ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

With yesterday's reveal of the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, Marvel's Phase 2 took one more step towards its inevitable end (right about the time Ant-Man's credits roll) and the beginning of the long-awaited Phase 3.

Marvel, though, have already announced pretty much everything that Phase 3 has to offer - and, while I'm very much not complaining about the awesome prospect of Captain America: Civil War, and the rest of the Phase 3 movie gang, the fact that we already know what we'll be watching in the summer of 2018 does take a little of the mystery out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And that got me thinking about the big mystery we still have left...

What Are We Going to See in Marvel's Phase 4?

Or, rather, who?

After all, Marvel seem to have already announced more-or-less every superhero that they hold the rights to - and lets be honest, the chances of us seeing a(nother) Howard the Duck solo movie aren't great.

Which heroes, then, are we going to see arrive in the MCU come the beginning of Phase 4?

Here are a few candidates I reckon have a good shot...

1. She-Hulk

A long-time fan-favorite, Jennifer Walters is a brilliant lawyer who, after a blood transfusion from her Hulkish cousin Bruce Banner, became the costumed hero She-Hulk, allowing her to fight crime both in and out of the courtroom.

She's also long been linked with a solo movie - or at least a place in a future Avengers line-up. Could the existence of Guardians of the Galaxy's Gamora damage the chances of this tough green crime-fighting machine making an appearance in Avengers 4, though?

2. Nova

Another hero heavily linked to an appearance in a future Marvel movie, Richard Rider was a New York high school student, chosen by a member of the Nova Corps to take on the powers of a Nova Corps Centurion, who then became the superhero known as Nova.

The fact that the Nova Corpsman who gave him his powers, Rhomann Dey, has already appeared in the MCU (played by John C. Reilly in Guardians of the Galaxy) seems to suggest that Nova could well be on his way sooner rather than later - though something tells me the more recent comic-book Nova, Sam Alexander (pictured above), could be more appealing to the marketing types at Marvel. Guardians of the Galaxy 3's breakout star, perhaps?

3. Ms. Marvel

When Carol Danvers changed her codename to Captain Marvel a few years back, a slot opened up for a new hero to take on her original mantle - and the young, Pakistani-American woman Kamala Khan has proven a popular and critically acclaimed successor to the name Ms Marvel.

There are question marks over whether there's room in the MCU for two Marvel-themed solo franchises, but if Marvel are serious about making their movies accessible to the widest audience possible, there's no-one better than New Jersey's own Ms Marvel to help them on their way. A possible introduction in Captain Marvel 2, anyone?

4. Namor

Marvel's very first mutant (though don't let anyone catch you calling him that in the MCU, lest Fox's lawyers get involved), Namor, aka The Sub-Mariner, is one of Marvel's oldest (he predates Captain America) and most mis-understood heroes. That's partly because he's more-often-than-not acting like a villain, but also because he's a pretty hard sell, being the anti-heroic king of Atlantis and all.

With his film rights recently having returned to Marvel from Universal (subject to some minor legal wranglings), it's likely we'll see the hero on screen before too long. Whether that's in his own movie, or as an antagonist in, say, Captain America 4, remains to be seen.

5. Runaways

A project long in development at Marvel, the Runaways are a team of superheroic teens who've run away from home after discovering that their parents are part of an evil criminal organization.

So far, so cinematic, but the movie version seems to have been stalled in development hell for the best part of a decade now. Come the early 2020's, though, and the Runaways could well be a natural replacement should Marvel be concerned about Avengers fatigue.

6. Moon Knight

To get to grips with Moon Knight, it's easiest to just think Batman, but dressed in white. After all, the hero's alter-ego, Marc Spector, is, for all intents and purposes, Bruce Wayne - sharing both his wealth and love of dressing up as a costumed, night-dwelling vigilante.

Should Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spark a revival in DC's cinematic fortunes, then, Moon Knight could be a natural retort from Marvel - a hero carrying less movie baggage than the Dark Knight, but with similar potential. Either that, or he's a Netflix series waiting to happen.

7. A Very Special (Spider-)Guest

Now, my final pick is a little more reliant on luck - and negotiations - than the others. After all, much as we'd all love to see Spider-Man join the MCU, it's not going to happen without Marvel and Sony coming to some sort of arrangement.

If they do manage to, though - but not fast enough to get the Wall-Crawler into Phase 3 - then Spider-Man could easily be a shiny, box-office friendly centerpiece for a Phase 4 line-up that could well be missing Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth in their near-iconic roles.

What do you guys think, though?


Who'd you most like to see appear in Marvel's Phase 4?


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