By Quirky Neuron - 3/28/2019
Over the past few months, numerous fan theories, predictions, fake “leaks,” and easter egg articles have come out. Many harp on the same kind of tropes: Is Tony Stark going to die…? Captain Marvel saves everyone, wait…no… Ant-Man saves everyone… wait…, time travel – Huzzah!
However, all of these predictions seem WAY off-base. Everyone is framing their predictions around what they believe the biggest characters will do, or what they saw in the trailers or post credit scenes. There hasn’t been an article yet that focuses on what would give us some real clues as to what the writers would be focusing on: following the character arcs of our favorite characters from the past decade. Seriously… the Marvel universe has been building since 2008, and you think that the writer’s are going to slap Brie Larson into a new super-suit and have her literally fly-in, nuke Thanos, and call it a day?
No! Of course not! A writer is going to lead you down that path and then pull the rug out from under you, and (hopefully) you’ll be left slapping your forehead saying “Oh, OF COURSE!”
We are not covering all the characters, since some have to be relegated to the benches after the snap, but we’ll hit a good chunk of them. So without further ado: Here is a character-by-character breakdown of why, among other educated guesses, Tony Stark will live, Captain Marvel will be a non-factor, and Drax will kill Thanos.
IRON MAN: Contrary to popular belief, Tony Stark’s character arc is not the Selfish Playboy to Selfless Hero story… Rather it is the journey from loving only himself and loathing his father, to loving others (namely Pepper Potts) and becoming his father. This has been HEAVILY foreshadowed, including an overt scene in Infinity War, where Pepper and he are walking together talking about making babies and their upcoming marriage vows. Oh, and… did anyone even see the first trailer where he is going on and on about dreaming of her as he drifts through space towards impending death? And we think that this means he is just going to die? This will be his kick in the pants to officially put a ring on it, take the glow stick off his chest, and actually pull back; allowing other heroes to take over in the next phase of Marvel’s series. Case in point, the byline of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent headline was that she would not star in another MCU movie, but she might do small cameo style roles. They’re not bringing back a widow for a fun cameo folks. Tony Stark will become the new shield benefactor and background Brainiac. BONUS PREDICTION: Will Pepper Potts surprise everyone by unleashing some Extremis power from Iron Man 3?
CAPTAIN MARVEL: So, the biggest driver of Carol Danvers’ story-line prediction is that she barely has a story-line as of yet. As we know from the trailers (I’ll avoid any spoilers here), Carol has some trouble keeping her story straight due to a military aircraft accident of some kind. Believers that she will be the big counter to Thanos’ power is mistaken. Her weakness is mental, and Thanos has… the mind stone. It is most likely that an overly-confident Captain Marvel flies in to battle Evil Barney, but is easily brushed aside or even momentarily turned against the rest of the team. Her entire presence is to throw fans off the scent and to provide a character link to the next phase of the MCU. Alternatively, she could be a vessel for either the destruction of an infinity stone, or to wield one to change the timeline. This all relies on the Samuel L Jackson “leak,” (where he claimed Captain Marvel could time travel) being intentionally misleading.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: He dies. Sorry, but there is no way Cap doesn’t sacrifice himself and pass on the mantle of Captain America to a new figure, allowing for a pseudo-reboot of this franchise, but for far less money on the studio. He misses Peggy, his whole arc has been about self-sacrifice, we know a big name is going down, and honestly…. After seeing his mopey face in the group-therapy session from the trailers, you have to believe he would give anything to correct the course of history.
THE (real) HULK: Admittedly, this is one of the harder characters to read. He has not had any real designated movies (Nope, The Incredible Hulk with Ed Norton does not count), and his recent struggles to go green caught everyone off-guard. Best guess is that Bruce Banner, one of the most brilliant minds in the MCU, needs to prove to himself that he is good enough without the Hulk as his backstop. Bruce went from never wanting Hulk out, to calling on his alter ego any time he was mildly alarmed, to staying the Hulk, to not being able to summon the now-lovable giant. Bruce needs to get his own mojo back to get the Hulk to come out for one last encore. Thus, the best money is on him becoming Bruce somewhat permanently after one final showing in a battle for the ages at the finale of Endgame (which ties into the shot from the first Infinity War trailer where he was seen in battle in Wakanda, though he never actually ended up there in the movie). Banner will retire to an advisory role in shield, like Tony, to be next in line after Nick Fury vacates his position.
HAWKEYE and BLACK WIDOW: Hawkeye has turned into Ronin, following the loss of his family during the snap. While grittier, likely Hawkeye will remain a support character. All he’s ever wanted was his family. Black Widow will have a similar story line, doing whatever needs to be done to make things right. Part of her role will likely be helping Bruce Banner get his groove back… if you know what I mean… because even if Captain Marvel was handled tastefully, the studio can’t seem to stop fetishizing our leather-clad super-spy.
SPIDER MAN: What do you want from this article on Spider Man? … He lives! Otherwise he and Jake Gyllenhaal couldn’t give each other high fives this summer while hanging out in Venice.
BLACK PANTHER, OKOYE, and SHURI: Among the genius group, Shuri is supposedly at the top of the heap. With Tony not back home from space yet, and with Bruce in a funk, Shuri will go from mourning to being on a mission to contribute in any way she can to the downfall of Thanos. I believe, similar to Scott Lang, Shuri’s face among the deceased is a false lead, and that she is just in hiding…. Similar to how she hid an entire African empire from the modern world. Okoye though, may not recover from watching the man she swore her life to protect, vanish in front of her very eyes. Black Panther will be back. His film was too lucrative to not make sequels, but his role won’t be groundbreaking in this film.
