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Marvel's Avengers: Endgame marks the culmination of 22 movies and nearly 48 straight hours of runtime worth of buildup. Remarkably, everything in the MCU has been leading up to this weekend, as Marvel fans finally get to witness the extremely satisfying – and extremely emotional – payoff to the 11-year saga.
With all the various balls in the air post-Infinity War, it’s seriously impressive that Marvel and the Russo brothers could make it to the end without dropping at least one or two. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few lingering questions. Here's a couple (OK, more than a couple) we’ve been mulling over ever since the credits rolled on the MCU’s magnum opus.
(Also, it seems pretty obvious, but just to reiterate: Everything from here on out assumes you’ve seen Endgame. If you haven’t, maybe bookmark this page and save it for later?)
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Which is kind of the whole point.**
Is Iron Man really gone-gone?
Some have suggested that Robert Downey Jr. could still return — or at least his voice could, anyway — as a Jarvis-like software update for whoever suits up in the Iron Man duds next (Rhodey? Pepper? Harley? … Morgan?). That would allow Tony to keep helping, and trading quips with, the Avengers from beyond the grave. But considering the very real (and very earned) emotion that the Endgame screenwriters and the Russos managed to wring out of Stark’s climactic death, it’d feel like a real cop-out to bring him back from the dead. Endgame wrapped up Iron Man’s 11-year arc with a neat bow. It’s time to let Tony rest.
Is Pepper the new Iron Man now?
Seeing Pepper suit up for Endgame’s final battle was a special thrill for comics fans, who’ve been waiting for Tony’s better half to finally get her “Rescue” armor for years. But does that suit go back in the closet now that Thanos has been dusted, or is there a chance we’re going to see Iron Goop join the Avengers going forward?
That was the kid from Iron Man 3 at Tony’s funeral, right?
Confirmed: The seemingly random civilian standing alongside Earth’s Greatest Heroes was none other than Ty Simpkins’ Harley Keener. Why the now-teen was invited to Tony’s private lakeside funeral but, say, Valkyrie (or the Queen of Wakanda) wasn’t … Well, that one I can’t answer. Unless Marvel’s sowing the seeds for him to step into Tony’s metal shoes in the near future.
Will Falcon have to give up his wings to become Captain America?
This is a question that’s been bugging me ever since an aged Steve Rogers officially passed the torch (or, well, the shield) to his friend Sam: If Wilson’s going to become the new Cap, does that means he has to lose those cool wings? Or is he just going to … fly around with a star-spangled shield? Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to find out: The handoff will presumably be the main arc in the upcoming Disney+ series starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier.
Who’s still in the Avengers? Is there even an Avengers right now?
Tony’s dead. So is Black Widow. Cap’s retired. Thor left to Eat, Pray, Love his way through the universe with his new Guardian friends. Hulk was severely winged by the Infinity Gauntlet. Which leaves … Hawkeye as the sole leftover from the original Avengers team, and he's got his own TV series coming. I’d imagine the roster will get retooled eventually, but it likely won’t happen for years.
Where in the world universe is Gamora?
Presumably, Peter Quill’s search for Gamora (or 2014 Alternate Timeline Gamora, if you’re being technical) will be a major part of the eventual Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, but it’s anyone’s guess what she’ll do, or where she’ll go, now that she’s been fast-forwarded nine years into an unfamiliar future.
Is Thor officially part of the Guardians of the Galaxy now?
The God of Thunder has been a member of the Avengers, the Revengers and now — at least if we’re going off Endgame — the Guardians of the Galaxy, making him the MCU equivalent of Octavio Dotel. It’s too early to tell whether Thor’s just hitching a ride or there to stay, but after Endgame saw Hemsworth’s famous six-pack abs replaced by, well, a beer belly and a literal six-pack, the possibility of mixing this Thor plus the Guardians is just too good to pass up. (Plus, now that Evans is retired, the MCU’s #1 Chris spot is officially up for grabs.)
Does Captain Marvel's haircut make her the Captain America replacement?
Doctor Strange already looks like Tony 2.0, complete with the goatee and super-sized superiority complex. Meanwhile, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is the MCU’s best candidate to take over Captain America’s leadership role: They’re both blonde former Armed Forces members-turned-supersoldiers, and champions of the little guy. All Larson needed was a haircut. I’m just saying, there are two major roster spots open on the Avengers, and it sure looks like these two might be able to jump right in without missing a beat.
