Warning: massive SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Infinity War! Read ahead at your own risk!

If you have seen Avengers: Infinity War, then you already know the devastation that occurs. Thanos snaps his fingers, unleashes the full power of the Infinity Stones and wipes out half of all life in the universe. The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy ranks have been depleted, which means there's room for other characters to enter the equation.

We already know that characters like Hawkeye and Ant-Man are expected to show up, but that raises other questions about the side characters that we may see. On that note, and with less than a year to go until Avengers 4's May 3, 2019 release date rolls around, we're diving into the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe roster to figure out which MCU characters could make surprise appearances in the final Phase Three movie. We have pulled out 12 of the most likely candidates, so let's get started with one of the MCUs most beloved personalities.

Phil Coulson

One of the men who started it all, Phil Coulson has been a fundamental element of the MCU ever since his first appearance in Iron Man. The character was seemingly killed in The Avengers, but as any fan of Marvel TV will tell you, he lives on as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. We already know that Coulson will return to the silver screen side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year when the 1990s-set Captain Marvel debuts in March, and with so many different plot threads coming to a head two months later when Avengers 4 debuts, it would seem to make perfect sense to give him a scene in the final Phase Three movie. After all, with Nick Fury and Maria Hill gone, Coulson is all we have left.

The Defenders

This one seems like a long shot, but stay with me. Earth's Mightiest Heroes took a serious beating during the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and a major attack took place in New York City. Even if the film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe never acknowledges the existence of The Defenders heroes, the fact of the matter is that they still exist in this world. Given how desperate our heroes look at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, it's hard to imagine that characters with the fighting skill of Daredevil and Iron Fist or the raw power of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wouldn't be welcomed into the fold. If ever there was a time to bridge the gap between film and TV, it's right now.

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