The heroes of Avengers: Endgame may be getting all the headlines, but once fans get a look at the new team of superheroes united in the Marvel Comics universe, they're going to realize that the most entertaining, fan-favorite squad is still to come. It's time to meet... The War Avengers.
The comics have proven that half the universe being snapped out of existence may be bad, but at least it's clean--a whole lot cleaner than a full scale invasion of Earth like the one currently raging in Marvel's War of The Realms. As the core Avengers split up to face every front of this war across Earth and space, Steve Rogers gives Captain Marvel the task of holding the line. And to do it, she recruits not only the MCU's biggest box office movie stars, but the ones fans have most demanded to see more of. They are the War Avengers, and they're showing what's actually possible in Marvel's films... should they have the guts to follow the comics' lead.
The story of how this Avengers "spinoff" forms is told in the pages of War of The Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers. It's technically the R-rated and outlandish Deadpool who sets the tone of the story, as he pops onto the radar of Captain Marvel and her first ally, Lady Sif of Asgard--the one Thor comrade left in limbo in the MCU. Seeing the formation of a crowd-pleasing team already, Deadpool joins up... only to discover that Carol and Sif have recruited an even deadlier antihero to their team (with an even bigger box office). Not to mention the former soldier designated Weapon H a.k.a. the Hulkverine, outfitted with the abilities of both Bruce Banner and the Wolverine.
And while we're making MCU fan minds explode, toss in Bucky the Winter Soldier, Black Widow and the pride of the UK Captain Britain, too. The Avengers may be Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but there's no denying that these War Avengers are the most ruthless.
Staying true to the cast of characters assembled by the storytellers Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum, Kim Jacinto, and Ario Anindito, the story itself dispenses with good manners and a ban on profane language almost immediately. Not to mention letting Deadpool, Venom, the Hulkverine, and Lady Sif engage in the kind of bloody, murderous warfare they're famous for. Since it's the fate of the planet on the line, and evil Frost Giants and faceless Dark Elves in their sights, few readers will have a problem with their lethality. And while their efforts to hold the line are anything but a glorious success, the War Avengers make good on Carol's claim that they "ain't nothing to *** with."
This single issue may be enough to convince skeptical fans that Captain Marvel has what it takes to emerge as a new leader in Marvel's movie universe. What's more, this War Avengers story uses Carol's edge and attitude where a cocky, devil-may-care attitude is actually an asset. That sets her apart from other heroes who might call for a tactical retreat, seeing that the fight is unwinnable. But realizing that a fight can't be won while you must still fight it is a different matter entirely.
In that kind of battle it's rage, not virtue that's valued. And for heroes like Deadpool, Venom, Hulkverine, Sif, and Carol herself, making the enemy remember how much it cost to defeat them is a worthwhile legacy. So... can these War Avengers ever unite in the MCU?
When standing next to Venom, Deadpool, Hulkverine, and the rest of the team, fans can't help but see the potential in a merged Marvel movie universe. And in reading the entire issue, it's also easy to argue that such a team-up, crossover, or merging of movie universe--whatever you want to call it--doesn't necessarily mean breaking the house style or "Marvel tone" that Kevin Feige has helped to create through twenty films. In fact, it shows what is to be gained by allowing MCU characters to break out of their shell, and show more of the personality, humor, and appeal that won them fans in the first place.
Would Thor fans prefer to see Lady Sif bring down massive war beasts singlehandedly, or relegated to a supporting cameo? Would Captain Marvel fans prefer Carol to remain alone on her next mission, or butt heads with Bucky Barnes? And does allowing Deadpool to dive headfirst into the Avengers movie universe give him more to work with, or less? And let's be honest: The Hulkverine sells itself now that Venom is rivaling Avengers after just one film. The box office numbers for this assembled team cross the billion-dollar mark without breaking a sweat, while also bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy ensemble energy down to Earth.
So with the financial risk certainly less than daunting, the only real obstacle to seeing a War Avengers team--or any other similar grouping of Marvel heroes--remains the same: Disney's willingness to make superhero films that are not completely suitable for the entire family.
We can hope that such team-ups and stories intended to give fans more of the heroes and antiheroes they crave will be possible on film. Given that Captain Marvel, Venom, and Deadpool have a combined box office haul of over $2 Billion alone, it would seem foolish for Disney to dismiss the idea of merging MCU stars with the edgier, more violent, and even R-rated characters now under their banner. And for their part, Disney has assured fans that they won't be watering down Deadpool's R-rating. But the question of granting MCU access to Wade Wilson or Venom is one that won't be answered easily, or publicly, for some time.
There may be no better time for Marvel Comics to show how much untapped potential exists in current MCU alone, now that the future of the Avengers is a total mystery. But even if it isn't meant to be, Marvel fans will still have the comics to look forward to. Where else will you find Ant-Man and his giant Avengers going undercover among Frost Giants?
War of the Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers is available now at your local comic book store and online from Marvel Comics.