10 Harsh Realities Facing The Next Avengers Movies

Split image of MCU Doctor Strange looking sad and The Avengers in the first MCU movie

Despite the team of heroes being one of the MCU’s biggest draws, there are significant issues facing future Avengers movies. From the earliest stages of the MCU’s movie timeline, the Avengers have been a key part of the franchise. Throughout the MCU’s Phase 1, heroes were introduced with the specific aim of building the franchise’s original team of Avengers, with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye serving as founding members.

As they’ve been a prominent part of practically all of the movies of the MCU, the Avengers make up the fabric of the franchise itself. With future Avengers movies on the horizon, however, there appear to be a number of major issues facing the team of heroes. Despite their importance – or, in some cases, because of it – the MCU faces several harsh realities ahead of the next Avengers movies.

10. Comic Accuracy May Be Difficult

The MCU’s Story So Far Will Affect How It Adapts The Source Material

Marvel Comics' Secret Wars between Earth-616 and Earth-1610

Across the many movies and TV shows of the MCU, the franchise has made many deviations from its comic book source material. This is part of what has helped the MCU become so successful, as it allows the franchise to keep even the most dedicated of comic book readers on their toes regarding where the MCU might take its story. However, this creative freedom comes with a potential pitfall, especially where it comes to adaptations of major comic book stories such as The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars.

Adapting the specific stories as they exist in the comics will be all but impossible for the MCU to achieve organically. With so many characters dead or retired, and other prominent figures yet to make an MCU appearance, strict adherence to the comics will be extremely difficult. What’s more, condensing important narratives into single-film arcs will be an even greater challenge, requiring even more creative handling of the source material.

9. The MCU’s Kang Problem

Recasting Kang’s Many Variants Will Be Incredibly Jarring

Kang the Conqueror looking angry in the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania

The next Avengers movie faces an entirely unique challenge in relation to its villain, Kang. After his first full appearance as an antagonist in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Jonathan Majors’ Kang was firmly established as the franchise’s next major Avengers-level threat. Quantumania’s post-credits scene introduced many versions of Kang, all played by Majors. However, behind-the-scenes issues have since spilled over into the MCU’s future, creating a specific issue for the franchise.

After the actor encountered legal troubles, Marvel opted to drop Majors from future projects. However, after introducing Majors as the face of hundreds of Kang variants, this shift will undoubtedly be jarring, as the recasting of the role of Kang appears inevitable. Exactly how the MCU will handle such an obvious change isn’t clear, but the unavoidable lack of consistency will only serve to diminish the immersion of the next Avengers movie.

8. Switching Up Villains Without The Appropriate Groundwork

An Antagonist Shift With No Warning Will Likely Feel Rushed

Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3 on his throne

As well as recasting the role of Kang, the MCU has another potential solution to its antagonist issues, although it also comes with an element of risk. For Avengers: Secret Wars, it’s likely that Kang will not be the true antagonist at all, but rather one of the other major Marvel villains soon set to appear. For example, the MCU’s Fantastic Four is set to introduce Galactus to the franchise, and Doctor Doom is another likely candidate to make his MCU debut.

Considering Doom is typically one of the major villains of the Secret Wars story in the comics, Marvel may use this to resolve their Kang issue. However, as no real foundation has been laid for Doom or any villain other than Kang to be the next major antagonist, this too may feel abrupt and unearned. Regardless of the potential solution, it seems that the next Avengers movies are facing huge villain problems.

7. The Risk Of Undermining Previous Avengers Stories

Expected Hero Returns Would Hurt The MCU

Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow about to sacrifice herself on Vormir in Avengers Endgame

Some of the most major developments in the MCU to date involve a number of its most popular characters, but the MCU’s Multiverse narrative could well undermine these powerful moments. The end of the Infinity Saga saw some of the MCU’s most prominent heroes reach the end of their respective stories, some with heroic sacrifice and others with a much happier ending. However, speculation regarding these characters reappearing may well undermine the emotional weight of their endings.

Avengers: Secret Wars in particular is set to be a major MCU milestone, marking the end of the Multiverse Saga. Given the nature of the narrative, many are hoping to see the return of Steve Rogers as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, or Black Widow. However, as each of these characters’ respective endings remain important moments in their own right, bringing them back would undo some of the MCU’s most powerful character development.

6. Too Many Heroes

The MCU Is Filled With Important

Mark Ruffalo's Smart Hulk about to wear the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers Endgame

Since its inception, the MCU has grown exponentially, with new heroes and villains introduced in each new installment. As such, the franchise has become inundated with heroes worthy of being Avengers, presenting a unique challenge to the MCU’s next team-up narrative. With so many heroes existing in the MCU, establishing a cast of characters for the next Avengers movies will be something of an impossible task.

