SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers follow for Avengers: Endgame**. You don't want to know any of this stuff until you've seen the movie.**
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come along way since the Avengers first assembled in 2012. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, it looks like our heroes are going through a big change.
In the battle for bringing Thanos (Josh Brolin) to justice and bringing order back to the world, some Avengers have fallen, while others have chosen to go down a new path and others had no other choice. The heroes who remain may be our only hope, but could never replace the likes of Iron Man or Black Widow.
The heroes that define the future of the MCU can at least succeed the roles left open by the Avengers of yesterday and there are a few deserving names in mind. Who will assemble as the new official Avengers and what makes them fitting successors?
Spider-Man As Iron Man
This replacement is, more or less, a given, especially if you consider the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Following the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at the climax of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggles with the idea of taking over as the world’s new Iron Man.
By the end of the film (and through a few mishaps and a pivotal lapse of good judgment), Peter Parker finally gains the self-confidence necessary to call himself the world’s next Iron Man. The movie may be called Spider-Man: Far From Home, but now Tom Holland’s Peter Parker feels more at home than ever… until the last 30 seconds.
Spider-Man may still be young, he may not have the snark or sarcasm, and he certainly does not have the fortune that Tony Stark ever did. However, he is just as smart and clever, is equipped with an awesome suit of iron, and may finally hone the leadership skills required to be the Avenger his fellow Avengers can look up to, despite his height of 5’8."
Falcon As Captain America
This replacement is absolutely a given, especially if you consider the resolution of Avengers: Endgame. Following the defeat of Thanos (Josh Brolin), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) aged almost 80 years after traveling back in time, passing his shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) to dub him the new Captain America and retire the Falcon mantle.
Sam Wilson has also succeeded the title originated by Steve Rogers in the comics, with his first appearance as Captain America in 2014 happening in a similar fashion to the events in Avengers: Endgame. While Sam’s run as Cap only lasted three years, he should be able to continue carrying the mantle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in upcoming films and maybe even his own Disney+ series that he will share with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes called Falcon & Winter Soldier, for which I imagine the title might be updated.
Speaking of Bucky Barnes, while Winter Soldier also has an inked history of carrying the shield as well, Sam Wilson is the one who has absolutely earned the Captain America title. He is a veteran of combat, has never given up in the face of an earth-shattering threat, and can effortlessly influence positivity and empowerment among the Avengers, which, in this time of uncertainty, they are probably going to need more than ever.
Valkyrie As Thor
Obviously Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is not gone, he is just “off world,” with Avengers: Endgame resolving his storyline by joining the Guardians of the Galaxy on their trip into space as the resident “Asgardian of the Galaxy." (Although that may not be a permanent thing.) In turn, he gave up his throne as leader of Asgard and passed the role onto fellow Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).
Valkyrie is a born leader, chosen by Odin himself to lead the group of warrior goddesses known as Valkyrior, which she is now the sole remainder. Now that she is stationed on Earth as New Asgard’s queen, the Avengers will likely have no problem getting ahold of her whenever they may need her assistance.
I think it may be safe to infer that, given her reaction to Thor’s extreme alcoholism in Avengers: Endgame, Valkyrie is now sober, clear-minded, strong-willed, and will have no problem working double duty ruling Asgard and fighting alongside the Avengers.
Okoye As Black Widow
Just so we are clear, I know full well that no one could ever replace Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Before she gave her life to acquire the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame, the Russian-born spy-turned-Avenger who operated under the codename Black Widow was, practically, the heart and soul of the team.
Black Widow cured Tony Stark’s health problems in Iron Man 2, encouraged Steve Rogers to embrace his romantic side in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and helped Bruce Banner return to his human side in Avengers: Age of Ultron. No one could ever replace that.
However, I think I can make a case that one of T’Challa’s most trusted warriors in Black Panther might be a good fit to assimilate Black Widow’s role. After Thanos wiped out half of the universe’s population in Avengers: Infinity War, Wakanda’s trusted warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira) kept in close touch with the Avengers, updating them on any pressing matters she kept tabs on, ready for action at any minute.
