Artwork possibly associated with next year's Avengers 4 has leaked online, offering what may be our first glimpse of the big sequel. Marvel Studios is currently keeping every detail about Avengers 4 under wraps, refusing to even announce the film's title. That high degree of secrecy makes the image particularly exciting.
It's not possible to say for certain that this artwork is official. The website that originally published it didn't give away its sources, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt. What's more, an accompanying image actually seemed more likely to be concept art for Avengers: Infinity War, suggesting there may be a degree of confusion here.
At the same time, though, this image is unlike anything we've seen before. It definitely shows all the heroes who survived the "snap," with some Avengers donning distinctive new costumes. That would make sense, as modern superhero blockbusters really make their money off merchandising, and new costumes mean more action figure sales. So, this does actually feel like it could be a real leak. Assuming it is, let's explore what this image reveals.
- This Page: The Avengers, Captain Marvel, and the Missing Wasp
- Page 2: War Machine, Hulk, Hawkeye & More
The Civil War Is Over
Captain America: Civil War left the Avengers divided, and Infinity War made it clear that there's still bad blood between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Even when told of Thanos's impending attack, Iron Man was reluctant to give Rogers a call. No doubt the sheer scale of Thanos' atrocity has led the Avengers to put their differences behind them. Here they stand, assembled together for what may be the last time - and with some exciting new recruits.
The Russo brothers are determined to ensure there are consequences to Civil War. Earlier drafts saw Steve Rogers and Tony Stark meet in Infinity War, but that encounter was ultimately cut from the script. It was presumably moved to the sequel; given the magnitude of the schism between the two Avengers, we really need to see the reunion.
Captain Marvel As A Key Avenger
Avengers: Infinity War's post-credits scene showed Nick Fury send out a galactic Mayday to Captain Marvel. This art shows Captain Marvel - in her traditional colors, not green-and-gray! - as a key member of the Avengers. Carol Danvers could prove an essential ally in the battle against Thanos; as far back as 2016, Marvel Studios visionary Kevin Feige had insisted she was among Marvel's most powerful heroes. "Her powers are off the charts," he noted, "and when she's introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we've ever had." It's unclear quite where Carol Danvers has been between her '90s-set solo movie and the events of Infinity War; no doubt we'll get answers next year.
Related: Is Captain Marvel Worthy?
There's No Sign Of Wasp
Perhaps the most surprising omission from the image is Evangeline Lilly's Wasp. Although this year's Ant-Man & the Wasp is technically set before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel chose not to use her in that film, reserving her debut for her own movie. Wasp is confirmed to appear in Avengers 4 - but, crucially, she's not expected to play a major role. According to Lilly, Wasp "will appear in Avengers 4 [but] not very much."
Wasp's absence in this image suggests that she may actually be a victim of the "snap," killed at the cliffhanger ending of Infinity War. If that is the case, Wasp's small role in Avengers 4 must presumably be after the Avengers have either undone or averted Thanos' atrocity.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- 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