The end of Avengers: Infinity War left fans with a single resounding question: "Are the Avengers really gone?" While Infinity War deaths went down differently in the comics, a significant number of MCU characters fade to dust after Thanos's titanic snap. Even though things will probably turn out just fine for most of the characters after the events of Avengers: Endgame, what if some - or even all - of them are really gone for good?
Marvel has a deep bench of powerful heroes who could fill in for any of the vanished Avengers. There are already confirmed sequels to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy, but that doesn't mean Peter Parker, Star-Lord, and Drax are coming back. There are plenty of Marvel legacy heroes who could step into the shoes left by those who perished in Avengers: Infinity War.
Is Marvel going to force the backstories for a dozen characters into their Phase 3 climax? Probably not, but you don't know just who might show up when Infinity War part two hits screens in 2019.
Nick Fury operates in the shadows for most of the second and third phases of the MCU thanks to the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even though we don't see him much, Fury is always there working behind the scenes. That's why fans were so excited to see him in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War. Unfortunately, he only sticks around long enough to page Captain Marvel.
He isn't alone either. Fury's right-hand agent, Maria Hill, also succumbs to the snap, so finding a replacement for Nick Fury leaves only one obvious choice: his son. Nicholas Fury Jr. is not only Nick Fury's son in the comics, he's a former United States soldier and goes on to become the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. - just like his father.
One of Drax's principal motivations for wanting to eliminate Thanos stems from the slaughter of his family. In the comics, Drax has a much more convoluted backstory, but he also has a bit of hope: his daughter actually survives Thanos. Drax's daughter is taken in by Thanos's father, and under the tutelage of monks on Titan, she taps into psionic powers to become Moondragon, one of the most powerful telepaths in the Marvel universe.
While she's very different from her father in terms of powers and abilities, Moondragon's talents land her membership on various teams, including the Avengers, the Defenders, and eventually, the Guardians of the Galaxy. She could easily be introduced and take over her father's role on the team.
There are plenty of fans of the character who want to see Moondragon included in the MCU, but none more vocal than Drax himself, Dave Bautista.
Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, was one of the most surprising and heartrending dustings to come out of Thanos's snap. His final words to Tony Stark hit fans in ways few would have suspected from a Marvel film. And if Peter never returns following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, there are more than a few characters in the comics who could take his place.
2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced moviegoers to the character most likely to fill Spidey's spandex: Miles Morales. Morales made his debut back in 2011's Ultimate Fallout #4 and replaced Peter Parker in the Ultimate Marvel universe. And he eventually makes his way over to Earth-616 in the comics.
Of all the clones, children, and copycats that Spider-Man has attracted over the years, Miles Morales is the most obvious choice for replacing Peter Parker. He's even hinted at in Spider-Man: Homecoming through Donald Glover's character, Aaron Davis, who is Miles's uncle - as well as the villainous Prowler. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told ScreenCrush in 2017 he wants fans to wonder where Miles Morales may be in the MCU, possibly hinting at things to come.
Since the final shot of Infinity War seems to imply Captain Marvel is Nick Fury's secret plan to combat a planetary cataclysm, it's a pretty good bet she'll be around to fight Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. But how big of a twist would it be if her solo film ended with her turning to dust too?
If that did happen, the MCU could pick out another marvelous heroine to fill her shoes: Kamala Khan. A relatively new addition to the Marvel universe, Khan is an Inhuman who took on the mantle of Ms. Marvel after Carol Danvers dropped it to become Captain Marvel in 2013's Captain Marvel #14. Her abilities are vastly different than Danvers's thanks to her Inhuman origins, as she possesses the power to shapeshift and has an accelerated healing factor.
It would be one of the biggest troll moves in history to sideline Captain Marvel after just one movie, but fans might not mind if it helps launch the MCU's first Muslim hero.