What Will Phase Five Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Look Like?

Wow. So now that we're all living in a post-Avengers: Infinity War world, it's time to deal with the fallout of what was undoubtedly a world shaking entry in the MCU. Beware because from here on out there are going to be a lot of spoilers and some serious speculation about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Half of the universe is dead, let's start off with that. It's quite likely that Marvel won't keep all of their biggest heroes dead, but even if they bring back the core characters and introduce new heroes like Captain Marvel, it's likely that by the time we hit Phase Five, the MCU will really need some new blood.

So let's think about who Marvel has left to bring in as the new generation of heroes after the seeming inevitability of a Secret Invasion plot in Phase Four, not to mention the strong possibility of the retirement of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. as Captain America and Iron Man. It might seem silly to think about this when we don't know what's coming for sure in Phase 4, but the answers to this advance question hold the possibility of a very fun, fantastical future for the MCU.

Namor the Sub-Mariner

My first pick has to be Namor the Sub-Mariner. Though his film distribution rights were at one point owned by Universal and the rights situation around him is still murky, he's one of the most prominent and long-running Avengers in the comics, and also a really great character. He was slated to first appear in a book called Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, but that issue was never released and thus Namor McKenzie first appeared in the legendary Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. He predates DC's Aquaman by two years and like the orange-scaled Justice Leaguer, Namor is the son of a human man and an Atlantean princess.

Namor would be a great chance for Marvel to cast a South-Asian actor in a lead role, and would make a truly great addition to the MCU. He even has an easy in to the current MCU, as the comics have updated his backstory to make his father an explorer searching for Vibranium. The fiery Sub-Mariner has constantly battled with Black Panther and Wakanda–as well as being a long-time ally of the Fantastic Four and retroactively declared to be a mutant–so his ties to everything Marvel are rich and run deep.


Officially an Avenger in the comics for over 50 years, Hercules is the perfect unexpected-but-expected replacement for Thor. First appearing in Avengers #10–though he wasn't named until Journey Into Mystery Annual #1, considered his first official appearance in the Marvel Universe–Hercules is a reimagining of the classic character from Greek mythology. In the comics, Hercules was originally set up as a rival for Thor, as they were both gods. But in contrast to Thor's regal and oft stoic demeanor, Hercules has been known for being rowdy, drunk, and gregarious. A leap-before-you-look kind of hero could be a fantastically fun and different addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Infinity War already leaned into the fantasy elements of the MCU with the introduction of the Dwarves of Nidavellir and their intergalactic forge, so it doesn't seem too far fetched that the future of the MCU might lay in the hands of some of the comics' more mythical characters like Herc. The Son of Zeus could also be a great introduction to some of the other more cosmic characters in the Marvel pantheon, as he's not only starred alongside Hulk and Thor but also the gods of the Marvel Comics universe, The Eternals (more about them later). Also Marvel desperately needs some canon queer representation and Hercules is bisexual!

Black Knight

There have been a lot of Black Knights in Marvel's comics. The one we think they might bring in is Roy Thomas and George Tuska's superhero Dane Whitman, who was the nephew of one of the original and villainous Black Knights. Dane debuted in 1968 and quickly became a recurring character in the Avengers. The character also has an interesting connection to the current MCU's flagship character Tony Stark, as his uncle was defeated by Iron Man and led to Dane being given the Black Knight mantle.

Dane could be a radical addition to the later phases of the MCU, especially as his medieval roots could play well with the surviving Asgardians like Thor and Valkyrie. Also for Fantastic Four conspiracy theorists–like me–Dane has a great link to the first family of Marvel, as when he was an Avenger he helped to defeat Kang the Conqueror, a distant relative of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, after he was imbued with the power of Death by the Grandmaster. So if Marvel did decide to introduce the Fantastic Four via their nefarious ancestor, Dane would be a tried and true hero who could defeat him alongside the Avengers.


Another Avenger and cosmic crusader is Sersi, and boy would she would be a magical addition to the future of the MCU. She was created by Jack King Kirby in his '70s standalone series Eternals, which focused on an ancient evolutionary offshoot of humans who lived like gods in ancient times. Sersi was already thousands of years old when she was introduced, though she maintains the appearance of a young woman. The tales of the Eternals weaved in Greek mythology, including the story of Pandora's box. Sersi's lived in pretty much every important time in recorded history, and would be easy to introduce due to the fact the Time Stone already exists in the MCU.

Sersi has fought alongside Thor and Cap, and would be a perfect way of introducing the wider world of the Eternals to the MCU. She also has a lot of history with New York, which we know plays a massive part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sersi was asked to join the Avengers by Captain America, and we could easily see Cap searching for new heroes to join a revamped iteration of the heroic group in the years to come. She also had a romantic relationship with Dane Whitman, so it's likely that the pair could be introduced together.


