Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters this past weekend and has already made the studio millions back. As of this writing, they made a little over $640 million....in one weekend. This puts them on the fast-track to billions for the movie. The overall movie has been well-liked by fans, but people did sort of pass away in the film. We all knew this was going to happen though. It is common knowledge that the story was going to see the end of many superheroes. It was simply which ones that people were not aware of.
The story is based on the Marvel Comic series called The Infinity Gauntlet. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe was planning to use this storyline as a guideline, they were not going to do everything the same. The main reason for this is due to the fact that Disney does not own all of the Marvel universe. While they will eventually get a massive amount of the universe when the FOX deal is cleared, they'll still be behind on some people Sony owns.
Either way, the studio knew it could not do everything the way the comics did it because of the issue of who they owned versus who they did not. However, they also did not want to give the exact same storyline. Comic book fans love and hate this, in that they want things to stay true to the comics. While at the same time, they want to see another story and not the exact thing. Unless it revolves around a certain special comic, say like The House of M. Regardless, the studio has done well thus far with every movie they put together.
Sadly, many people passed in the movie. Clearly, it'll be tough to know if everyone will stay gone. However, it's currently up in the air. Until the untitled Avengers 4 comes out, we won't know who survives. In this list, we'll be taking an educated guess regarding who will be back and who will stay gone, however. Needless to say, SPOILER ALERT ahead for those who have yet to see the film.
15 Will Return: Bucky Barnes/White Wolf
During the end point of the movie...we see Bucky Barnes right there fighting alongside his friend Steve Rogers. The issue with Bucky was that he randomly disappeared as he turned to dust right in front of his friend. It was a hurtful moment to fans who loved the character and hoped he would eventually take on the mantle as Captain America when Rogers decided to pass it on or he too passed away. The overall consensus is that Bucky will be back. The primary reason is simply due to the popular and need regarding Bucky compared to some bit players here and there.
Being the best friend of Steve Rogers often means, by association, you're just as important in many cases. In other ways, the character is too important to just ax from the MCU when we all know the importance of Bucky in the comics. On top of this, he was just now turning to the good side forever. In Wakanda, Barnes was helped out heavily. They would clear his brain up so that he could function properly and not have any trigger words restart him down a random KGB warpath.
Judging by the results, he is now clear-headed and ready to go. There's no reason to remove him from the MCU, so Barnes will likely be back without question. It also helps that Sebastian Stan has a 9 deal contract with Marvel.
14 Will Return: Drax
It is pretty clear that Drax the Destroyer has a lot of time left on the Guardians before he could somehow be removed from the entire MCU. Interesting as it might seem, Drax staying gone would not be a complete blow to the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, Drax brings a huge asset of honesty to the group and overall comedic ability that the MCU needs to keep around. On top of this, Dave Bautista has become quite a useful asset to the MCU as an actor. He has destroyed in the part, but he also has a deep history that cannot be overlooked. The connection to Thanos likely means that he must come back and get the revenge he's been seeking since his first appearance in the MCU.
To ignore all of this, and simply take him out and keeping out, would be quite a horrible way of handling this popular character. For his part, Guardians director James Gunn mentioned that a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was coming and will take place after the events of Avengers 4.
However, he also left people with an open-ended thought by saying that there will be a new team. The plan as of now is to use some different people, but to have the originals returning too. Drax has to be among them. Drax does end up lasting in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline from Marvel Comics' original storyline. He is then used in other major universe stories afterward. So if Marvel Studios and Disney ever want to explore that, and they likely will, Drax is needed.
13 Will Stay Gone: Mantis
Mantis could very well stay gone simply due to the fact that she is a small player who outlasted her use. Mantis' best ability is being able to feel the same feelings as others by touching them. She experiences their emotions and can even access memories and feel as the person felt when involved in the memory. She also has the ability to put people to sleep, and in the case of Thanos, put him under for a period of time. When we first saw Mantis, she was used by the God Ego to help him sleep. That said, she can in some instances be considered a useful person. How many can put a God to sleep?
