What Happens After 'Endgame'? - Trailer & Speculation
Before Infinity War was released, we did a speculative piece on what that movie would mean for the MCU’s future. That piece was based on the knowledge that Fox and Disney were close to a deal that would see the X-Men, Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and other Marvel properties coming home to the fold. Fast forward to March 2019 and the final I’s and T’s are being dotted and crossed. The deal is basically done and Kevin Feige and company have a much bigger ocean to swim in. That piece we wrote was based on something else too: Feige repeatedly said that Untitled Avengers 4 (now Endgame) would not be a traditional sequel to Infinity War. We took that to mean that the events of Infinity War would be set in stone for the most part, with only minor retcons, leaving whoever was left alive to pick up the pieces and continue to fight the good fight. Well, we were sort of right.
The events of Endgame take place some time after the Decimation (previously dubbed the Snappening by fans). What happened in Infinity War, happened. There is no going back. People have ceased to exist. Half of all life, not just sentient beings, ceased to be. Based on the first trailer for Endgame, we knew that Tony Stark was stranded on a ship, waiting to die. Steve Rogers was psychologically scarred to the point where the man who always pushes forward could only cry. We can even surmise that Hawkeye’s family is dead, leaving him bitter, broken and angry. We could also guess, based on knowledge of the comics, from interviews with folks in the know and common sense, that people like Fury, Peter Parker and T’Challa would find their way back into existence. What we did and do not know is how, or how widespread the changes to be made in Endgame will be. In that sense, Feige was being truthful when he said Endgame isn’t a direct sequel, but it was a bit cagey.
With the release of the second Endgame trailer today, we learned and confirmed a bit more about the plot. This movie is said to be one of the most secretive of all time, with good reason. It’s safe to assume that, barring a major leak, we won’t know what’s really going on until we leave the theater. Feige, god bless him, has said that all footage being released is from the first 20 minutes of a movie that looks to be at least 3 hours long. In this trailer we get more of a sense of what’s happening with the team, the depression and PTSD that comes with something as devastating as the Decimation and 3 other pretty big revelations. One: Captain Marvel is officially an Avenger. We see her interacting with the team in one of the most lighthearted moments of the trailer. She seems to be in the Avengers compound, dressed down like everyone else. Two: Both Tony Stark and Nebula are back on Earth somehow. Signs point to Tony Stark figuring out a way to get back, but who knows, at this point. Three: The white suits shown at the end of the trailer seem to have a very particular function. Assuming you want to go into this mostly blind, I won’t speak on it further, but let’s just say the odds of completely reshaping reality to what it was before the Snap are incredibly low. Winning, even at the odds Strange mentioned in Infinity War seems to come with its fair share of, shall we say, change.
Let’s look to that future. We now know that, yea, some of your faves will breathe again, but however it happens, the universe we have witnessed since Tony Stark was captured and built the first Iron Man suit, will forever be changed. This won’t be your typical “let’s go back in time and fix everything” solution. When something breaks, even if you glue it back together, it’s never what it was before. Therein lies how we can speculate once more.
Face it, most of your faves are leaving the MCU. Unless there’s some big contract renegotiations on the horizon, people like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Sacrlett Johansson (among others) are leaving when their contracts end, and for most, Endgame is the final movie they’re signed on to appear in. It’s the ushering in of the next wave of heroes led by Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther and Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. All that's left for them is the ‘how’. Some could die in Endgame. Some could retire within the narrative. Others could even be recast. Endgame, much like DC Comic’s Flashpoint, provides untold opportunities for things like that to happen without major narrative holes. We know from the trailer that Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) not only escapes the Quantum Realm (watch Ant-Man & The Wasp), but he makes it to where Steve Rogers and the other Avengers are WITH the tech necessary to re-enter the Quantum Realm. Why is that important? If you listened to the characters in the after-credits scene of Ant-Man & The Wasp, right before most of them fall victim to the Decimation, a potential pitfall in the Quantum Realm is getting caught in time vortexes. This provides us with time travel implications for Endgame. It also explains set photos we saw last year during Endgame’s filming that saw Scott Lang with Captain America in the Battle for New York.
So Ant-Man goes back in time in order to warn other Avengers, stop something from happening, or make something happen that will alter the trajectory of the MCU in hopes that the Decimation never takes place or that the Avengers are way more prepared for Thanos than last time. Actually, now that I know what those white suits are…man….ok let me stop. Another thing to factor in is Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel being added to the team, as well as talk of another big-bad in Endgame. An even big-baddier enemy than Thanos? If that enemy is worth the Avenger’s time when their roster now includes Captain Marvel, then it means it has to be one serious enemy. All of this leads us to believe that the combination of time travel and this new enemy will make it so there is no ‘mulligan’. The eggs have been cracked, but what is dead may never die (yay Game of Thrones is returning!).
What if the world the Avengers wake up in, after the events of Endgame, sees a yet-to-be established Fantastic Four already in the universe but their origin story hasn’t happened yet, or it happened concurrently with the events of the re-written history of Endgame? Someone is moving into the old Avengers Tower in the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Seems like a perfect Baxter Building (traditional home of the FF) to me. Now that mutants can be a thing in the MCU after the Fox buyout, what if the X-Gene begins to awaken in more and more people and we see our X-Men begin to form? What if we can actually get a solid version of The Inhumans now that we don't have to be bogged down too much by the history of the current MCU? We now have access to Silver Surfer, so that means we can now do an MCU version of Galactus. In the previous article we spoke about, we posited that Galactus should be the next big-bad. By big-bad, I mean the culmination of the next few phases. As Thanos was for phases 1-3, Galactus would be the guy for phases 4-x. As we explained, Galactus is a world-eating force of nature that devours planets for sustenance. He often tangled with the Fantastic Four in the comics, so that writes itself.
The Eternals are another group of beings that are getting the movie treatment in the very near future and that ties in to the current continuity because Thanos IS an Eternal. The Eternals were a race of “gods” created by The Celestials (remember that giant head that was used as a mining facility and no-man’s land for the disreputable, in Guardians of the Galaxy? That was the head of a Celestial) when they experimented on very early proto-humans. They have similar biologies to humans but they are super-advanced in every other way. The genetic cousins of the Eternals are the Deviants, which are monstrous counterparts of their more human-looking relatives. These guys play in a pool the likes of which the current MCU has never seen. They were often seen with the likes of Thor in the comics, so between him and a potential Guardians of the Galaxy run-in, there are several ways to tie the Earth into the escapades of the Eternals.
If I’m being honest, what I’d really love to see is Ryan Reynolds given some leeway to do his thing in the MCU. As it stands now, they’re talking about keeping his franchise separate, but things are always changing. I love imagining simple things like the Avengers having a conversation in their compound with a large-pane glass window in the background and as they’re talking you see Deadpool in full costume mowing the lawn. No dialogue. No acknowledgment by the team. He’ll wave at the camera and things will continue as normal. But he can do things like that in any and every movie now.
Let’s say we want to save Galactus for another time. We can always build to Avengers vs X-Men, one of the most talked about and fantastic storylines from the comics. The only problem with that, of course, is that we’re getting an X-Men movie in 2019. Nobody is going to want to see them in full force for years to come. So a face-off wouldn’t make sense until the 2030s probably. That…I just made myself sad.
People the possibilities are endless. The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and Galactus are ripe for the picking. The Illuminati and World War Hulk is a little trickier but still doable. Everyone’s talking about AvX but what about Age of Apocalypse? House of M? Given the events of Captain Marvel, there’s something even more plausible: Secret Invasion. I’ll talk more about that in the future. Exciting times, true believers. Exciting times.