Thanos' snap in Infinity War was one of the boldest and most emotional moments MCU audiences have experienced since the worldwide phenomenon began in 2008 with the original Iron Man. As the film's release date neared, fans predicted who, if any, of the major heroes, would make the ultimate sacrifice in their bid to protect Earth. Viewers were, of course, shocked then, when in the final climactic moments of the Russo brothers' film Thanos succeeded in his lifelong goal to balance the universe. Half of the characters that fans had come to know and love turned to dust, including hugely popular characters such as Spider-man, Black Panther, and even most of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Marvel fan base has since exploded with rumors and fan theories surrounding the next Avengers film and how the remaining heroes can possibly bring back their fallen allies and friends. Many of the survivors will be seeking revenge against Thanos for the friends and family he took from them. Not to mention any other enemies the heroes may have to contend with in their efforts to reverse the snap. So just who is left, and who among them is the strongest? Here's Every Major MCU Character Remaining After Thanos's Snap, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
20 Howard The Duck
This one may come as a surprise to many MCU fans but Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo confirmed Howard the Duck survived the snap. First seen in an after credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy, Howard the Duck has yet to get any time in the MCU spotlight. Many of Howard's misadventures in comic books were social satires, a theme that could prove perfect for today's climate. The character made his big-screen debut in the 1986 film of the same name. It was widely panned by critics and audiences alike and is still considered one of the worst movies of all time. While it's unlikely that Marvel plans to put Howard the Duck in a starring role anytime soon there's always the chance he could cameo yet again in Avengers 4.
Although she did not appear in Infinity War, actress Angela Basset has confirmed that her character, T'Challa's mother and the Queen of Wakanda, did survive the snap. Despite not being particularly powerful herself, Ramonda's position as the Queen of Wakanda could give her access to weapons and resources that could prove useful to the heroes in Avengers 4. Having lost both her husband and her son in a short time-span could also further motivate her to do everything she can to bring T'Challa back.
The enemy turned ally of Black Panther was left standing as many of the Wakandan soldiers turned to dust following their battle with the outriders. The leader of the Jabari tribe was first seen in Black Panther, attempting to dethrone T'Challa but eventually joined forces to defeat Killmonger. M'Baku's survival could lead to him temporarily taking on the mantle of Black Panther in the Avengers lineup. T'Challa's absence from Wakanda could also lead to M'Baku taking his throne and commanding what remains of the nation's military in the wake of the snap. M'Baku could also be a potential source of resources for the heroes in the next Avengers film.
Shuri has been a fan-favorite since her first appearance in Black Panther. Her genius level intellect and quirky sense of humor made her a unique addition to the ever-growing MCU and it seems even Thanos' snap wasn't enough to get rid of the young Wakandan. Angela Basset, the actress who portrays Shuri's mother, confirmed Shuri survived the snap.
While not particularly powerful when it comes to physical confrontations, Shuri's intelligence alone could prove to be hugely useful to the Avengers.
There has also been speculation that Shuri will be donning her own Black Panther suit in Avengers 4. Whether or not this turns out to be true, it will certainly be interesting seeing Shuri talk shop with the likes of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark.
If Okoye's reaction to her king turning to dust is anything to go by, the warrior general will be out for a fight in Avengers 4. The general of the Dora Milaje and the head of Wakanda's armed forces and intel is loyal to T'Challa, both as a king and a friend. Despite not having any superhuman powers or abilities, Okoye has proven to be a skilled warrior in both Black Panther and Infinity war. Considering Okoye is the fourth Wakandan character to survive the snap, the Nation could play a large part in Avengers 4's story. If this is the case Okoye would likely play a pivotal role, possibly even commanding their ground forces if there's another all-out battle.
15 War Machine
James Rhodes donned his War Machine armor once again to defend earth in Infinity War despite being seriously injured in Captain America: Civil War.
The former member of the U.S. military turned superhero was left standing after Thanos' snap, albeit with a pretty heavily damaged suit.
Chances are Rhodey isn't capable of repairing the suit himself and will have to wait for Tony to return to Earth. This could even lead to an upgraded suit akin to Tony's nanobots. Rhodey's survival may also factor into the Avengers political standing with the rest of the world. In Infinity War we see that he is the acting liaison between the Avengers and Thunderbolt Ross. This could prove to be crucial now that Steve Rogers and his team of fugitives have come out of hiding.
