With such a powerful villain like Thanos coming to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s clear that the lifespan of some characters may be coming to an end in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But let’s be realistic here… Tony Stark/Iron Man isn’t going anywhere. That would be like Warner Bros./DC killing off Batman in the Justice League… it just isn’t going to happen! Iron Man will remain in these films for years to come because he’s the glue that holds everything together; he’s basically the studio’s main selling point for these films. And then there are other characters like The Hulk, who could be “vanquished” by one of Thanos’ Infinity Stones, but there’s no way his alter-ego Bruce Banner is getting killed in this universe.
However, there are some major superheroes whom we’ve known since Phase One of this series that could meet their end soon. Will Thor be destroyed by Thanos? Can mere mortals like Falcon and Hawkeye even keep up in a war like this? And is Doctor Strange’s mystic mind-bending craziness enough to sway the Mad Titan Thanos? I’ve collected a list of 15 characters who could very well be killed off in Avengers: Infinity War for reasons that make the most sense, and although it breaks my heart to know that at least one of these people will not make it beyond the next Avengers movie, I also think Thanos needs to cause some serious casualties to cement himself as a true force to be reckoned with, and also to make the long wait for his appearance on Earth totally worth it.
So what do you think? Who is most likely to be axed by Thanos and his fabled gauntlet?
15. The Vision
If I had to pick ONE character out of the entire ensemble that would get destroyed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, it would definitely be this guy. Arguably the most powerful of all the Avengers is the synthetic humanoid known as Vision (Paul Bettany). Or as Thor once called him, “the purple weirdo”. Powered by the Mind Stone and armed with more knowledge than you can possibly imagine, Vision’s deep understanding of the universe makes him a powerful ally and a terrifying foe. Unfortunately, Vision has something Thanos wants.
That’s right… located at the center of Vision’s forehead is the aforementioned Mind Stone – one of the five primordial gems needed to fuel the catastrophically powerful Infinity Gauntlet that we know is in Thanos’ possession. And if Thanos wants the stone, he’s going to have to pry it from Vision’s head and the results are not going to be pretty. Now from a storyline point of view, Vision is far more expendable than any of the original Avengers and they could always conjure up some weird superhero shenanigans to engineer him back to life in future movies. It actually makes the most sense from a studio standpoint to take down Vision simply because they could literally get Tony Stark to “make” him again once Infinity War is done. Plus, as sad as it will be so see him go (he was once Jarvis after all), you have to admit that a scene of Thanos laying waste to someone as powerful as Vision would be pretty badass.
14. Sam Wilson (Falcon)
I’m surprised Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is even getting involved in this movie. War Machine (Don Cheadle) can conveniently sit this one out thanks to what happened to him in Captain America: Civil War, but what is about to descend on Earth is far too powerful for mere mortals to handle, which is why I’m guessing Falcon isn’t going to make it out alive.
Just like Vision, Falcon isn’t exactly one of the top-tier Avengers. He’s a fan favorite for sure, but in order of importance, Falcon probably ranks somewhere after the Top 5. There’s a few reasons why this could happen. One, Marvel Studios needs to cement Thanos as a monumental problem for the Avengers, and they need to show us that this big bad supervillain was worth the 6-year-long wait. And one way to do that is by seeing him obliterate Falcon midair. It would show the audience that sh*t just got real, and the demise of a hero would force the two Avengers camps to band together again and, well, avenge their fallen ally. It would also impact Captain America in a way that would make his fight against Thanos far more personal, and that’s a dynamic that could make this movie go from interesting to unprecedented levels of epic.
13. Scarlett Witch (Wanda Maximoff)
If the Vision isn’t annihilated by Thanos by the end of Infinity War, there is a possibility that Wanda Maximoff could be the one getting the boot instead. Remember, her powers are also fueled by the Mind Stone… or at least that’s where she got her abilities back when she was an experiment in Sokovia.
So how could this play out? Well, imagine for a second that Vision does get the gem ripped from his forehead by Thanos. One way is for Wanda to transfer her powers and life essence to Vision in order to keep him alive, but by sacrificing herself in the process. Remember when she used her “magic” on Vision in Captain America: Civil War, and the gem on his forehead glowed a bright red instead of gold? That’s probably a hint that Wanda could technically fuel Vision if she wanted to. She could also lose her powers altogether and be left vulnerable against Thanos, who I suppose has no problem offing powerless humans all the same. A scenario like this would make for a very dark turn of events, but with Marvel setting up Vision’s and Wanda’s subtle love for each other and Wanda seeking redemption for her actions in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I wouldn’t be surprised if she winds up with her brother in Avengers: Infinity War.
