making the infected metal grow(explode),and unrelated bits of metal would then get infected via magic(which is a thing in marvel universe).

            • Cubic says:

              I see a class action lawsuit, asbestos style. Isn’t She-Hulk a lawyer or something?

        • Sicod says:

          Melee vibranium vs ranged vibranium.

          Due to the unique properties of vibranium it may be nearly impossible to mass produce effective weapons using the technology or use it in nearly any way in complex machines, with increasing complexity expanding the challenge.

          Remember, the first thing Spider-Man says when he sees Cap’s shield in action is something along the lines of “Man, that thing doesn’t follow the laws of physics at all.”

    • MadTinkerer says:

      It depends on whether the Wakandans are still trying to keep their tech mostly secret at this point in the MCU. We won’t know the answer to this question for sure until we see the Black Panther movie.

      • Scampi says:

        You might argue that but I still think it seems a bit ridiculous that they don’t even cover their high tech by using friggin’ machine guns or something as readily available TODAY (pretty much any two bit dictator in African failed state can somehow get his hands on enough automatic weapons to equip his forces, but THEY can’t?), but by running at an alien invasion with swords and shields.
        These guys are either stupid to boot or really badass if guns for a mass infantry assault are LESS effective than “dudes with sticks”, even if their sticks are really deadly…and if this is a country where every soldier is equally as badass as Captain America, it somehow detracts from the superheroes’ badassness, I believe.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its a common trope that in the future melee weapons will somehow overtake ranged weapons.Thats why light sabers beat blasters,why bat’leth are prefered by klingons over their disruptors,why a street samurai is more powerful than guards armed with uzis,etc.

          • Scampi says:

            Huh…and I always believed it to be showing the skill of the people wielding them…a Jedi is infinitely more trained than storm troopers and can therefore dispatch them left an right due to his incredible abilities. Most street samurai are on a different power level than a random guard with an uzi due to cyberware and better access to skill improvement (>0).
            When it comes to klingons, I tend to believe it has more to do with warrior cultures having a special relationship mostly to melee combat (and other “archaic” techniques, such as bow and arrow), as it signifies individual physical capabilities way better than wielding a gun and can specifically be used in scenarios where advanced weaponry is not available.
            Also: their preference of weapons doesn’t necessarily mean they are more effective wielding them than simply using blasters.

            The problem, to me, lies mostly in the idea of using huge armies of melee fighters in modern times. While I highly appreciate melee over ranged combat myself, I have to admit ranged weapons are at least superior until melee range has been reached. Not having ranged weapons on yourself will at the very least limit your ability to dish out any punishment before your enemy is in hitting range.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Also: their preference of weapons doesn’t necessarily mean they are more effective wielding them than simply using blasters.

              Precisely.A jedi would still outclass their opponent even if they used blasters instead of their swords.But what looks cooler:An unarmored guy running into a bunch of enemies,dodging and deflecting their fire,then cutting them all down,or a guy who stands 100 meters away from them shooting without moving?Like with most of these things,melee is used mostly because of the rule of cool.I mean take a look at that scene where a helicopter is shooting at bp while he is just standing there looking bemused.Major badass.

            • Nessus says:

              Yeah, IMO Klingons are a bad example. They do love their edged weapons, but they love them in a ceremonial context. When it comes to actual warfare, they’re as shooty as anyone. When we do see them carry or use a melee weapon in proper combat situations, it’s just a knife, and outside of impromptu honor duels is carried in pretty much the same context as an IRL soldier would carry a K-Bar or a kukri or whatever.

              In the Jedi’s case, I was always under the impression that it was at least in part a deliberate symbolic thing. Sort of like how British beat cops don’t carry firearms. The lightsaber is supposed to say “we aren’t here as soldiers, we aren’t here as thugs”. The fact that it takes force skills for a lightsaber wielder to even just survive against ranged weapons also makes the lightsaber a badge of sorts. A lightsaber on someone’s belt is a symbol for “I am a Jedi: I really, really, REALLY hate violence… but I can spank two handfuls of ass with one finger if you force me”.

              Of course, that should’ve gone out the window once they started leading from the front in the Clone Wars, but one could also argue that was another symptom of the same out of touch hideboundness that caused them to miss the reemergence of the Sith and the catastrophic fall of at least two of them (one of whom they were monitoring as a high risk for exactly that).

