The Avengers created a superhero team with six original members, and Avengers: Age of Ultron expanded that number to ten - but when Avengers: Infinity War hits, there will be more new Avengers added to the roster than the first two movies combined!
Just like in the comics, Marvel's premiere superhero squad was designed to have a fluctuating and expanding roster. The films followed suit and made sure that the Avengers' lineup never remains static. The six founding Avengers - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye - who assembled to defeat Loki and the Chitauri invasion 3 years together. By Age of Ultron, the team's numbers grew to 10: Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and War Machine were counted as Avengers as they saved Sokovia from Ultron's horde of murderous androids. Sadly, Pietro Maximoff died during the melee, so the Avengers count dropped to 9 before the roster was reshuffled as the New Avengers at the end of the film.
The team's lineup was a question mark in the post-Civil War era, with more than half of the team loyal to Cap split from Team Iron Man. Infinity War will change this current status quo. Thanos and the Black Order's arrival on Earth will force the Avengers to re-assemble by necessity - and become bigger than ever. When the A-team bands together this time, they will be more than doubling the ranks of the Avengers!
Infinity War will not just rally the original six founders, plus Age of Ultron's Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon, and War Machine, but they'll be adding Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Bucky (a.k.a. White Wolf), Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy members Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Mantis, Rocket, and Groot. That's 10 new superpowered heroes to swell the Avengers' ranks. This doesn't even include their allies who will be joining the fight to save Earth, like Ant-Man, Nebula, Wong, M'Baku, Okoye, and Shuri. Plus, there are question marks surrounding the status of Valkyrie and Loki - will the God of Mischief finally be the kind of hero his brother Thor suspects he wishes to be deep down? Hopefully, they will stand united with the Avengers against Thanos as well.
As the Avengers' roster nearly triples, fans can argue whether all of these characters, especially the ancillary ones, should count as actual members of the team. But the precedent for them being considered as Avengers was cited by Hawkeye in Age of Ultron. During his pep talk to Wanda Maximoff to compel her to get in the fight, Clint Barton told the Witch: "Doesn't matter what you did, or what you were. If you go out there, you fight, and you fight to kill. Stay in here, you're good... But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger." The same wartime rules would apply to all of the heroes opposing Thanos' plan - if they fight alongside Cap and Iron Man, then they are Avengers too.
Of course, much of the fun of Infinity War will be seeing how these disparate personalities clash with each other. The Guardians, in particular, are some of the weirdest characters in the MCU, and someone like Bucky meeting Rocket Raccoon is bound to elicit laughs. Though Star-Lord's makeshift family is more likely to head back out into space than take up quarters in Avengers Compound when the battle with Thanos is ended (if they all survive!), for Infinity War, they can all be considered temporary Avengers.
What the team's Phase 4 roster will ultimately be is a different story altogether, but in Avengers: Infinity War, we can get excited for the biggest gathering of Avengers we've ever seen.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019