Warning: major Avengers: Infinity War spoilers ahead.
Grab your Stormbreaker, break out the Infinity Gauntlet and reach for the tissues. Avengers: Infinity War is finally here. With the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe building towards the arrival of the Mad Titan Thanos, the $1 billion budget of the Russo Brothers’ supersized superhero ensemble didn’t fail to deliver. Uniting the good and the bad of the MCU, Infinity War saw Thanos’ quest to gather all six Infinity Stones and wipe out half of the population to balance the scales.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had already teased some major (and possibly permanent) deaths, but no one expected the 19th MCU adventure to rattle through its cast list quite so quickly. Infinity War saw some huge Marvel characters shuffle off into the afterlife thanks to Corvus Glaive’s signature weapon, a disastrous trip to Vormir, and a snap of the fingers.
As the credits rolled and the number of Avengers was quite literally halved, the Russo Brothers have set the ball rolling for an even more dramatic Avengers 4 and the end of the MCU Phase 4. Who will return from the grave still remains to be seen.
Whether it be your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Thanos' green-skinned daughter, or the Trickster God from Asgard, here are 10 MCU Characters Avengers 4 Should Resurrect (And 10 Who Should Stay Gone).
20 Spider-Man - Resurrect
Starting with one of the last losses to grace Infinity War’s impressive roster of superhero departures, jaws were on the floor as a young Peter Parker was turned into a pile of ash. Coming a long way from the Stark Internship, did Spider-Man really imagine that abandoning the school field trip would take him to Titan to cross paths with aliens?
As the youngest member of the Avengers, it was a cruel twist of fate to include Spider-Man in the toll. However, that’s exactly what Thanos’ cull did - it reminded audiences just how young Peter is.
Fans felt lumps in their throats at Peter gripped his mentor and admitted he was scared to go. For two movies now, Spider-Man has come across as the fun-loving and sometimes cocky newbie, while the Russos stripped that back to leave a frightened little boy.
Marvel Studios has already tipped the Spider-Man sequel as the first movie to shoot after Avengers 4.
Given that Holland is only part way through his multi-picture deal, Web-Head has to come back in his shiny Iron Spider suit for the concluding chapter.
Obviously, the permanent passing of Peter Parker would make Infinity War all the more shocking, but no one is buying this one for a second.
19 Peggy Carter - Stay Gone
One of the few who got to escape Thanos’ finger-snap moment, Peggy Carter was peacefully at rest by the time Infinity War came around.
Some have guessed that Hayley Atwell could return to the Avengers movies and to the side of her love, Steve Rogers. With the Avengers needing all the help they can get, a fan favorite like Peggy Carter would be a great addition. It may be a little hard to work out how it could work, but with the Time and Reality Stone being particularly powerful, nothing is quite what it seems.
Since Carter departed the mortal coil in Captain America: Civil War, the MCU has tried to shoehorn a relationship between Cap and Sharon Carter - a little creepy - but nothing will ever beat Steve Rogers’ first love. If Rogers is really destined for the grave in Avengers 4, there could be room for a romantic scene of him and Carter, but what would be the point?
The character has been gone for a while now and was given a rare happy ending to her time in the MCU.
Let’s be honest, if Atwell is to return in any way, it should probably be in more Agent Carter episodes.
18 Doctor Strange - Resurrect
Given that certain circles see Doctor Strange as a filler movie that was simply there to introduce the Time Stone, a sequel isn’t exactly the top of many people’s Phase 4 wish lists. However, his parts in both Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War added another layer of comedy to those films.
As one of the major casualties of Thanos, Strange was left to float off into the winds of Titan, but is this really the end?
Given that Team New York was a huge part of the third Avengers movie, it is hard to imagine a world where Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange don’t get their reunion.
Doctor Strange 2 might never happen, but moving forward, perhaps Strange could appear as Hulk did in Ragnarok to become a secondary character in standalone movies? Also, Infinity War beautifully teased a Spidey-Strange relationship from the wings, which could tie into the promise that Peter Parker will get a new mentor for his Homecoming sequel. Finally, Strange simply has to return. As he turned to Stark and said “it was the only way” before becoming a dusty specter, there was a knowing look that the Doc has something up his sleeve for Avengers 4.
17 Crossbones - Stay Gone
The MCU is no stranger to odd rumors floating around about characters coming back from the dead, but the possible return of Frank Grillo as Crossbones is right up there.
