The conclusion of [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) left us with a whole new superpowered team. Whilst Iron Man (Tony Stark), Hulk (Bruce Banner), Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and Thor all headed off to face their own new challenges, Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) readied themselves to train the new recruits: Falcon (Sam Wilson), Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), Vision and War Machine (James Rhodes).
The Marvel comics Avengers team have a long and complicated history, and it's worth noting here that the team as they exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is much smaller and more contained than in the comics (due to restrictions on the mode of media that cinema is). But we know that the universe is just getting bigger as Marvel rolls steadily onwards to Phrase 3.
Next year's highly anticipated [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) will introduce Black Panther (T'Challa), and Doctor (Stephen) Strange's solo film rolls around next year, a few months after Civil War. Ant-Man (Scott Lang) was introduced a couple months back in the eponymous Ant-Man, and he's going to make an appearance in Civil War too.
Looking past Civil War though, what we're really excited about is [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027), and what role the various new Avengers are going to play in that.
So How Do The New Guys Fit In?
Ant-Man and Black Panther have been prevalent members of the Avengers in the Marvel comics, with the first Ant-Man (Hank Pym) being a founding member. Additionally, Doctor Strange was a key member of the New Avengers and the Illuminati (alongside Black Panther and Tony Stark).
Ant-Man / Scott Lang
Scott Lang's Ant-Man is the second to wear the suit after Hank Pym - creator of the shrinking tech. Whilst the MCU Hank Pym hasn't been involved with the Avengers thus far (even going so far as to show distain for their actions in Sokovia), it looks like Scott Lang shall be as he's appearing in Civil War.
As usual, there's been lots of rumours circulating that Ant-Man is going to make an appearance in Infinity Wars I & II, but until we get the cast list closer to the time I'm not holding my breath, especially given that we don't yet know exactly what story elements the films will take from the Infinity comic. The well-contained Ant-Man hasn't given us any links to the Infinity Gems story yet, so the likelihood of him appearing in Infinity War seems small.
There has been a lot of chatter about the connection between Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. These connections are related to the nature of the quantum realm and how it could theoretically be held as an 'alternate universe'. These alternate quantum universes are something that Doctor Strange will be dealing with a lot, and with Thanos seeking to conquer the Nine Realms could feed into the Infinity War storyline. (This is all a very lose connection though, so don't hold your breath.)
Black Panther / T'Challa
Black Panther's appearance was already teased during [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035), and recent promo pictures from Civil War have shown that he'll be taking Iron Man's side in the upcoming ideological battle (whereas in the comics he remained a neutral presence).
Alright so, Infinity War?
Black Panther is a member of the Illuminati: a secret superhero group that has been around in the comics continuity since the 1970s. Why is this important? Because the Illuminati, during the Infinity Gauntlet arc, come into possession of all six infinity gems. When Mr Fantastic (Reed Richards) fails to remove the gems from existence, he gives one to each of the members to hide so that they can't be used by Thanos. Black Panther was also part of a scheme by the Illuminati to use the gems to save Earth-616 from crashing into another version of Earth, which ends with the gems being destroyed so - whoops.
In my opinion Doctor Strange, despite the fact that he'll be a relatively new character at the time, is perhaps the most suited of the three to appear in Infinity War.
A genius, super-human surgeon, master of magic and the Sorcerer Supreme protector of Earth. Like Black Panther, Doctor Strange is a member of the Illuminati, so has a history with the Infinity Gems. He's also one of the most powerful humans in the Marvel universe; he deliberately sat out of the Civil War saga to mediate by himself at the North Pole because he knew that he was too powerful to get involved with struggles of morality.
When Thanos comes to town with the Infinity Gauntlet the Avengers are going to need someone packing the kind of power afforded to the Sorcerer Supreme and it would be fantastic to see them going head to head (though admittedly Strange is one of my favourite Marvel characters so - I'm biased).