It’s been at least two weeks since the release of Avengers: Endgame, a cinematic phenomenon has swept through the world. Even after the hype has simmered down, the film would have left its mark on the world of cinema and pop-culture. If the original Avengers was renowned for pioneering the exploration into the idea of expanded cinematic universes, a terra incognita, then Endgame would have to be that idea fully actualized, what can only be described as an empire of films.
The folks at Disney have pretty much made what is the cinematic equivalent of Rome in the days of 117 AD. It’s time for that Mouse to weep cause there ain’t no more lands to conquer, right? Nope, the Marvel dream machine does not sleep and while there hasn’t been any official Phase 4 info announced, there were some major films hinted within the plot of Endgame itself. The Mouse isn’t done yet, not by a longshot. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has got big plans on the horizon and here five potential films that were hinted at in Endgame.
1. Sam Wilson’s Captain America
Are you ready for a new Captain America? Near the end of Endgame, we see an elderly Steve Rogers handing over his Vibranium shield to his longtime friend Sam Wilson aka the Falcon. It’s safe to say that Rogers’ superhero days are behind him and it’s time to pass the buck to the next generation. The title of Captain America is more than just a person or a piece of propaganda, it’s a duty to honour and protect liberty and justice for all the world.
Say what you will about America’s shady past, in my opinion, the franchise has already expertly critiqued the nation’s foibles in Winter Soldier, but the values Cap preach are ones worth defending. In a time when the world was tearing itself apart in World War 2, Captain America fought to bring some semblance of peace back to it. And now Sam has an opportunity to do the same.
In the wake of a post-Trumpian America, the nation has seen great political divides and ideological schisms. It’s time for a modern Captain America for a modern world. Personally, I have always thought Rogers embodied the old school virtues of a soldier’s valour but frankly, that era of nobility has passed. The MCU has a chance to redefine Captain America for a whole new generation and that sounds pretty exciting.
A political spy thriller/war film in the guise of a superhero film. In the past films like Winter Soldier deftly discussed issues of corruption within the political system with not-so-subtle parallels with the modern-day Ku Klux Klan’s involvement in US politics. Come on now…Hail Hydra? That’s pretty much a Nazi salute. Sam Wilson’s run as Captain America could serve as equal part superhero film and social critique. Sounds pretty exciting to me.
2. The Asgardians of the Galaxy
Since the days of Thor: Ragnarok we’ve noticed that our main man Thor has been going through some serious changes. No longer the brooding god with the weight of the world on his shoulder. We analyzed how his arc came to an end with him finally taking up a spot in the interstellar team of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a welcome addition in our opinion.
No doubt there’ll be plenty of weird adventures and entertaining hijinks that Thor and company will be getting up to but what I’m really looking forward to is how Guardians will be diving deeper into Thor as a person. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, we see the film take the time to explore its characters’ troubled past and relationships. And frankly, that’s what makes the films so great.
Thor is going through some shit at the current moment. He’s given up his birthright and his people to take a genuine risk with the Guardians. He’s hoping to find an identity outside of the destiny his father and Asgard had set for him. At the risk of sounding like a hippie, it seems like he’s finding himself.
A quest right up the Guardians of the Galaxy’s alley. Introspection aside, he may play an important role in their next adventure, seeing that they may be facing down one of the most powerful beings in the universe, as hinted at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Adam Warlock. They’re in for a bumpy ride ahead of them.
3. All-Female Avengers
Over the years we’ve seen all sorts of unique team-ups in the MCU. From our classic league of heroes in the Earth’s Avengers to the intergalactic band of outlaws turned antiheroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy. Hell, we’ve even had alien rebels, the Hulk and a bunch of Norse gods join forces in Thor: Ragnarok. Needless to say, Marvel is no stranger to bringing folks of all walks of life together but it looks like their most ambitious crossover has yet to come.
It’s not a question of whether or not but rather one of when. There’s a scene in Endgame in which we see the female heroes, nearly every heroine in the MCU, take up a fighting stance as they prepare to engage Thanos’ forces head-on. Though the panning shot isn’t quite as grand as the 360 sweep of the Avengers in the Battle of New York, it’s definitely meant to send a message.
There’s little doubt that some folks out there will throw a fit about Marvel’s “forced diversity” but truth be told, Marvel has always prided itself on its unique blend of colourful characters. If you can relate to a talking tree and a racoon, then why not a team of women? It’s not too far fetch seeing that Marvel comics has already done a version of this in 2015. It came in the form of an all-female team of heroes called A-Force. The team consists of characters the likes of Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey and some of Marvel’s greatest heroines. The issues have gotten rave reviews from critics in the past, so perhaps the team would be an idea worth exploring.
Anyways, it would be extremely fascinating to see how all these heroines from very distinct backgrounds interact with one another. Imagine Valkyrie and Captain Marvel at odds with one another for the role of leader, while Scarlet Witch is treated as their secret weapon ala Hulk. Would Pepper Potts be the heart and soul of the team, bringing her experience as a mother into perspective? We’ll just have to wait and see.
4. Professor Hulk
One thing I’ve come to realize about Disney’s Marvel is that no piece is ever placed on the board without purpose. By the end of Endgame, some pieces were taken off the board, like Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow. While new ones were brought in or lesser ones give more prominent roles like Valkyrie and Falcon.
That being said, there’s one particular character’s place in the MCU that seems relatively unclear, that being Bruce Banner aka Professor Hulk. Unlike the other original members of the Avengers, his story hasn’t quite found closure yet. In fact, he seems to be the odd one of the group in a film full of definitive deaths and reunions. He was just well…there. That being said, perhaps there’s more going on within him than meets the eye.
In the film, the Hulk states that he managed to merge his two personalities of Bruce Banner and Hulk into the one we see in Endgame, after Bruce learns to see the Hulk as “the cure, not the disease”. So it’s been established in the film that this isn’t your typical werewolf-moon-cycle when it comes to the Hulk, it’s personalities wrestling within.
In Endgame, we don’t get much information about how Banner becomes Smart Hulk beyond a few throwaway lines here and there. Is Smart Hulk truly the best of both worlds? Or a dangerous new personality that has emerged? It has happened in the character’s comic past, like when Hulk had a mafioso type personality as Joe Fixit or as a power-hungry tyrant with Maestro. In any case, Professor Hulk’s is here for a reason and it looks like he’s staying put for now.
5. Black Panther: Wakanda VS Atlantis
It looks like Wakanda might have to go to war again but not with any adversary beyond Earth but rather from under it. During a briefing between Black Widow and multiple Avengers patrolling the universe, we hear mentions of tremors occurring under the ocean. When Natasha probes Okoye for further information, she gives her a rather vague answer by stating that “we handle it…by not handling it.”
That kind of deflection doesn’t seem to make sense if it’s a mere natural disaster. Perhaps, it’s a sovereign nation that would rather stay in isolation? A nation like Atlantis led by the ruthless Namor the Submariner! Right, I’ll explain. In 2013’s New Avengers comics, we actually see Wakanda and Atlantis go to war with one another. At some point, the Atlanteans even freaking drown the city of Wakanda!
At the moment, the rights to who owns the character of Namor is a little complicated. It was previously Universal Studios but they’ve recently lost full rights to the character. President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige has stated that there is still a way for Namor, and therefore Atlantis, to his way into the MCU.
The prospect of Wakanda going to war with Atlantis is too great an opportunity to pass! Two technologically advanced nations with strong leaders and histories of isolationism clashing over the fates of their people would be a perfect sequel to Black Panther, which focused heavily on the internal political struggles of Wakanda. Let’s see what their foreign policy looks like in the most badass way possible.