Which new heroes will be introduced to the MCU in the years after Avengers 4? Marvel announced their entire Phase 3 slate back in 2014, an unprecedented announcement that revealed an ambitious lineup including the likes of Black Panther and Doctor Strange. But the House of Ideas don't seem to be in a hurry to have a Phase 4 reveal, instead announcing films one at a time. That means audiences are currently hanging on Kevin Feige's every word.
Although fans are excited about the prospect of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four joining the MCU, that's unlikely to happen anytime soon. In a recent statement, Feige insisted that his long-term plans aren't in any way complicated by Disney's proposed purchase of the bulk of Fox. In fact, his comments even implied that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four may not join the MCU during Phase 4 at all; they may both become Phase 5 properties.
Leaving aside the Fox lot, though, we can be sure that Marvel will continue to launch new franchises. Every year typically sees Marvel release two sequels and one franchise launch, and that formula has worked well for the House of Ideas. It's reasonable to assume that Marvel will continue to follow this pattern. If that is the case, the 2020 franchise launch is presumably the Black Widow solo film. Blacklist screenwriter Jac Schaeffer is currently working on a script. But what comes next? Well, Kevin Feige's given up a lot of information on the Avengers: Infinity War press tour...
Unlike many upcoming characters not from the cosmic side, Marvel is finally considering introducing Moon Knight. The character is one of James Gunn's favorites, but Gunn has sadly admitted he just doesn't have the time. That doesn't mean Marvel aren't interested in running with the hero, though; Feige has officially confirmed that the studio has plans. Before you get too excited, though, he cautioned that could mean "five years from now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now."
Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Moon Knight was originally a villain. Editors Marv Wolfman and Len Wein liked the character, and he was recast as a hero. Marc Spector was a mercenary who was exposed to the magic of the Egyptian Moon God, Khonshu. The vigilante is noted for his confused mental state, suffering from a version of multiple personality disorder that makes it difficult for Spector to discern reality from his own imagination. Many writers have used this as a storytelling tool, portraying the world through Spector's eyes so as to confuse readers too. He has superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes, but their level actually varies depending on the phases of the moon!
It's actually possible the MCU has already been dropping hints at Moon Knight. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agent Sitwell mentioned that Hydra was targeting a man in Cairo. Curiously, Cairo was also marked on General Ross's map of Avengers incidents in Captain America: Civil War. Given Marvel were teasing Wakanda as far back as Iron Man 2, this may well be foreshadowing for Moon Knight.
The post-credits scenes for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 revealed the Sovereign priestess, Ayesha, was creating a new being; one she named Adam. It was an obvious allusion to Adam Warlock, one of Marvel's most important - and most powerful - cosmic figures. A sort of cosmic Messiah, Warlock is strongly associated with the Infinity Stones. That led to a lot of speculation that Warlock would appear in Infinity War, but James Gunn has insisted he won't. "He will have a future in the MCU," Gunn promised, "but will it be in Infinity War? It will not." In fact, Gunn won't even guarantee that Warlock will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. "Who knows how long it will take him to bake in that cocoon," he noted. "The time must be right."
That leaves Adam Warlock in a very strange place. Unlike the other names on this list, the seeds for Warlock's presence have already been sown. But will he appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or could he potentially be the star of his own franchise? It's too soon to tell.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018