Thanos is coming! The Marvel Cinematic Universe's big baddie, whom Marvel Studios has been teasing since as far back as 2012's The Avengers, will finally arrive on the big screen (in more than a cameo) in next year's Avengers: Infinity War.
The Mad Titan already has the Infinity Gauntlet and seems hell-bent on filling it with all six Infinity Stones before making his way to Earth and finally duking it out with Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy in an epic confrontation ten years in the making.
With the Mind, Power, Reality, Soul, Space, and Time Stones literally at his fingertips (okay, maybe his knuckles), Thanos is capable of unleashing unparalleled destruction wherever he goes, and will certainly make a formidable opponent for both the Avengers and the Guardians.
The ensuing war is guaranteed to be unlike anything fans of the MCU have seen before and will assuredly result in massive casualties for both sides. The only question is which Marvel characters will survive. With the film's D23 footage currently setting the internet ablaze, it seemed time to take a look at which characters need to bite the dust.
Here are the 15 Marvel Characters Who NEED To Die In Infinity War (Or Sooner).
Of all the heroes and heroines set to appear in Infinity War, the one in the most danger of dying at the hands of Thanos is undoubtedly Vision. The reason for this is simple: Vision has one of the Infinity Stones embedded in his head. The Mind Stone, the very stone that gave Vision life, also happens to be one of the most sought-after objects in the universe, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Thanos will be coming for it.
The ensuing battle for the aforementioned stone should be entertaining nonetheless. Vision's strength, flight, energy blasts, and ability to control his density (all courtesy of the Mind Stone) gives him the advantage over virtually every hero in the cosmos not named Scarlet Witch (and maybe Doctor Strange). However, Thanos is another story entirely.
The Mad Titan's abilities have not yet been fully established in the MCU, but his abilities in the comics include telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, and matter manipulation. While these abilities are sure to be toned down in the film, Thanos should be strong enough to dispatch Vision on his own, and fate isn't exactly on the latter's side.
14 Hank Pym
The trick to making Infinity War the MCU's greatest film to date will be finding a way to raise the stakes for all characters involved. Yes, the entire universe will be in peril but this was already the case in Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
What Marvel Studios needs to do here is find a way to make the stakes personal. The best way to do this with regard to Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne is to kill off Hank Pym.
Not only will killing off Hank Pym provide some personal motivation for Lang and van Dyne, but it will give the latter plenty of reason to finally become the Wasp. It will also rob the two of their mentor, which will give 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp an entirely new dynamic.
Much like how Luke Skywalker was forced to move on following the death of (warning: 40-year-old spoiler ahead) Obi-Wan Kenobi, Scott and Hope will be forced to adapt to life without Pym. Plus, seeing Hope eager to join the resistance against the man who killed her father will certainly be a sight to see.
Not Hawkeye-- yes, Hawkeye. The man with the eyes of a hawk simply must meet his maker in 2018. Joss Whedon telegraphed this death in Avengers: Age of Ultron by introducing Hawkeye's family and suddenly making him the emotional core of the Avengers.
Then, after baiting the line, Whedon made the ultimate switch by killing off Quicksilver instead. This only delayed the inevitable, however, because Hawkeye has no business surviving Infinity War.
The fact of the matter is that Hawkeye is the weakest Avenger, by far, and if Thanos is to be accepted by audiences as a credible villain worthy of taking on heroes from across the galaxy, then he must dispatch the weak ones with relative ease.
That's right, not only should Thanos kill off Hawkeye but he should do so without hesitation and without breaking a sweat. This will portray Thanos as the Mad Titan that he is and show audiences that he will kill anyone and everyone without mercy, whether or not that person poses an actual threat.
12 War Machine
If done right, War Machine's death in Infinity War has the potential to be one of the most dramatic of all. All this would take is a few scenes early on in the film showing Rhodey still acclimating himself to the exoskeleton legs given to him by Tony at the end of Captain America: Civil War.
It should be apparent that he is nowhere near ready to once again dawn the War Machine armor. That way, when Thanos arrives and Earth's forces are overwhelmed, Rhodey can put on the armor and help save the day one last time before being caught and swiftly killed by Thanos right before Tony's eyes.
This death works on multiple levels. Not only does it pay homage to the Civil War II comic, where Rhodey dies by Thanos' hand (which leads to the central conflict between Iron Man and Captain Marvel), but it also raises the personal stakes for Tony while providing solid closure for the character.
