Warning! MAJOR SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War ahead!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has culminated into Avengers: Infinity War, the 19th installment of a franchise that has so far accumulated $15 billion at the box office on a global scale. This third Avengers film not only comes as a direct sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, but also as the first part of a grand conclusion to the MCU as we know it.
Shattering the all-time opening weekend box office records established by 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Infinity War is set to become one of the profitable movies of all time, following in the footsteps of Black Panther, the other Marvel Studios movie released in 2018 that crossed the billion-dollar mark worldwide.
As Marvel prepares for what comes next, Avengers: Infinity War gives fans what it promised: a proper introduction to Thanos, a gut-wrenching climax for the MCU, and the buildup of excitement for Captain Marvel and the yet untitled Avengers 4, both of which are set to premiere in 2019.
What happened to all of those characters after Thanos snapped his fingers? Where do the main characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe stand after Infinity War? Is this a fight that can still be won?
This is Avengers: Where Every Character Stands After Infinity War.
After his introduction in 2011’s Thor, Loki has been considered one of the most consistently beloved villains in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, which fueled his role as the main villain in the first The Avengers film and recurring appearances in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Loki appeared right where Ragnarok ended: at Thor’s side, in a spaceship full of the few remaining Asgardians who were now without a home.
From the beginning, Infinity War made the point to set up Thanos as a much, much stronger villain than Loki. Whereas Loki was shoved from one side to another by Hulk in The Avengers, Thanos was left unbothered by the green hero’s attacks. Then, to drive the point even further, Thanos smashed Loki right in front of Thor – proving without a doubt that the MCU now has a much bigger threat to loom over Earth.
As this third Avengers installment ends, Loki is presumably gone for good.
Thor mentions to Rocket that even though Loki has come back to life before, this time it feels like it's permanent.
Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, has been spotted on set for the yet untitled Avengers 4. However, it is anyone’s guess whether those scenes will be used in the film, and to which capacity. A safe guess is that Loki will appear in the upcoming film in a time-travel sequence.
Despite being the daughter of Thanos and thus having a personal connection to him that was unlike any of the other MCU characters, not a lot of speculation surrounding Gamora’s role in Avengers: Infinity War included what actually happened on screen.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 confirmed for 2020, there wasn’t much concern about what would happen to that team, besides a tweet from James Gunn reassuring that the threequel would take place after the untitled Avengers 4 and that its story would take into consideration whatever happened to the Guardians team in those films.
With Thanos sacrificing Gamora, a daughter he ostensibly loves, in order to obtain the Soul Stone, the lineup of heroes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is apparently going to be much different than fans expected. Unlike the disintegration of the other characters, Gamora’s fate seemed much clearer, meaning that bringing her back would require a massive explanation.
For the optimistic fans, seeing a young Gamora in Thanos’ vision after snapping his fingers gives hope that the character might have a way to be brought back by the time Avengers 4 is over.
Of course, the possibility of bringing her back is purely speculative. For now, Gamora is out of the picture.
Thor lost not only his brother by the hands of Thanos, but also his "best friend" and fellow Asgardian, Heimdall.
Heimdall, who was instrumental in the introduction of the concept of Ragnarok to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through his appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, was also a significant part of all three Thor installments.
Before having his life taken away by Thanos, he was able to send The Hulk back to Earth to bring the news that the Mad Titan was on a quest to find all six Infinity Stones.
Though short, Heimdall’s appearance in Avengers: Infinity War brought closure to his role as protector of the Asgardian people, as was established in Thor: Ragnarok.
Because no future standalone movies are planned for Thor, it might be safe to assume that Heimdall’s role in the MCU has come to an end, and that his last complete storyline was the one that fans saw in Ragnarok. Without any Asgard or Asgardians to protect, Heimdall would’ve been a character without a proper place to fit into the franchise, thus justifying the need to bring his story to a closure. Additionally, it was one more way for Marvel to show just how powerful Thanos is.
After creating Ultron during Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark decided to create another AI-powered being that could be just as powerful, which resulted in the creation of Vision.
