ByPaul's Wall, writer at Creators.co
Writing into Comic-books, horror, action, and comedy especially. Marvel enthusiast. Find me on Twitter @PaulMeZee827
Paul's Wall

Now that Captain America: Civil War (2016) has initiated Phase 3 of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, the Marvel universe is set to expand substantially in its progression towards Avengers: Infinity War, along with definitively shifting the tone from which the MCU' began with in 2008 as Iron Man made its debut. However, we can't forget to mention how Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the MCU' has been cleverly setting the stage for all the major events expected to take place during Phase 3 of Marvel's Cinematic Universe.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the MCU' took care of introducing several pivotal players of the Marvel universe, as well as establishing the background for which Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers would use to defend Earth from domestic and alien threats. And while Phase 3 has officially begun to set the stage for the epic showdown between Marvel's Earth-bound heroes and Marvel's cosmic villains, we can begin to discuss which heroes will make it to that final stage in Avengers: Infinity War; although not everyone will survive and not every Marvel hero will have a place in the Infinity War event. But there's more to come in Phase 3, past the Infinity War.

Accounting for Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018), and Captain Marvel (2018) taking place after Avengers: Infinity War, there's an open slate for more memorable events to take place before Phase 3 concludes. Along with the premiere of the aforementioned Marvel films, two of the most anticipated Marvel heroes, Ms. Marvel and the Wasp will be taking center stage of the MCU' as we slowly head towards Phase 4. We don't know anything of Marvel's plans for Phase 4 but we can safely assume there's an established roster of Avengers already fleshed out, which includes Ms. Marvel and the Wasp as key members of the new Avengers. But going back to the new roster of Avengers.

Other than Wasp and Ms. Marvel, we have a decent idea of what to expect from the new line-up of Avengers when the Infinity War event begins. Meaning that the previously slated films of Phase 3, including Captain America: Civil War will determine which heroes will return as members of the New Avengers and which Marvel characters will become members of Steve Rogers' group of Secret Avengers.

The team names are all speculative for the moment, but the departure by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) from the Avengers at the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War all but set up the MCU' to showcase two variations of Avengers, whom have separate goals altogether. We don't know who'll be leading or forming either of these teams but we can make some good educated guesses to determine who could be leading the Secret Avengers and the New Avengers, as well as the roster of heroes standing beside them. These are the Marvel characters who are the most likely to take a place on either the team of Secret Avengers or New Avengers before Infinity War rolls around.

Top Candidates For Recruits On Steve Rogers's Team Of Secret Avengers

In regards to Steve Rogers' potential team of Secret Avengers, the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War saw Steve Rogers leaving the title of Captain America behind with the drop of his shield. Along with the drop of his shield, it was clear that Steve Rogers still had plans to police the world as an Avenger but under the cover of an unknown superhero moniker. That factor was made evident by Rogers' prison break of his imprisoned Avengers comrades towards the concluding scenes of the film. That being said, the biggest hint to Steve Rogers leading a team of Secret Avengers is the timeline of events which proceeds Civil War in Marvel Comics. The Civil War event of Marvel Comics was clearly mirrored in Captain America: Civil War but not every element of Civil War was fully incorporated in to the story. One of those elements being the Secret Avengers.

In Marvel Comics, Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America puts together the team of Secret Avengers in response to the Superhuman Registration Act. However, in Captain America: Civil War, we never see the full formation of the Secret Avengers. We do get a presumed team of Secret Avengers forming when Steve Rogers recruits Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Bucky Barnes, and Ant-Man but it's nowhere close to the operations run by the Secret Avengers in Marvel Comics. Which is why Steve Rogers will probably be leading a fully formed team of Secret Avengers the next time Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) takes on the leading role in a Marvel film, and that just may take place in Avengers: Infinity War. Here's a list of likely candidates for Steve Rogers to choose from when recruiting for the Secret Avengers.

1. Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) wouldn't be the first recruit to be called upon by Steve Rogers but he'd definitely be one of the more enthused recruits to join Steve Rogers; evident by Lang backing up Steve Rogers in Captain America: Civil War. Not only did Paul Rudd play an enthused Scott Lang, he went as far as to risk his own life by transforming into Giant-Man during the film in order to give Steve Rogers an opportunity to escape from Iron Man and his team of enforcers. All that says, is Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man is ready to put his neck on the line for Steve Rogers in any situation that he's supporting Rogers.

2. Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye as Ronin

The last time we saw Hawkeye, he was in the Raft after being captured by Iron Man's team in Captain America: Civil War. Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye was released from the Raft in an off-screen scene which was implied by the empty cells of the Raft, during Steve Rogers' concluding monologue at the end of Civil War. Aside from the jailbreak of Steve Rogers' team in Civil War, Clint Barton unintentionally made himself a wanted fugitive by escaping with Rogers. We don't know for certain if Clint Barton is following Steve Rogers but we know he can no longer show his face in public, without being targeted for capture and detainment. Which is why Clint Barton may take on a different moniker other than Hawkeye the next time we see him in action, and that superhero moniker may be that of Ronin. Not "Ronan" made infamous in Guardians Of The Galaxy (2013), but the superhero 'Ronin' which several Marvel heroes have used as an alias in Marvel Comics.

Clint Barton sported the identity of Ronin after the events of Civil War in Marvel Comics, but as a member of the New Avengers. However, after seeing Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) become a fugitive at the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War, it's unlikely that he'll be welcomed in the public as one of the New Avengers. But in the scenario that Clint Barton does take on the moniker of 'Ronin', he'll probably disguise himself as Ronin in public with a mask similar to his Ultimates appearance from Marvel Comics.

3. Dr. Stephen Strange

We don't have much to go off with Stephen Strange, but we know that Strange will be in possession of the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation at the conclusion of Doctor Strange (2016) which places him in the ideal place to involve himself in the mainstream story of the MCU'. As to why those two artifacts associated with Stephen Strange will intersect his solo-film with the rest of the MCU' is because Strange's Eye of Agamotto is actually one of the Infinity Stones. And accounting for Avengers: Infinity War focusing on the Infinity Stones, it's safe to assume that Dr. Stephen Strange will have an intersecting role with the Avengers before Infinity War. Although, we don't necessarily know what type of philosophies Stephen Strange holds so we can't place him on the team of Secret Avengers. But he may be a welcome addition to the New Avengers if he leaves New York on a positive note after his battle with Kaecilius and Baron Mordo concludes in Doctor Strange.

4. Hulk

Bruce Banner a.k.a the Hulk is a bit of a wild-card. We know that he's going to be travelling through space with Thor in Thor: Ragnarok (2017) but we don't know what Hulk will be doing after the events of Ragnarok, or if Hulk will even be alive after Ragnarok. It's likely that the Hulk will remain in space until Infinity War, probably being utilized as one of the new enforcers of the Avengers in the eventuality that the standing team of Avengers lies in defeat at Thanos' feet. Keeping Hulk on the sidelines would definitely create an interesting arc for his character in Phase 4. Apart from the possibility of Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Hulk fully resolving his story arc in the MCU, it's possible that Hulk may join Steve Rogers' team of Secret Avengers upon his return from space. Bruce Banner/Hulk are already wanted fugitives, and in the scenario that Banner gains some perspective while he's in space with Thor, he may find the courage he needs to stand by Steve Rogers' side as a Secret Avenger. But does Bruce Banner need the 'Joe Fixit' Grey Hulk persona to stay undercover while conducting superhero duties with Steve Rogers?

5. Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow

Black Widow is also kind of a wild-card when it comes to the Avengers. She's stood by Captain America and Iron Man in the past, and while she doesn't seem to have a major standing amongst the rest of the Avengers, she's still part of the team all the same. However, we can probably exclude Black Widow from joining the team of Secret Avengers with the potential for her own solo-film taking place, occupying most of her time. Although, on the far chance that Black Widow does join Steve Rogers and his team of Secret Avengers, she may decide to take on the identity of another superhero moniker in order to stay shrouded in the backdrop of the MCU'.

6. Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon

Of course Sam Wilson will be on this list. After his continuing adventures with Steve Rogers, which began in Captain America: Winter Soldier, it seems like Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon will be standing alongside Steve Rogers under any circumstance. And seeing is how he's been branded a fugitive alongside Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson probably doesn't have any other option than to join Rogers' band of Secret Avengers. Or in the highly unlikely scenario, Sam Wilson could come out of hiding, abiding by the Sokovia Accords, becoming a new member of the New Avengers team; but that conclusion would see a distance come between Rogers and Wilson. The two seem to have each other's backs in all instances and while their friendship has brought them closer together, their continued friendship may be leading to Sam Wilson taking on the title of Captain America in Rogers' place. Many fans of Captain America have been expecting Sam Wilson to become the new Captain America due to his Marvel Comics' origin all but foretelling Sam Wilson's future as Captain America in the MCU'.

Tony Stark as ???

We don't know what Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man is up to now that the Avengers have been disassembled, but he'll receive his next on-screen appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2018). Robert Downey Jr. is set to return as Tony Stark in the new Spider-Man film but his role is still a mystery. We can assume that Tony Stark will play the role of mentor to the young Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, in place of Kurt Connors. But Stark's purpose in Spider-Man: Homecoming is still a full-blown mystery to all of us. Tony Stark may be suiting up alongside Peter Parker in the film or Stark may have a sub-plot integrated into the film which provides the set-up necessary for either James Rhodes to become the next Iron Man or for a new hero to don Stark's suits of armor. Stark is beginning to realize that his time in the suit is almost over, evident by his defeat in Captain America: Civil War, and knowing that age is consistently slowing him down, it may be time for him to pass on the Iron Legion over to a worthy successor. However, in the scenario that Spider-Man: Homecoming leaves both Peter Parker and Tony Stark labelled as fugitives, Parker and Stark may both go underground with Steve Rogers to join the Secret Avengers, in order to battle the on-coming threats to Earth without showing themselves as heroes to the public.

Which Marvel Heroes Should Stand On The Forefront Of The New Avengers?

By the end of the Infinity War event, we'll most likely have a new line-up of Avengers, as well as a fitting farewell to some of the Avengers whose time has passed in the spotlight of the Marvel universe. Apart from the Avengers' main roster, Wasp a.k.a. Hope Pym and Ms. Marvel a.k.a. Carol Danvers won't be introduced until after Infinity War which means they'll likely have starring roles as New Avengers in Phase 4, but we have no idea who else may be on the Avengers' roster when Phase 4 begins. The only candidates we can safely assume will become members of the Avengers during Phase 4 are that of the Wasp and Ms. Marvel. As to why why Ms. Marvel and the Wasp would become new members of the Avengers is because the comic-book histories of these respective characters will play a pivotal part in their MCU' iterations when they're introduced.

As for the New Avengers, that team would be a little easier to put together. They don't have reason to hide from the public, and while some of the heroes on this list wear masks, they're known as heroes in their own right.

1. T'Chala as Black Panther

T'Chala, the King of Wakanda is already known to the public as the Black Panther, having revealed himself as the Black Panther during Captain America: Civil War. However, we don't know what his status is in regards to the Sokovia Accords. We don't know if he signed or if he wasn't even included due to not having any superhuman abilities, which could mean variety of things. After his capture by the United Nations, he's detained alongside Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, but there's never a definitive answer to the repercussions of his involvement in the chase for Bucky Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier. However, with global conflicts quickly approaching the lands of Wakanda, T'Chala a.k.a. Black Panther will probably rise to the occasion and become a New Avenger in the grand scheme of the MCU'. Seeing to the rest of the world as part of his own nation. Even if T'Chala doesn't currently hold that mindset, he'll likely begin to branch out into the world sometime during his solo-film in 2018.

