WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War.
The ending of Avengers: Infinity War will have a major impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including many of Marvel TV's series across networks and streaming platforms. When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first launched on ABC in 2013, it was essentially a spinoff from The Avengers. The show's pilot re-introduced Phil Coulson, who had been resurrected since his death in the movies, and focused on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's team. Since then, the TV side of the MCU has grown exponentially to include six series on Netflix and Runaways on Hulu. Additionally, Cloak & Dagger will premiere on Freeform this summer.
With so many moving parts on the TV side of the universe alone, the shows rarely interact with each other. Netflix's Marvel universe is cohesive in itself, but beyond referencing the Battle of New York from The Avengers, it sticks to its own corner of the MCU. Season 1 of Runaways existed with little to no ties to the larger franchise, while it seems Cloak & Dagger will feature loose connections with the inclusion of Roxxon Oil Corporation. Still, the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War has a major impact on the MCU. But, will we see that impact reflected through the TV series?
Avengers: Infinity War ends with Thanos acquiring all the Infinity Stones to complete the Infinity Gauntlet and he snaps his fingers, wiping out half the universe. In the final sequences of the movie, we see various heroes disintegrate to dust as a result of Thanos' actions. Although this cliffhanger directly leads into the story of Avengers 4, there's still a year before that movie hits theaters. So, that begs the question of how Marvel TV's various shows will deal with Thanos wiping out half the universe - that is, if they deal with it at all.
Infinity War's Ending Affects The Entire MCU
Although the majority of the characters we see affected by Thanos' finger snap are members of the Avengers or their allies, the Avengers: Infinity War end credits scene confirms it affects the entire planet - and we can presume it affects most other planets in the universe. This means that Thanos' actions affect not just the big screen heroes but the small screen characters as well. Even if, miraculously, all the main characters of Marvel's TV series survive the culling, they'll be dealing with the fallout from half the Earth's population disappearing.
This is especially true of Marvel's shows that are currently ongoing, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or those that will premiere before Avengers 4 hits theaters next year. This includes Freeform's Cloak & Dagger and Hulu's Runaways season 2 as well as additional seasons of Daredevil and Luke Cage on Netflix. Netflix also has second seasons of Iron Fist and The Punisher currently in production, though it's unclear when they'll debut.
Considering the massive implications of Thanos wiping out half the universe, Infinity War should directly impact all of the Marvel TV series set in the MCU. However, since recognizing the events of Infinity War would undoubtedly derail all the shows and force them to focus on the consequences of Thanos' finger snap, they could go a different route. In fact, there a few ways for the Marvel TV shows to deal with Avengers: Infinity War.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019