Brock Rumlow made a lukewarm debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier before bowing out with some horrific facial scars in the attack on the Triskelion. Taking on his Crossbones alter ego, Rumlow returned for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role in Captain America: Civil War and blew himself to kingdom come.
Not only was Crossbones a wasted character - which is still not a reason to bring him back - he also got a pretty definitive ending.
Exploding in front of a crowd of Avengers is a pretty surefire way to exit the MCU, and even if there was some miraculous escape, fans would likely be a little peeved. Crossbones is hardly a powerful ally to have, and coming from the HYDRA days of the MCU and a very specific Captain America branch of the franchise, it would be a tenuous link at best to see him buddy up with Thanos.
In 2017, Grillo teased that he has something big in the pipeline, but with all the confusing timelines in the likes of Captain Marvel, a prequel movie would be a more obvious place for Rumlow to return - if he must.
16 Black Panther - Resurrect
Punching in as one of those major casualties, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther was an unlikely candidate to fall before the Infinity War credits rolled. Having already survived one brush with mortality in his solo movie, the King of Wakanda stumbled at the next hurdle.
Black Panther brought the fight to Thanos’ Black Order on his home turf as the final act of Infinity War took place almost entirely in Wakanda. The Wakandan warriors tooled up to take on the alien foes, and although T’Challa himself didn’t get as much screen time as some of the other Avengers, he was still an integral part of the team.
Since his debut in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther has become part of the “core” Avengers roster. Fans have already seen Wakanda’s resurrection properties, but turning a cloud of dust back into a human may be a little harder to do that rescuing a body from a waterfall tumble.
Black Panther will likely be one of the first heroes to be brought back for Avengers 4.
Considering the runaway success of 2018’s Black Panther and promises of a sequel, there is no way the Russo Brothers will leave T’Challa as a pile of ash.
15 Killmonger - Stay Gone
Solving that notorious MCU villain problem, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger was the main antagonist of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. However, there were moments when fans couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Wakanda outcast.
Among the various villains rumored to return to the MCU or possibly Avengers 4, the fan-favorite Killmonger would be a welcome addition. However, should the Russo Brothers really bring him back?
The jury is still out on who can claim the title of best MCU villain, but Jordan’s orphaned hoodlum is a strong contender. That being said, it just wouldn’t make sense to bring Killmonger back for Avengers 4.
With a dramatic send-off in the bowels of Wakanda’s vibranium mines, Killmonger had a poignant goodbye next to his cousin - taking away that final scene would rob the franchise of one of its greats.
It would be enough of a stretch to have Killmonger’s return in Black Panther 2, but a resurrection alongside the next part of Thanos’ plan would be completely illogical. Despite the many heroes currently wiped from existence, the number of characters is expected to rise even further in Avengers 4 thanks to the presumed inclusion of heroes like Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Valkyrie, and Captain Marvel. Putting it bluntly, there simply isn’t room for Killmonger.
14 Scarlet Witch - Resurrect
Infinity War had a love story at its core. Whether audiences love it or loathe it, the Vision and Scarlet Witch relationship took a giant leap forward. While half of the galaxy being wiped out could’ve been solved if Wanda had listened to her other half and destroyed the Mind Stone when he said, her relationship with Vision led to the movie’s dramatic climax - and Thanos’ clever use of the Time Stone.
Coming out of her shell since the loss of her brother in Age of Ultron, the surviving Maximoff twin is one of the most complicated heroes in the MCU.
While Scarlet Witch is only just coming to terms with her powers, she is a powerful addition to the Avengers and an important asset to have - someone the Russo Brothers would be foolish to waste.
Ultimately, Wanda Maximoff is a character who the MCU has only just scratched the surface of. Looking at well-known storylines, the Maximoff-heavy House of M could be perfect movie fodder. Although the likes of Civil War and Infinity War were only loose adaptations of their source material, the upcoming influx of mutant characters could be ripe for a House of M storyline. Consider Maximoff dow,n but not out for Avengers 4.
13 Vision - Stay Gone
This leads neatly to the Vision issue. Paul Bettany has had a massive story arc in the MCU, first voicing the AI J.A.R.V.I.S. and eventually becoming the scarlet-skinned Vision that everyone has come to know. With the Mind Stone helping bring Vis to life, he was always going to have a key role in Infinity War. However, now that role is over, should Vision’s time in the MCU also come to an end?
Vision’s destruction in Infinity War puts him in a predicament, as he isn’t one of those culled by Thanos’ click. Whatever method is used to bring half of the galaxy back to life, Vision could easily be left as he is.
