Warning: there are major spoilers for Captain America: Civil War ahead!
For months, Marvel fans debated which group would come out on top in Captain America: Civil War: Team Iron Man or Team Captain America? Well, U.S. audiences finally got the answer this past weekend, as when the clash finished and the dust had settled, Iron Man and his other pro-registration allies succeeded in capturing most of Team Captain America. Fortunately for fans of these particular heroes, they’re not done by a long shot. At the end of the movie, Steve Rogers freed Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Ant-Man from The Raft, and Steve made it clear to Tony Stark in that letter that they’re not going to stop operating. A year after Avengers: Age of Ultron gave moviegoers an Avengers revamp, now a new team has been formed, and while they’re technically criminals in the eyes of the world’s governments, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing them or feeling their influence later on in Phase Three.
To provide some context, after the original Civil War story ended back in 2007, two Avengers teams were separately formed. The first was Tony Stark’s officially established Mighty Avengers, one of the many teams associated with the Fifty State Initiative. The second was the anti-registration New Avengers, operating outside of the law so they could protect the innocent on their own terms. Captain America wasn’t a part of this team since he surrendered to the authorities at the end of Civil War and soon after "killed," but they continued the good fight to honor him. These folks (as seen below) included Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Spider-Woman and more. This group was active until the Registration Act was overturned following Siege, although other iterations of the New Avengers would be formed later.
As far as the MCU goes, there really isn’t a officially sanctioned Avengers team around when Captain America: Civil War ends. Tony and Vision are still technically active, but War Machine is paralyzed (though is learning to walk with bionic support on his legs), Black Widow is in the wind and Spider-Man is back to his normal Queens life. However, Steve Rogers is now leading his Civil War allies (with the exception of Bucky Barnes) in their efforts to keep the world safe, and they’re not going to the Sokovia Accords get in their way. They don’t have nearly as many resources and will be looked at by some of the population as criminals, but at least they can continue their work without conforming to the new restrictions, like perhaps going to a country where the official Avengers are forbidden to interfere.
Right now we have five folks who make up these "New Avengers," but that roster has potential for expansion, be new heroes or established ones. Right away, the possibility of Black Widow joining the team comes to mind. Throughout Captain America: Civil War, he let Steve and Bucky escape at the end of the airport fight. Even though Tony Stark didn’t take any action against her, it was obvious that the powers that be would try to apprehend her. She can either go into hiding or throw her lot in with this new Avengers team, but either way, she’s lost her official Avengers standing in the eyes of this new legislation.
So when could we see this New Avengers team again on the big screen? That probably won’t be for a long time given what’s coming up in Phase Three. Doctor Strange is exploring the world of magic on its own, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is taking audiences back to the cosmic side of the MCU, Spider-Man: Homecoming is focused on Peter Parker’s life and Thor: Ragnarok is eschewing a lot of Earth scenes in favor of traveling around the Nine Realms. That leaves Black Panther as the soonest logical option. Bucky Barnes is currently in deep freeze in Wakanda until a cure for his HYDRA brainwashing can be found, and King T’Challa has no problem with providing Steve Rogers asylum in the African country. Obviously Black Panther is focusing on T’Challa’s life and him protecting his nation from some kind of threat (my money is on Ulysses Klaue), but that doesn’t mean that one or a few of these Avengers could pop in for a cameo or minor appearance. It’s doubtful we’ll ever see T’Challa working with this team outside of Wakanda’s borders since he’s busy being a king, but at least they have his support.
After Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 comes out, which we’ll see most, if not all of the Avengers from both sides (along with other heroes) working together to fight Thanos. It’s unclear whether we’ll see any New Avengers action between Part 1 and Part 2, though presumably there will be a mention or two of Scott Lang’s anti-registration activities in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Eventually there won’t be any need for a New Avengers team, since the gigantic conflict with the Mad Titan will be the catalyst towards getting the heroes from both sides to toss aside their ideological disagreement and focus on keeping Earth and the rest of reality safe. In the meantime, Steve Rogers and his other superhero allies are determined to keep watching over humanity without caving to government authority. Whether their activities are just alluded to in media reports or we actually see them fighting somewhere across the globe, you can count on their presence being felt later in Phase Three.
Now that this New Avengers team has been formed, how do you think they’ll be used post-Captain America: Civil War? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!