Avengers: Infinity War stunned fans with a shocking conclusion, and there's no way Avengers 4 should pick up where it left off; instead, Marvel would be wise to have a time jump. The reality is the cliffhanger ending of Infinity War was just too massive, too world-shaking, to pick up in the moment. Audiences will have had a year to reflect on what's happened to the MCU, with Ant-Man & the Wasp and Captain Marvel presumably offering tantalizing hints. Meanwhile, as emotional as audiences may be about certain key character deaths right now, in a year's time the keen edge of that grief will have faded. While the heroes' reaction to the tragedy would still be raw, the viewers have had a year and are more concerned with what comes next.
And so a time jump is necessary. It may be that the time jump is actually only a year; of all Marvel's directors, the Russos have a keen understanding of the timeline. To date, every one of their MCU movies has been explicitly set in the year of its release. Infinity War even carefully fixed the timeline errors created by Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Alternatively, if Marvel really wanted to be creative, they could choose to break with tradition and jump even further forward in time. Thanos bragged that worlds would become paradises in the wake of his scourge, and the MCU could skip forward years - maybe even a decade - to test his theory. Will the Mad Titan's horrific slaughter create a utopia, or instead generate only chaos? It would certainly be fascinating to see the answer to that question, with either outcome posing its own unique crisis for our heroes. Still, whether Marvel skips forwards only a year or instead goes further, a time jump will still be best.
A Time Jump Would Reveal The Real Impact Of Thanos
The Russo brothers may have raised the stakes to their highest level in Marvel history, but they actually kept the focus pretty tight. Although Thanos erased half the universe with but a snap of his fingers, viewers only saw characters they know and love disappear. That's a markedly different approach to the Infinity Gauntlet comic this plot is lifted from, which stressed both the global and cosmic scale of the atrocity. It saw streets full of ordinary citizens emptied; it saw alien civilizations razed. Infinity War settled for hinting at this in a brief post-credits scene, and that was really focused on teasing the impending arrival of Captain Marvel.
If the Russos carried straight on with the story where they left off, no doubt the tight character focus would remain. As a result, the disaster would still feel reduced in scale, as though only a small handful of people had vanished, rather than half the universe. By jumping forwards in time, though, the Russos can set these familiar heroes against a backdrop in which the world has been utterly changed. The nature of those changes - crises in government, political and ethnic tensions, crime sprees, whatever - would emphasize the true scale of Thanos' act.
In his conversation with Gamora, Thanos stressed that her homeworld became a paradise after his attack. He cited that as a justification for his entire twisted philosophy, believing that the entire universe would be improved by this act of "sacrifice." By skipping forward a few years, though, Avengers 4 could reveal the chaos that Thanos unleashed. It could set up a crumbling society, one that desperately needs to be saved. Thus the Avengers wouldn't just be fighting to undo what Thanos has done; they'd be fighting to save everything. Or, possibly even scarier, what if life on Earth truly is improved? Should they still try to undo Thanos' snap then?
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018