Who lives and dies after Avengers 4?
So Avengers Infinity War is in the can. By now most of us know that the film's conclusion left quite a few of the Marvel Cinematic Universe dead or vapourised - which, for the sake of argument, I am counting as the same thing.
But we know there are a raft of Marvel films still to come in Phase Four and the MCU doesn't have the best record for keeping dead people dead.
As the credits rolled, the highest-profile survivors were Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Nebula, Rocket, Natasha Romanoff, James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, Bruce Banner and M'Baku. It is likely that lots of this will change by the end of the next film, which is due out next spring.
So, based on nothing but my own opinion, here are the survivors I think we'll lose, dead I expect to rise, and those whose status may stay the same.
Currently dead but will end up alive: T'Challa
This could easily be the longest list in this post. With another Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy film both already confirmed we can expect a few rebirths from those casts. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said the studio will "definitely" do another Black Panther film too, but it's not on the docket yet. Nevertheless, I can pretty much guarantee we will see the king of Wakanda back before this is all over. The original Black Panther film was a huge success and a massive boost for the genre and I can't see them throwing away the lead.
As a side note, there is a nice theory doing the rounds about Shuri (who we didn't see vanish in Infinity War) taking on the Black Panther mantle in the next Avengers film as a way to resolve the current situation. While I love that, I think there is too much mileage in the brother/sister dynamic for us not to get T'Challa back.
Currently alive but will end up dead: Steve Rogers
Yep. I think we're saying goodbye to Cap next spring I'm afraid. To take the romance out, Chris Evans isn't signed on for any more after this, but that's not the reason I'm going with. Cap has died a couple of times in the comics and the mantle has been passed on. Both Bucky and Sam Wilson have wielded the shield and I expect we'll see it passed on again. We have to lose one of the big players in the next film and, simply put, there is too much mileage still in Thor and Bruce Banner and I think Tony Stark will be allowed to wander off into the sunset. And maybe pop up again from time to time.
Alive and set to stay that way: Bruce Banner
There wasn't a huge amount of character development for the heroes in Infinity War. Mostly that was because they have all had their own films to battle with who and what they are. Thor continued his arc from Thor: Ragnarok to become the axe-wielding, ass-kicking God of Thunder, but Bruce Banner got the best of characterisation. His battle with the Hulk was given lots of time at important moments, mostly because 'big green' kept refusing to come and fight. I think we all expect that battle to end in the next film with the 'big guy' finally coming out to smash. While there would be pathos to him coming out to give his life in the final battle, I just don't see it. I think there is a lot of mileage in the Banner/Hulk dynamic yet.
Plus, let's be honest, Mark Ruffalo deserves his own film.
Dead and going to stay dead: Loki
"No resurrections this time." That's what Thanos said to Loki as he choked the life out of the God of Mischief. Tom Hiddleston in the MCU has had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, but I think he is finally done. If I'm completely honest, I think we have seen the end of anyone who Thanos killed before he snapped his fingers. That means Gamora and Heimdall are done too. I am slightly on the fence about Gamora with the third Guardians of the Galaxy film on the way, but I can't see a clean way they can get away with it. Even if they do bring Gamora back - and it would have to be at the expense of Nebula - I don't see a return for Loki. So long Son of Laufey, it's been a hell of a ride.
What do you think? Did I get any wrong?
Screenshots and cast pic courtesy of Marvel Studios