Because Vision was literally made from the Mind Stone – which was attached to his head – in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many fans made a safe assumption that the only way Thanos could possibly win the Infinity War was to take the stone from Vision and, as a consequence, destroy him.
The Avengers: Infinity War storyline introduced the idea that perhaps Shuri would be able to carefully take the Mind Stone off of Vision without destroying his entire existence, but it came too late, as Thanos and his minions invaded Wakanda. Then, it turned out that the Scarlet Witch succeeded in destroying the Mind Stone before Thanos was able to reach Vision, but the Mad Titan used the Time Stone to turn back time and revert back Wanda’s sacrifice.
Ultimately, Vision met the fate that many MCU fans had already anticipated, and Thanos ruled against all of the Avengers after collecting the very last Infinity Stone.
Unless the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are able to retrieve the Mind Stone and Vision is capable of being revived through it, it is unlikely that Vision will move forward in the franchise.
16 SCARLET WITCH
The Scarlet Witch had arguably one of the most heart-wrenching moments as a consequence of Thanos’ finger-snap. First, she succeeded at destroying the love of her life in order to save the rest of the world. Then, her entire sacrifice was deemed useless as Thanos turned back time with the Time Stone. Lastly, she disintegrated along with half of the people on Earth.
Like all other characters that were seen disintegrating, the Scarlet Witch’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is uncertain.
With the news that Disney has purchased Fox and, along with it, has gotten back the cinematic rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, it is a possibility that the Scarlet Witch can become a central figure in the introduction of the X-Men to the MCU. However, speaking in regards to that matter, actress Elizabeth Olsen has seemingly denied that the Scarlet Witch will connect the franchise to the X-Men characters, saying that the franchise “gone so far to create a non-X-Men universe backstory for [her] character.”
With all of that taken into consideration, Scarlet Watch is by all means gone by the end of Avengers: Infinity War. If she is to come back somehow, it is possible that she will remain a non-mutant Avenger.
Disintegrating a character such as Spider-Man, who already has a Homecoming sequel (and arguably a threequel) confirmed for 2019, puts the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a tough spot.
Despite his fate in Avengers: Infinity War, of course Spider-Man is going to come back somehow – he has two movies coming up!
Given the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming and the lineup of blockbuster properties currently under Sony Pictures, it is safe to assume that there is no way that Infinity War will have any impact on the survival of this MCU version of Peter Parker.
Despite having one of the most gut-wrenching departures in the film, watching Spider-Man disintegrate in the third Avengers installment felt disingenuous, as if Marvel fans around the world are not aware that Tom Holland signed a multi-picture deal to portray Peter Parker for years to come. If anything, the fact that Spider-Man disintegrated at all signals to audiences that the effects of Thanos’ finger-snapping will indeed be overturned, and that all (or at least most) of the disintegrated characters have a chance of coming back to their physical forms.
Unless the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel breaks from the MCU, this franchise will have to bring Peter Parker back to life by the time Avengers 4 is released.
14 BLACK PANTHER
The disintegration of Black Panther is another instance that points to the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will most likely have to revert Thanos’ finger-snapping consequences by the time Avengers 4 is released.
When Black Panther became the highest-grossing superhero movie of all-time, it became hard to believe that the MCU would let go of this character and not give him at least an entire trilogy worth of standalone films. To put in perspective: Black Panther alone made more money at the box office than The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, or quite literally any other superhero movie – Marvel or otherwise.
Regardless of T'Challa being disintegrated in Avengers: Infinity War, it is safe to assume that Black Panther stands on solid ground and will make his way back to the franchise in the yet untitled Avengers 4.
As a matter of fact, Black Panther is already poised to be part of the main lineup of MCU heroes post-Avengers 4 alongside Spider-Man and Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has already spoken about the possibility of Black Panther 2, saying that the film is being “worked out” and will happen when director Ryan Coogler wants it to happen.
13 DOCTOR STRANGE
The fate of Doctor Strange is a more uncertain one when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange was never confirmed by anyone involved with the project, despite many fans making the assumption that he, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel, would be an integral character to the franchise post-Avengers 4.
As of now, with the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Stephen Strange has disintegrated into thin air.