It completes his comeback story while giving him a noble death in the heat of battle. What could be better?
As stated above, Hawkeye's death is necessary because, by not killing him, Marvel Studios will make Thanos look like a fool in the eyes of audiences all across the world. This is no way to treat the MCU's overarching villain since the end of Phase 1.
After all, how can Thanos be taken seriously if he fails to kill a man with a bow and arrow? Killing Thor, however, will give the Mad Titan the credibility needed to make him the baddest MCU villain to date.
The God of Thunder's death should come at the hands of Thanos himself and not any of his henchmen, and should follow an epic battle between the two before the latter has amassed all of the stones to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet.
The fight should showcase all of Thor's abilities as he throws everything he has at the Mad Titan only to ultimately fall in the end. This will rob audiences of another one of the original Avengers, while also showing off Thanos' ability even before he has the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet at his disposal. If Thanos can kill Thor without the gauntlet, then what can he do with it?
Killing off Quicksilver may seem an insurmountable task since the character is already, well, dead, but the Infinity Gauntlet has been shown to resurrect characters in the comics and should most definitely be used here as a means for Thanos to manipulate one of Earth's most powerful Avengers: Scarlet Witch. In an attempt to draw Scarlet Witch to his side of the conflict, Thanos should resurrect Quicksilver right before her eyes and offer new life to her brother in exchange for her loyalty.
Since audiences already saw Scarlet Witch as a villain in Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios should avoid retreading this path. Instead, they should have her embrace her brother one last time before ultimately choosing to fight on the side of good, prompting an angry Thanos to brutally kill Quicksilver once more.
Quicksilver's resurrection and subsequent death at the hands of Thanos will provide some solid motivation for Scarlet Witch in the ensuing war, while also portraying Thanos as the coldblooded psychopath that he is. (Heck, if Marvel really wants to showcase Thanos' evil side, they should have him resurrect and kill Quicksilver over and over again à la the climax of Doctor Strange.)
9 Everyone else Thanos resurrects
A long-held fan theory is Marvel's plan for Infinity War is to bring back many of the MCU's former villains for one last fight. This theory has been aided by the fact that several past villains met their end because of the Infinity Stones they sought.
Red Skull disintegrated after picking up the Tesseract, Ronan was destroyed by the Power Stone, and Malekith had fully merged with the Aether before he was crushed by his ship. Heck, even the Abomination was never actually killed on screen.
Once Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to resurrect Quicksilver, it will be entirely within the realm of possibility for him to do the same to former villains. This may seem like a step backward for fans who are eager to see Earth's Mightiest Heroes battle a slew of new villains, but would most definitely be a step up from the climaxes of the first two Avengers films, which saw the team battle boring, faceless armies.
Plus, just because Thanos resurrects a few vanquished foes doesn't mean he won't have a few new ones up his sleeve.
While Vision is undoubtedly the character most likely to die in Infinity War, Drax is unquestionably the least due to his history with Thanos in the comics. Fans familiar with the comics are aware that Drax has killed Thanos in the past, literally punching a hole through the Mad Titan's chest and pulling out his heart.
This, combined with the fact that Drax has some solid motivation (after all, Thanos is responsible for the deaths of his family), means that Marvel Studios should throw fans for a loop by having the Mad Titan off the guardian.
Kevin Feige and the rest of the brain trust at Marvel Studios have shown that they aren't afraid to go off script when it comes to adapting comic book story lines to the big screen. Heck, they went way off script in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when they changed the identity of Star-Lord's father, so subverting fan expectations when it comes to Drax and Thanos isn't out of the question.
7 Nick Fury
Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has been a steady presence in the MCU so far. Having appeared in seven films (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron), he trails only Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark (eight) in terms of overall appearances. He brought the Avengers together, and it is only fitting that he be killed off before Infinity War ends.
The reason for this is simple: Kevin Feige has made it clear that the end of Phase 3 will represent a dramatic shift for the MCU going forward. This will mean a changing of the guard as old Avengers fall and new heroes rise up to take their places on the team.
The group's original leader should be no exception. Nick Fury represents the past, which means it's time for Marvel to kill him off and embrace the future.
6 Black Widow
This one is painful because Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, is one of the more compelling characters in the MCU, and Scarlett Johansson is brilliant in the role. Widow is absolutely deserving of her own film, but since Marvel seems to be in no rush to give her one (with the main reason offered by Scarlett Johansson being "timing"), the better decision may be to kill her off entirely.
