WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the movie Avengers: Infinity War. If you have not seen the movie and wish to remain unspoiled, do not read it.
So. Half the universe is dead. What comes next?
Obviously, the two films that come before Avengers 4 won’t be dealing with the aftermath — Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, while Captain Marvel takes place in the ‘90s. But then we’ll have Avengers 4, which has to deal with what happened. And then we get Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 in addition to (hopefully) season six of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So...what then?
The ending to Infinity War should definitely have consequences, even though we know those deaths won’t stick. Peter Parker isn’t going to stay dead — there is simply no way that Marvel, Disney, and Sony are leaving him dead — and it would be hard for James Gunn to have Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 with only Rocket and Nebula (although not impossible).
But even if the deaths themselves are reversed, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences. The movies tend to come out around the same time frame — Infinity War came out and was set six years after The Avengers — so it’s possible that Avengers 4 will be set one year after Infinity War. That means that even if they bring everyone back, one year will have passed with everyone dead. That’s still quite a huge thing. Imagine disappearing and then reappearing, only to realize you lost an entire year of your life while your family and friends mourned you.
This could lend a melancholy tone to next few films, but I think it would be justified.
I really want Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have a sixth season, because I really want them to explore a world where half the population has just disappeared. I want a season where S.H.I.E.L.D. honestly comes back into the public eye as a relief organization — after all, in the aftermath of such a huge disaster, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be even more needed.
Plus, then we would have S.H.I.E.L.D., Daisy, and the others having to deal with normal, mundane crises (like: making sure the electricity doesn’t go out, making sure children whose parents disappeared have people to take care of them, etc) with more spy-fi plots (like taking care of cults and the Watchdogs, who will probably blame aliens/the Inhumans).
But: if half the cast disappears, then we will be missing half the cast, right? Well, not necessarily. There is one way that Coulson and half the cast could be dead, but still show up: the Framework. If Daisy and Fitz/Simmons were able to get a piece of the Framework back up and running, they would probably program it to include all of the people who died just so they could talk to them. It would be a nice workaround.
I would love it if the Year of Half the Universe Being Dead inspired a lot of new heroes to show up. Perhaps give us a mention in Avengers 4 of new superheroes popping up — Captain Britain, the Black Knight, White Tiger, etc.
So: what do you guys want to see?