Who’s the Hulk’s personal tailor?
Because he’s got a pretty snazzy new wardrobe in Endgame, and I’m assuming at least half the Big & Tall stores shut down after the snap ... OK, so some of these are more pressing questions than others.
How will Far From Home address the five-year time jump?
If the Spider-Man sequel truly is the official end of Phase 3, as Kevin Feige’s stated, how that movie addresses the events of Endgame is one of the more intriguing questions left in the MCU. Assuming half of Peter’s high school classmates got snapped, the other half would be in (or graduating) college by now. So does everyone just go back to school and pretend nothing ever happened, or will Far From Home attempt to explicitly address that? Are the schools overcrowded? Did Ned and all his other friends also get snapped, or just stay back?
What about the people who moved on with their lives?
I don’t know how much — if at all — the MCU wants to tackle this, but what about all the people who got un-snapped only to find that their loved ones have remarried, or that their jobs have been filled? It’s probably way too dark for Marvel, but I’d still love to see The Leftovers: MCU Edition as a Disney+ series.
What happened to garbage collection and Major League Baseball?
I understand that mankind would struggle to pick up the pieces post-snap, but Endgame seems to suggest that both garbage collection and the MLB halted in the wake of Infinity War. But even assuming Thanos was a fellow Mets fan and snapped the Wilpons out of existence, it seems unlikely that society would completely abandon its need for diversions like professional sports — not to mention basic sanitation. (Also, there’s no more garbage pickup, but there’s still a guy working security for a rundown self-storage company?)
Where, or when, is Loki?
Despite the fact that the God of Mischief seemed pretty definitively dead after Infinity War, Endgame sees him escaping with the Space Stone in 2012. Which certainly is a convenient way to get the fan favorite back into the MCU without undoing Thanos’ “no more resurrections” promise. The logistics of that make my head hurt, but I’m betting we’ll find out more in Loki’s coming Disney+ series. It’s too fun a thread not to revisit.
So Back to the Future’s a bunch of bulls**?
The Hulk does make a pretty convincing argument, even if Endgame’s version of time travel doesn’t quite make complete sense either. (See above.)
Can the Infinity Gauntlet do anything other than snap people into and/or out of existence?
Endgame treats the Infinity Gauntlet like it’s one of those single-use kitchen gadgets, only instead of slicing avocados, it snaps half the universe’s living creatures into, or out of, existence. Surely there are some other features on that thing?
What happened when Captain America saw the Red Skull again?
Before he gets his well-deserved happy ending with Peggy, Cap had another major (off-screen) reunion: when he had to go give the Soul Stone back to his former nemesis, the Red Skull. Which, awkward. Also, if one has to exchange a soul for the Soul Stone, what happens when you return it? Shouldn’t you get a soul back? What exactly is Vormir’s return policy, anyway?
Will we ever get to see Luis recap the entire MCU?
Out of all the fan service in Endgame, this is the one I was hoping for most.
Who’s the next Big Bad on the horizon?
Now that Thanos is dust, it’s time for the MCU to start building toward its next Big Bad. So who will it be? Doctor Doom, maybe? Galactus? No0bMaster69?
What was that hammering sound over the end credits?
Yes, Endgame is the first MCU movie since, well, basically ever to not feature at least one mid- or post-credits stinger. But there was something for fans who didn’t immediately race to the bathroom: the sound of a hammer pounding metal. I’m 99.9% sure the audio was a nod to Tony building his very first Iron Man suit back in 2008. That, or it’s an indication we’re getting a Gendry spinoff. Wait. No. Wrong pop culture mega-franchise.
… So, what’s next?
The lack of a post-credits tease doesn’t mean Marvel doesn’t have anything on the horizon. There’s Spider-Man: Far From Home coming in July, any number of planned sequels to come, the recently announced Eternals, various Disney+ series in the works, and a number of different directions for the MCU to go in the wake of the Fox merger. For now, though, maybe it’s OK to take a little time to let Endgame sink in before we get back to eagerly anticipating the next big thing. (Also, I’m sure we’ll get a hint as soon as the credits roll on Far From Home later this summer.)