Not that there aren’t plenty of comic book stories to tell through the relationship of Vision and Scarlet Witch - including some bouncing bundles of joy - but his permanent absence could have a real impact on the MCU. Everyone was promised some major casualties from Infinity War and Vision would certainly help fill that quota.
He was already brought back once (briefly) by the Time Stone, so does it really need to happen again?
As an important step in Scarlet Witch’s progression, Vision should probably remain as the gray husk that is seen on the Wakanda battlefield.
12 Nick Fury- Resurrect
Do MCU post-credit scenes really get any better than those that feature Samuel L. Jackson? There is a sense of poetic justice that Jackson was part of the very first post-credit scene and has gone full-circle for Infinity War.
His portrayal of the one-eyed S.H.I.E.L.D. director has become an icon of the page and screen, even altering the way Nick Fury looks in the comics. After sitting out the past couple of movies, Jackson carried the Infinity War post-credit scene and neatly set up the long-awaited arrival of Carol Danvers to the MCU.
We refuse to believe that Nick Fury was cut off mid-expletive just to be abandoned by the franchise.
Much more than just a way to set up the Avengers or Captain Marvel, Fury has plenty still to offer. While he may be sitting out the first part of Avengers 4, at least there will plenty of Fury backstory when fans see a younger version of him in next year’s Captain Marvel.
Remember that Jackson signed a nine-picture deal with the MCU that started with Iron Man, and since then, he has appeared in the likes of Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. His two-eyed appearance in Captain Marvel will be his ninth movie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Kevin Feige is done with Fury just yet.
11 Quicksilver - Stay Gone
Why have one Maximoff when you can have two? Although Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver is probably the biggest MCU casualty to date before Infinity War, audiences have been looking for a way to bring back Scarlet Witch’s brother since Avengers: Age of Ultron. That being said, would the lightning-fast speedster just be another body to make up the numbers after the devastating climax of Infinity War?
If the Russo Brothers adapt the Avengers: Forever comic arc, we could see various heroes plucked from different timelines and unite against a common enemy. Someone like Quicksilver would undoubtedly be a popular choice, but again, it would take away one of the MCU’s rare passing that appear to be permanent. Also, Pietro may have the ability to snatch the Infinity Gauntlet (and in particular the Time Stone), but it's doubtful that's the "endgame" Strange had in mind.
With Quicksilver having been out of the picture since Age of Ultron, fans have had time to come to terms with his loss.
To bring him back now would be a cop-out by the Russos. Considering Quicksilver was also one of the casualties in the Infinity Gauntlet comic, let's leave him where he is.
10 Maria Hill - Resurrect
Where Fury goes, so does Maria Hill. Another high-ranking agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hill is Fury’s right-hand woman. The inclusion of Cobie Smulders in the Infinity War post-credit scene was a closely-guarded secret, however, it was a welcome return nonetheless.
Joining the fray in The Avengers, Hill had minor appearances in The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron alongside an expanded role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first and second season. While she has been MIA in the MCU alongside Fury for quite some time, the no-nonsense Hill has been hard at work at the new Avengers facility and under the employment of Stark Industries.
Admittedly, Hill’s post-credit demise was overshadowed by Nick Fury’s, but she was still part of setting up Captain Marvel and Danvers’ presumed rescue mission in Avengers 4.
She may not be the top of many people’s resurrection list, but it makes sense to keep Hill battling from the sidelines of MCU movies.
Infinity War definitely upped the stakes, and if a time comes when the MCU retires Nick Fury, Hill would be a more than suitable replacement. Basically, if Nick is coming back, Maria shouldn't be far behind. And if he isn't, then she definitely must return.
9 Loki - Stay Gone
Infinity War opened with two big Asgardian losses. He had a good run, but Loki finally encountered someone who wasn't fooled by his deceptions, and he was sent off to meet Odin and Frigga in Valhalla. The trickster’s tricks ran out as he came unstuck at the hands of Thanos.
Loki may have been a suitable guide to help the Black Order track down the other five stones, but his strangely heroic streak meant he wasn’t long for Infinity War’s runtime.
The passing of Thor’s adopted brother marked the end of an era for the MCU and it is one that will probably stick.
Certain irreversible losses had been teased by the likes of Kevin Feige long before Infinity War hit theaters, and to rob Loki of his hero’s farewell would be an injustice to the franchise. Although Thor told Rocket Racoon that Loki has come back from the dead before, the God of Thunder isn’t alone in the assumption that the amoral Asgardian is really gone for good.