His last words to Tony Stark were, “We’re in the endgame now,” which are a curious choice of words that seemingly position Doctor Strange in somewhat of a position of power and knowledge. Many Marvel fans have drawn the conclusion that, actually, surrendering the Time Stone to Thanos and letting him “win” the Infinity War is all part of Doctor Strange’s plan.
At one point in the film, Strange reveals that he has played millions of versions of this story in his head, and there is only one way in which Thanos loses to the Avengers. By letting Thanos snap his fingers and be disintegrated in a peaceful way, one must conclude that Doctor Strange knows what he is doing and has devised a plan to come back in Avengers 4.
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the horizon, there was little to no discussion regarding what would happen to those characters during Avengers: Infinity War. When Gamora was sacrificed and Star-Lord began to disintegrate on screen, fans were forced to question whether this installment would bring the current Guardians lineup to an end.
Star-Lord is, without a doubt, the protagonist of the Guardians of the Galaxy films and the leader of that team. Writer and director James Gunn has already teased that the Guardians team would possibly make a few changes in the near future, but most fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were not expecting that such an abrupt fate would come to Star-Lord during an Avengers installment.
Infinity War took the Guardians' leader away in the most gut-wrenching way: disintegrating after he learned that Gamora was gone.
In any case, there is also the chance that Star-Lord, like the previously mentioned characters, might come back just in time for 2019’s Avengers 4 and 2020’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Guardians team may indeed change over time, but it seems more believable that those changes would take place during a Guardians movie, and after Vol. 3.
The other Guardians of the Galaxy character that the MCU said goodbye to in Avengers: Infinity War was Groot. It is important to note that this Groot – who was introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – is not the same Groot from the team’s first movie. Thus, Vol. 2’s Baby Groot/Infinity War’s Teen Groot were an entirely different character that has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe recently.
The first Guardians proved that it is very easy to bring a Groot back to the franchise, even if it is a different Groot .
The disintegration of this Groot might make it harder for Rocket to plant another one, as no pieces of this character were left behind.
MCU fans expected to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with at least all five of the original Guardians in the lineup – Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax. However, as Infinity War said goodbye to the majority of those characters, the state of 2020’s Vol. 3 is now uncertain, to say the least.
Even the title of Avengers 4 remains a mystery, so fishing for details regarding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 seems like a fruitless experience for now. Fans will have to wait for the next Avengers installment to discover whether this version of Groot can come back from disintegration.
Introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Mantis was among the swathe of MCU characters who were disintegrated toward the end of Avengers: Infinity War as a consequence of Thanos’ finger-snap.
Mantis had a surprisingly important role during this installment, not only being able to numb the Mad Titan while Tony Stark and Peter Parker tried to take the Infinity Gauntlet off of his hand, but also serving a window through which fans were able to take a peek inside the villain’s mind.
According to what Mantis sensed, Thanos was indeed feeling sorrow for the way that he used Gamora as a sacrifice. It was the perfectly crafted opportunity for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to show that this character was also capable of feeling sorry and remorseful, that audiences could empathize with a villain despite his evil ways. The franchise had been highly criticized in the past for having a “villain problem,” and while it was important to make Thanos as fearsome as possible, there would be no way for the Mad Titan to be a compelling character on screen if audiences did not feel like they could relate to him.
With all of that said, however, Mantis’ presence in the third Guardians installment is now as unsure as all of the other heroes in that team.
Rounding up the disintegrated Guardians is Drax the Destroyer, who had a personal vendetta against Thanos that he was not able to act upon during Avengers: Infinity War.
Since 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax had made it clear that his overarching goal was to destroy Thanos, who had been responsible for the passing of Drax’s family. He even was as far as menacing Gamora upon learning she was Thanos’ daughter, only to learn later that they both shared a similar anger toward the Mad Titan.
During Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Drax’s vendetta was put aside in order to explore his newfound friendship/relationship with Mantis. As Infinity War came upon the MCU, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Drax to at least get some sort of closure in regards to the matter.
However, as far as Drax vs. Thanos goes, the Mad Titan won yet again.
