Avengers: Infinity War is drawing close, and the filmmakers have confirmed that there are major character deaths in it. “We will say farewell to people,” suspiciously-named screenwriter Stephen McFeely told Entertainment Weekly.
“The notion of an ending, the notion of a finale, became very intriguing to us, in large part because you don’t see it that often in this particular genre,” said Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige.
There are loads of Avengers and Avenger-adjacent superheroes - remember to vote for your best Avengers characters - kind of like how there are only nine members of Wu-Tang but hundreds of Wu affiliates once you count, like, Killa Beez and stuff. But who is safe? And who is doomed?
In no particular order, here’s what we reckon, based on idle speculation, personal preference, what we think would be good and who we remembered exists. There are ever such a lot of Avengers that, for admin reasons alone, a few deaths wouldn’t hurt…
Black PantherChadwick Boseman’s T’Challa is the toast of the world at the moment - the film can’t stop making money, has near-universally good reviews and Kendrick Lamar wants to play the baddie in a sequel. If Black Panther dies, there can’t be a Black Panther 2. He’s totally safe. He could just wander through the battlefield shirtless not paying any attention to anything and be completely fine. Bullets would just whizz past him. He’s box office gold. VERDICT: Alive and well. Maybe a headache, because it’s likely to be a loud film, but nothing more severe than that.
Guardians of the GalaxyStar-Lord, Drax, Groot, Gamora, Nebula, Rocket and Mantis are set to play a large part in Infinity War, but will they all make it? Groot has sacrificed himself once so seems pretty safe, the Star-Lord/Gamora pairing is too cute for either of them to perish and the Drax/Mantis one is loads of fun. Rocket taking one for the team doesn’t seem out of the question, and Nebula was raised as Thanos’ adopted daughter so has major beef with him, as well as guilt for crimes perpetrated in his name. Some sort of ultimate redemptive act could well happen, freeing Karen Gillan to make loads of Jumanji sequels. VERDICT: At least five-sevenths of them will make it to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol III, but between 14% and 28% of them are headed for the big spaceship in the sky. Awwwww.
VisionVision has an Infinity Stone in his head, which is what Thanos is after. The whole film will be about everyone trying to keep Vision’s stupid head out of Thanos’s stupid massive hands. It would be funny if he died for a completely unrelated reason (heart attack while watching the football), but no, he’ll be alive and well at the end. Then he’ll leave, in a big “the universe won’t be safe while anyone knows who I am” kind of ending, like Poochie from The Simpsons without the “Poochie dies on the way to his home planet” postscript. VERDICT: Alive but a long way away by the end, and never to be seen again
Spider-ManIt took years of legal wrangling to get the deals in place for Spider-Man to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (which was great) is already on its way. Plus he’s only a wean. It would be really sad. He’s so little. VERDICT: Still swingin’
FalconFalcon’s not going to die. The whole point of him is that he’s like a backup Captain America and, er, not to spoil how we think he’s likely to end up, but having a spare seems like it could come in handy. VERDICT: Promoted. No longer the bridesmaid, now the bride.
Ant-ManTalking of little, killing a character whose USP is tininess just seems kind of daft. If a main character dies towards the beginning of the film, it’s to show the baddies’ badassedness, but killing a centimetre-tall foe doesn’t really prove anything. He’s a comic-relief character, he’ll be fine. The only acceptable way for him to die in the big climactic fight would be tinily intercepting a bullet or something, but come on, it would just splatter through his minute body, and then whoever was getting shot would also have any blood diseases Ant-Man had. It would be unspectacular and undignified. Plus there’s a sequel on the way. VERDICT: He will live to Ant again. BONUS IDEA: What if Cobie Smulders’ character somehow attained his powers? He is Ant-Man, she is Maria Hill, she could call herself Ant-Hill. Alternatively, he could buddy up with, uh, a deck?
Black WidowHas Scarlett Johansson ever died in anything where she wasn’t playing an alien? They wouldn’t do that to us. Plus the world needs a Black Widow movie, and the Avengers is enough of a dudes’ club without killing off the most prominent woman in it. VERDICT: She’ll be fine, but Marvel will inexplicably continue to not give her her own film even though she’s enormous movie star Scarlett Johansson and they’re happy for, like, Benedict Cumberbatch to headline a flick.
Thor, Loki and ValkyrieThor’s short hair looks really good, and Ragnarok was so much fun, and in an ideal world Taika Waititi would just keep making Thor have wacky-coloured intergalactic adventures. All in all, fans of Asgard’s hunkiest son have very little to worry about, probably. And the Thor-Loki relationship is so important that you can’t really have one without the other. That weird kind of interplay between them, the it’s-a-bit-sexy-but-they’re-brothers thing. is never mentioned in Marvel press releases but accounts for at least 30% of their box office, so if Thor’s good, Loki’s good. Valkyrie is cool as shit, so won’t die, but will get injured or imprisoned or something in the first big fight and then sit the second big fight out. There are too many characters, a fair few will have to be off sick. VERDICT: All completely fine, quippin’ away. One of them will get heavily biffed in the mush but other than that they’ll be largely unscathed.
