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SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers follow for Avengers: Endgame**. You don't want to know any of this stuff until you've seen the movie.**
So, you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame. You laughed, cried, cheered and cried a lot more, and now we’re all left to process that huge movie. Even though Endgame has only just arrived in theaters and there’s still so much to talk about, this is the MCU, and we can’t help but think about the future. Endgame was the definitive end for a handful of key characters, but several more lived on to fight another day.
The old Avengers guard has moved on and there is a new generation of heroes ready to step into the spotlight. Obviously, this is all going to be entirely speculative on my part, but there are plenty of big-time players on the board, and the new Avengers roster could look mighty impressive.
I’m operating off the basis that no surviving original Avenger is up for grabs. Hawkeye is with his family, Thor is in space, and Hulk... well, Hulk is up in the air, but let’s get some new blood and regulate him to a cameo or resident science guy. I have a personal preference for smaller teams, but there were too many characters for me to cut. These are the Marvel characters who should join the new Avengers team in Phase 4.
Unless Sony decides to throw the rug out from under Marvel’s feet, there’s little chance Spider-Man isn’t on the Avengers. In addition to being Marvel’s flagship character, he’s appeared in three crossover films so far, and he’s technically one of the only active members of the Avengers still standing.
Not only does Spider-Man bring some levity to the team, but his young age also positions him for leadership roles down the line. Spidey can be groomed into being a major character in the MCU’s future, and he has plenty of mentors to help him in Tony Stark's absence.
Kevin Feige said that Carol Danvers will be taking a leadership role within the MCU moving forward. There are big plans for her in the future, so it’s a good thing that she has a billion-dollar franchise right out of the gate.
As the most powerful hero in the MCU, Carol is beyond valuable as an asset to the Avengers. The future threats of Phase 4 are unknown, but the Avengers will probably need all the photon-powered muscles they can get. I got the sense in Endgame that Carol wasn’t used to operating in a team, so that could make for an interesting arc down the road.
Speaking of billion-dollar heroes, the future is bright for Black Panther. His standalone film stabbed straight through the heart of pop culture last year and propelled itself to a Best Picture nomination. That's no small feat for a superhero movie, but Black Panther was clearly something special to a lot of people.
Beyond the achievements of his film, Black Panther is a good guy to have around. He's an extremely resourceful character with almost the same powers as Captain America, and his access to vibranium offers all sorts of cool tech options for the Avengers. Plus, he's vastly wealthy and the Avengers need someone to fund them with Tony Stark gone.
Pretty much the entirety of Endgame was by Doctor Strange’s design. He was the mastermind behind the Avengers final stand and made sure that everything came together as he had foreseen. He’s too powerful and smart a player to leave off of the board.
A Doctor Strange sequel is reportedly in development, so we can likely count on Strange to show up in the future. Strange is responsible for protecting the entire multiverse, so he might not feel the need to deal with the Earth-bound conflicts of the Avengers, but that depends on what type of threats are in Phase 4.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
These two are a packaged deal. I very much doubt that we’d get one without the other. Ant-Man got a big chance to step up in Endgame, and the Wasp was in the thick of it during the Battle of Earth, so it only makes sense that they would both get called up to the big leagues.
Honestly, I could see both characters sitting out the next team-up since these two tend to deal with much (no pun intended) smaller stakes, but they’ve both been in the MCU longer than most of these other picks. It seems only fair that they get their shot in the team-up movie.
Wanda Maximoff is one of the only characters on this list who actually is an official Avenger, but she’s never really gotten her time to shine except in small doses. With the bigger players gone, now might be the perfect time for Wanda to step up as a key member of the Avengers.
The death of Vision leaves plenty of room for emotional drama, and comic book readers know that when Scarlet Witch gets emotional, things get crazy. Plus, she’s stupid strong and almost killed Thanos BY HERSELF, so the MCU can’t be done with her yet. Some of this might depend on how WandaVision shakes out.
Valkyrie is one of the newest characters in the MCU, but she quickly became a fan-favorite after her debut in Thor: Ragnarok. She oozes charisma, in no small part thanks to the performance of Tessa Thompson.
Valkyrie would be the Asgard representative of the new team. She's the newly appointed queen of Asgard and while her kingdom doesn't exactly rival Wakanda at the moment, she's in too important a position to leave her offscreen for too long. With the Thor franchise up in the air, the Avengers would make a great place to showcase Valkyrie and her awesome flying horse. We need more pegasus in the MCU!
Sam Wilson As Captain America
One of the most significant changes made in Endgame is the retirement of Steve Rogers after he returns to the timeline as an old man. Now too old to be Captain America, he passes his iconic shield to his best friend Sam Wilson, naming him the new Captain America.
It's a huge step up for Sam and it's sure to have big implications moving forward. If Sam becomes Captain America, then he will almost certainly be on the next Avengers team. Being in such a leadership role is all-new for Sam, so it would be super interesting to see how he interacts with personalities like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and coming to terms with his new place in the MCU.
Again, this is a pretty large team, and while Marvel tends to go bigger with each sequel, I have a feeling that it will narrow its scope for a bit. Coming off of the massive Infinity Saga, it would make sense that Marvel takes a patient approach and builds up its new team of characters just like it did with the original Avengers. However, if it wants to go big for Phase 4, you can't get much better than the assembled team up above.