    • Redrock says:

      Don’t see how they will have the time to introduce Riri, seeing as how there won’t be any solo Iron Man movies any time soon. Also, Riri is a really weird character and Marvel didn’t handle her well at all in the comics, sadly.

      • Shoeboxjeddy says:

        Marvel has actually laid the groundwork for Riri in the movies beautifully between two films: Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man Homecoming. In Civil War, we see Tony give a huge grant to university students to make their innovative ideas come true. In Homecoming, we see two important things: wreckage from superhero battles is becoming a common place thing and normal people often get their hands on it AND it is accepted fact that Stark International will hand out jobs to talented young people. Put all these together and what do you get:
        young prodigy college student Riri Williams, while working on a Stark grant, gets ahold of destroyed Iron Man armor (too destroyed to be considered dangerous) which she manages to retrofit into a working model, just like in the comics.

        • Redrock says:

          Please no. Comic book Riri is terribly written. I mean, she is supposed to be a role model for girls, but they stuck her with AI Tony and made her so dense and useless. She couldn’t make her suit work – she needed an AI from Stark to do it. She can’t do anything herself. Even her freaking superhero NAME was made up by Tony. I mean, it’s like the writers themselves are some of those fanboys who hate gender-swapped characters and are actively sabotaging her.

          • Shoeboxjeddy says:

            Stark onboards an AI into every one of his Iron Man suits to make it work. It’s not a character flaw that she ends up using the same process. Saying she should be BETTER than the guy who’s done this for 20 years or whatever would make her a Mary Sue. Without the AI, she makes her cobbled together suit work about as well as Tony did in his first time out, enough to defeat a threat, but sort of cobbled together. That’s exactly what impresses Tony about her. And her “superhero name” is marketing. Tony is a CEO of like 5 different companies… why wouldn’t he be better at marketing than her?

            • Redrock says:

              I’m sorry, but did you read the comics? First off, the idea that a suit requires an AI to work is relatively fresh. Second, I will refer you to Obadiah Stane in the first movie: “Tony Stark did it in a cave! In Afghanistan!”. The whole reason for a passing of the torch is for the new characters to be worthy in some way or to forge their own path. That’s what Ms.Marvel does. That’s what Laura Kinney does. That’s what the new Thor does. Riri…doesn’t do anything like that. She doesn’t do anything new or meaningful with the Iron Man mantle. And, well, making her the new Iron Man always felt like a disservice to Pepper Potts. So I still maintain that Riri is very poorly done in the comics. Decent idea, lackluster execution.

              • Shoeboxjeddy says:

                I’m sorry, yeah I did? Stop acting like a shitty gatekeeper dude. Yes Tony Stark built the first armor in a cave while mortally wounded. That’s… why he’s Iron Man. Legacy characters generally don’t surpass their forebearer in the first storyline, because that comes off as tryhard and disrespectful to fans of the original character. Like, people were FURIOUS that Jane Thor had some different abilities than Odinson Thor, despite the fact she also had unique weaknesses to go with her unique strengths. Riri is starting younger than Tony and without many of the personality problems he had. That’s what makes them different. She had a genuinely rougher upbringing than his life of privilege and luxury, she brings a unique take to the smart person hero. He’s old money trying to make good, she’s an upstart trying to prove herself.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Thats basically what they did with spidey,and it was fine.

          • Volvagia says:

            I’d say: The Avengers has essentially two leaders, Cap and Iron Man. And…Bucky, in terms of temperament, would probably be equivalent to the Iron Man side of the equation. As for someone, temperamentally, closer to Captain America? The number depends whether they’re willing to bump someone up from the shows, but I’d say there’s two or three serious choices for that:

            Falcon
            Harley Keener (Yes, as in “The Kid from Iron Man 3.” If they announce Iron Man 4? Iron Man 3 Kid will be Iron Man and might co-lead The Avengers. Just watch.)
            Luke Cage (Even though they’re great characters, Jessica Jones and Daredevil aren’t fit to lead ANYTHING. Mike Colter’s Luke Cage? That’s a leader. Before Avengers 5 (2022 release, most likely) starts shooting, his show will absolutely have hit 3 seasons, 4 at the outside, so… bump him up to the movies.)

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    Going by contract renewals, I’d heard that originally Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t going to do any more films after this one, but now he’s signed on for two more. So unless he’s appearing in flashbacks and/or as a hologram / A.I. version of Iron Man, he’s not getting killed off in this movie.

