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Three Wishes: What We Want in Avengers 4

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  • Three Wishes: What We Want in Avengers 4

    Avengers: Infinity WarIn Three Wishes, we take a look at something in pop culture and express three hopes for the future, whether those wishes are almost inevitable or pie-in-the-sky dreams.

    Spoiler Warning: This article contains all manner of spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. If you are one of the three remaining people in North America who hasn’t seen it, read no further.

    In the run-up to Avengers: Infinity War, more than one person called it the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As it turned out, in terms of consequences, it made Empire look like Benji. After killing several of the MCU’s heroes in the preceding 140 minutes, Thanos successfully assembled the Infinity Gauntlet and completed his stated goal of killing off half the population of the universe with a snap of his fingers. People who read the comic books upon which this was based probably weren’t totally shocked, but even hardcore fans lost their breath when the devastation turned out to include so many favorite characters: Nick Fury, Doctor Strange, the Black Panther, all but one Guardian of the Galaxy, and in a moment so heartbreaking that it’s become a meme, Spider-Man.

    Seeing as how there’s a Black Panther 2,Spider-Man (Homecoming) 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 in the works, it seems safe to assume that most of these deaths will be somehow reversed, but even so, this has cleared the playing field considerably going into the yet-untitled Avengers 4. In today’s installment of Three Wishes, we’re going to take a look at some things that we (and by “we,” I mean “me”) are hoping to see in the next film.

    Civil War: Captain America Vs. Iron Man1. Avengers Assembled: One thing we did not see in Infinity War was a reunion of the Avengers who split during Captain America: Civil War. For most of the film we saw three or four groups of heroes each dealing with the threat of Thanos on their own, and although some of those groups merged or intersected with one another, there are two notable heroes who never shared the screen: Iron Man and Captain America. One of the reasons the Civil War story worked so well is because the Russo brothers (who also directed Infinity War) succeeded in convincing us that both heroes had legitimate a point in their disagreement. Neither was made into a villain, which made their schism far more impactful. But for this character arc to be complete, we need to see this friendship healed.

    It’s no coincidence that all of the original Avengers survived Thanos’s holocaust (well… we haven’t actually seen Hawkeye yet, but let’s be optimistic). We’ve been told over and over that the next film ends the story that began back in the first Iron Man movie in 2008, and it will more than likely end with the (definitive) death of at least one of those heroes. Before that happens, I need to see Tony Stark and Steve Rogers forgive each other. I need to see Tony give Steve his real shield back. And dammit, I need to see Captain America finally raise that shield and cry, “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!”

    She-Hulk2. The Next Generation: Besides the absent Hawkeye, we know Avengers 4 will feature appearances by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel, all of whom will be featured in their own movies between now and then. But this isn’t quite enough. Infinity War did a magnificent job of capturing the feel of a comic book crossover on the big screen, but there’s one thing it didn’t quite do: spinoffs. Big event comics often spin out new characters or titles. Dark Nights: Metal recently gave us the “New Age of Heroes” books like Sideways and The Terrifics. The original Civil War comic spun dozens of characters into Avengers: The Initiative. Even the original crossover event, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, gave us a new Spider-Woman.

    So where are the new heroes? With so many Avengers gone, this is a prime time to add more. Before Infinity War opened, we were told, Thanos destroyed the Nova Corps of Xandar to gain the Power Stone. If only -- before their final member died -- they managed to send their power into space, where it may somehow find its way to a young Earthling named Richard Rider. With Asgard so thoroughly devastated, might not the gods of another pantheon protect themselves from a similar attack by sending out the Lion of Olympus, Hercules? And with Bruce Banner clearly traumatized, he needs help. Why not take this opportunity to reach out to the only family he has left: his cousin, Jennifer Walters?

    This may be a stretch, I admit. Were any of these characters going to be added to the MCU, it’s hard to imagine Disney wouldn’t have publicized it by now. But then again, they managed to keep the Red Skull’s appearance in Infinity War a secret, so maybe it won’t take the power of the Reality Stone to make it happen.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: It's All Connected3. TV Heroes Unite. When the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series launched in 2013, fans were promised “it’s all connected” -- a Marvel Cinematic Universe that existed in the same world as the Marvel Television Universe, where the events of one would impact the other. But except for a great first season finale that incorporated the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier into the narrative, this is a promise that has largely gone unfulfilled. The TV shows have almost ignored the movies, and a fan who only watches the movies could be forgiven for not realizing there were TV shows at all. I’m not saying that I need Tony Stark to stroll into Iron Fist’s office and threaten to sue him over the “Iron” trademark, but it’s a little ridiculous that when Daredevil references the Battle of New York they name drop “the Green Guy” instead of simply calling him “the Hulk.”

    If Marvel Studios wants to maintain the notion that the TV and movie realms coincide, the events of Infinity War are simply too big to ignore. Unless the “dusting” of half the universe is undone immediately and everyone’s memory of the event is wiped out, it must be addressed. (It should be noted that this is exactly how the original Infinity Gauntlet comic book ended, but to do so in the movies would really feel like a cheat.) I know I’m not alone in hoping to see the Marvel TV heroes trying to cope with this threat. That doesn’t mean the Punisher needs to go gunning for Thanos, but with chaos in New York, the Defenders need to step up. I want to see the Runaways trying to hold down the fort in Los Angeles, I want the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to do some… Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.ing.

    How likely is this? A couple of months ago, I would have said it was almost a zero percent chance, but lately there has been a ray of hope with the announcement that Clark Gregg is going to reprise his role of Agent Phil Coulson in the Captain Marvel movie. The film is set in the 90s, so even people who don’t know that the TV show reversed his death from the first Avengers movie may not notice anything is off, but this is the first time we’ve seen a character from one of the shows pop into a movie at all. Even if it is the original crossover character who moved from the film to launch the TV universe, it’s the first clear sign of collaboration between the movie and television sides of the company in a really long time. It would be great if it wasn’t the last.
    Blake M. Petit, Agent of S.N.O.O.Z.E., has been pontificating about pop culture online for over a decade. You can follow him at BlakeMPetit.com and, if you're feeling generous, check out his books on Amazon.

    • Jephd
      #3
      Jephd commented
      Editing a comment
      There seems to have been major fallouts between JEPH Loeb/ike Perlmutters Marvel TV and Kevin Feiges Marvel studios for a while but Agents of Shield have started to loosely link In to infinity war with a reference to "weird stuff in New York" last week and a full on name drop of Thanos as an impending threat to catalyse the full on power up of Gravitalbot. I genuinely think they may end the season with the finger snap.

    • Blake M. Petit
      #4
      Blake M. Petit commented
      Editing a comment
      Honestly, I need to catch up on AOS. The Inhumans stuff just totally killed my interest in the show. Once school lets out for the summer, maybe I'll binge. (Is it still on Netflix?)

    • Craig Reade
      #5
      Craig Reade commented
      Editing a comment
      I kind of enjoyed the Inhumans stuff. Granted, they did need a little time to find their way with it, but they did.

      Silly that they just couldn't do mutants, but that isn't the show's fault...
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