The Marvel Cinematic Universe remains shell-shocked after the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but fans have learned a few things about the state of the MCU after Thanos' finger snap.
Since the Mad Titan won and wiped out half of all life in the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet, the MCU's forward progress has halted until Avengers 4 picks up the pieces. Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel are prequels set before or during Infinity War's events (in Captain Marvel's case, two decades before), and the Marvel TV series on Netflix have all set their second seasons in the time before the Avengers met Thanos. All of this sets the stage for Avengers 4 to truly be the end of the MCU as fans have come to know it... but the start of something new.
Since fans have no choice for now but to continue to play the waiting game, there are a number of clues that Infinity War and other Marvel properties left behind as to what comes next for the MCU. Here's everything we know so far about what the state of the MCU looks like after Thanos snapped his fingers:
- This Page: Thanos and the Avengers
- Page 2: The Quantum Realm and Avengers 4
Thanos Is Happy Now That He's Won
Infinity War worked out almost exactly as Thanos hoped. He won and achieved his ultimate goal: killing half of all life in the universe. Of course, his mission exacted a heavy toll. All of his 'children' in the Black Order are dead thanks to the Avengers. Worst of all for the Mad Titan, he had to sacrifice the life of his favorite daughter, Gamora, in order to obtain the Soul Stone.
The finger snap cost Thanos dearly as well; at the end of Infinity War, he seemed to be healed from the wound Thor and his Stormbreaker ax inflicted on his chest, but in their director's commentary for the film, Joe and Anthony Russo revealed that the finger snap actually permanently damaged Thanos's arm and the Infinity Gauntlet itself. This is not something anyone in the MCU, much less than Avengers, is currently aware of, however. So, although Thanos got to sit alone on Titan with a smile on his face as he watched "the sun set on a grateful universe," he may actually be weaker and more vulnerable than anyone realizes going into Avengers 4.
The Avengers Are In Shock
The Avengers' ranks were decimated by Thanos' finger snap and at the end of Infinity War, the heroes who are still alive remain divided by great distances: Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, James Rhodes, Bruce Banner, Thor, and Rocket were last seen reeling from failing to stop Thanos in Wakanda while Tony Stark and Nebula are the only heroes left alive on Titan. The emotional toll of seeing their friends and loved ones fade to dust in front of their eyes left the Avengers in a state of shock.
Though their present situation is bleak, the Avengers do have some overlooked positives still in their favor. They have allies to call upon like Hawkeye, who apparently survived Thanos' snap. Okoye and M'Baku are still alive, and it's been confirmed Shuri also survived, so Earth's Mightiest Heroes have Wakanda's greatest genius and all of their Vibranium technology at their disposal to avenge the loss of King T'Challa. Stark and Nebula simply have to reach Earth - and Steve and Tony need to put their differences behind them - so they can reassemble the Avengers and resume the fight.
Nick Fury Called Captain Marvel Before He Died
It's not clear if Nick Fury truly understood what was happening during Avengers 3's post-credits scene when he and Maria Hill watched helicopters crash into buildings and people around them fade into dust. However, the MCU's foremost superspy likely knew what the aliens were after on Earth, why Tony Stark disappeared into outer space, and that the Avengers were at war in Wakanda. After Hill got dusted, Fury recognized that the enormity of the crisis at hand was finally the time to contact Captain Marvel before he himself turned to dust.
The last shot in Infinity War is of Nick Fury's high-tech pager displaying Captain Marvel's colorful logo, indicating that contact was made with the missing Carol Danvers. It remains to be seen if and how Captain Marvel will connect to the films set in the present day and if it will contain a direct lead into her appearance in Avengers 4.
Page 2: The Quantum Realm and Avengers 4
- 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