12. The Collector (Taneleer Tivan)
This one’s an absolute no-brainer. Benicio del Toro recently confirmed that he would be reprising the role of The Collector in Avengers: Infinity War, and I don’t think anyone expects him to be a major part of that movie. I won’t be surprised if the movie opens with him in his lil’ shop of horrors, and then in comes the Mad Titan to take from him the Reality Stone (The Aether from Thor: Dark World).
Of course The Collector would try to protect his most prized possession by defying Thanos, which would then end up with him getting knocked the f**k out by the Titan. Here you have a guy who’s standing upright for the first time in who knows how long, so the last thing you want is to piss him off. And Thanos isn’t going to let an eccentric shopkeeper stand in the way of him and total domination of the universe. While all of this is still a theory, expect to see a bunch of new Easter Eggs during this scene, because you can bet a good five dollars that there’s going to be familiar, sequel-hinting goodness floating all over the place in that hoarder’s paradise.
Ah, so we’ve finally come to a major name in Marvel’s echelon of heroes. While the probability of Thor meeting his end in Avengers: Infinity War is slim, it isn’t impossible. Keep in mind that Thor: Ragnarok would complete the Thor trilogy, and while it isn’t confirmed that there won’t be a fourth Thor film, it also isn’t confirmed otherwise. Also, ‘Ragnarok’ literally means the “twilight of the Gods” and could signal the end of Thor in more ways than one. There are rumors swirling that Hela (Cate Blanchett), the harbinger of the apocalypse in Ragnarok, could eventually be Thanos’ muse as opposed to his original lover in the comics. This would mean that Hela could survive Ragnarok, align herself with Thanos, and descend upon Earth to exact revenge on Thor and his allies. Also note that Thor is one of the few people who can actually go toe to toe with Thanos in close-proximity combat, unlike many of the other Avengers who might have to shoot from afar in order to, you know, not end up being crushed. An epic, intense battle between Thor and Thanos would not only be insanely symbolic (God vs Titan), but with Hela in the mix it could spell disaster for Thor.
10. Agent Maria Hill
Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) hasn’t had a ton of screentime in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s such a pivotal piece in the franchise. Her character has been there since the first Avengers film, and she was even instrumental in getting Nick Fury to safety in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as aiding the Avengers after Ultron infiltrated the grid in Age Of Ultron.
Nevertheless, she’s still a pretty expendable character and it’s hard to imagine her surviving Thanos’ attack. I suspect we’ll get a Phil Coulson-level shocker somewhere in Infinity War, and then the Avengers will have to live up to their name of avenging those who were wronged. I won’t be surprised if Agent Maria Hill charges into battle in either a fighter jet or in one of S.H.I.E.L.D’s famous helicarriers, only to be taken down by a furious Thanos and his army of Earth-invading minions. But I also believe killing Maria Hill won’t create the kind of impact Marvel Studios would want from someone like Thanos. And that’s why I believe this next person is one of the prime candidates for expiration in the next Avengers blockbuster film. Cue the eye-patch, cue the trench-coat, ladies and gentlemen give it up for the one, the only…… (drumroll)…….
9. Nick Fury
Nick “motherf***in'” Fury! That’s right, talk about the perfect swerve! Although Marvel movies are generally loved by fans across the board, they’ve also always had a hard time accepting that no one really stays dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe unless they’ve reached exceptionally old age. Nick Fury was able to survive The Winter Soldier by faking his own demise and then “resurrecting” himself towards the second half of the film, but that doesn’t make him immune to the idea of characters getting killed off for good in the ongoing Marvel saga. How heartbreaking would it be to see the founder, the creator, and the man who single-handedly sparked the idea of an “Avengers Initiative” finally meet his end at the hands of the very thing that he fought so hard to protect the world against; a malevolent alien invader in the form of Thanos himself. Since Captain America and Iron Man have formed their own separate group of heroes, they’ll need something that can bring them together. And nothing does the job better than the loss of an ally… and losing their founding figure will force the two parties to rise above and beyond their feud and come together again as a single unit known as the Avengers!
8. Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
Hawkeye is one of the original Avengers, so ending him would definitely send a shockwave through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Much like Falcon, Hawkeye might have a ton of skills with the arrows and the super long distance vision, but he doesn’t really stack up in the superpower department as far as this war with Thanos is concerned. Keep in mind that Marvel Studios went out of their way to establish Hawkeye’s family in the last Avengers movie and even hinted at his retirement in Captain America: Civil War.
What this means is that they’ve given the Clint Barton/Hawkeye character some layers to play with, thereby allowing the audience to connect with him a lot more than we did in the first Avengers, in which he was nothing more than one of Loki’s mind-controlled goons for more than half the film. The studio even allowed Hawkeye to literally dodge a bullet in Age Of Ultron, in which Quicksilver was fast enough to absorb the fatal shots on Hawkeye’s behalf. Could Clint Barton similarly step in the way of fire to protect Wanda as a way of repaying her brother, Pietro, for his sacrifice? Or could something a lot more personal, like say Black Widow or his family be the ones he’s protecting, which will invariably get him killed in the movie?
We know for certain that Michael Rooker’s blue-faced space Ravager, Yondu, is going to be in Avengers: Infinity War. And that could only mean that he’s sending some backup on Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord’s behalf to fight the extraterrestrial armies of Thanos. And while Yondu may have serious issues with his wonky moral compass, he’s not one to back down from a fight. And that’s probably what could get him crushed in the wake of Thanos’ destruction. Trust me, if you’ve seen the concept art of Thanos wearing a black tank top looking like he’s going to go balls to the wall batsh*t crazy on anyone and everyone in his path, then you wouldn’t think someone like Yondu stood a chance either. And I’m not going to lie, it’ll probably bring a tear or two to my eyes if it actually does happen, but at least I’ll know the space pirate who raised Peter Quill went out fighting and in a blaze of glory. Now, how would this serve the overall story? It’s simple. As I mentioned, Yondu raised Peter Quill in a sort of tough love mentor-type relationship, which means that killing him would impact Quill in an extremely personal way.
One of the standout stars of Marvel’s trippy escapade into the world of mystic forces, Doctor Strange, is Benedict Wong’s aptly named character, Wong. Although he didn’t have a lot of screen-time, Wong’s stone-faced persona allowed for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme to play off him in some of the movie’s most comedic bits. And that’s why I don’t think Wong has a high chance of getting mauled by Thanos, but I wouldn’t declare him safe from harm altogether. For one, we know for a fact that Wong is officially listed as one of the characters in Avengers: Infinity War. And with so many major characters already in the fold, you have to wonder why Marvel Studios would involve a supporting character like Wong in the mix if he didn’t have to play an important part. I’m guessing he’ll be in a scene showing Thanos attacking the sacred chamber to steal the Time Stone, and Wong tries to stop him. But if this isn’t the case, Wong could come to the aid of Doctor Strange with more sacred texts and whatnot to help the Sorcerer win the fight against the Mad Titan. Either way, I doubt Wong is getting the axe, but with a villain like Thanos I doubt anyone’s really safe from that dreaded fate either.
We’re going to see Nebula next in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, and I’m sure the movie will expand on her complicated relationship with her (adopted) father, Thanos, as well as her (adopted) sister, Gamora. And this is where things get complicated. Since we have confirmation that Nebula will be a part of Avengers: Infinity War, I won’t be surprised if she winds up being on Thanos’ side instead of Gamora’s. Remember, Nebula has always vied for the adoration and validation of the Mad Titan, which means that even if she does join the Guardians in Vol.2, we could see her betraying them along the way in order to join Thanos’ army. This means that Nebula could very well be a villain in Infinity War, which makes her a prime candidate to get defeated, and possibly destroyed, by an Avenger. Could Wanda Maximoff exact revenge on Nebula if Thanos kills Vision? Or maybe Gamora herself will have to put an end to Nebula for the sake of the world, and possibly the galaxy. In a movie that’s bound to eliminate at least one major good guy, I won’t be surprised if Nebula is the balancing factor on the opposite end of the spectrum that just slightly tips the scale.