Hiddleston has already said that he would love to play either Galactus or Captain Britain in the MCU, so maybe it is time for a change for the brilliant Brit?
8 Bucky Barnes - Resurrect
Poor Bucky Barnes hasn’t had much luck since he came on the scene in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avengers. After being mentally conditioned by HYDRA and framed for the slaying of King T’Chaka, Bucky was then put on ice in Wakanda.
Sporting a snazzy new vibranium arm and a new superhero moniker, the Winter Soldier moved out of the way to make room for the White Wolf in Infinity War.
With so much potential still out there for where Bucky could go next, consider his disintregration temporary.
While it doesn’t look like Bucky will be the one to pick up Cap’s shield next, he is still assured to be a major part of Steve Rogers’ ongoing story and still be at the side of whoever takes the title of Captain America next. It just wouldn’t be a Captain America storyline without the loyal James Buchanan Barnes by the First Avengers’ side.
Similar to Jackson, Sebastian Stan signed a nine-picture deal, taking his role in the MCU far beyond Infinity War. He has appeared in six movies so far, meaning that Avengers 4 is also unlikely to be the last time Barnes swings that metal arm at some bad guys.
7 Heimdall - Gone
Loki’s passing overshadowed the loss of another MCU favorite. He wasn’t officially one of the Revengers but that didn’t make Idris Elba’s Heimdall any less important to the legends of Asgard.
Infinity War opened with the decimated Asgardian fleet, with Heimdall one of the “lucky” few to survive. However, it wasn’t to last long. In a last act of selflessness, Heimdall managed to send Hulk to Earth and save the life of Bruce Banner before being stabbed in the chest by Corvus Glaive. The Asgardian people had a tougher time than most in Infinity War, and while some are presumed to have survived the Mad Titan’s plan, Heimdall doesn’t look to be one of them.
The theory that Heimdall had something to do with the Soul Stone was a brilliant one, however, it was one that never paid off. In fact, many feel rightly short-changed that Heimdall had to watch from afar through most of the MCU. Even in Ragnarok, Heimdall spent the movie as an exiled man on the run.
There could’ve been more to the gatekeeper of Asgard’s story arc, but don’t count on him coming back in Avengers 4.
That being said, at least Heimdall got a proper send-off and actual Infinity War screen time - not like the game of "Where’s Valkyrie?" that fans are currently playing.
6 Falcon - Resurrect
He isn’t exactly the most powerful of the Avengers, but who wouldn’t be sad if Sam Wilson didn’t get to fly again?
Making his MCU debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Wilson and his Falcon persona have flown to glory alongside Steve Rogers. Even the ability to fly away from trouble didn’t stop Falcon falling from the nest as Thanos eradicated him from existence. It was tragic to watch Don Cheadle’s War Machine helplessly searched for his fallen comrade, but will he be back?
With each passing movie, it looks more and more likely that Steve Rogers is about to meet his final end or permanently throw down his shield and shuffle off to retire somewhere. Chris Evans has had a good run in the MCU but fans are excitedly looking for who could take over as Cap.
The main reason that Falcon has to come back is the fact that he currently looks like the most likely person who will take on Rogers’ mantle next.
As previously mentioned, Bucky looks pretty settled as the White Wolf, meaning that Falcon could have his wings clipped and become Captain America. The Avengers roster is set to change after the events of Avengers 4, but audiences should still expect Sam Wilson to be part of the revamped lineup.
5 Ultron - Stay Gone
Infinity War already saw the return of Loki as one of the Avengers' defeated foes, so what about the other big one?
While Avengers: Age of Ultron didn’t quite earn the critical acclaim of its predecessor, it is still ranked as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Along with an expanded cast and a brilliant performance by James Spader as Ultron, Tony Stark became a Doctor Frankenstein of the MCU. Ultron was a pretty great villain, but why should that give him a free pass to Avengers 4?
Thanos’ use of the Stones means anything is possible in the next Avengers film. If villains like Hela could return or there's a resurrection of Quicksilver, a bad guy like Ultron could also rear his head to torment Tony Stark. However, even with half the heroes wiped out, the cast list for Avengers 4 is already groaning at the seams.
Infinity War could’ve shoehorned in an appearance from Ultron as Vision went, only to be replaced by the voice of Spader coming from Bettany’s body and taking over Vis, however, the Russos have missed the boat on that one. Ultron is better off wherever Vision sent him.