2. Bucky Barnes as Captain America

Barnes as Captain America is a far shot to take when considering the last place we saw Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). The last time we saw him, Bucky was being cryogenically frozen once again during the post-credits scene of Captain America: Civil War. Not much of an explanation is needed for why Bucky Barnes would become Captain America because the conclusion is very simple. Barnes would likely take on the moniker of Captain America to atone for his past sins against the world as a whole. In Captain America: Civil War, Bucky acknowledged all the wrong he'd done and while he's never been given an opportunity to redeem himself, he may be granted such with the title of Captain America being vacant. And with Marvel Comics history all but foretelling Bucky's future in the MCU, it's obvious that Bucky Barnes will become the Captain America of the New Avengers at some point in the near future, possibly before Avengers: Infinity War. As to how he'd be seen in the public's eye can be easily overlooked. Due to the fact of Captain America wearing a halved mask most of the time, Barnes could easily don a similar suit with a less revealing mask while at the same time, modeling himself as Captain America to the public.

3. Vision As Himself

Vision is probably the most predictable choice for a member of the New Avengers. Despite being unpredictable as an android powered by a cosmic force, Vision holds the world's philosophies close to heart. From his points of views expressed during Captain America: Civil War, it was obvious that Vision will continue to monitor and protect all human life. And with the Avengers left broken and disassembled, it's likely that Vision may be leading the team of New Avengers unless someone else steps in the role. To reiterate the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War, most of the Avengers decided to go underground after their detainment in the Raft was over. And while Steve Rogers and his team went underground, Tony Stark's team was left with a casualty and a defection. Black Widow left Stark's side after helping Steve Rogers escape from the airport, and James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine was left critically injured, leaving only Vision, Spider-Man, and Iron Man standing. We can exclude Black Panther, seeing is how he returned to Wakanda at the end of Captain America: Civil War. And with Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man unofficially quitting the Avengers as well, it leaves the Vision to lead the team alone. Although, he may receive help from Iron Man once again, but not the Iron Man we know.

4. Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13

Agent 13 made her presence well known in Captain America: Civil War as she continued to help Steve Rogers after his capture and detainment during the film. Agent 13 could have also placed herself on the fugitive watch list, but it's safe to say that she's still a government agent working for the United Nations. It could be argued that Sharon Carter was underutilized in the film but there's lots of potential for Sharon Carter to take on a new role in future films. Seeing is how Steve Rogers and the rest of the Avengers are fugitives, they're going to be hunted by almost every government agency in the world which is why Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 would be a pivotal member to both teams of Secret Avengers and New Avengers. In the scenario that Agent 13 is the inside-man/woman on Rogers' team of Secret Avengers, her character may be utilized as the source of information which tips off the Secret Avengers when authorities are closing in on them. Or in the likelier scenario, Agent 13 could decide to join the New Avengers as there are many vacancies left on the team. However, recent developments on the television series "Marvel' Agents of SHIELD" have seen the reformation of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a public entity once again. As to how that's relevant to Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13 is because of Sharon Carter's past as a SHIELD agent. We know that SHIELD was disbanded after the whole Hydra non-sense but with the presumed SHIELD agency coming back to the light of the public, Agent 13 may be recruited to serve her country once again. And in that scenario, Sharon Carter could still be the inside leak for the Secret Avengers, revealing when SHIELD is planning on capturing the Secret Avengers.

5. James Rhodes As Iron Man

As previously mentioned, James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine (Don Cheadle) just hit a setback in Captain America: Civil War as he was critically injured during the major airport battle which left him without the full use of his lower extremities. The conclusion of Captain America: Civil War saw Rhodes having a conversation with Tony Stark in which Rhodes explained his intent to continue his efforts on the Avengers' front. But as to how he'll do that is yet to be seen. After succumbing to such a hard fall, Rhodes isn't combat ready nor is he able to assist the Avengers because there isn't a team to be a part of anymore. However, Rhodes a.k.a War Machine may find himself in another suit of armor sooner than we think, leading a team of Avengers rather than as a soldier.

In Marvel Comics, James Rhodes takes on the title of Iron Man after Tony Stark takes a break from crime-fighting to go on a drinking binge. Stark's binge eventually resulted in Rhodes taking on the title of Iron Man for some time. During that time, Rhodes fought alongside the Avengers, as well as defeating some of Iron Man's greatest villains, like the Mandarin. But as to how the Marvel Comics origin of James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine could play into the MCU' version of James Rhodes may be a bit convoluted. Although the convoluted nature may make sense after taking a look back at the current state of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the MCU'.