4. Stan Lee’s Cameo
While any major character meeting their doom at the hands of Thanos and his alien army is bound to be dark and the opposite of fun, there’s one character that could get caught in the destruction in hilarious fashion. If you want to really drive home the fact that Thanos is a merciless son-of-ab*tch, how about showing the audience a cameo of Stan Lee getting caught in an explosion or something courtesy of the Mad Titan. Is that too dark? Maybe. But Marvel could turn up the humor in that scene and I’m sure Stan would simply play along. We’ve never seen Stan Lee’s characters in any real danger other than that time in the first Spider-Man movie, and also in The Incredible Hulk when he grabs a contaminated drink from the fridge, so it’ll be shocking as well as mildly funny to see his upcoming cameo fall prey to Thanos’ wrath. And Stan Lee can always come back again as a mailman or a police officer or an oblivious librarian in future movies so it’s all good and nothing to really worry about. Plus if you really think about it, there’s a lot of sentimental value attached to his cameos so using that to create some shock value would really drive home a serious message about Thanos.
3. Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange)… But Not Really
Ah, here comes the most interesting demise in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. There’s no doubt that Doctor Strange will go toe to toe with Thanos… because on one end you have a Mad Titan wielding arguably the most powerful weapon in the universe, and on the other is a master of mysticism, a Sorcerer Supreme, and possibly the only real hope Earth has against the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. So does Doctor Strange stand a chance?
Yes and no. You see, I’m pretty sure Doctor Strange will get destroyed in Avengers: Infinity War, but I’m also sure he’ll use the mystic arts to conjure himself back into existence. We’ve seen him do it before; manipulate time and space to defy the laws of the known universe itself, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll do it again. If and when Doctor Strange meets his doom thanks to Thanos, it’ll only be a matter of time before he either pulls a version of himself back from the past into the present, or warps a version of himself from the closest parallel universe into the one with the Avengers before going to do battle with Thanos again. The possibilities are endless. So will Doctor Strange die in Avengers: Infinity War? I think there’s a massive chance he will. But because it’s Doctor Strange, there’s 100% surety he’ll find his way back.
As hilarious as his deadpan sense of humor may be, Drax is possibly the most tragic character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… and the studio just hasn’t played up that part of his character yet. However, we learned in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy that Drax became “the Destroyer” after his family – particularly his wife and daughter – were killed when Ronan the Accuser attacked and ravaged Drax’s home planet, and the metaphorically-challenged fighting machine has been on a world-hopping rampage ever since. Although Ronan was presumably destroyed at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Drax knows that true orders for the attack came from none other than Thanos himself, and Drax has vowed to hunt the Mad Titan and kill him. And it looks like Drax might get his chance in Avengers: Infinity War. But, can he truly take on Thanos? Here’s a spoiler from the world of comic book counterparts: Drax actually dies in the 2008 Guardians Of The Galaxy run. That’s right… in a fit of madness, Drax charges against Thanos and is killed. The circumstances here are oddly similar, so brace yourselves for all kinds of heartache if Drax gets obliterated by a very powerful Thanos.
1. Captain America (Steve Rogers)
Although it seems highly unlikely that Marvel will eliminate one of their two most prized superheroes, rumors of Steve Rogers’ demise have been swirling around ever since the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And there are some very valid arguments to be made here. Apparently actor Chris Evans is only contracted with Marvel up to Avengers 4, which is the untitled sequel to Infinity War that the Russo Brothers are filming right now as one super long production. There’s no news of renewals yet, and Evans has even mentioned wanting to retire from acting to pursue work behind the camera instead. Of course, he has also said that he’s open to doing anything Marvel wants him to do and obviously loves being the Captain very much.
The fact that Captain America’s assassination in the critically acclaimed Civil War comic run is still one of the most talked about events in comic book history shows how terribly iconic that moment was. On one end you have Bucky Barnes AKA Winter Soldier who would be a great replacement for Rogers and a more-than-skilled Captain America. And then you have Sam Wilson AKA Falcon who could also don the suit and become the new Captain. Although it’ll be just the worst seeing the end of Steve Rogers, with a completed trilogy and no news of contract renegotiation, it might be time for Marvel to initiate a new group of Avengers. Infinity War could mark the end of an era, and the dawning of a new form of Avengers with all new adventures to be had.