Not only was Drax unable to properly lay a finger on Thanos, but he was also disintegrated alongside half of Earth’s population due to Thanos’ snap of a finger.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe stands today, Drax is gone, and it is quite a heartbreaking conclusion to the story of a character who just wanted to avenge his family.
8 NICK FURY
It should not have been so surprising to see Nick Fury in Avengers: Infinity War. And yet, as the film went on, it became increasingly clear that he would not be an active part of the installment. Then, to everyone’s surprise, there he was: in a post-credit scene.
Early fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remember that Nick Fury was first introduced to the franchise in sporadic pop-up passages that occurred in post-credit or mid-credit scenes. It all started in 2008’s Iron Man, when he showed up to discuss with Tony Stark what was then called the Avengers Initiative. It is fitting that he would indeed be part of Infinity War, a film that intended to be a culmination of the first ten years’ worth of movies produced by Marvel Studios. It is even more fitting that he would randomly show up in a post-credit scene, just like he had first done ten years before.
Unfortunately, Nick Fury has now been disintegrated, along with half of Earth’s population.
As he disappeared, he dropped an old-school device on the ground that displayed the symbol of Captain Marvel, teasing 2019’s Captain Marvel standalone movie and Nick Fury’s involvement in the film.
7 MARIA HILL
Alongside Nick Fury in the post-credit scene of Avengers: Infinity War was Maria Hill, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. whohas a recurring presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Just like Nick Fury, Maria Hill disintegrated as a consequence of Thanos’ finger-snap, despite having no knowledge of what was actually going on.
This version of Maria Hill, who is portrayed by actress Cobie Smulders, was first introduced in 2012’s The Avengers. She was later featured in the various episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but her presence was better felt on the movie side of the franchise, where she appeared again in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Three years had gone by in the franchise, and seeing Maria Hill in Infinity War was somewhat of a surprise to certain fans. However, as Nick Fury was seemingly contacting Captain Marvel during the time of his and Maria’s disintegration, it certainly raises the possibility that Maria Hill might also have a role in 2019’s Captain Marvel, which is reportedly set in the 1990s.
Like with all of the other disintegrated MCU characters, fans are left to wonder whether Maria Hill has left the franchise for good or stands a chance to somehow come back from her sudden departure.
6 BUCKY BARNES
Since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the entire arc of Steve Rogers has arguably been about protecting his friend Bucky Barnes from any harm. Cap’s passion for the protection of Bucky even served as a major argument during the events of Civil War. During Avengers: Infinity War, just as Bucky seemed to have returned to sanity, he disintegrated along with half of Earth’s population as a consequence of the power that Thanos drew from the Infinity Gauntlet.
Captain America watched the friend he fought so hard to protect turn into dust and disappear.
This anger and desire for vengeance will most likely be one of Cap’s strongest motivations during the yet untitled Avengers 4. As for Bucky Barnes, he is now gone again – and this time it doesn’t seem like Shuri, Wakanda or vibranium can help.
A lot had been teased about Bucky’s new role as the White Wolf in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the character barely had any time to show audiences what that new title actually meant.
As the Captain America trilogy has come to an end, Bucky Barnes’ place in the MCU remains unknown. Ultimately, his return to the franchise is dependent on everyone else’s return from a mass disintegration.
Falcon, otherwise known as Sam Wilson, was the other close friend that Captain America watched disintegrate after Thanos snapped his finger.
Introduced in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a sidekick to Cap, Falcon was also featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and even Ant-Man, where the character made a short and humorous cameo when he interacted with Scott Lang for the first time.
Despite being technically considered a sidekick superhero, Falcon has become a staple character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially after the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Steve Rogers vs. Tony Stark disagreements over the Sokovia Accords.
As it stands, Falcon met his fate during Avengers: Infinity War, suddenly leaving the franchise along with half of Earth’s population.
Captain America is now reduced to counting on Black Widow and his former Avengers friends, including Iron Man, with whom he hadn’t spoken in two years. Falcon’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unclear as one comes to the realization that the Captain America standalone trilogy has come to an end.