14 Red Skull
Although not confirmed, logic would have us believe that the Red Skull survived Thanos' snap. Red Skull is an evil scientist who first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger. He eventually gained possession of the Tesseract, a cube that contained the space infinity stone. Upon touching the cube, Red Skull was teleported to the planet Vormir, where he was trapped as the keeper of the Soul Stone. Since the snap only affected living beings in the universe, it seems safe to assume that Red Skull would not be affected as he is a wraith, neither alive nor dead. The fact that Thanos claimed the Soul Stone would also suggest that Red Skull was freed from his curse and is now allowed to wreak havoc on the MCU once again.
The adopted daughter of Thanos once again failed to defeat him during the battle on Titan in Infinity War. The skilled cyborg warrior will likely be Tony Stark's best chance at returning to earth in Avengers 4. After enduring days of pain at the hands of the Mad Titan, Nebula will be ready to do whatever it takes to bring him down.
What still remains unclear though is just how committed she will be when it comes to working with the Avengers in order to reverse the snap.
After all, she's not exactly a team player. It's worth mentioning that in one comic book storyline Nebula actually manages to steal the infinity gauntlet from Thanos and wield it herself. Considering the MCU's habit of adopting bits and pieces of various comics, this would not be completely unlikely.
Hawkeye is the only member of the original Avengers lineup to not appear in Infinity War. While his survival has not been confirmed, it's hard to believe that Marvel would eliminate him off-screen. Hawkeye would also be the only member of the original lineup to not survive Thanos' snap, which lends even more credence to the theory that he survived. While details surrounding Hawkeye's involvement in Avengers 4 are scarce, many fans are speculating the archer will take on a new identity. Hawkeye adopted the Ronin persona in the comics following the Civil War storyline and seeing his own family turn to dust may be just what it takes to turn the quippy bowman into a brooding, lone warrior.
11 Rocket Raccoon
Rocket Raccoon is the only member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team to survive the snap. Rocket watched helplessly as his best friend turned to dust and is surely going to become even more aggravated when he learns that the rest of his ragtag family met the same fate.
Considering that he is already closely aligned with Thor, it's likely he'll work alongside the rest of the Avengers in order to reverse the snap.
Rocket's knowledge of space and alien technology will also prove very useful if Earth's Mightiest Heroes have to leave their planet. Besides, who doesn't want to see more awesome moments of Rocket working with the Avengers, like Thor's epic arrival in Wakanda or Bucky Barnes lifting him up for a 360 degree attack?
10 Black Widow
Natasha Romanoff is yet another one of the founding Avengers who survived Thanos' snap. The super-spy wasn't hugely prevalent in Infinity War but did get a few moments in the spotlight. She proved she could hold her own against alien invaders, just as well as enemies of the state, and chances are she'll continue to be a huge asset to her team in the next Avengers installment. With the news that Scarlett Johansson has signed on for a Black Widow movie, it would seem she won't be exiting the MCU anytime soon. This could even lead to Black Widow taking on more of a leadership role in future Avengers films, should any of the other current MCU stars leave the franchise.
Another surprising survivor of Thanos' snap, Valkyrie didn't actually appear in Infinity War. The film opens on the wreckage of the ship last seen in Thor: Ragnarok, which transported the surviving Asgardians after they were attacked by Hela. Despite Thor and Bruce Banner seemingly being the only survivors, the Russo Brothers have since confirmed that Valkyrie made it off the ship in an escape pod. Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson has also since confirmed that Valkyrie survived the snap. The Asgardian warrior possesses many of the superhuman traits common among her people, such as strength, agility and even a regenerative healing factor. She is also an extremely skilled combatant. Valkyrie is no stranger to taking on threats far more powerful than her and could prove to be an interesting addition to the next Avengers film if her escape pod makes its way to Earth.
Audiences were led to believe that Vision passed in the final moments of Infinity War. Scarlet Witch used her powers to destroy the Mind Stone that had been powering the synthetic android, only for his sacrifice to be undone by Thanos and his Time Stone. But could Vision return to the MCU? One theory suggests that Shuri may have extracted enough of his consciousness to bring him back online.
Considering a large part of Vision's consciousness is based on the artificial intelligence program Jarvis, built by Tony Stark, it seems totally possible that Vision could be recreated.
Although, it's hard to say if this new version would be similar to the Vision we've seen already or if it would be a completely new take on the character. Regardless, Vision has always been one of the strongest Avengers and having him back would certainly be a power boost for the team.