    Something to consider is that although Massive Crossover stories tend to feature deaths in the comics and both previous Avengers movies had supporting cast members dying heroically, this doesn’t mean any big names are going to be killed off permanently for sure. Yes, they’re fighting a guy whose name means death (which is why he’s obsessed with Death-the-character: he sees her as his equal), but there are multiple McGuffins in play that can nullify death in one way or another. For example, Dr. Strange saved Wong with just one Infinity Stone by reversing time in his movie. He wasn’t specifically trying to save Wong, and clearly there are some limits on how much he can use the Time Stone, but it happened.

    The writers need to be careful not to make death ludicrously reversible like in the comics (sometimes), but the completed Infinity Gauntlet is the one McGuffin that absolutely justifies bringing everyone back to life with a snap. As such, don’t count on anyone dying permanently.

  24. Vince says:

    I’m betting on Cap dying, Stark retiring-after-injury, and the expensive original crew of the Avengers taking a break/cameoing for a couple of years after Not-Infinity-War-Part-Deux.

    Long-term? I figure the big “surprise” reunion movie in which a reluctant Stark is kicked back into action by Pepper and Cap gets resurrected by Hydra-tech is already pitched and greenlighted.

  25. Nixorbo says:

    It’s interesting the movie is called “Infinity War”. Originally it was titled “Infinity War Part 1”. We know this movie and the next were shot together and form a single story. Maybe the sequel will be called Avengers: Infinity Plus One War.

    For the record, the movies were renamed because “the Russos don’t particularly like the idea of people thinking they are only getting half a movie and are adamant what we will see in those two upcoming Avengers movies are very different stories.

  26. Dreadjaws says:

    Stories that are long but not unlimited, with characters that die when the writers run out of interesting things to do with them.

    I’m sorry, I cannot agree with this way of thinking. The idea that you have to kill a character once you’ve run out of ideas is self-defeating and tiresome. I know a lot of people complained about Batman not dying at the end of The Dark Knight Rises for that reason, and I cannot agree with them either. Furthermore, if you’re expecting it, then it’s never going to be a surprise, so it’s not going to be a moment that challenges the audience.

    Hell, your entire analysis suggests it: Captain America and Iron Man dying is obvious. If Marvel does this they won’t be doing it because it services the story, but because it’s the by-numbers thing to do. This is also a problem of the story being dictated by finances. They could kill Spider-Man and that would surprise the hell out of viewers, but they’re not going to do that because the character is barely starting in the MCU. And, like you say it, they’re not going to kill Ant-Man because we already know there’s a movie of his coming.

    Yeah, it’s perfectly fine to kill a character if that’s where the story takes you, but doing it for outside reasons has the same impact as giving an actor an Oscar because “it’s time” rather because he deserves it.

    • Shamus says:

      I didn’t mean they HAVE to die. They just need to stop doing the thing. Die, retire, move on to a new line of work, move to another universe, whatever. The point is that the story ENDS.

  27. Blake says:

    As much as the Infinity War movies are the culmination of the current Marvel Movie Meta Plot™, I hope they don’t go all-out killing characters off, I’d prefer it be the start of an ongoing transition where the characters start getting replaced in the other movies.
    Like each characters part in the MCU might last around 10 years, but they could get killed off at any time.

    I wouldn’t want to end up in a situation where we figure every character has plot-armour until the next big crossover where we expect half the characters to die, and then get a whole new batch all at once.

  28. Joe Informatico says:

    Man, the MCU (and a small devoted corner of Tumblr fandom) have tried to make care about Bucky, and while I understand why Steve cares about him, I don’t feel I’m there to the end of the line. Him in whatever the new lineup of the Avengers ends up being–sure, he’s badass enough. But in a leadership role? Can’t see it.

    How much “leadership” ends up happening in an Avenger film anyway? The “Avengers” as a team basically show up in 3 films: The Avengers, Age of Ultron, and Civil War. In the first film, they spend 2/3rds of it bickering (most of it can probably be blamed on Loki’s use of the Mind Infinity Stone–Hawkeye definitely can be) before defaulting to Cap’s leadership. Steve is still the field leader in AoU, which makes sense: in a team of scientists, superspies, and demigods from cultures that value individual heroics, he’s the one guy experienced in leading small paramilitary units. But even then, his “leadership” only goes so far, since Tony decides to enact a plan without telling the rest of the team (except Banner) which leads to Ultron and more bickering among the ranks. And of course, Civil War is nothing but division within the Avenger ranks. So I’m curious how much screentime of an Avengers film is actually teamwork vis-a-vis bickering, infighting, and drag-out punchups.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Bucky becomes an outstanding character because of his past as the Winter Soldier. Basically, imagine a Captain America who, while working to do hero stuff, has to deal with all the people who want revenge because of all the murders and skullduggery he committed in the past (outside of his own control). It really gives him a huge growth potential to have all these wrongs that he wants to right and all these enemies that actually have a good reason to want him dead.

