You wanna know the secret to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It's the ability to throw caution to the wind and advance what was at first a pretty neat set of superhero movies into what stands as the most profitable shared fictional universe in history! It's the ability to say "yeah why not", and ignore the temptation of simply aping other successes that has spoken to so many. Initially, Marvel seems unstoppable, but the creaking of this initiative's downfall may have begun already.
[The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035)
The Avengers: Age of Ultron was a great movie. It didn't quite have the shocking umph of the first movie, but some would perhaps argue it was technically better. It's the best an Avengers sequel could have turned out, yet some people are reading it as a death nell for Marvel. With Age of Ultron, we are seeing comfort, content, and perhaps even complacency. The answer to this problem is definitely to push the series on into uncharted territory, and for many fans, that means switching up the roster, and retiring a few established characters. Let's take a look at a few of the Avengers for whom this could have been the last outing with the team!
So here's the guy who's carrying on The Avengers against all odds. The ending to The Avengers 2 saw Steve Rogers reaching deep into the barrel to scrape together some sort of team that could live up to the recently disbanded originals. As evidenced by the post-credits scene in Ant-Man, Scott Lang could be set to join the team, so Steve is so far doing a good job of holding it initiative together.
The big worry for Cap of course comes with the prospect of [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). While many fans are suggesting Steve will die in the face off with Tony Stark, I doubt Marvel studios wishes to commit that gratuitously to such a plot point. More likely, once we reach [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027), Steve will be disgraced, and somewhat broken as a pantheon of good by the events in Civil War. That's not a fun time, I know. But hey, drama!
For many, it's impossible to imagine The Avengers without Iron Man at least tagging along in some shape or form. Tony Stark is arguably the voice and attitude of the team, yet I think Marvel may actually be brave enough to not involve him in the core group when it comes to Infinity War. I've heard a few criticisms of Age of Ultron suggesting that Tony Stark should have died at the end of the movie. It would have given true consequence to his actions, and risen the stakes greatly in the march towards Avengers 3. Alas, Tony remains with us, and the series risks coasting, happy as anything.
The god of thunder has always appeared as somewhat of an outsider when it comes to the Avengers team, mostly down to the fact that he's literally from another realm of existence. I could imagine that the continual contrivance of Thor traveling between Earth and Asgard could become a little bothersome for Marvel, so his presence could be scrapped altogether. Chris Hemsworth quite pointedly isn't appearing in Captain America 3, so the upcoming [Thor: Ragnarok](tag:956858) could well be his swan song!
For more on phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, click right here! What are your thoughts, hopes and fears for the next stage for the Avengers? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by leaving a comment below!