Thus, the character’s disintegration might have been a convenient – even if abrupt – method to give him a departure from the franchise.
4 THE COLLECTOR
One of the most surprising moments in Avengers: Infinity War was the inclusion of the Collector, who had only been seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a mid-credits scene in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The character, who is played by actor Benicio del Toro, made a short but telling cameo in Infinity War, as Thanos created an illusion – through the Reality Stone – on the planet of Knowhere, fooling the Guardians (plus Thor) in regards to the state of that planet.
While Thanos’ illusion could have lied about the fate of the Collector, it is safe to assume that the character was indeed smashed by the Mad Titan and is no longer alive in the MCU.
He was not an important character to begin with, mostly serving as a plot device to introduce the Infinity Stones to the overarching narrative of the Marvel Studios franchise. As audiences became acquainted with the Stones and the Guardians moved on to deal with other eccentric intergalactic characters, it seems like the Collector no longer has a place in any of the upcoming films.
Of course, there is always the chance that Thanos did not harm the Collector in order to get anything out of him.
3 DEFINITIVELY ALIVE
These are the only characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who appeared to be in a clear position of safety even after Thanos snapped his finger.
As the events of Avengers: Infinity War come to a close, we can safely assume that the following characters are definitely alive: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Okoye, Nebula, Rocket Raccoon, and War Machine.
Of the bunch, Nebula and Rocket are the only two Guardians of the Galaxy-related characters who are definitely alive. From the original lineup of heroes seen in 2012’s The Avengers, only Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Black Widow can be safe. Okoye (introduced in Black Panther) and War Machine (who is attached to the Iron Man standalone movies) are two “wild cards” that justify the seemingly random selection of people that survived Thanos’ finger-snap.
This lineup of characters certainly poses an interesting challenge for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, forcing the franchise’s original Avengers to come together once again to defeat Thanos in Avengers 4.
Last but not least, fans must not forget that Iron Man and Captain America are not on speaking terms, but will now be forced to work together in a world post-Infinity War.
2 PROBABLY ALIVE
The abrupt ending of Avengers: Infinity War left a lot of questions hanging in the minds of MCU fans. Among those questions is the status of characters who were seen in the film at one point but were not shown again after Thanos snapped his fingers. Are they alive, or did they disintegrate, too?
As the movie ends, audiences can probably assume that characters such as Shuri, M’Baku, Wong, and Pepper Potts are probably alive, but Infinity War did not provide fans with a clear picture of their survival.
Shuri was last seen unconscious on the floor of her laboratory. M’Baku was last seen fighting on the ground. Wong went to guard the New York Sanctuary, never to be seen again in the film. Pepper Potts, who called Tony Stark regularly during the first half of the movie, was not heard from again during the second half.
To be fair, the fate of these characters is as unclear as those who were definitely seen disintegrating into thin air. Avengers: Infinity War left a lot of questions for Avengers 4 to answer, including which characters are going to move forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Phase 3 comes to a proper conclusion.
Avengers: Infinity War seemed to promise that every single MCU character would be included in the film, but fans now know that it didn’t necessarily pan out that way. There is a collection of beloved and important characters who were not seen during this installment, thus leaving audiences without a single idea of their status in the world.
Hawkeye, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Valkyrie, Ramonda, Nakia, and Everett K. Ross were all missing from Infinity War, and may or may not have disintegrated after Thanos snapped his finger.
Because Hawkeye was part of the original lineup of heroes seen in 2012’s The Avengers, it would make sense for him to be a part of Avengers 4. However, judging from his absence in Infinity War, the character’s place in the franchise seems unclear.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is poised to explain where exactly those characters were, but fans are unclear whether the film will also explore whether those heroes disintegrated after Thanos’ finger-snap.
Valkyrie, who played such a significant part in Thor: Ragnarok, as well as Ramonda, Nakia, and Everett K. Ross, all of whom were part of the highly-successful Black Panther, were completely left out of Avengers: Infinity War, and thus have left fans wondering about where they stand within the overall franchise.
Did your favorite character come out of Avengers: Infinity War okay? Share your concerns in the comments.