  29. Redrock says:

    Whoah, a lot of angry diversity discussion, who would’ve thought. Still, on the original subject of the post.

    I think both Cap and Tony are staying until the next Avengers sequel, the one that was supposed to be Infinity War Part 2. That’s the one that’s supposed to be about the whole “passing the torch” thing. But yeah, both will be probably gone in “Part 2”. By then, The Wasp and Captain Marvel will both be established, though.

    There is a lot of speculation that it’s actually Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster armor in the trailer, so I guess he could also act as a quasi-Iron Man. But, more importantly, I strongly suspect that Doctor Strange is going to become a bigger part of the Avengers. Several reasons for that. First, as another ex-Sherlock, Cumberbatch brings much of the same smarter-than-anyone-in-the-room type of wit. Second, they seem to be pushing him pretty hard, what with the Ragnarok cameo (which was in the post-credit scene for Doctor Strange, so not a spoiler) and presense in the Infinity War trailer. He could even be an interim leader for some sort of New Avengers.

    The Wasp makes for another good interim option, but ultimately, of course, I think they will be going for Captain Marvel, just maybe not straight away.

    There could be a case made for Thor leading the Avengers for a time. Not to spoil Ragnarok, but he is becoming more mature in a way. And Chris Hemsworth’s acting and charisma have been improving dramatically over the last few years. So he can pull it off.

    Oh, and Vision is toast. They never actually figured out that character, I think. Paul Bettany does what he can, and Vision is a good source of some akward comic relief, but ultimately he is a bore with an inconsistent power set.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “but ultimately he is a bore with an inconsistent power set.”

      In the hands of the right writer, Vision is not a bad character. But it seems, according to an interview I read a while back, he is difficult to make interesting without overshadowing the rest of the team, and he’s a robot that can be rebuilt. So in the comics he’s regularly killed off by writers that don’t know what to do with him and brought back on a regular basis by writers that do.

      It would have been nice to get a Vision movie with a few Avengers providing supporting roles, but one of the problems with that is that Vision can’t beat his greatest nemesis on his own, because his greatest nemesis is Ultron. Vision doesn’t really have any antagonists that aren’t also Avengers antagonists in the first place. He’s a major supporting cast member with the power-set of a protagonist. I suppose that’s why he’s difficult to make interesting.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        In the movies at least vision cant really be rebuilt because of his full vibranium body.Thats not something you can find lying around.Plus that gem in his head seems like the only place where he could reside,so he cannot just download into anything like ultron.

        As for his character,they could explore the issue of him nearly killing war machine.He could constantly try to subdue his powers out of fear of repeating such a mistake.Plus there is his relationship with scarlet witch that could be explored.Lots of ways that could play out(romance would be the most boring one,Id prefer if they went with the familial route).

        • Redrock says:

          Yeah, now that you mention Scarlet Witch, she shares the same problem with Vision – basically no character and really ill-defined powers. Now, between Age of Ultron and Civil War they’ve removed her mind-control stuff and now she just does telekinesis. But her power levels are all over the place. If she can basically send Vision to Hell, and if Vision could hold his own, at least for a time, against Ultron’s main body, why on earth were they both so useless in Civil War. Also, Elizabeth Olsen is a fine actress, but she’s doing nothing except for pouting and a weird accent. But that’s mostly because she’s given nothing to do. Her role in Civil War was mostly to act as a reason for Tony and Cap to argue.

          Once again, I’m not saying either Vision or Scarlet Witch are bad characters by design. I’m saying that their versions in the MCU are severely underdeveloped and they mostly act as McGuffins, objects, not active parties.

  30. Decius says:

    The least likely viable choice for Avengers leader: Star Lord.

    Has the unleadership experience required to manage the surviving Avengers, the independence to step around the Accords (since they were ratified by only every nation on Earth, he is outside their jurisdiction), and can justifiably be absent during the first three acts of the next crisis only to arrive in the fourth to rally everyone.

