The end is almost nigh. Well, the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, anyway.
On April 26, Phase 3 will take its final bow with Avengers: Endgame, bringing an epic storyline that has spanned more than 20 movies to a close. Endgame follows on the heels of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and will see the Avengers attempting to reverse “the Snap,” the devastating wrong that occurred at the hands of the MCU’s current big bad, Thanos, after he acquired all of the Infinity Stones in Infinity War and proceeded to use them to wipe out half of all life in the universe. With only a handful of Avengers left over from the Snap, demoralized and unsure of how to carry on, Endgame will focus on what remains of the team coming together to try and find a way to reverse the Snap so that their friends and loved ones can come home for good.
Despite most of the plot being kept under wraps, we have been able to glean some details from trailers, posters, and our own understanding of the MCU. Here’s what we confidently know – or can at least put forth an educated guess – so far.
Who Survived Thanos’ Snap?
Okay, first thing’s first: let’s tally up the survivors.
As far as the trailers have revealed as well as what we know from the end of Infinity War, here’s who we know survived the Snap: Steve Rogers/Captain America; James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine; Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow; Tony Stark/Iron Man; Rocket; Clint Barton/Hawkeye; Thor; Scott Lang/Ant-Man; Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel; Nebula; Bruce Banner/The Hulk; Pepper Potts; Valkyrie; M’Baku; Okoye; and, last but not least, Wong.
That’s a helluva lineup, even if it is just the leftovers. It’s still unclear how folks like Valkyrie, Wong, and M’Baku will figure into the overall plan the Avengers have going since we have only seen them featured in posters and other promotional materials but have been mostly kept out of the trailers.
What Are the Survivors Going to Do Now?
Well, the “No, duh” answer is that they’re going to have to band together to defeat Thanos and reverse his Snap so that they can bring back those lost during Infinity War. It’s likely we won’t get back everyone we lost in Infinity War (Loki and Gamora died before the Snap, meaning they’ll probably stay dead) but getting mostly everyone back is better than getting nobody back, right?
The bigger goal in Endgame is ensuring that Thanos remains defeated and that the Infinity Stones are safely separated so that what has happened with Thanos over the course of two movies doesn’t happen again. This could quite possibly either involve time travel or some adjustment in the nature of the reality the MCU superheroes are experiencing so that a new timeline is created (a common occurrence in the world of comics, so why not here, too?) that will affect their knowledge of the whereabouts of the Infinity Stones or the Stones themselves – or even destroying them entirely.
Tony & Cap Are Finally Back On The Same Team
This may feel like a small detail, but now that we know Tony survives and is not destined to be marooned in space, it’s also been revealed that he is joining the Avengers once again and is ready for vengeance after Thanos took surrogate son Peter Parker in the Snap. This means that for the first time since Captain America: Civil War, Tony and Captain America are not only okay being in the same room with one another, but ready to fight on the same side once again. Considering Endgame will likely be the farewell film for these two beloved and veteran Avengers, it’s good to see that Tony and Cap want to put the past in the past and are truly ready to lead this team, as they were always meant to do. With these two taking the reins, expect their leadership decisions to affect how the team will attack Thanos and recover the lost superheroes.
Lots Of New Developments With The Surviving Avengers
There are some big changes in the Avengers’ lineup, which means that the unique skillsets being brought to the table by each member of the team are new, too. As such, we’ll see synergy between the Avengers, Wakandans, and Guardians that we haven’t seen before and they’ll feed off each other’s powers in ways that will help weaken Thanos. For example, the addition of Captain Marvel means there a greater amount of firepower at their command, as well as extensive knowledge of the cosmos which will no doubt be handy when the team has to go deep into space to hunt Thanos down.
Additionally, we know that Hawkeye has gone full Ronin, ostensibly following the loss of his family during the Snap. Ant-Man is out of the Quantum Realm, but he has to come to terms with the fallout from the Snap all over again because he was stuck in the Quantum Realm when it happened (we saw this play out in the Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credits scene). Pepper Potts will have a bigger role in Endgame and it’s believed that she’ll even don one of Iron Man’s suits in order to either rescue him from space or help the team out in some way.
These developments for Endgame, along with the addition of other minor superheroes, mean there are more players on the board. Yes, there will be reinforcements, but the stakes will also be higher.
Thanos Uses The Infinity Stones Again, Puts The Team on High Alert
“We owe it to everyone not in this room to try.” Watch a brand new clip from Marvel Studios’ #AvengersEndgame, in theaters April 26. Get tickets now: https://t.co/i4uYNoI7bL pic.twitter.com/9aaVXnlqct
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) April 8, 2019
As seen in a new clip released in early April, we now know the inciting incident that brings the band back together, or at the very least sets them on his path: Thanos uses the Infinity Stones again and puts the team on high alert.
The clip shows a handful of the remaining Avengers, including Captain Marvel, at Avengers HQ in upstate New York. A holographic map is somehow telling the group that Thanos has apparently used the Stones again, although it’s not clear why he did it or to what end he is using them (especially strange since he looked very ready to be a simple farmer on a distant planet at the end of Infinity War). Captain Marvel asserts that the team has a distinct advantage with her around, helping to convince not only Thor — who pleasantly assesses her with “I like this one” — but the rest of the veteran Avengers that they could really pull off defeating Thanos once and for all.
The Final Battle Will Likely Happen Off Earth
The latest trailers released in the final weeks leading up to Endgame’s premiere show that the remaining Avengers will go off Earth to track Thanos down and fight him. Certain scenes indicate all of our key players end up on a planet that is decidedly not the one Thanos resides on at the end of Infinity War, so we’ll have to see if the change of location gives the Avengers any sort of fighting advantage.
Yes, We’ll See Stan Lee
Endgame marks one of the final times that we’ll see beloved Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee in a requisite cameo role. Details on Lee’s cameo are unknown, but we have a feeling that more gravitas will be given to Lee’s time on screen given that he passed away in November 2018.
Get your tickets for Avengers: Endgame here (if you haven’t already!) and see it when it arrives in theaters on April 26.