*Major spoilers for Civil War, Endgame, and Infinity War immediately following*
After triumphantly defeating the Mad Titan in a do-over in Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers decided to disband indefinitely. Iron Man gave his life in the battle, Captain America returned to the past and grew old in an instant, and Thor handed over his kingdom to his successor. Of course, the coming of Thanos was just the tip of the cosmic threat iceberg. Earth’s mightiest heroes will be back together at some point. Kevin Feige has even said that Marvel has planned a “very different” roster for a future Avengers movie. So, here are 10 Characters We Expect To See In Avengers 5.
10 Captain Marvel
Many fans expected Avengers: Endgame to set up Captain Marvel as the team’s new leader. Steve Rogers would bequeath the role of leading Earth’s mightiest heroes onto Carol Danvers, because she similarly has a background in the military, has a huge amount of power and knows how to use it, and is a born leader – it seemed like a no-brainer. But then, she hardly had any scenes in the movie at all, and when she was there, there was an emotional disconnection, because she hadn’t built a relationship with any of the characters yet. This is what Avengers 5 can fix – she’s got plenty of time between now and then to forge bonds with her fellow Avengers.
9 Doctor Strange
Stephen Strange played an integral role in the last two Avengers movies, since he pretty much chose what would happen out of 14 million possible futures, but his character arc is far from over. In Infinity War, we saw that he’d been training to use his powers a lot since his 2016 origin story, and in his upcoming standalone sequel, we’ll see him contend with a multiverse in disarray. We haven’t even seen him get officially appointed as the Sorcerer Supreme yet. There’s plenty of Doctor Strange’s MCU journey left to explore, and appearing as a key component in Avengers 5 will be a large part of that.
8 Mighty Thor (Jane Foster)
In the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, which is being written and directed by Taika Waititi, Thor will be handing over his mantle to Jane Foster. We haven’t seen Jane in years, but as with most early-days female characters in the MCU, she was one-dimensional at best and completely dialogue-free at worst.
In Love and Thunder, Jane will reportedly differentiate herself from Odinson by going by “the Mighty Thor,” despite many fans continuing to erroneously call her “female Thor.” It makes sense that after becoming Thor and arming herself with Mjolnir, Jane will take on a huge role in the future of the MCU.
7 Smart Hulk
It doesn’t seem like Smart Hulk has a place in the future of the MCU, since his character arc reached a natural stopping point off-screen. At once, it doesn’t feel like we’re done with him, and yet there’s nowhere else to take him, narratively. Since Marvel can’t give him his own solo movie and the MCU is moving away from the original Avengers roster, the very least they can do is give him a supporting role in the fifth Avengers movie. With brains and brawns at the same time, there might not be as much conflict with the Hulk character, but he’s a useful plot device – and he’s still entertaining.
6 Black Panther
With Iron Man and Cap out of the picture, the next Avengers movie will need a couple of equally popular, more recently introduced characters to lead the charge. In the past couple of years, T’Challa has emerged as one of the MCU’s most exciting new heroes. He gets his powers from his advanced super-suit, he’s wealthy and powerful, and until recently, he turned a blind eye to the people who needed his help, which makes him the perfect candidate to be the Tony Stark of this next wave of Avengers movies. If we get to see plenty more of Black Panther, Shuri, Okoye, Nakia, M’Baku, and Wakanda as a whole over the next few years, no fans will be complaining.
In his upcoming solo movie, we’ll see Shang-Chi face off against the real Mandarin. Since a Mandarin impostor proved to be a challenge for the combined efforts of Iron Man, War Machine, and the Iron Legion to defeat, the mystical martial artist who manages to take him down will certainly attract the attention of the Avengers (that is, if they ever do decide to get the band back together). It’s fair to assume that Shang-Chi’s introduction in his own solo movie in Phase 4 is setting him up for a major role in the potential future of the Avengers franchise.
4 Scarlet Witch
After a couple of misguided developments in her character arc, from locking her in her room for most of Captain America: Civil War to the unexplained fazing-out of her Eastern European accent in Avengers: Infinity War, Scarlet Witch’s MCU tenure seems to finally be on track. If the franchise is ever going to adapt the “House of M” storyline, they’ll need a Wanda Maximoff that fans actually care about. Her supporting role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to be establishing this. Outside of the narrative reasons, she’s also one of the most powerful superheroes in the MCU.
3 Captain America (Sam Wilson)
Anthony Mackie has continually insisted that Sam Wilson isn’t becoming Captain America and will remain the Falcon, but Sam’s line about “a world without Captain America” reminding Steve Rogers to give him his shield seemed to signpost that Sam will be going by “Cap” pretty soon. Sam’s story arc will continue on Disney+ with the 2020 series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but following on from that, it seems likely that he’ll be showing up in Avengers 5.
He might not lead the team in the way that the previous Captain America did, but at the very least, he’ll be there, fighting alongside Earth’s mightiest heroes.
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor decided to give the role of King of New Asgard to Valkyrie, which seemed like a good choice – she’s strong, she’s level-headed, she has a long history of fighting for Asgard, and she basically ran New Asgard for five years anyway, while Thor locked himself away with several barrels of beer at a time and wallowed in his own misery. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Valkyrie will search the cosmos for a queen, confirming her as the first LGBTQ superhero in the MCU. Her involvement in Avengers 5 is pretty much a given.
Just when it seemed like Sony was yanking Spider-Man out of the MCU without giving him a chance to say goodbye, the studio reached an agreement with Marvel that will let them use Spidey for one more solo movie, which can be used to wrap up the storylines with his identity being revealed, his burgeoning romance with M.J., and living in Iron Man’s shadow, and another, as-yet-unannounced MCU entry, which will reportedly be used to write the webslinger out of the franchise entirely. It’s fair to assume that said movie will be Avengers 5. Maybe Spidey’s death will bring the new Avengers team together.