Dr Strange and WongCinema’s only two-Benedict pairing seem like they’re pretty safe, although they’re unlikely to be at the forefront of the action. Our prediction: they get banished to another realm or something like that about 15 minutes in, occasionally contribute to proceedings via some sort of magical telephony, then make some a cool comeback right at the climax, with a few wounds on their faces that allude to a massive off-screen scrap they’ve won. VERDICT: In good nick, but refusing to do the sensible switch of making Benedict Wong, who is ace, the main character. Also continuing to annoy journalists by forcing them to refer to “Wong (Wong)” in reviews.
War MachineSafe. Could end up somewhere pretty exciting by the end of it - see below. Don Cheadle’s good on Twitter btw. VERDICT: Alive but operating under a new identity following another character’s grisly demise.
Iron ManTotally spitballing here, but here’s what’ll happen. About half an hour into the film, everything’s going fine, and then some sort of double-cross takes place and Tony Stark gets shot straight through the skull, left unambiguously brown bread. Shocking, upsetting, and a guttingly anticlimactic death for the lynchpin of the MCU, so everyone in the cinema shouts “FUCK!” and gets that Infinity War ain’t no picnic. Maybe a brainwashed Happy Hogan does it or something. Then Pepper Potts is involved in the big final battle in his suit, after which Rhodes becomes Iron Man and she becomes War Machine. It’ll be good. Proper end-of-an-era stuff. Crying in the cinema. VERDICT: Tony Stark? More like Gravestoney Stark. Dead as dead gets.
Scarlet WitchShe lost her brother in the last film, so it would be a bit un-Marvelly harsh if Scarlet Witch died as well. She might go off in Vision’s spaceship though. There’s no evidence suggesting that’ll happen, but it seems dimly plausible and she’s not a very good character really. Scarlet Whichoneissheagain, more like. VERDICT: Zipping off in a space rocket to never be seen again.
HawkeyeIt’s not Jeremy Renner’s fault, but nobody gives a shit about Hawkeye. He could live, he could die, nobody would care a jot. Maybe he’ll get a job in a shoe shop or something. He can do what he likes. Nobody cares. VERDICT: Anything. Super dead? Stuck in traffic? Actively aflame? Uninteresting, whatever it is.
HulkYou can’t kill the Hulk. He’s big and strong and great. But, right, and maybe this is dumb, what if something that happens in the big film-ending fight caused the radiation to leave his body, and he was just Bruce Banner again? Could be good? Maybe? Then Banner could join SHIELD and show up in future films as just a sort of clever science chap? No? VERDICT: Dead, yet alive, in that he won’t be the Hulk anymore, just a boffiny dude. Possibly.
BuckyDone, son. His superpower is “I have a fun arm”. That’s crap. His death will be at a really critical point though, and might be the thing that spurs Captain America (see below, which isn’t a good sign) onto his last bit of ass-kicking. Like, partway through the big boss fight he gets his head cut off, and Steve Rogers is like “Oh shit, now it’s on”, and then it all goes from there. Dramatic! VERDICT: So, so dead. Dead as anything. Doornail-level dead. Six feet under, pushing up daisies. His farm bought, his bucket kicked, his mortal coil shuffled off. Maaaaaaaaaad deceased.
Captain AmericaSo here’s the thing. Captain America - and this is all just speculation - will die. He’s the most noble hero of them all, and we can totally see him making a huge noble selfless sacrifice to save the world, especially once a few of his pals have kicked the bucket. He’ll go out in style, and it’ll be really moving, and it’ll work and save the universe, and the last scene of the film will be set in an around his funeral and involve Falcon becoming the second Captain America. This is 100% what will happen but also a big guess based on basically nowt. VERDICT: Going out nobly, handsomely and selflessly, but going out nonetheless. BIG DEAD.
ThanosHe’s the baddie. He’s fucked. VERDICT: Not in any more Avengers films, if you know what we mean.
If you agree, disagree, have better suggestions or want to tediously explain to us how actually Bucky’s stupid arm isn’t crap, it’s interesting, then get in touch. If you’ve seen a film where Scarlett Johansson dies and doesn’t play an alien, get in touch.
But most importantly, if you work for Marvel Studios, get in touch - we’ve got loads of ideas. Got a good one where there’s a hero called Elephantman whose only weakness is mice, that one’s really good, and one about a baddie called Hay-Feva, who is a disco-themed pollen-god. Once you’ve killed a bunch of character off there’ll be space for new miraculous creations, and we want a slice of that action.
Avengers: Infinity War is out on 27 April.