While it may be a bit of a loss for Wakanda, it would be a triumphant gain for the world if Okoye accepted a full-time position as an Avenger. She has the combat experience, calculated intellect, and unwavering fierceness that the team needs, especially after the loss of a woman who, in the sense of heroism, was defined by those very skills.
Captain Marvel As Hulk
Obviously, we have not lost Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) after the events of Avengers: Endgame and even got to have both at the same time with his new Professor Hulk look. However, using the Stark Gauntlet to reverse Thanos’ snap took a lot out of him and cost him an arm, leaving some room in the department of muscle for the Avengers. Who knows what his future will hold?
I think we can all agree that, while Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrifice in the climax of Avengers: Endgame was the ultimate, round-winning move, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) owned much of that fight. I would argue that using herself as a missile to take down that Chitauri ship is the greatest Captain Marvel moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe we've seen yet and better than any scene in her own solo movie.
Captain Marvel has proven herself as an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, stronger and more powerful than just about anyone who comes in her way, which makes her just as intimidating as Hulk was to the rest of the Avengers when Bruce Banner turned green. Banner can still stick around to crunch a few numbers when science is necessary, but it’s time to let Carol “smash.”
Ant-Man As Hawkeye
Clint Barton, the expert archer who earned the name Hawkeye played by Jeremy Renner, was sort of given the short end of the stick when he first became an Avenger in the team’s 2012 first movie and was subject to a bit of online ridicule for some time after. When Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) first showed up as Ant-Man, his shrinking abilities were seen as not much more than comic relief, until he grew to the size of a building in Captain America: Civil War and became a key element to reversing Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Endgame.
The reason I bring this up is because both Hawkeye and Ant-Man are heroes who both had to earn a few road miles before being taken seriously. Now that Clint Barton, most likely, is willing to retire for good (as Hawkeye, at least), Scott Lang sounds like a good candidate to pick up where he left off.
Ant-Man has a strong willfulness to fight the good fight, has (mostly) perfected his skills, and (like Hawkeye often did) has a great sense of humor. Most importantly, also like Clint Barton, Scott Lang is a family man and that’s a role that the Avengers could never survive without.
Doctor Strange As Vision
Vision, the splicing of Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence assistant Jarvis with the Mind Stone played by Paul Bettany, never really got the credit he deserved until his (supposed) tragic demise in Avengers: Infinity War. He ended the Age of Ultron, he was the only one thinking rationally in Captain America: Civil War, and he was always willing to give his life for the greater good.
Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for someone with only three Marvel Cinematic Universe title credits to his name. The one person I can think of who could fittingly fill in for Vision’s contribution to the Avengers is Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The Master of the Mystic Arts possesses abilities of unimaginable power, which he acquired over a shorter training period than most sorcerers would require, being a naturally fast learner. Along with a sentient cloak, Doctor Strange’s teachings have bequeathed him with the wisdom of someone centuries beyond his years, which, as history as shown us, the Avengers could greatly benefit from.
Scarlet Witch As Scarlet Witch
After the Stark Gauntlet brought her back to life, Wanda Maximoff (better known as Scarlet Witch and played by Elizabeth Olsen) finally got to see her lover’s murderer brought to justice in Avengers: Endgame. Otherwise, one of her more pivotal contributions to the Avengers, unfortunately, is inadvertently causing the inciting incident that leads to the proposition of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War.
Thus, I would love to see more of Scarlet Witch’s heroic side in future endeavors. We know that she is not going anywhere anytime soon given that she will star in her own Disney+ series, WandaVision, which will reportedly also star Paul Bettany as Vision. How that will come to be is soon to be revealed.
Scarlet Witch has been a full-time Avenger since Avengers: Age of Ultron and I see no reason at this time to give her position away. There is still much more to see from the telekinetic hero and I am nothing short of excited.
Out of tragedy often comes triumph and these heroes are no exception. The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still uncertain, so we'll have to wait and see what the new iteration of the Avengers looks like, and if any new characters are brought into the fold. Ultimately, I have no doubt it the MCU is in good hands as it heads into Phase Four. Do you agree?