*WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST INCLUDES SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM YET, THEN DO NOT READ THIS POST. SERIOUSLY – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR IS A FILM THAT YOU SHOULD SEE SPOILER-FREE.*

Avengers: Infinity War has been in cinemas for 4-5 days (depending on which territory you live in) and if like me you enjoyed it, then you’re probably thinking about it quite a lot – and I love that.

I love the way in which Infinity War asks you to think about what you’ve witnessed – to question the information that has been presented. While on the surface the movie presents a story whereby a big super dude fights other super dudes, below the surface there’s more going on. And it’s here where clues of what’s to come might lie.

In a previous post, I offered up a theory that maybe we’re in for a big twist, whereby the heroes that have been wiped out in Infinity War could come back – trading places with the heroes that survived Thanos’ grand plan. This theory suggests that in order to balance the scales we are going to have to say goodbye to some heroes – just not the ones we think we’ve lost.

Of course, that’s just one theory.

A follow-up post, that I published yesterday, presented a different theory, that maybe the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it is a lie. This theory suggests that we are seeing the events of just one timeline and maybe a huge change is coming.

But that’s just another theory.

There are even more theories out there that countless other people have suggested as everyone tries to connect the dots between what we’ve seen in Infinity War and what we could potentially see in Avengers 4. Some of these theories may be correct. Many will be nowhere near. But isn’t it great to speculate?

After ten years of plotting, developing storylines and shifting the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a specific direction, I believe there’s more going on in Infinity War than we might believe. But if that is the case, then what are we being asked to pay attention to?

Avengers: Infinity War poses lots of questions, but which should we focus on?

Let’s consider this for a moment.

Hulk

Image: ©Marvel Studios

Is the Banner/Hulk storyline important? To Banner and the Hulk the Hulk refusing to show up and fight Thanos is no doubt important, but probably not important to the direction of Avengers 4. So, this is something we can probably ignore.

Hawkeye

Image: Marvel Studios

Is Hawkeye’s absence important? Again, no I don’t believe so. Clint Barton could be on some secret mission, he could be down the pub for all we know, but I don’t think his absence will have anything to do with Avengers 4. Again, we can probably ignore this.

Red Skull

Image: ©Marvel Comics

Is the inclusion of the Red Skull important? I believe the Red Skull’s involvement in Infinity War is important, but not to Avengers 4. I feel the Skull was reintroduced (and recast) for use at a later date but this is likely for a future movie, way, waaay off in the distance.

Doctor Strange

Image: ©Marvel Studios

Is Doctor Strange’s decision to give Thanos the Time Stone important? It has to be, right? This has to be one of the questions we focus on.

As has already been established in Doctor Strange (2016), what we think we know isn’t quite the be all and end all of what’s possible – there are other realms and dimensions beyond Earth (a multiverse etc) – and times and situations can change at a moment’s notice. What I’m saying is, let’s not just take everything we’ve seen in Infinity War at face value and let’s presume that Doctor Strange handed Thanos the Time Stone for a specific reason.

I’ve highlighted this scene in my post: 5 unanswered questions left over from Avengers: Infinity War, but it’s worth saying again – Doctor Strange has seen all the possible outcomes of the battle with Thanos and only one ended in victory. Therefore he must be working towards this outcome.

Tony Stark

Image: Marvel Studios

Again, let’s focus on this. He hands over the Time Stone when Tony Stark is in danger. This would suggest Stark’s survival is vital. Is Tony Stark the key to saving the day?

Stark was the character who kick-started the MCU, so maybe he’ll be the one to bring this current era to a close. Maybe Strange knows that the only way to secure the future is through Tony Stark’s survival.

Let’s keep Stark in mind and move on.

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Image: ©Marvel Studios

Is it important that we pay attention to who disappeared at the end of the movie? Yes – I believe so. Again, I’ve previously discussed this in my theory on how Avengers 4 might play out but as a quick reminder I don’t think it’s a coincidence that certain heroes were wiped out.

From a thematic standpoint, it makes sense to retain the heroes that we’ve journeyed with the longest (Cap, Iron Man etc) as we’re emotionally attached to them, but there’s got to be more to it than that. There has to be a reason that many of the newbies were wiped out.

Let’s keep this in mind and move on again.

Nick Fury

Image: Marvel Studios

Is it important that Nick Fury had a distress signal primed and ready to call Captain Marvel? Yep. Again, as previously noted Fury seemed to be prepared for what was taking place, so I think this is something to focus on.

Gamora

Image: ©Marvel Studios

Is Gamora’s journey over? Surely not! There has to be more from Gamora. The character was so important to Thanos’ journey that this can’t be the end. It can’t.

Let’s now move outside of the film and look at the wider picture of the movie making business.

X-Men

Image: 20th Century Fox

Is it important that outside of what we see on screen, we know that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four will be joining the MCU in the not-too distant future? Maybe, but maybe not. The deal isn’t 100% official yet and with Avengers 4 already in production, it’s not likely that the inclusion of these characters will make too much of a difference at this stage.

Thor

Image: Marvel Studios

Is it important that many of the actors of Infinity War are unlikely to return post-Avengers 4? Yes – this is very important. Stories need to be tied up and characters needed to be retired. This has got to play a big part into Avengers 4.

So, what does this leave us with? Well, I believe the points to focus on are as follows:

  • Doctor Strange and his actions over the time stone
  • Tony Stark’s survival
  • Nick Fury/Captain Marvel
  • Gamora
  • The heroes that survived

I think these are all key details that will offer up suggestions on what is to come in Avengers 4. If you’re working on theories about how all of this will be resolved, maybe throw all of these points into the mix and see what comes out.

Thoughts?