The fourth phase of Marvel’s soon-to-be decade-long cinematic universe is almost upon us, and compared to phases one-through-three, it looks as though it’s going to have a lot to deal with.
We already know that Avengers: Infinity War is going to boast a hefty bodycount, and that – for better or for worse – the next phase of the MCU is going to represent something of a departure compared to its predecessors. James Gunn has spoken of the universe following a whole new story, and – apart from Guardians 3 and a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming – we know not yet what the future holds for Marvel’s flagship franchise.
That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate though, and with sequels to Doctor Strange and Ant-Man on the horizon, there are certain moments from the comics that Marvel simply have to be looking to replicate on the big screen, irrespective of their own individual scale. We saw as much in Captain America: Civil War (when Tony blasts Cap’s shield), and it looked spectacular, and even Doctor Strange got in on the action with a homage to Brian K. Vaughn’s ‘The Oath’.
With it looking increasingly likely that Infinity War will herald a brand new start for the MCU, it’s clear that the universe is going where no other superhero franchise has gone before. Here’s hoping it’ll pick up some tips from the comics along the way.
10. Bucky Dons The Suit
When Captain America was unceremoniously offed in the wake of Civil War, there was only ever going to be one man to replace him: Bucky Barnes.
While Ed Brubaker’s decision to axe Cap proved to be controversial at the time, the seminal ‘Death of Captain America’ storyline represents something of a highpoint for the creator’s run on the character, with Brubaker and Steve Epting taking the book in a bold new direction with an even bolder protagonist.
The great thing about Bucky’s Cap is that we get to see him struggle to reconcile with the identity Steve created. He’s still very much his own man, but the suit is, at first, more his cross to bear than it is a liberating alter-ego. It takes time, and none other than Black Widow is the one to guide Bucky through his newfound responsibilities as the nation’s venerable First Avenger.
We still don’t know if Chris Evans’ Cap will be biting the bullet come Avengers 4, but if he is, then Sebastian Stan must surely be looking to take a starring role as his replacement. The actor’s Marvel contract has long been a topic of conversation in online circles, and with Evans’ exit from the role looking increasingly likely by the day, we could be seeing Bucky don the red, white and blue much sooner than we all expected.