Black Panther highest grossing

Who Was Shown to Disappear? And Why Were the Original Avengers Left Alive?

During the final sequence and end credits scene, we see Bucky, Black Panther, Groot, Wanda, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Maria Hill, and Nick Fury turn into ash as half the universe is wiped from existence. Remember, this doesn’t mean they are dead, but…perhaps they’re in a different world, dimension or time?

One thing many fans have noticed is that the original core team of The Avengers survived the ending of Infinity War. This includes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). It seems as if the next Avengers film will center on this core crew, and the additions of Don Cheadle’s War Machine, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). Also, remember that Wong (Benedict Wong) was last seen alive guarding the Sanctum Sanctorum, and Okoye (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke) are all holding down the fort in Wakanda.

Will The Avengers Use Time Travel to Defeat Thanos and Restore the Erased Heroes?

We’ve seen some set photos from the production of Avengers 4 that seem to be set during the original battle of New York from the first Avengers film. This initially led some fans to believe that Avengers 4 would involve time travel. However, director Joe Russo recently spoke out about the set photos, possibly offering an explaination:

“It’s interesting because photos always leak, and there’s lots of conjecture about what those photos mean. Certainly, there is a five minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason. If you go back and look at that film, you may get a hint as to the direction.”

Russo is most likely pointing to Tony Stark’s “B.A.R.F.” technology, which stands for Binary Augmented Retro-Framing. The technology was introduced at the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, where it allowed Tony to re-experience his memories in vivid detail. Fans and websites took Russo’s comment as an official debunks of the time-travel theory, but I’m not sure it debunks it at all.

Avengers Infinity War

“It Was The Only Way”

Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone to explore millions of possible outcomes of their confrontation with Thanos and tells Tony Stark that only one of the possible consequences allows The Avengers to be victorious. We all assume that we ended up in a one of the 14 million failed outcomes, but what if the ending we saw at the conclusion of Infinity War was actually the one in 14 million which leads to the Avengers being victorious?

Remember, when our heroes are on their way to Titan, Doctor Strange warns Tony Stark that if it comes down to saving one of their lives and protecting the Time Stone, he will choose to preserve the Time Stone and save the universe. At the end of the movie, Strange offers the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for Stark’s life. Has Strange really become attached to Stark in the time since landing on Titan, or is this part of a larger plan? Remember, as Stephen Strange explains to Tony as he fades away: “It was the only way.”

Now, this line gets glossed over by most audiences, but I think this is the key to Avengers 4 and the future of the MCU. It is possible that the one in 14,000,604 scenarios involved Thor chopping off Thanos’ arm with the Stormbreaker, but looking at this from a purely character-based standpoint, I don’t see any reality where Thor would have done that. In Infinity War, Thor believes he’s the star of his own revenge story. There is no end to that story where Thor considers the arm and Gaunlet instead of plunging the Stormbreaker into the chest of the being that murdered his brother.

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Could Our Erased Heroes Actually be in a Different Time or Dimension?

My friend and colleague Mark Hughes theorized that maybe Doctor Strange put a spell on the Time Stone so that when Thanos used it in his Infinity Gauntlet to erase half of the universe, it would instead send those people to a different time or place. This might also explain some of those Avengers 4 set photos featuring our heroes in earlier time periods. It’s also possible that such a spell sent them to another dimension or another realm. After all, we have seen Doctor Strange use the Time Stone in this way. It’s a fun theory.

Our own managing editor Jacob Hall believes it’s as simple as you see in the movie: that our heroes needed to lose horribly in order to win in the end. He cites the original Infinity Gauntlet comic book storyline, where Thanos wipes out half of the universe at the halfway point, and the rest of the series follows the survivors attempting to get the gauntlet from him to reverse it.

Continue Reading Exploring the Infinity War Ending >>

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