Don’t let us down, Thanos.
With its release date bumped from May to April 27, the countdown to Avengers: Infinity War has jumped ahead by a full week. Now, with promotional material pouring out from every nook and cranny, it’s time to to start taking a good, hard look at what we hope this movie actually pulls off–both for the immediate fight against Thanos, and as fuel for the future of the MCU.
We already know five out of six Infinity Stone locations, and the missing Soul Stone’s whereabouts will almost certainly be revealed before Infinity War’s conclusion. We’ve broken down every scene in the latest trailer, and we know from the newest poster that Peter Dinklage is in Infinity War. We’ve noted where every hero is leading into the movie, and wondered whether Hawkeye and Ant-Man are in it at all. And we’ve figured out the best order in which to catch up on all the MCU movies.
In other words, we’re prepared. Now here’s what we want from Avengers: Infinity War when it hits theaters April 27.
10. Avengers, Reassembled
Since Civil War, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have been struggling with the whole teamwork-and-unity thing. Though the bridges between Iron Man and Captain America aren’t completely torched (Steve sent Tony a burner phone to reach him in case of emergency, after all), they’re definitely still smoldering.
If Infinity War intends on getting the band back together, it’s going to need to do some genuine emotional legwork to make the severed halves of the team reunite–especially since Bucky Barnes, the catalyst for most of the Civil War conflict, is still an active member of Steve’s team, he and Tony are going to need to have a real chat about where they stand–and where they want to go from here. That’s a conversation that’s going to need more than just a quick phone call about the pending apocalypse.
9. The Soul Stone, Explained
The Soul Stone–the last of the six cosmic Infinity Stones to be revealed in the MCU–is still completely MIA. With the pressure of Thanos mounting and the other stones all present and accounted for, hunting down and exploring the power of the Soul Stone will have to be one of the biggest and most poignant plot threads for Infinity War to explore.
In the comics, the Soul Stone can be used to literally imprison human souls, stripping them from their mortal vessels and locking them away in an alternate dimension. Hopefully something equally as terrifying and massive is in the works for its on-screen counterpart.
8. At Least One Mantle-Passing
It’s pretty likely that Infinity War will represent the end of the line for one or more of the MCU’s biggest name heroes. But that doesn’t actually have to be a tragic thing.
Over the last ten years, we’ve been introduced to a whole roster of up-and-comers who would be perfectly suited to take over the reigns for an A-Lister like Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. With any luck, Infinity War will give some heroes a chance to peacefully transition their mantles (you know, without dying–this is a list of hopes not a list of fears) to successors, making way for the next phase of solo films.
7. Bucky and Natasha, Sitting in a Tree
Over in the comics, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier have an on-again-off-again romance that forms one gigantic throughline for their respective characters. And, honestly, what would you expect? It’s not every day that two formerly brainwashed/heavily indoctrinated Soviet super spies find each other after coming in from the cold.
The MCU’s incarnations of these characters don’t quite jive as well as they do on the page, but that hasn’t stopped Natasha from insinuating that she and Bucky have a history together, even beyond the fateful, almost deadly encounter she discussed in The Winter Soldier. A split second “Don’t you recognize me?” tossed out mid-fight in Civil War has ignited all sorts of possibilities about their shared past ready for exploration–and with Bucky finally freed of Hydra’s mind control and Natasha’s all-but-confirmed solo Black Widow movie on the way, the two of them fighting side by side in earnest would be a perfect stepping stone to kick off that story.
6. Resolution for Loki
Loki’s connection to both the Avengers and the Infinity Stones has been something the MCU has played with since the very first Avengers movie all the way back in 2011, where he served as the central villain. Since then, however, the God of Mischief has been all over the board, from reluctant ally to outright anti-hero and back again. His most recent outing in Thor: Ragnarok really upped the sympathy angle as he and his adoptive brother, Thor, apparently buried the hatchet (at least for now) in the wake of Asgard’s destruction.
But now that Thanos is well and truly coming, Loki’s position in the MCU is about to be tested in a major way. Infinity War is going to need to prove once and for all where Loki’s loyalties lie, or end his story all together.
5. Cosmic Consequences
Infinity War will be the first real collision between the space-based Guardians of the Galaxy and the rest of the MCU’s heroes. And though they’ve fought off alien invasions and dealt with Asgardians, the Avengers are going to have to seriously reconfigure the way they operate and think about their position in the “bigger picture” after everything is through.
In a perfect world, Infinity War will pave the way for further collaboration between the Avengers and the Guardians, as well as open some doors for more of Marvel’s cosmic cast to start making live action appearances. Thor, specifically, having recently lost his home planet, could stand to have his horizons broadened for future films.
The name “Nomad” has been tossed around for this incarnation of Steve Rogers since the Infinity War promotional campaign really started, and for good reason. Back in the comics, when Captain America became disillusioned with his mantle and fell out of touch with the “American dream,” he (melodramatically) cast his shield and costume aside in favor of a new one: Nomad, the man without a country.
It’s not hard to draw parallels between that comics moment and Steve’s status as a fugitive post-Civil War, yet Infinity War marketing has yet to refer to him as anything other than good ol’ Captain America. We’re holding out hope for a Nomad name drop at least once, even if it’s just an Easter Egg.
3. Shuri vs. The World
Black Panther break-out and fan favorite Shuri is Wakanda’s chief engineer and the smartest person in the MCU, meaning she’ll no doubt have plenty of perspectives for the Avenger’s other brainy heroes. A meeting between Shuri and Tony Stark, Peter Parker, and Bruce Banner would plant the seeds for some incredible new inventions down the line–and maybe some beautiful new friendships to help build the shared universe space out even more.
Also, let’s face it: Stark Industries could definitely use someone like her on the research and development front. But that won’t happen unless they actually sit down and talk at least once.
2. Vision and Wanda’s Romance
After a jumpstart in Civil War and some hard-to-miss scenes in the Infinity War trailer, it’s a pretty safe bet that we’re on the cusp of seeing Vision and Wanda become a couple in earnest. But, if that is the road things head down, there are some things we’ll definitely want to see.
Over in the comics, Vision and Wanda’s romance is, uh, complicated–something you might be able to guess considering one of them is a reality-warping metahuman and the other is a sentient robot who may or may not be powered by some sort of cosmic energy. However, despite the complication and the mess, Vision and Wanda did manage to “have” (again: a witch and a robot–we’re not really talking a traditional birth here) two children–Billy Kaplan and Tommy Shepherd, who would go on to be core members of the Young Avengers.
On-screen, Wanda and Vision differ pretty greatly from their comics selves, but a genuine stab at developing their love relationship opens all sorts of doors to be explored in later movies.
One of the major components of the Infinity comics storyline revolves around the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, home of Namor the Submariner. Obviously, unless something seriously secretive has been brewing behind the scenes in Infinity War, expecting a Namor cameo is probably too high a hope. However, the movie would provide a great vehicle to start seeding the introduction of Atlantis into the MCU–maybe in time for Namor to make an appearance in Black Panther 2.
After all, the MCU oriented “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” ride at Disneyland California includes some mysterious but prominently displayed Atlantean artifacts (in so many words, the plaque reads specifically that they were “collected from the bottom of the ocean on Earth”). It would be a shame for those designs to never get a proper on-screen placement.