How Infinity War Protects The Marvel Timeline
Infinity War's ending is a shocker to be sure: Thanos gains all six Infinity Stones and snaps his fingers, wiping out half of all life in the universe, including a bunch of major Avengers. It's a major MCU event, one that will take a whole other team-up to resolve. Given that Avengers 4 will, in some form, involve time travel (set photos showed characters revisiting the events of old movies), that means nothing can truly be broken afterward; the moment you start meddling with the past, everything is in flux. In fact, we've already theorized that this will be used by Marvel to correct all the previous continuity issues and create one cohesive timeline.
Read More: Avengers 4 Can Fix Marvel’s Broken Timeline
That freedom also means Marvel can get away with two of their most timeline-risky films yet. Understandably given their predecessor's twist, both Ant-Man & The Wasp and Captain Marvel are set before the events of Infinity War; in the aftermath of Civil War and the 1990s respectively. Both of these poses their own issues: Ant-Man has to deal with all the pitfalls that befell Spider-Man and Black Panther; and Captain Marvel must someone connect to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Guardians of the Galaxy without breaking a multitude of returning character's roles. The latter is in particularly dire straights given Nick Fury and Agent Coulson aren't meant to have met anything truly not of this world until Thor, something that may only be explainable by bringing in alternate timelines.
Infinity War's ending basically puts paid to all that. It's not that any problems won't exist, but it's on a narrative scale that the micro-continuity is even smaller, almost Quantum Realm level. In fact, the biggest concern left is with what comes after.
How To Address Spider-Man's Aging
All of this discussion comes with one massive addendum: Spider-Man's age. If we're going to be moving forward in real time and his initial appearance was in 2016, yet per story reports for Homecoming 2 still keep Peter in school, we're dealing with a limited timeframe. Can it work?
As Avengers: Infinity War is two years after Civil War, it's also just under two years on from Homecoming (which ends in October). By that logic, Peter Parker should be coming to the end of the school year after the one he was in last we saw him. Assuming MCU Peter has the same birthday as comic Peter, he was a Sophomore in Homecoming, meaning he's now a Junior. That logic just about holds - he's 18 months older and still in school - and means Homecoming 2 can take place at the end of his Senior year (assuming it's set in release month of July 2019, which given Avengers 4 will be messing with time needn't be a sure bet).
However, everything hinges on this being the case and it being maintained. If Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 tries to be set the school year after, or Avengers 4 has its own time leap, who knows what we could be left with. That's the problem with a timeline. You're only as good as your last plot hole fix.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018