What superhero team can possibly replace the Avengers? With the inception of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe right around the corner, Marvel Studios naturally plans to continue their incredibly successful shared universe. The back-to-back epics of Avengers: Infinity War and next year's Avengers 4 is meant to conclude the grand cycle of the MCU that began with Iron Man in 2008. After that, there will no doubt be new franchises launched in Phase 4, and one of them will attempt to replace Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The odds are extremely favorable that Marvel will be successful in igniting a new superhero franchise in Phase 4. After all, prior to 2014, few had even heard of a space-faring super team that featured a gun-toting raccoon and a talking tree. Now, Guardians of the Galaxy is beloved all over the world. Marvel's Midas touch and the brand loyalty they've earned from fans over the last decade should work again in their favor with whatever new franchises they attempt to launch, which reportedly will include The Eternals.
Replacing the Avengers will be no easy feat, however. Although Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that more Avengers movies capitalizing on that renowned brand name aren't out of the question, Marvel Studios has promised that Phase 4 will be different from what has come before. Superheroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange are already being positioned to move the MCU forward into the future (once Avengers 4 returns them to life, that is). Still, finding a new superhero team to possibly take the Avengers' place is a daunting task.
Looking at Marvel's source material, here are some viable potential options for a new Avengers-level superteam franchise in the MCU:
"The Ultimates" are what the Avengers were called in Marvel Comics' Ultimate Universe and indeed, they're what the MCU's Avengers were based on. However, in recent comics, the Ultimates has come to mean something else: the team consisting of Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spectrum, Miss America Chavez, and Blue Marvel was reconceived as a gathering of Earth's most powerful heroes dedicated to tackling the universe's biggest problems. From solving the issue of the planet-killer Galactus to discovering who imprisoned Eternity itself, the Ultimates' scope was mind-bendingly cosmic.
It wouldn't be a stretch for Captain Marvel, who is described as the most powerful hero in the MCU, to lead the existing heavy hitters like Thor and Black Panther as well as newer heroes yet to debut under the Ultimates banner. In the wake of Thanos' literally decimating half of the universe, a new cosmic-minded Avengers-level superteam may be just what the MCU needs.
The Defenders were what the Marvel heroes on Netflix were known as when they teamed up in the 2017 miniseries. But Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones didn't appear in Infinity War, nor are they likely to ever be a part of any MCU movies. However, in Marvel Comics, the Defenders were originally an unlikely team consisting of Hulk, Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, and Valkyrie. It just so happens three of those characters are already very popular heroes in the MCU.
While fans await the Disney/FOX deal so the Silver Surfer can finally be part of Marvel Studios, spinning off Strange, Hulk, and Valkyrie into their own team up would be easy to do. And it's even fine if Netflix's heroes keep "the Defenders" name; after all, Hulk and Valkyrie were already part of an even more popular team they can reboot - the Revengers.
- 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 05, 2019