Bringing Back Dead Avengers Undermines What Came Before Marvel Still Has Major Players at Its Disposal Returning Avengers Stars Come With a High Price Tag

Marvel Studios’ groundbreaking success reached unthinkable heights after Avengers: Endgame, but that might’ve also marked the studio’s peak. Following the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios expanded to television and has produced more projects than ever before. Films like Spider-Man: No Way Home were knockout hits, albeit for Sony, while Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania struggled critically and financially — a rare occurrence for Marvel Studios.

The studio has also had to endure a pandemic and two strikes in recent years as it navigates towards the future, so the road has been rocky. The Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Multiverse Saga is heading towards a story inspired by the Secret Wars storyline, yet given the studio’s recent struggles, a change in direction might be inevitable. According to Variety, Marvel Studios is mulling a new Avengers film that would bring back dead characters Iron Man and Black Widow, signifying a desperate attempt to return to its glory. While anything is possible in the MCU, bringing back the major heroes from the Infinity Saga is an unnecessary one.

Why Does Iron Man Mentor Spider-Man in the MCU?

Avengers: Endgame served as a culmination of the MCU’s first ten years of build-up that predated it and saw a fitting end to Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow’s sprawling arcs. A move to bring back these characters after that emotional payoff undoubtedly undermines what came before, even if Downey, Evans, or Johansson return as alternate versions. There’s a chance the film is a prequel like Black Widow, which came out after Avengers: Endgame, but would that be worth it?

Dead characters return all the time in comics and have even occurred in the MCU from time to time. While the MCU is faithful to the source material, it also has the opportunity to separate itself from the page and tell a story based in some reality where heroes die, mantles pass on and the universe marches forward. Sam Wilson, Yelena Belova and Riri Willaims have been set up as the successors of these heroes and haven’t had the chance to shine yet. Bringing back Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America would also undermine those characters who are now getting the spotlight in the MCU.

Returning Avengers Stars Come With a High Price Tag

The MCU Needs More Than a Soft Reboot – It Needs a Break

Disney is notably cutting back budgets and spending across the company, leading to fewer projects than what fans have seen in the last few years from Marvel. The sheer volume of projects has also contributed to the MCU’s current issues, but cutting back can get the franchise back to where it was. Disney and Marvel’s goal is to return to the consistency each MCU project produced in its quality and box office.

If Marvel Studios were to bring back the original Avengers characters, that would go against Disney’s cost-cutting initiative. The salary for Downey alone in an Avengers return might not be viable or even possible, especially when there are other options, not to mention all the other stars returning for an Avengers film who would demand a higher salary. Sure, the risk is there for Marvel Studios to turn out another juggernaut like Endgame, but chasing success by throwing audiences what they’ve enjoyed before can backfire as nostalgia bait and become costly.

Marvel Still Has Major Players at Its Disposal

These X-Men Villains Could Be The Next MCU Threat

Avengers: Endgame might’ve served as a send-off for Captain America, Black Widow and Iron Man, but there is still no shortage of major characters the MCU can explore and introduce. While owned by Sony, Spider-Man is coming off the highest box office return for a solo film and the character has never been more successful. Including more Spider-Man in future crossover events would court the grand audience the studio can bring in. Chadwick Boseman’s unfortunate passing also hurt the prospects of the MCU, with Black Panther potentially stepping in as its next face. It can be easy to look at what the MCU no longer has at its disposal, but there are still plenty of figures to play with. Thor, Star-Lord, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Loki, Scarlet Witch and other key characters are still out and about in the MCU.

The MCU is also about to add more heavy weights with Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Hugh Jackman’s return as Wolverine will be a huge draw for audiences, with rumors of Tobey Maguire also set to return as Spider-Man in Avengers: Secret Wars. Perhaps it’s time to forgo Avengers films and embark on a different type of crossover with new heroes entering the MCU. The Avengers weren’t always the beloved name they dominate the world with today, and in the ’90s, it was the X-Men who were the face of Marvel Comics.

The Avengers can still have a role to play, but an Avengers team-up doesn’t have to occur to bring heroes together, and several solo films prove that point, like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home — the two highest grossing films of Phase Four. The X-Men alone can lead to a story bigger than any that’s been told in the MCU yet, and it would be a fresh way to keep the franchise going. The lack of any Avengers film or major crossover event in the last round of projects might’ve hurt the reward fans got for following along in past phases. Marvel Studios has plenty of characters to make these giant stories happen; it just needs to crack the story and bring them together.

There is a path towards success for Marvel Studios with valuable lessons learned and ones the studio can afford for now. The MCU needs to go back to basics and narrow its focus towards the major players at their disposal currently. The biggest appeal of the MCU is the crossover between characters, which has been lacking compared to previous phases. It’s time to make audiences invested in all the stories and return to the mantra that everything connects. Phase Four was an important step, but some things separate the MCU from its competition that it can’t lose.

The MCU was able to launch without many key characters when it started and led to the most successful franchise ever. Bringing back Iron Man and Black Widow feels like it’s going against the very thing that made Marvel Studios special in the first place. Maybe there’s too much Marvel can do now? Marvel Studios has a landmine with the X-Men, and it’s time to finally bring the mutants out and turn the team into the MCU’s next Avengers as a franchise staple and explore more crossover potential with new characters for a fresh direction.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of superhero films produced by Marvel Studios. The films are based on characters that appear in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

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