Unlike their superhero comics counterparts, the MCU has held strong respecting the permanence and impact of character death. With some obvious exceptions (*ahem* Winter Soldier *ahem*), dead means dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Across both Marvel and DC Comics, the afterlife has become a laughable revolving door, diminishing the tragedy of taking characters off the board. To date, the MCU hasn’t suffered a similar fate. Of course, any time Infinity Stones are flying around, all bets are off. In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos uses the six near omnipotent jewels to destroy and manipulate life, ensnaring Nebula in a grotesque state of living death. In general, assembling the infinity stones demolishes the standard balance of life and death, paving the way for all sorts of changes.
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While we certainly appreciate the serious treatment of life in the MCU, the presence of such power, and the impending sense of significant changes to the cinematic tapestry suggest the possibility of resurrected characters. There are a surprising number of heroes and villains that could make appearances in Avengers: Infinity War. Some resurrected or reappearing characters would unquestionably boost the film and MCU as a whole, while others would simply distract or cause greater problems across the shared film universe.
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15. HOPE COMES BACK: RED SKULL
Captain America’s greatest enemy is the most obvious, and frankly most menacing threat for a surprise Infinity War return. There’s much debate as to whether Johann Schmidt is even actually dead, or whether he was transported to another reality/planet/dimension by the power of the cosmic cube. The vast majority of fans believe the Red Skull is ready for his return; it’s just a matter of when and where.
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Given his obsession with the Infinity Gem powered cube, the Skull would make an obvious strained ally for Thanos. The return of a space super Skull would also restore the antithesis of righteousness to the world of Captain America, which is quite frankly devoid of a non-frenemesis. In short, expectations are high for the return of Marvel’s purest evil.