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Biggest MCU Narrative Threads Avengers: Infinity War Must Resolve

Natasha Romanoff And Bruce Banner

Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff will indeed reunite in Infinity War. The lingering romance between them was seeded by Joss Whedon in The Avengers and then explored in Avengers 2. Many fans weren't especially taken with the idea of Black Widow and the Hulk in a relationship, especially since Natasha and Clint Barton have a mutual past that received a swerve when Whedon revealed Barton was married with children. Banner and Natasha were later separated at the end of Age of Ultron, with Thor: Ragnarok revealing that Hulk has spent the last two years as the Grandmaster's prized champion gladiator on Sakaar. Ragnarok showcased plenty of amusing callbacks to Banner's stalled love story with Black Widow, though, and this personal issue between the two outcast heroes begs to be resolved.

How Natasha reacts when she sees Bruce again and finds out where he's been is something Avengers 3 is going to make time for. She no doubt remembers all of the words to her "the sun's gettin' real low" lullaby, but whether the Hulk and the Widow can have any kind of happy ending together remains to be seen. With Black Widow in development for 2020, the details about Agent Romanoff's mysterious past and the "red on her ledger" may be saved for her long-awaited solo outing but there could still be a hint or two in Infinity War.

Related: All Of The Characters NOT Confirmed For Infinity War

Wakanda On The World Stage

After the events of Black Panther, Wakanda has ended its tradition of isolationism and has taken a greater role on the world stage under the leadership of King T'Challa. Black Panther is set just a couple of weeks after Civil War, though it's unclear exactly when in the succeeding timeline T'Challa made his address to the United Nations to reveal Wakanda's true face and humanitarian plans. However, we can surmise that the world has had several months at least to adjust to Wakanda's introduction as not only a first world nation but also as Africa's first global superpower in its own right.

Infinity War will be fans' first opportunity to get a glimpse of how Wakanda's new influence has begun to affect the world at large. The King not only shared Vibranium with the world, he signaled the opening of Wakanda's gates to outsiders. Bucky Barnes and Everett Ross were just the beginning; by the time Avengers 3 is over, more Caucasians in the form of the Avengers and aliens in the form of the Children of Thanos will have collectively entered Wakanda's borders than at any other time in its history. What state Wakanda will be left in after Thanos' forces attack, presumably to capture the Soul Stone, remains to be seen.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vs. Thanos

Family drama is an overarching theme in the MCU, but Thanos' family values are the worst in the universe. Thanos massacring the worlds and families of Gamora and Nebula is how they came to be under the Mad Titan's charge as his 'daughters'. As they matured, Thanos routinely pitted them against each other in combat, with Nebula becoming more deformed, mechanical, and deranged after each loss she suffered. When we last saw the faux-sibling interstellar assassins, they had just defeated Star-Lord's father Ego alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy but Nebula refused Gamora's offer to become a Guardian. Instead, Nebula chose to continue her quest for vengeance against Thanos. Now, years later (Guardians Vol. 2 was set only months after Vol. 1), all of their paths are set to converge on Earth, where their 'father' will be.

Another Guardian who has a serious bone to pick with Thanos (though he'd prefer very sharp knives) is Drax. The grey-skinned destroyer also craves vengeance against the Mad Titan for the murder of his family. Drax's single-minded desire for Thanos' blood will spike when he learns Thanos' location. This is what makes the Guardians of the Galaxy among the most interesting players in Infinity War: some of them harbor a deeply personal hatred of Thanos and are hell-bent on killing him. It's another matter entirely if any of them actually can, however.

Related: Will Nebula Get The Infinity Gauntlet In Avengers 3?

Asgard's Future?

They not only lost their homeworld to Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok, but as of that film's mid-credits scene, the very future of Asgard is in doubt. Thor's reign as the newly-crowned King of Asgard was immediately interrupted by the arrival of Sanctuary II, Thanos' starship. As for why the evil tyrant came to pick the bones of Asgard clean, it's because Loki swiped the Space Stone from Odin's Vault before Asgard fell to the prophecised Ragnarok. Loki may have inadvertently doomed Asgard's survivors.

Infinity War should hopefully provide some answers to what becomes of Asgard's people, though we know from the trailer Thor is separated from them and meets the Guardians of the Galaxy while he drifts through space. We also know Bruce Banner/the Hulk, who was also on the ship, somehow crash lands on Earth. What we don't yet know is what part Valkyrie plays in Avengers 3, and what happens to Heimdall, Korg, Miek (who are not listed to appear in the movie).

Next: Marvel's Phase 3 Timeline Is Completely Out Of Order

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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