With the release of Avengers: Infinity War only weeks away, fans won't have long to wait to see the biggest superhero crossover event of all-time, followed by Avengers 4 in 2019. This leads us to the question: what comes next? Though Avengers 4 will be the finale for many key characters, it won't be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU will live on with new movie franchises, new heroes and - of course - new teams.
For writers, the Marvel Universe is an enormous playground full of characters that have yet to be adapted to the big or small screen. Even if it will be a few years before Marvel can utilize the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, there are a number of other superhero team-ups that could soon become the focus of the next Marvel blockbuster.
We can expect that the next team movie will be a property that fits in with the MCU and the world that past films have already established. However, it must also bring something fresh and unique to the universe, as this strategy has often been the key to success for many of Marvel's films, including Black Panther, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy. We have a few ideas on what the next Marvel team movie could be.
Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch
Fans are already wondering what will happen to the Infinity Stones after the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy find a way to defeat Thanos. A clue could be possibly be found in the pages of the source material: the comic book miniseries Infinity Gauntlet. After Adam Warlock put on the Infinity Gauntlet and defeated Thanos, he used its power to guide him into deciding what to do about the Infinity Gems.
Instead of giving the Infinity Gems to the most capable heroes in the Marvel Universe, Adam Warlock instead chose to entrust the Gems to people who were either unwilling or unable to utilize the full powers of their respective Gems. After handing out the gems to Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Pip the Troll, and Thanos, Adam kept the Soul Gem for himself and dubbed the group the Infinity Watch.
The post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 teased Adam Warlock's debut, though the character won't be appearing in Infinity War or in Avengers 4. However, James Gunn has confirmed that Adam will have a future in the MCU. Could Adam's future be as the lead character in Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch? The film could appeal to longtime fans of the MCU by including existing characters like Drax or Gamora but could also begin a whole new saga by introducing all-new characters, such as Moondragon and Pip the Troll.
West Coast Avengers
There's a good chance that Earth's Mightiest Heroes will always have a home in the MCU, even if Avengers 4 is the end for the current iteration of the team. In the comics, there have been numerous teams who have carried the "Avengers" name. The group to hold the name for the longest time in comic book history was the West Coast Avengers. While Marvel may not want to give that name to a film because it restricts the team to a certain region, the principle behind the team could serve as the basis for an interesting story.
In the comics, Vision was acting chairman of the Avengers when he sent Hawkeye to San Francisco to create a separate branch of the Avengers, in an effort to expand the group's reach. Hawkeye recruited a combination of both old and new Avengers for his new team. The West Coast Avengers comic book series further developed Hawkeye by putting him in the role of a leader for the first time.
Recently, fans have been worried that Hawkeye's absence from Infinity War marketing could be a foreboding sign that Earth's Mightiest Marksman will have limited screen time in the upcoming film. A movie where Hawkeye is given his own team to lead would certainly please fans disappointed by Hawkeye's role (or lack thereof) in Infinity War.
- 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