It would appear that Marvel will attempt to include as many of the MCU’s heroes as possible in the conclusion of its Multiverse Saga, much as was the case with Infinity War and Endgame. However, balancing such a huge roster of heroes will be increasingly difficult, particularly as more characters are set to join the franchise ahead of The Kang Dynasty. Conversely, it would seem bizarre if too many heroes were absent from the next Avengers movies, creating an almost impossible dilemma.

5. A Multitude Of Multiverse Issues

Infinite Possibilities Will Make The Multiverse Saga’s Conclusion Feel Underwhelming

Incursion destroying Sinister Strange's universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The MCU’s Infinity Saga tied the movies of Phases 1 through 3 together with a wider narrative arc, and the Multiverse Saga has been doing the same since Avengers: Endgame. However, the more the Multiverse is explored within the franchise, the more complicated the task becomes for the next Avengers movies. The infinite scope of the Multiverse creates endless possibilities, and that could well be a huge problem for the MCU.

Living up to the expectations created by those possibilities is something that will not be truly possible for The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. The nature of the Multiverse means that its possibilities are limited only by the imagination, and fans will each have their own individual hopes and expectations for the next Avengers movies as a result. In that sense, the Multiverse Saga’s conclusion faces an insurmountable task, as many will likely be disappointed by the MCU’s execution of the narrative regardless of its quality.

4. Lack Of Team Build-Up

The MCU Has Yet To Establish A New Line-Up Of Avengers

Sam Wilson giving his first speech as Captain America at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's finale

The MCU’s Multiverse Saga is well-established as it rounds its approximate mid-point, but the franchise has yet to fully outline a new team of Avengers. Though some of the MCU’s original Avengers remain active within the franchise, there has been no official confirmation of the in-universe team. Compared to the Infinity Saga, this may create issues for the next Avengers movies if not addressed in some way.

Phase 1 of the MCU established the Avengers, with Phase 2 shoring up the team’s foundations and adding new members. This meant that the conclusion of the Infinity Saga featured a seasoned team of heroes, whereas the Multiverse Saga as yet has nothing of the sort. As the MCU has done very little to build up its next roster of Avengers, the winning team dynamic that helped the Infinity Saga’s success is conspicuously absent as the Multiverse Saga inches closer to its big Avengers-led payoff.

3. The MCU’s Power Imbalance May Be An Issue

The Difference Between MCU Heroes Continues To Grow

Captain Marvel investigating a jump point in The Marvels

As more and more heroes are introduced into the MCU, the imbalance between their respective power levels has grown. The franchise now boasts a number of incredibly powerful heroes, such as Captain Marvel, G’iah, and Adam Warlock, making other heroes seem less important by comparison. This will undoubtedly affect the perception of specific characters heading into the next Avengers movies, or could jeopardize their inclusion in the next iteration of the team.

Beloved and long-serving MCU heroes such as Hawkeye are likely to look all but useless alongside the likes of Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange. This creates questions as to whether such heroes can have an organic part to play within the narrative, or if more powerful heroes will need to be creatively excluded from the story to keep the balance in check. However, any solution to the issue risks wasting important characters, making it a no-win situation for Marvel.

2. Many Replacement Heroes Have Yet To Be Tested

The MCU’s Newest Heroes Have Hardly Appeared

Yelena Belova looking sad in Black Widow

As the MCU’s has grown, an increasing number of its original heroes have moved on. Even the original Avengers who remain have played mentor to potential replacements, and some of those who have died or retired have ceded their mantles to other characters. The idea of heroes stepping in to replace beloved characters is a time-honored tradition in the comics, but the MCU has yet to fully season its new recruits.

By the time the next Avengers movies roll around, many of the MCU’s newer heroes will only have appeared once or twice in the franchise. Despite assuming their rightful place as successors to the original Avengers, the likes of She-Hulk, Black Widow, and Sam Wilson’s Captain America will have had precious little experience with their new identities. This ultimately places a huge strain on characters who deserve to be iconic, and marks a huge risk for the MCU’s next generation of Avengers.

1. Superhero Fatigue Could Affect The Next Avengers Movies

Big Budgets Are Becoming A Big Box Office Risk

Kamala Khan, Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau in costume in The Marvels

Perhaps the harshest reality facing the next Avengers movies isn’t an in-universe issue, but something facing cinema in general. At the time of previous Avengers movies, the superhero genre was consistently dominating the box office, with its cinematic crossovers serving as record-breaking fare. However, 2023’s comic book movies tell an entirely different story, seeming to spell out hard evidence for the existence of audiences’ growing superhero fatigue.

Big budget comic book movies no longer appear to be the box office draw they once were, with both Marvel and DC suffering from major flops in 2023. Avengers movies typically require huge budgets, and spending so much on a genre that has begun to consistently underperform seems a massive risk. Exactly how such a risk can be mitigated remains to be seen, but combined with many other narrative and conceptual problems, the MCU’s next Avengers movies are facing many harsh realities.

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