The Marvel Cinematic Universe is several films and shows into Phase Four right now, and we’ve learned a lot about this reality post-Avengers: Endgame. Everyone, from heroes to normal folks, had to cope with living in a world after the Blip and find how to navigate and co-exist together. We’ve seen Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, and many other heroes making their way through this brave new world. Still, this far in, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird we don’t know the status of the Avengers?
Sure, we’ve seen a lot of Avengers members in the past year, but we still don’t know if the superhero team still actually exists in Phase Four. What happens when the next big event threatening Earth arrives? Will we see the Avengers assemble, or is there something else in the works? Let’s dive into all that below and talk out the possibilities.
Many Of The Avengers Are Gone, Off-World, Or Going Through Some Stuff
If a massive force attacked Earth right now, there are heroes to protect it, but none with an exceptionally great history. Nick Fury and Thor are off-world, Steve Rogers is retired, and Iron Man and Black Widow are dead. Of the founding Avengers members, that leaves Hawkeye and Bruce Banner with an injured arm, which isn’t something that inspires hope.
The same is true for a lot of other secondary heroes who later joined the team, who are all going through some stuff at the moment. Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Doctor Strange seem indisposed due to life events and other things happening in their lives, which leaves a very limited lineup of folks who could be called upon in the event of a spontaneous catastrophe. And while they haven't been part of the Avengers, you can also count the Eternals among the heroes who aren't readily available at the moment.
Realistically if the world just went to hell immediately after Spider-Man: No Way Home, I’d say you’d have Captain America (Sam Wilson), Winter Soldier, War Machine, Hawkeye, Wong, Shang-Chi and a mysterious hero by the name of Spider-Man. That’s not a bad lineup, albeit not one I trust the fate of the world with. Furthermore, it’s a group with very little chemistry, and one that I doubt could work more effectively as a cohesive unit than individually.
Furthermore, none of those heroes really have the authority to classify themselves as leader of the Avengers. The closest, I’d argue, is Wong because he’s Sorcerer Supreme and arguably the least biased in terms of operating in the best interest of a world at large, not just an individual country. I’m not saying Wong couldn’t lead the Avengers, but with so many unknowns about where the superhero group stands after Avengers: Endgame, would whatever he’d start even be that?
What Defines The Avengers?
We know that many heroes that identify as Avengers are alive, but what defines the superhero group? Initially, the group was founded by Nick Fury and back through S.H.I.E.L.D. When neither were available, the team still got together thanks to Tony Stark's resources and the relationship of the core team, but that’s all gone in Phase Four. So what exactly is it that defines the Avengers?
It’s a complicated question to answer. Sure, you can throw any number of heroes together and call them Avengers, but in reality, literally every Marvel superhero team is full of a random assortment of heroes. The X-Men have Avengers, but they aren’t Avengers as a whole. The Fantastic Four are Avengers, but the four of them together aren’t known as the Avengers. It’s more than just the heroes, so is it a shared location they all convene?
If so, then that’s a problem. Avengers Tower was sold by Tony Stark long ago, and Thanos destroyed the Avengers’ compound in Avengers: Endgame. At the present, we don’t know if there’s a new compound elsewhere. If there was one, I’d like to think we could’ve seen it when Shang-Chi got introduced to Bruce Banner and Captain Marvel, but that didn’t happen.
The Avengers could be defined as a group of heroes that rise to the occasion when there’s a threat bigger than humanity can face on its own. The Chitauri, Ultron and Thanos all needed a group of heroes to defeat them, and different lineups of each rose to the occasion. Personally, I’d consider this the most accurate definition of the MCU’s take on superhero group, if only because Civil War proved those heroes can co-exist without technically being the Avengers.
So… Do The Avengers Still Exist?
To answer the above question, in short, I think so. The Avengers of the MCU don’t operate on a round-the-clock basis like in Marvel Comics, and with enough active members still out there in the universe, I don’t think we can say the team doesn’t exist. Is it radically different and severely lacking in resources? That’s not unfair to say, though we obviously don’t have the full scope of everything going on in Phase Four at the moment.
When Could The Avengers Return?
At the moment, we have no guarantees there will be another Avengers movie. With that said, another villain will inevitably threaten Earth and possibly even the multiverse. This presents the perfect opportunity for a group of heroes to “assemble” and, Odin willing, make a new Avengers movie a reality.
Of course, the world is a different place after Avengers: Endgame. A lot of what made the Avengers what they are no longer exist, so I wonder if whatever next batch of heroes rises to fight a threat takes that same name. Do these heroes have strong enough ties to the Avengers to want to continue the name?
I want to say yes, mainly because I strongly feel Marvel Studios won’t so readily trash having “Avengers” in a title just for story reasons. Plus, it’s not like the Avengers haven’t existed without its core lineup elsewhere in Marvel history, so there’s no reason to completely abandon the name.
Obviously, I’m just making my best guess, but I suspect that while the Avengers don’t currently exist, they’ll come together soon enough when the next major threat arrives. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Phase Four needs time to establish this new era, so perhaps when that draws to a close we’ll see another Avengers movie.
Fans will continue to wait in the meantime and binge all previous Avengers movies on Disney+. There are also plenty of upcoming Marvel movies and shows to check out in the coming years, so keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for updates about them.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.