Having debuted all the way back in 2010's Iron Man 2, Widow has already appeared in five films and accomplished pretty much everything a supporting character can.
Killing her off will not only resolve the aforementioned Hawkeye problem (since Widow has no business surviving a war with Thanos either), but also put to bed any hopes fans have of a standalone film in her name. If Marvel has no plans of actually making such a film, then the studio is better off killing the character.
Every death that Thanos dishes out in Infinity War should serve a purpose. Hawkeye and Black Widow serve to show that Thanos isn't above killing puny humans, War Machine and Drax serve as subtle nods to the comics, and Thor serves to show that Thanos is stronger than any villain the Avengers have faced thus far. Loki's death will come with a singular purpose: making fans hate Thanos.
Despite his role as a villain, Thanos is destined to be loved whole-heartedly by fans when he finally makes his appearance on screen. Fans who have been complaining for years that the MCU has no compelling villains outside of Loki will surely enjoy seeing the Mad Titan dishing out destruction as he darn well pleases.
The only way to make fans hate him is by having him kill off another fan favorite: the infamous trickster himself, Loki. Since Marvel has already pretended to kill Loki twice, this one will need to be definitive. Fans will need to know Loki is truly dead and he isn't coming back. Only then will they come to hate the Mad Titan.
This one may seem like a no-brainer but is actually far from a guarantee. Comic books have a storied history of killing off characters only to resurrect them time and time again. Thanos himself has been killed and subsequently resurrected plenty of times.
The MCU, meanwhile, has already seemingly killed Loki (twice) only to bring him back almost immediately thereafter, and has ended several films with the villain simply defeated as opposed to dead. So, it isn't outside of the realm of possibility for Marvel Studios to spare the Mad Titan's life.
This shouldn't happen. Thanos must be killed. There is no two ways about it. He has been the villain lurking in the shadows for far too long for his presence to be felt beyond Infinity War. Instead, he needs to take his best shot at the Avengers, put up a good fight, and then be killed to make way for the MCU's next big baddie.
Marvel is filled with interesting villains, so, after Infinity War, it will be time for someone else to step up to the plate.
3 Captain America
Chris Evans has done a terrific job in his role as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. In Captain America: The First Avenger, he took a dated character and made him feel fresh. Then in The Winter Soldier, he made him flat-out awesome.
In seven films (including his cameos in Thor: The Dark World and Spider-Man: Homecoming), Evans has endeared the character to audiences across the globe, which is precisely why he has to die.
As Ultron says in Age of Ultron, Captain America is a man "pretending [he] could live without a war." The fact of the matter is that Cap is a soldier, so it's only fitting that he die on the battlefield.
He also has his successor waiting in the wings. Whether it be Falcon or the Winter Soldier (both of whom have assumed the mantle in the comics), the Captain America name will live on, though Steve Rogers should not.
The deal between Sony and Marvel Studios to finally bring Spider-Man into the MCU was historic, and both studios deserve immense credit for making it happen. Unfortunately for fans, the partnership isn't indefinite and will require continual negotiation between the two in order for Spidey to stay.
If there comes a time when the two studios can't agree on terms, then Sony could very well use the goodwill its partnership with Marvel has built up with fans to set up its own Spider-verse, pulling Spider-Man out of the MCU in the process.
As a preemptive strike, Marvel should kill off the wall-crawler, delivering a compelling MCU moment while sabotaging Sony in the process. Such a move could be problematic due to the deal currently in place, but if Marvel's top brass sense that Sony may take the character and run, then they may be better off killing him while they can.
1 Iron Man
If there is any character in the MCU who deserves the ultimate sendoff before Infinity War's end, it is Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. Now this may seem like a bad business decision on the part of Marvel (considering that Downey is undoubtedly the franchise's biggest star, and the fact that movies with him perform much better than those without him). However, it is only fitting that the man who started it all finally meet his end.
If the MCU is going to last for as long as Marvel Studios hopes, then character turnover is essential. The studio must continually add and subtract heroes in order to keep stories feeling fresh. Tony Stark has appeared in eight MCU films, and Downey has done everything he possibly can with the character.
There is simply nowhere left for him to go and nothing left for him to do, so it's time for Marvel to give the man a proper death and move forward with the characters that remain. With Phase 3 coming to an end, it is time for Marvel to kill off the man who's been there from the start.
Who do you think will survive Avengers: Infinity War? Are there any other characters that you think are marked for death? Let us know in the comments.