The last time we saw Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) was in Captain America: Civil War, wherein he unofficially quit the Avengers. In doing so, he left a vacant place for someone else to don the Iron Man armor, most likely James Rhodes. Now, we know that James Rhodes is currently disabled but a technological invention may be utilized to get James Rhodes back on his feet. There's also a basis for that event happening in Marvel Comics as well, wherein James Rhodes is implanted with the Bleeding Edge technology after a test flight in a jet goes awry, leaving Rhodes without all four limbs, along with severe burns to his entire body.

The Bleeding Edge technology hasn't made an appearance in the MCU' yet but seeing is how Tony Stark is probably on his way out of the role of Iron Man with the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War, the time for Tony Stark pass the mantle to a successor could provide him with the time he needs to develop the Bleeding Edge technology. Along with accounting for Robert Downey Jr.'s upcoming role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Stark's side project in the film could depict Tony Stark developing the Bleeding Edge technology in order to rehabilitate his pal, James Rhodes. The setup is there for James Rhodes to become the new Iron Man, but the events leading up to the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War may have also set James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine on the path to becoming a different hero in the MCU'. I failed to mention that once James Rhodes was implanted with the Bleeding Edge technology, he didn't go on to become Iron Man. Rhodes actually took on the new moniker of Cyborg- War Machine. The effect of the Bleeding Edge technology on Rhodes' physiology left him with almost 90% robotic anatomy, hence the title of Cyborg- War Machine. Not to confuse you with DC' Comics' Cyborg, the Cyborg- War Machine featured in Marvel Comics is a vastly different character from the DC' character of Cyborg a.k.a. Victor Stone.

There's a possibility that James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) may hold the title of either one of these Marvel Comics' characters, but there's also the possibility of James Rhodes being written out of the MCU' if his character's development has ran its course.

More Potential Roster Changes To The Avengers Before Infinity War

Here are a few more variations of the Avengers' rosters we may see depicted in Infinity War, or immediately following the events of Infinity War. These are all hypothetical team variations, they're in no way related to any basis for the Avengers being formed in Marvel Comics.

Secret Avengers' Roster List, Option 1:

  • Steve Rogers
  • Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch
  • Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye
  • Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow
  • Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon
  • Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13
  • Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man

Secret Avengers' Roster List, Option 2:

  • Steve Rogers
  • Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon
  • Bucky Barnes as Captain America
  • Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow
  • Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Hulk
  • Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch
  • Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake

Secret Avengers' Roster List, Option 3:

  • Sam Wilson a.k.a. Falcon
  • Bucky Barnes as Captain America
  • Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch
  • Clint Barton as Ronin
  • Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13
  • Stephen Strange a.k.a. Doctor Strange

New Avengers' Roster List, Option 1:

  • Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man
  • Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man
  • Vision
  • James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine
  • Thor
  • Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch

New Avengers' Roster List, Option 2:

  • Vision
  • Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Hulk
  • James Rhodes as Iron Man
  • Natasha Romanoff as Arachne
  • Stephen Strange a.k.a. Doctor Strange
  • T'Chala a.k.a. Black Panther

New Avengers' Roster List, Option 3:

  • Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man
  • Vision
  • Bruce Banner a.k.a. Hulk
  • Emil Blomsky a.k.a. Abomination
  • Thaddeus Ross as Red Hulk
  • T'Chala a.k.a. Black Panther

And Here's My Fantasy Roster For The Avengers, including all Marvel Characters (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Inhumans, etc.)

Not all of these characters have been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet but there's lots of potential for the MCU' to expand into the territories from which these Marvel characters originate from.

  • James Rhodes as Cyborg-War Machine
  • Thaddeus Ross as Red Hulk
  • Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel
  • Jean Grey as Phoenix
  • James Howlett as Wolverine
  • Wade Wilson as Deadpool
  • Nathan Summers as Cable
  • Daisy Johnson as Quake
  • Inhuman Blackbolt as himself
  • Bucky Barnes as Captain America
  • Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk

Have any ideas of which Marvel heroes you'd want to see on the Avengers' roster during the Infinity War event? Leave them in the comment section below.

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