Now here's one that we know for sure is being developed by Marvel Studios, as Kevin Feige recently confirmed it. Created by the Celestials, the Eternals are a group of pre-humans who can live for millennia and were originally intended by their creators to be the guardians of Earth. For over thousands of years the team have protected humanity from the Deviants, who were also birthed by the Celestials millions of years ago. The epic sprawling story was created by Jack Kirby when he returned to Marvel Comics in the '70s, and would be an incredible and expansive source for the new MCU to take from.

Wonder Man

He was the original man behind Vision and a huge staple of not only the Avengers but the Marvel Universe as well. So could we finally see Wonder Man make his cinematic debut when the MCU hits Phase Five? Simon Williams was first introduced in Avengers #9 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck as a rival to Tony Stark, but his legacy would end up being something much stranger than just another Iron Man villain. See, Simon wasn't around long before he slipped into a catatonic state, and his brain patterns were stolen by Ultron to form the basis of the Vision's synthezoid mind.

Eventually, Simon was revived and would become one of the most beloved Avengers. His similarities to the Vision made him an ideal romantic rival and alternate partner for Scarlet Witch, creating a bizarre love triangle that's carried on for decades. He also forged a career as a Hollywood actor, adding a celebrity mentality to Earth's Mightiest Heroes (something we almost saw by way of Nathan Fillion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). Putting Wonder Man in the MCU would give us a totally different kind of hero on the silver screen and allow filmmakers to probe the boundaries of the MCU's fourth wall.


Since the announcement that the upcoming Captain Marvel movie would include Marvel's most famous alien foe, Skrulls, there's been much speculation about whether or not the next phase of the MCU would be based on the classic Secret Invasion storyline. The comics were groundbreaking as they revealed many of the famous heroes we were reading for years to actually have been replaced by the alien shapeshifters. In the wake of Secret Invasion the public lost faith in the heroes, so a team of reformed super villains turned heroes made a comeback and they were called the Thunderbolts!

Originally conceived by Mark Bagley and Kurt Busiek after the Onslaught event as a new team of heroes in the mold of the Avengers, the team was revealed to be villains at the end of their first appearance! And after Secret Invasion they returned with a new lineup to fill the void left by the events of Secret Invasion. It would make a lot of sense for Marvel to introduce a whole new team especially in the wake of Infinity War, let alone whatever will happen when we rejoin the surviving heroes next year.



The most heroic of the Thunderbolts began as one of the most notorious villains. Songbird A.K.A. Screaming Mimi utilizes her supersonic scream to battle her enemies and has a colorful background... one that includes being in a team of female supervillains called the Grapplers! The MCU is in dire need of more women, and Songbird would be a radical new face with a whole bunch of great backstory.

Melissa Gold's abilities enable her to craft 3D objects out of solid sound, which could look incredible on the big screen. She already has connections to many of the Avengers including Black Widow, Cap, Nick Fury, and Hawkeye, who was the long-time leader of the Thunderbolts and could likely take on that role in the coming years of the MCU.



Nighthawk was not only a short-lived member of the Thunderbolts, but he was also at the center of the Squadron Supreme and Defenders, in which he starred in alongside one of the MCU's newest recruit, Valkyrie. Kyle Richmond is the original Nighthawk–there are five alt-universe versions–and he's essentially Marvel's Batman. He's a wealthy young man who after the death of his mother is sent to boarding school before attempting to join the army, but during a drunken haze one night he managed to create a magical serum which gave him enhanced athletic ability during the night, hence his moniker.

With his strange powerset and dark aesthetic, it would be pretty likely that if Nighthawk debuts in the MCU it'll be in the Netflix shows, especially as he was in the '70s Daredevil comics as well. But there's always a chance that he could pop up in the films if Marvel decides to pursue the Thunderbolts or even their own version of the Defenders (albeit closer to the comics and likely with a different name). It would be especially cool if they went with Kyle's later iteration, which reimagined Kyle as a young black man working out of Chicago. We know John Boyega has had talks with Marvel Studios, and this could be an especially meaty role for the accomplished actor.



Another Daredevil regular turned Thunderbolts member is Bullseye. A terrifying sociopathic assassin, Bullseye was first introduced in Daredevil #131 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. He's since become an iconic Marvel villain, and his unique power of being able to turn any object into a deadly projectile also makes him one of the most dangerous. He's faced down Matt Murdock, Punisher, Captain America, and even the Red Skull. During Warren Ellis' run on Thunderbolts, he also semi-reformed and joined the superhero team.

Fans have been surprised that Lester A.K.A. Bullseye has yet to make an appearance in the Netflix Daredevil show as he's so intrinsically tied to the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. Could it be because Marvel had bigger plans for the psychotic marksman? Including a character from Daredevil would be an exciting bit of fan service for the films, and would be a really out there inclusion if Disney does decide to assemble the Thunderbolts!


That's all for our wild predictions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 5 might bring in the years to come. Again, without knowing what's coming in Phase 4, this is all just fun speculation on our part. Is there anything you'd like to see happen in the future of Marvel Studios? Sound off below and let us know.