7 Bruce Banner/ The Hulk
Another survivor of Thanos' attack on the Asgardians' ship, Bruce Banner was also left standing after Thanos' snap. The genius scientist has had a complicated relationship with his superpowered alter-ego as of late and it looks like we'll have to wait until Avengers 4 to see if The Incredible Hulk makes an appearance. Regardless of whether Hulk decides to smash or not, Bruce Banner's intelligence alone makes him a valuable asset and he even managed to prove he could hold his own in a fight when he took down Thanos' enforcer, Cull Obsidian. Banner will also have a bone to pick with Thanos the next time they meet considering how their first clash on the Asgardian ship ended. Banner couldn't beat Thanos which led to the ends of both Loki and Heimdall.
Scott Lang is one of the most powerful new additions to the Avengers lineup. Able to shrink down to microscopic levels or grow into a towering Goliath, Ant-Man is a force to be reckoned with in the MCU. Audiences last saw the happy-go-lucky hero in the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and The Wasp, in which every member of Scott's team was turned to dust just as he shrunk down to the Quantum Realm. It's entirely possible that Scott's quantum technology could even be the key to the rumoured time-travel solution in Avengers 4. However, in order for Scott to help the Avengers restore the universe, he'll have to figure out a way to escape the Quantum realm now that he doesn't have a support team.
5 Captain America
Steve Rogers watched helplessly as his best friend Bucky Barnes turned to dust after the snap. The First Avenger, now disillusioned with his country, had been in hiding with his team in the wake of Civil War but returned to defend his planet in its hour of need. Rogers led the defense forces against the outriders' attack in Wakanda but was ultimately no match for Thanos. Although Captain America may not be able to compete with Thanos on a purely physical level, his bravery and strategy skills alone make him a powerful leader for the Avengers. With the news that Avengers 4 will be Chris Evans' final MCU feature, many fans have been left wondering if the supersoldier will give himself in his fight to restore his fallen allies.
4 Iron Man
The genius, billionaire philanthropist has come a long way since his big screen debut ten years ago, but many fans would agree that no single moment has affected Tony Stark quite as much as Spider-Man's passing in Infinity War. The boy Tony had set out to mentor and protect turned to dust in his arms, leaving him crippled both with guilt and the wounds from his battle with Thanos. If Tony does manage to make it off of Titan, he's certainly going to do everything he can to bring back the young Avenger that was like a son to him. Not to mention, if Doctor Strange is to be believed, Tony could be more powerful than he even realizes. The Sorcerer Supreme saw one outcome in which Thanos could be defeated and Tony Stark had to survive for it to happen, even if it meant sacrificing half of humanity. Perhaps surviving a one on one clash with the Mad Titan himself was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Iron Man's true potential.
3 Captain Marvel
While not outright confirmed, we have to assume that Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, survived the snap. Nick Fury sent his distress signal to Danvers in his final moments before fading to dust but the symbol appeared, seemingly confirming the message had been received. Captain Marvel will make her big screen debut in a feature film of the same name next year and the cosmic hero will surely be an interesting addition to the MCU. If her comic counterpart is anything to go off of she will certainly pose a threat to Thanos. Able to beat Hulkbuster armor and effortlessly swat away missiles, Danvers is poised to go toe-to-toe with Thanos in Avengers 4.
Fans can't forget that the dark lord himself, Thanos, is still up and about in the MCU. Last seen in the final scene of Infinity War, Thanos allowed himself to rest after finally achieving his immense goal of balancing the universe. The Mad Titan surely won't rest for long though, that is if the heroes of the MCU take it upon themselves to reverse what he's done.
Despite the destruction of the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is still incredibly powerful.
He possesses superhuman strength and durability, which we saw as he effortlessly took down the Hulk without using a single Infinity Stone. Aside from his vast scientific knowledge, Thanos is also a master strategist. Perhaps fans will even get to see the titular villain don the battle armor teased in many MCU post-credit scenes?
The God of Thunder has steadily been gaining power since his introduction to the MCU. Armed with the newfound lightning power he had discovered in Ragnarok and his Stormbreaker Axe, Thor was the only Avenger who could manage to even make a dent against Thanos' onslaught and what a dent it was. Thor took out Thanos' ground forces during the attack on Wakanda and then proceeded to drive his weapon through the chest of the Mad Titan. Even despite not going for the headshot, it's hard to argue that Thor wouldn't be the biggest gun the Avengers have when it comes to fighting Thanos. Now that Thanos has defeated Loki, Heimdall and half of humanity, the King of Asgard will almost certainly be leading the charge against Thanos when Avengers 4 arrives next year.
Who do you think will be the difference maker against Thanos? Let us know in the comments!