4 Hela - Resurrect
Infinity War featured the frankly brilliant return of Red Skull, so why stop at just one memorable villain return? Cate Blanchett's Hela was last seen taking a dip in the water of Asgard but didn’t even get a proper final scene. Remember that even if you see a body, it doesn’t mean that someone is really gone in the MCU. Thor may think that Hela died alongside the destruction of Asgard, but don’t be so sure that we’ve seen the last of his venomous sister. Last year, Mark Ruffalo seemed to imply that Hela had survived, however, she didn’t pop up in Infinity War.
Although the Russos have promised that Lady Death won’t appear in Infinity War or Avengers 4, they don’t technically dismiss the idea of Hela taking on that mantle. The rumors are still swirling that the MCU will merge Hela and Thanos' Lady love into one character.
The comics have Thanos wiping out half the galaxy to impress his love, and while that storyline has been redacted, it doesn’t mean the embodiment of mortality couldn't appear in some way. In fact, the inclusion of Hela could be one of the many ways to bring back all the deceased characters and reverse Thanos’ click.
3 The Black Order - Stay Gone
If you are the Black Order, having the official title of the "Children of Thanos" is a pretty big cross to bear. Zoe Saldana’s Gamora stole most of the limelight as Thanos’ adopted kid, but let’s not forget the likes of Nebula and the four forgotten offspring that made up the Black Order.
After they were hyped up as something of a big deal, many fans were left feeling a little underwhelmed by Promixa Midnight, Cull Obsidian, Ebony Maw, and Corvus Glaive.
Promised to be a major part of Infinity War, the Black Order were sadly little more than henchmen to the Mad Titan. Of the four, onl Ebony Maw is really worth mentioning, and even he got a spectacular send-off when blasted into space à la Aliens.
Disappointingly, comic book favorite Corvus Glaive was particularly lame. As one of Thanos’ most powerful allies (and supposedly immortal), Glaive went out with a whimper before Infinity War’s end. Thanos could use his new-found jewelry to bring back the Black Order, but there is a sense they have served their purpose.
Grimace may now be relatively alone in the galaxy, however, Thanos doesn’t look like the type that really needs to make friends.
2 The Guardians Of The Galaxy (Most Of Them) - Resurrect
Fulfilling a promise to split its time between Earth and the cosmos, Infinity War saw the long-awaited meeting of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Various teasers had already spoiled that Thor would cross paths with the ragtag band of space pirates, but the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange also got to shake hands with the comedy troupe.
The loss of the Guardians hit fans as hard as seeing the main heroes fade away into nothingness. As Bradley Cooper’s Rocket reached out to a disappearing Groot, it was tough not to feel a pang of emotion.
After the already devastating demise of Yondu, Guardians fans can’t stand to lose the entire team.
Although the original lineup of Stakar Ogord and co. are still out there somewhere, James Gunn has said he isn’t finished with the team just yet. Currently, only talking "trash panda" Rocket remains alive, so there isn’t much of a Guardians actually left. Although Infinity War had a whole spectrum of emotions, the likes of Drax, Groot, and Mantis got some of the best laughs. As a much-needed element of fun to even the darkest of MCU adventures, the Guardians have to return - well, all except one!
1 Gamora - Stay Gone
Waving goodbye to Heimdall, Loki, and even half the Avengers was a tough gig, but Saldana’s Gamora had the most heartfelt swan song of the movie. When Gamora and Thanos headed to Vormir, there was a sense of impending doom as audiences realized what was coming next. The moment when Red Skull dropped the bombshell that Thanos’ tears weren't for himself was then beautifully offset by Gamora’s slow-mo plunge.
The Guardians may have started the movie happily bopping to an Awesome Mixtape, but they left Infinity War quite literally in pieces. The Russos had already promised that Thanos could be a sympathetic villain at times, akin to Killmonger, and Brolin’s runaway performance certainly managed to do that.
When little Gamora asked, “What did it cost?” there was real belief that the purple brute has lost everything.
To bring Gamora back to life would frankly be a travesty and undo all the effort and high-stakes drama that went into Infinity War.
Simply being able to resurrect her back because we feel a bit sad would be a big mistake. Although Saldana is confirmed to appear in Avengers 4, let’s just hope it is in flashback capacity or in some sort of astral plane to have a final farewell with Quill. The big question still remains though: “Why is Gamora?”
Who do you want to see back for Avengers 4 and who do you think should remain in the afterlife? Sound off in the comments below.