However, Mantis as a fighter has limitations. The likes of Nebula being around ultimately helps the Guardians more than Mantis. On a long-term basis, Mantis very well could end up in a romantic relationship with Drax. However, this is not entirely needed. On top of this, the female characters of Gamora and Nebula are already so good that they do not need a third among them. It takes away the special nature they bring. While Mantis is a useful character in parts, it does seem like she has overextended what the Guardians can use her for.
Her passing in the Infinity War was built the same as others. Theoretically, that could very well mean she returns. However, not everyone can make it back from the war. Mantis being a casualty for the Guardians makes sense, as she is liked enough for the mourning to make sense. Yet unneeded enough to allow the Guardians to not miss a beat without her.
12 Will Return: Falcon
By being a newer member of the MCU, Falcon comes in handy to the overall group on a long-term basis. His character is one that could be of use for years to come, and he does not have to be used in a major context entirely to do this. As a useful Avengers member, he can bring his level of military experience to the table every time. However, he can also continue to bring his ability to fly and hit targets from an ariel perspective as well. Overall, while War Machine can do a lot of things Falcon can do...he's not as young and as athletic as Falcon.
This means that while War Machine has to rely on a machine to truly get it done, Falcon can do fine without his wings and has proven that often. He's experienced with multiple weapons and can fly just about anything.
While they do define the name, they'll never define him. Falcon's ability to not need the wings and still be a threat is essential to the MCU. To top it off, the comic universe thought this too. That is why Falcon ends up becoming Captain America. This does not happen if he's only a guy who can fly. He only becomes the Captain when he's proven to be useful in multiple places.
Due to his new nature and use to the MCU, it seems unlikely that Falcon will stay gone. It would also be hard to lose an essential African American character for the studio. While this may seem racial to consider, it's a mere fact that studios often have to keep up with the number of people represented in a movie. If you've noticed, the MCU has tried to have as many representations as possible. That said, the way Falcon looks is just as important as his character. Despite the odd nature that happens to fall under.
11 Will Return: Scarlet Witch
Like many in the Infinity War film, Scarlet Witch was the victim of a mysterious passing. Thanos mentioned before all this took place that, if he won...he could snap his fingers and half the population on Earth would pass. Meanwhile, half would live. He claimed it would be random too, and not by any certain design. Old, young, rich, poor, all would be victim to Thanos' random order of things. Scarlet Witch is one of the few strong characters in Marvel that, if she chose, could literally destroy a planet. She also has the power to destroy an Infinity stone. She even did do this in the movie.
While Wanda did destroy the mind stone, there was a clear issue here. Thanos did claim there was a randomness with his destruction, but perhaps there wasn't in some cases. With Scarlet being so strong, he likely fears her. He knows if there is anyone who can destroy the Infinity Stones, it's Scarlet Witch. In order for him to remain successful, taking her out is an essential need. However, Scarlet has made herself stronger than death before. She even blended realities where her dream one became the real one, such as the House of M storyline.
That being said, it would be hard to believe the power of Wanda would allow her to suddenly pass on. If the theory of another dimension or being trapped in a stone is true, Scarlet Witch would be essentially one of the few who could really break away from this. That said, we could never see her remain gone. She's clearly too powerful to remove right now.
10 Will Stay Gone: Thanos' Goons & The Asgardians
One thing that made the movie more compelling was the addition of newer characters who barely saw screen time. The goons of Thanos were likely just as important to Thanos winning as the stones. By them being present, Thanos is not working alone. He can get things done easier when people are serving him and allowing him to get what he wants. The Goons do have names, as they call themselves The Black Order or Children of Thanos. They serve him until they breathe no longer, and essentially the God-like Thanos rewards them well for their service. The issue is that they cannot continue to last when Thanos can always use others in their place.
In addition to the passing of the Order's Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, and Corvus Glaive were the Asgardians. As everyone will recall from the ending of Thor: Ragnorak, Thor and Loki lead their team as they defeat Thor's evil sister in a way. Essentially in order to do this, that must destroy Asgard. They then realize that Asgard is not a place, but a people.
As long as the people were alive, the Asgardians were also alive. Sadly, Thanos comes after the Asgardians because Loki has one of the Infinity Stones. In order to get it, he attacks the ship and takes out everyone on it, thereby ending Asgard.