  31. NPC says:

    I don’t know if Hela and death are actually the same character, but for for the purposes of movie adaptation it’s close enough

    Amalgamating the two definitely sounds like something MCU would do for simplicity's sake, but Lady Death in the comics is an embodiment of the abstract concept of death and is on a much higher tier of power than "mere" gods like Hela and Thor. Her peers are other concepts like Eternity, The Balance of Order and Chaos, and Judgement.

    Come to think of it I kind of do want to see Hela and Death rolled into one, if only to see Cate Blanchett hamming up the love triangle between Death, Thanos, and Deadpool

  32. Adamantyr says:

    Dude. Go and see Thor Ragnarok in the theater. Right now. I will PayPal you the money for a ticket.

  33. Paul Spooner says:

    I would shave my head, but I have moles which make that a painful proposition. I’d imagine Thanos would have the same problem with his chin. On the other hand, he seems to have stubble in the film, so who knows?

  34. `Retsam says:

    Another possibility with regard to the “who leads the Avengers after Capt and Stark are gone”, is that nobody does. Perhaps the team simply disbands after the events of Infinity Plus One War.

    You can justify it however in universe, (and it always leaves the door open for a Nu-Avengers team in the future), but it wouldn’t surprise me if the MCU did away with these big tentpole crossover movies where all of the increasingly long list of major characters are expected to show up.

    Instead, Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok show that you don’t need to call the movie “Avengers” to have other superheroes show up: these sort of smaller crossovers can be more focused (rather than trying to split screen time between a massive list of characters), and are probably easier logistically anyway, and can avoid the trap of always having to “one-up” the previous movie, in terms of scale.

    • Supah Ewok says:

      That’s pretty much what Feige’s been implying is the plan after Phase 3 for the MCU, to the point where he says they’ll be ditching the “Phase” system. This whole 11 year journey was a grand experiment and looks like it’ll produce something special, but it isn’t looking like something they want to try again cuz of the constraints it forces.

  35. Skyler says:

    I actually think it might be really interesting to see a movie (or at least part of one, maybe the first-act/setup) about the group not having a leader. If Iron Man and Cap really DO kick the bucket, there’s not really anyone left to take the mantle in a decisive way. There may have been in the comics, but for the average moviegoer it’s no contest. Stark and Rogers are THE main leaders, and Civil War cemented that. Rather than replacing them, I’d love to see one of these films (which are always concerned with consequences in a way I really enjoy) show the characters in grief and having trouble with moving on.

    It would be really interesting to see them deal with the characters struggling to maintain a cohesive group while not having a clear leader and direction. There would be infighting, especially with new characters replacing old ones, which has always been in play with these films. The heroes always fight each other, at least to some extent, before finally coming together to fight a big bad. Civil War showed that they were willing to splinter / fracture the group, and I think having them break into smaller offshoots, with parallel goals but different approaches, could make for some really interesting character work.

  36. Nentuaby says:

    Black Widow’s definitely making it. (Or if not, taking a trip to T.A.H.I.T.I…) They’ve officially confirmed she’s got a solo movie coming down the pipeline.

    I’d be genuinely surprised if Thor didn’t, too. The end of Ragnarok is too broadly telegraphed as a sequel hook to a ‘New Asgard’ storyline in a future movie.

  37. GTB says:

    TV shows can’t do these kinds of long-running stories

    It’s only 5 years, not 10, but Babylon 5 and J. Michael Straczynski would like a word.

  38. Supah Ewok says:

    I think it’s a bit defeatist to assume that Vision will die. He’s only had 1 and 1/3rd movie’s worth of possible screen time, that had to be shared across the whole Avengers cast. The only thing wrong with his portrayal in Civil War was him being cut out of the airport fight, and I think that’s just because he is currently the single most powerful hero in the MCU from having an Infinity Stone in his head. Remove the Infinity Stone and relegate him back to his comic book standard power set, he won’t overshadow anyone anymore. And it’s really easy to see this being set up. Theyve set up the romance with Scarlet Witch, and the trailer shows that they’re gonna build it up even more, so if removing the Infinity Stone kills him all they have to do is say that Scarlet Witch in her grief uses some of her ill-defined magic to transfer his conciousness out of the stone and into his body. Or hell, they can use the Soul Stone for that, in whatever form that’s gonma show up in.

    Vision has too much that can be done with him to justify throwing him out now. He’s not played out like Steve Rogers or Iron Man. I fully anticipate that once Phase 3 has been laid to rest that one of the new franchises will be “Vision and Scarlet Witch.”

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