THOR: While the first two Thor movies were a little aimless, Ragnarok and the team-up films of late have seemed to create a pattern for Thor. He gets intimidated, whether it is Hela shattering Mjolnir, trying to live up to his Father’s dreams, or having Thanos kill all the Asgardians and Loki right in front of his very eyes. Then, he acts overly confident and cocksure, in a thin veil over his daddy issues – case in point, his goading of Peter Quill upon being recovered from space. Then he “finds himself” and swings back into action as his godly-self. Well, imagine how low he’s going to feel after he sees half of all living creatures in the universe die because he didn’t go for the head. He will play a prominent role in avenging his people, but not after a long, sulking, self-blaming story-line. Hemsworth has expressed interest in reprising the role, so most likely they will leave Thor to rebuild Asgard following this film, but still able to return if needed.
NEBULA and GAMORA: One recent hint from the cast of Endgame, was when Karen Gillan (Nebula) herself said that Endgame would have us rooting for Nebula. Nebula’s story arc has been consistent from day one. Her father, Thanos, pitted her and Gamora against each other, breeding contempt, resentment, and violent competition. Nebula went from murderous rage upon hearing Gamora’s name, to a sister undergoing torture at her father’s hands to protect Gamora, albeit mostly off-screen. Some have gone so far as to say that Nebula will kill Thanos, but that doesn’t complete her arc. Her arc is only complete if she SAVES Gamora from the Soul Stone world where she is trapped. Nebula will be embarking on a side mission to save Gamora before the infinity stones are destroyed…
STARLORD, GROOT, MANTIS, ROCKET: The majority of the Guardians of the Galaxy are both slated to return in future movies, and likely immobilized for the majority of this film due to the snap. Once back in action, they will be their own typical selves, but not a major role overall in this movie. We’re saving that action for GOTG3.
DRAX: Stands alone for good reason here. While Peter Gunn may be getting a second chance, it seems to me that the outspoken Dave Bautista gave both the studios and the writers perfect incentive to write his character out in a tasteful and meaningful way. Our overly literal brute has maintained his mission from the beginning – to kill Thanos, the puppet-master who engineered his family’s death at the hands of Ronan. Stormbreaker, Thor’s new axe, is not bound to the same honor-code as Mjolnir. But can Drax wield it without his mind collapsing? Probably. He’s a strong dude with sincere motivation, who does not seem like he would care if he died in order to avenge his family. Bautista’s open criticism of Marvel/Disney was the final straw to get the comic-relief, ex-con to have an emotional goodbye where he sacrifices himself to save everyone else, reunite with his family in the afterlife, and complete his mission from day one, all wrapped up with a neat little bow.
DOCTOR STRANGE: Doctor Strange, upon having the snap undone, will play a significant role in the final battle, as one of the only avengers to have ever successfully wielded an infinity stone, but he’ll be around at the end of the movie to remain a protector of earth.
VISION: Sorry, everyone, there are a lot of heavy losses coming in this film, and Vision will be one of them. We can get into the “why” below, but really… are you connected enough to his character to really be upset?
SCARLETT WITCH: Dang… if the above is correct… Scarlet will have truly led a tragic life. Her twin brother Quicksilver died in Age of Ultron, she doesn’t know her parents, she turns to friggin’ dust, Vision is killed first at her hand, then at the hands of Thanos, and then again when the snap is undone? What the hell! Actually, this solves a big MCU problem: Villains who are less-developed than their respective heroes. Forced loss of all your family and friends seems to be a pretty good vehicle to turn Scarlet Witch into a sympathetic but powerful, new big-bad. This fits in with her original comic story-line where she started bad and went good. Maybe the MCU wanted to flip it this time.
ANT-MAN: The key to this theory is with Ant-Man. No, Endgame is not going to just invent a new power from the Quantum Realm to solve the Snap. We already have what we need: Quantum Entanglement. In Ant Man and the Wasp, quantum entanglement allows characters to superimpose their consciousness on another. In addition, each of the characters left alive and shown marching wearing what appears to be quantum suits has at some point had access to an Infinity Stone in their lifetimes. Rocket (Power Stone), Captain America and Captain Marvel (Space Stone), Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (Mind Stone), Nebula (knew whereabouts of Soul Stone once Gamora confessed), and Thor (Reality). Only the Time Stone is unaccounted for, although, who knows what groundwork Dr. Strange laid while he still had it? Rather than time travel, the group is traveling into the quantum tunnel to have an entanglement orgy. With the help of Scott Lang, who was apparently abandoned in the quantum realm for a few years after the snap, they will superimpose their consciousnesses in the various histories of their own lives, and try to steal and hide the stones for themselves. Each attempt will fail, until it comes down to killing Vision to retrieve the mind stone. Vision’s departure will be a difficult executive decision made by Stark, causing strife within Scarlet Witch. Scarlet will refuse to destroy the stone too early and risk killing Vision. At this point, as far as we know, only Captain Marvel (or surprise extremis-enabled Pepper Potts?) could have the power to destroy the mind stone. Once destroyed, the Snap will be officially undone, enabling the final battle sequence against a still-super-powerful Thanos who has all but one stone in his possession.
So what do you think of all these theories? Have any twists on it? We find the truth on April 26th!