Unless Thor, the last Asgardian, continues to survive...Asgard will be gone completely. Why did we say Asgardians were gone? Mainly because in order to have a plural, you must have more than one. Upon the move to make an organized place and add people to Asgard for Thor to rule over...the people could return. But the people who passed on the ship will not be making it back.
9 Will Return: Black Panther
Likely the most obvious return of the entire MCU is Black Panther. Not only is he insanely essential to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the success of his film means that a Black Panther 2 is already being written out and will likely be expected for a 2020 release date. We could not have Black Panther without T'Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman. The incredible ability to become a cultural icon has led to Chadwick developing a following that might be bigger than any he had for any other character he played. Keep in mind, this man is an exceptional actor and bringing a new Black Panther on deck to replace he and the character of T'Challa would be insane right now.
That said, T'Challa is an essential figure to the comic book universe and the Avengers. While he is a part-time Avenger due to needing to be near Wakanda to protect his people, his overall assistance to the team makes him a major use. There were times when key Avengers went down and T'Challa stepped up as the leader. There were times when they needed tech and he offered it. He flew planes, he made must-need material out of scraps. The character is literally a main fixture the MCU cannot EVER do without. With that said, Black Panther could not remain gone.
If he remained out of action, it would ruin various upcoming projects that could easily use his special skill-set. Interestingly, Panther is a use in major Marvel storylines that it's clear Marvel Studios and Disney will want to explore. Removing him cannot happen. At least not right now, at this point in his MCU career. Chadwick himself would have to refuse to play the role any longer for the universe to ax the character.
8 Will Return: Star-Lord
Peter Quill might be known as Star-Lord, but it might take an act of the Lord himself to bring him back to life. Yet we do feel like it's going to happen. The reason for this is pretty simple. Chris Pratt might be a busy actor, but he has clearly proven to be a great draw with the Guardians movies as the main star or one of the main stars of the movies. This franchise can be continued for years as the Guardians are part of some absolutely incredible storylines in the comics.
In fact, they could do almost anything and go almost anywhere. This makes them almost like a Star Trek or Star Wars sort of option in that they can pretty much be essential to the universe.
The third Guardians film is coming, and to remove Star-Lord from this movie would not only be insane...it would be highly illogical on the part of the studio. To top it off, the entire Guardians storyline hinges on the use of Star-Lord. There are no true Guardians without Peter. With this being known, it would be very weird to suddenly remove the character to add emphasis to the series. People won't like it or buy into the move, especially when people are now really into Chris Pratt. If it makes you feel better, Pratt claimed to be working on both Avengers films. If he was not being used in the 4th film...why did he have to "work on it?" We know, tough question indeed.
7 Will Stay Gone: Vision
Unlike others within the war, Vision passed far different than most. The idea was that if taken to Wakanda, they could easily work to remove Vision's Mind Stone from his person and then keep him alive without it at the same time. Though risky, it was possible. It would simply need time if nothing else. This is when the war broke out in Wakanda that allowed the Avengers and others to properly keep Vision safe. Sadly, while Scarlet Witch was a huge asset to keep Vision safe....she left her post with him to help the very outmatched team. When doing this, she left Vision and the Wakandans wide open to attack from the Black Order.
Vision would manage to get past all of this and eventually Captain America and Scarlet Witch saved Vision. Upon the time Thanos arrived, the time was now for the stone to be destroyed despite it still being inside the head of Vision and giving him life, essentially. Wanda had to take out her beloved Vision in order to save the universe from Thanos, who upon taking the Mind Stone would have every stone and thus, total control. Despite how hard it was to do, Wanda did what she had to do and destroyed the stone and Vision. Thanos would come by and throw Wanda out of the way.
He would use the time stone to reverse events and bring Vision back with the stone. Only for him to be taken out by Thanos, resulting in two passings within minutes as Scarlet Witch watched both and saw Thanos take the stone. It was obviously hard to watch for all. Vision would turn blue and look pretty much gone. It simply does not appear he'll be back. While it is likely Tony Stark could find a backlog of Vision to restore in a new body, the Vision we once knew is no longer going to be present.
