Avengers 4: What Role Do Thanos' Snap Victims Play?

Doctor Strange and Avengers 4

What will happen to the dead victims of Thanos' snap in Avengers 4?The cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos achieve his insane goal of "rebalancing the universe," snapping his fingers and erasing half the life in the cosmos. Viewers watched in heartbreak as beloved heroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Star-Lord crumbled to dust before their eyes. But these heroes will be back in next year's Avengers 4.

As much as Marvel insist otherwise, the fact of the matter is that Avengers: Infinity War killed off characters who are destined to return. Marvel has already started production on Spider-Man: Far From Home, a film set "minutes afterAvengers 4 that sees Peter Parker introduce viewers to the post-Phase 3 MCU. And if one of the "snap" victims is going to come back, it's safe to say they all are; the "snap" will either be averted or undone, and the lost heroes will return.

Related: Marvel Needs To Stop Pretending Infinity War's Deaths Won't Be Undone

So how could these heroes come back, and what role will they play in the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4? Here, we're going to examine all the possibilities, rumors, and evidence.

Are The Snap Victims In The Soul Stone Or Not?

One common theory is that the dead Avengers are in the Soul World. In the comics, the Soul Stone is hungry to consume souls. Anyone who is devoured by the Soul Stone finds themselves living inside it, in a bright orange realm that is known as the "Soul World." This Soul World was briefly glimpsed at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, with Thanos's consciousness slipping into it for a moment, where he talked to Gamora. That clearly implies that Thanos's decision to sacrifice Gamora meant that her soul was absorbed by the Soul Stone.

Some fans believe that everyone else who died because of the "snap" are also now trapped inside the Soul Stone. Thus, somehow they could potentially escape from the Soul World and play a major role in Avengers 4.

The problem with this theory is that there's absolutely no evidence for it. Thanos willed that half the life in the universe be killed, not absorbed into the Soul Stone, and the dust effect is reminiscent of bodies dissolving when in contact with the Power Stone; there's certainly no telltale flare of orange light associated with the deaths. What's more, Thanos's experience in the Soul World made one thing abundantly clear; it is empty except for Gamora's spirit. There's no hint in that brief scene that other souls are somehow being absorbed into the Soul Stone at that precise moment.

Related: There's No Way Avengers 4's Time Travel Will Make Sense

The main reasoning for the theory seems to be that it provides a way to bring back the heroes, but such an explanation may not be necessary. All evidence points towards Avengers 4 being some sort of time-travel film; the surviving heroes will travel back in time, revisiting key moments in the history of the MCU, including the Battle of New York. If this meddling with the past is going to lead to the return of the dead, then there's simply no need for the plot to have them trapped within the Soul World.

Will We See Alternate Versions Of Snap Victims In Avengers 4?

Time travel doesn't just mean revisiting previous MCU movies (it's commonly expected the survivors will try and collect the Infinity Stones from the past), it means bringing back earlier versions of characters. So far, set photos have shown younger iterations of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor from The Avengers and Nebula and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, none of these died in the snap, but the door is wide open for more.

If the team is jumping back to the films with Infinity Stones, that means we could see the likes of Loki (Thor: The Dark World), the Guardians, Doctor Strange and more in their pre-snap form. This allows the actors to all play a part in Avengers 4 despite presently being dead (although doesn't do much for heroes like Spider-Man and Black Panther who haven't had any direct contact with Infinity Stones before Avengers: Infinity War).

Depending on the MCU's model of time-travel, though, we could also see alternate versions of the heroes killed by Thanos. The Avengers taking the Power Stone before Ronan uses it to attack Xandar could potentially create an alternate timeline in which the Guardians of the Galaxy never became a team. And if they take the Mind Stone from the Battle of New York, then Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will never be granted their powers; they may well remain normal, human Sokovian rebels. Little is known about Avengers 4's time travel, but the opportunities for "dead" characters to factor in are many.

Page 2 of 2: How Will The Snap Victims Come Back in Avengers 4?

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Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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