6 Will Return: Nick Fury
While some still leave the theater the moment the credits roll, true Marvel movie fans know to wait for the post-credits scene. Sometimes there can be more than one. While the first sort of fade out made people assume Marvel was not going to offer a post-credit scene...this changed as a shot went to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury and Mariah Hill. They're driving when they are stopped by a car coming out in front of them. Realizing the threat, Nick Fury knows he has to alert the one group that could help them. The problem is that he is slowly disappearing and has to make sure the button for the emergency is clicked. As Mariah passes on, Fury is going and thus may not have time to hit the alert. Yet he does manage to get it sent out.
When doing this, we see the logo of a certain Captain pop up on the screen. The logo is regarding a woman by the name of Carol Danvers, better known as Captain Marvel. While the solo movie surrounding her will be coming next year before Avengers 4 comes out, this was a good teaser.
The group Fury would want to help is one that has helped him out in the past when things become a bit, shall we say, universally threatening. The group is called S.W.O.R.D. and Danvers was a key player in this and helped to even lead it at one point.
They'll likely be known more in the coming year, especially with the solo project. However, Fury and Hill must come back as they're both the essential S.H.I.E.L.D. members left from the group, theatrically at least. With this knowledge, we have to not only consider them assets to the group but useful to the next part of the story. Plus Fury of all people has a thing about appearing to be gone only to make a triumphant return later on.
5 Will Return: Spider-Man
Likely one of the major passings that got to us in the theater was when Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, passed. While Thanos did say that his list of people taken out would be random and include people from all walks of life...it was tough to see such an important character go. The reason was likely due to who Parker is. Tony Stark has grown very attached to Peter and helped him become the hero he is today by somewhat training him and even offering him a few amazing suits to use his abilities in an even bigger way. The only problem is that when this man, who is now seeing Parker as almost a kid of his own, has to watch him pass. Phew. How hard could it be to deal with that?
What may break your heart more is to know what happened regarding it. Parker has something known as a "Spidey sense." This sensation that hits Spider-Man basically allows him to feel something bad when it is coming. Whether he can feel it from miles away or right near him, there is a clear understanding that something is happening. That said, Spidey likely felt the lives of others going and his own sense was going crazy as he too passed on. Allowing him to not only feel for others but also feel his passing more than any other. This is likely why he was in such hysterics compared to others.
He's too young to go through, and Disney had to practically offer a left arm to Sony to get permission to use the Spider-Man character. To remove him would insanity right now, especially with Tom Holland becoming quite a popular young actor. On top of this, a Spider-Man 2 is already in the works for Marvel Studios and Disney. We'll likely see Spidey return without an issue. Due to his feeling of the matter, Spidey will be out for revenge.
4 Will Stay Gone: Heimdall
The former Gatekeeper of sorts for Asgard, Heimdall, is likely a favorite among many Marvel fans. The incredible Idris Elba plays the role, and has been a useful man to the universe. He was the man who controlled the Bifröst, a bridge that connected worlds. His sword often helped to control it best. However, it was not always essential to have the sword involved. Heimdall was quite a useful person to the Asgard territory. He can see for millions of miles away and even somewhat speak to people. In Thor: Ragnorak, we see how he can almost bring a person to the place he's at and speak with them as if they are standing next to him. Though it is merely a spirit of sorts, rather than an actual body that he brings.
The power of Heimdall is great, which is why Odin and Thor trusted him so much. It is also why Loki feared him as much as he did as well. He was gifted as a fighter and one of the best at literally seeing what was coming miles away. However, he did not see Thanos attacking the Asgard ship.
Bruce Banner would turn into the Hulk and attempt to take down Thanos once he arrived on the ship, but Hulk would fail. Seeing that it was likely Hulk would be taken out by Thanos and the Black Order, Heimdall summoned the Bifröst sorts once more, as his power was weak and very limited.
This allowed him to transport Hulk to Earth where he landed in the home of Doctor Strange. Heimdall would anger Thanos and ultimately be taken out as a result. The passing of Heimdall was hard to see, but one that it is likely a permanent passing. The reason? Unlike others in the film, there was no dusty removal. This was a passing that was ugly, dark, and made to show finality. Sadly, it appears Heimdall will no longer be part of the MCU.
3 Will Return: Gamora
The passing of Gamora was quite a shocker, as many felt that Thanos would spare his daughter. It was odd, but Thanos did truly love Gamora. The idea of hurting her to a point of passing was likely never on the list for the Mad Titan. However, selfish needs and the feeling of doing the right thing to him would lead to the need to hurt Gamora. While the Guardians attempted to take out Thanos, he would use the Reality Stone to make them assume they could save The Collector and a stone. However, it was all a ruse to get Gamora. Star-Lord attempted to save her from the horrible fate that was going with Thanos. Yet he was unable. Gamora would be forced to lead Thanos to the Soul Stone, a stone that has a lot of use but also makes one pay a very dear price to wield it.
Due to the Gauntlet he possesses, Thanos can attain the Soul Stone and do damage with it for sure. However, unlike other stones, he has to give up something that he truly loves as a sacrifice of sorts to use it. He claims to truly love Gamora and looks at her with a tear in his eye as Gamora clearly sees the love for her was terrible and of evil intent. He throws her off of a mountain of sorts and she lands at the bottom, to meet her doom. This gave the Soul Stone to Thanos but took out a key player.
Gamora will likely need to come back. The main reason for this is due to the fact that her coming back ultimately is a huge deal for the stone. The fact that Gamora mentioned the twisted love means that there is a small hole in which Gamora likely could be alive within the stone. Thereby making her useful in bringing others together and breaking out of it. To top it off, Gamora is still new to the overall MCU and a key player to it. Removing her would make no sense right now. Especially when it concerns Thanos.
2 Will Stay Gone: Loki
In one of the more interesting situations we have to consider, Loki could very well be done. He seemed to be quite odd in the Infinity War film, as he came off as more of a hero than someone who could be considered a bad guy. He would attempt to take out Thanos only for the Mad Titan to crush his throat and breathing pathways. Loki is known for coming back to life after random instances with passing away. So why is this any different? The line Thanos delivers is key. He says "no more resurrections this time." This is a major throw at the God of Mischief, who has been known for making his way back.
While Loki is a God, and Gods are not supposed to be easy to take out...Thanos could very well be considered one. A God taking out another God is common in mythology and spells the end for that God.
With this said, Loki is also highly overextended. The original plan was to use the character in the first Thor movie and likely within the Avengers movie. The studio decided due to the popularity of the character in Thor to use him in a big way for Avengers. He's been used in every Thor movie since and now the beginning of Infinity War. This means that his character is no longer truly needed unless they plan to dive into more major Thor storylines. Unless this occurs, and something changes up, Loki is likely done as a member of the MCU.
1 Will Return: Doctor Strange
Dr. Steven Strange just wanted to be a world known surgeon and accomplished that mission. Sadly, a wreck on the road caused him to get hurt and eventually lose the ability to use his hands properly. After going broke to try and do everything to get his hands to working right once more, he was out of options. Until he visited a magical place that allowed him to eventually become the Sorcerer Supreme. He would wear something at this time known as the Eye of Agamotto. The people who know of it are sworn to keep it safe with their lives. Merely giving it away would be horrific. It has become a major need for Thanos, as inside the eye can be found the Time Stone. This stone literally does as it says. It affects time and can do so on a macro or micro scale.
Strange could literally reverse time on a person and bring them back to life if he wanted. In the movie, Strange goes into the future to check on over 14 million outcomes in the fight against Thanos. He finds that there is but one way where they win. As they attempt to remove the gauntlet from Thanos, Peter loses his temper and results in Thanos getting away and stabs Tony Stark. Many fear Thanos has taken out Stark, but the stab did not do this. Thanos planned to before Doctor Strange told Thanos to take the Time Stone to spare Tony. Thanos agrees to the deal and spares Stark as Strange asks.
Many think this outcome is one that Strange saw coming. In that, he knew he had to give up the stone for them to win and Stark being alive is a key thing needed in order to win. It also means he had to pass on as Thanos continued to keep his promise about sparing Stark when he turns everyone to dust. Strange likely only agreed to the move as he knew he would survive in some way. How he'll go about doing that is merely a guessing game for now. But he did say he would protect the stone with his life, so this is likely a key thing to consider.
Sources: [IMDB, Comic Vine, Marvel Comics, Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet, Avengers: Infinity War, Polygon]