Spoiler warning: This article involves a lot of spoilers! Hence it is better for little buddy who has not seeing Avengers 3 to read this article after seeing the film.
While Avengers 3 ended in a sore of grief, many people now start to guess the story of Avengers 4, and wonder about many aspects, for instance, will the dead heroes resurrect in Avengers 4; Who would be the villain? And how will the heroes survived in Avengers 3 fulfill the task of balancing the universe?
In fact, if you are a die-hard fan of Marvel, who has seen every movie of Marvel Studio, there will be no difficulties for you to find some clues from the foreshadowing of its early stage. Here are some of my personal conjectures to Avengers 4. Hopefully, it can give you a flying feeling.
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Let’s recall what Doctor Strange said to Iron Man after giving Time Stone to Thanos at the end of Titan War “We are in the endgame now”
Why did Doctor Strange say that?
Doctor Strange saw the end of 14,000,605 infinite wars through Time Stone, or 14,000,605 parallel worlds in other words.
The figure 14,000,605 does not come out of the blue. As the number of main combat heroes plus Thanos in Avengers 3 is 24, and each hero has only two alternatives including life and death, the number can be calculated by the logarithmic formula as follows:
㏒2(14000605)=23.73899≈24, which corresponds to the 24 roles on the poster.
Before this, it was rumored that the subtitle of Avengers 4 is “End Game”, which is just Doctor Strange 's line to iron man.
Before Titan War, Doctor Strange deliberately told Iron Man that if he were just able to save one among Tony, Peter and Time Stone, he would not hesitate to give up Tony and Peter.
However, when Thanos wanted to kill Iron Man, Doctor Strange tried to save Iron Man at the expense of the stone. Why? Pity that Doctor Strange is cultured so well that he does not give the slightest spoiler even after seeing 14,000,605 versions of Avengers 4, which leaves us no choice but to guess.
Some friends may think the truth is simple, that is, Doctor Strange saw only the Iron Man in the future of the only victory.
But is it just so? Let's look back on the movie Doctor Strange.
01 Parallel Universe Theory
Doctor Strange was severely criticized by Moore Baron and King, when he tried Time Stone in the library of Holy of Holies in secret.
Baron Mordo remarked as follows: “Temporal manipulations can create branches in time.Spacious paradoxes!Time loops! You want to get stuck reliving the same moment over and over ,forever.”
In Ant-Man, Doctor Pym also mentions that If ant-man shrinks to atomic level, he will enter a quantum field and enter other realities.
In short, Marvel recognizes the existence of a parallel world and even a universe of infinity circulation.
For instance, both the fifth season of American TV Series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Comic Marvel Zombies are typical examples of infinitely circulatory universe, during which dead cycle of time with the trend changed greatly is created due to certain moves.
After seeing 14,000,605 parallel worlds, Doctor Strange decided to lead the situation in the only triumphant ending. That is to say, only one of the millions of parallel worlds can go forward in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Kevin Feige, CEO of Marvel Studios once expressed that MCU would be divided into two after Avengers 4, saying that:
“Avengers 4 will be the dividing line of two different periods. I know it's not going to grow as people expect.”
These statements were made before the release of Avengers 3. And now look back again, it seems to confirm the idea that Marvel wants to open up a parallel world.
Let's assume that Marvel does have this idea and plan, and then Doctor Strange’s behavior becomes understandable. Everything he did after that, including handing the Time Stone to Thanos, was based on the only winning future script.
Therefore, even when Star-Lord impulsively beat Thanos, Doctor Strange did not obstruct him like Iron Man, as Star-Lord is not the key to victory whether he is a troublemaker or not.
Before Doctor Strange went up in smoke, he said to Iron Man, “Tony, there is no other way”.
This detail may show that Doctor Strange is respectful to the Iron Man after seeing all the efforts made by thousands of Iron Man in reversing the defeat.
Although the Iron Man has no idea, Doctor Strange is quite familiar with him, which leads to the address of “Tony”.
This also shows that Iron Man is the key to reversing the future.
02 Iron Man is Another Thanos
Both Iron Man and Thanos make some world-destroying actions to save the world.
The Iron Man wanted to protect world peace, but created the Ultron in the end, with the original intention to protect the absolute peace of the world.
While similar with Iron Man, Thanos is a wise man and a futurist.
He is saving the world according to his own ideas, although in the eyes of most people, Thanos is killing people.
Thanos once said to Iron Man,
“You're not the only person to be cursed by knowledge”.
The curse of knowledge is that when a person understands one thing, he can not pretend that he does not understand it.
As mentioned above, both Iron Man and Thanos are futurists. Their wisdom has led them to anticipate the outcome of the future.
For example, in Avengers 2, the fear that Scarlet Witch found in Iron Man’s brains is alien invasion and this comes true in Avengers 3.
Thanos also anticipated the end of the whole universe after experiencing the devastation of his hometown Titan.
In short, Iron Man and Thanos are at the same level of thinking and wisdom. This is why Thanos told Iron Man that “you have my respect”.
So what does that mean?
It perhaps means that Iron Man has the power to become the second Thanos, one of good quality.
Possibly the key to reversing the war in the end is that Iron Man uses six infinite stones to reverse the universe.
This plot can also be traced in the original. In Marvel Comics Infinite Gauntlet, it is Adam Warlock that sneaks into the soul gemstone, and becomes the new owner of infinite gauntlet after seeing through the mysteries of infinity stones
While the Infinity Stones also very mysterious, much more complex than we may have imagined.
03 Six Infinity Bitch Stones
Thanos found the place where the Soul Stone is located in Vormir, and he met Red Skull.
According to Red Skull, he was exiled to Vormir by Space Gem, and was ordered to be the guardian of Soul Gem as a punishment.
What information can we get from it?
Infinite Stones are spiritual, lol...
Let's recall the previous plot then we can see that Thanos is obviously a gunner, and the Six Infinity Bitch Stones are the true manipulators behind the curtain.
Power Stone and Time Stone, which not undergo much development by Xandar and Holy of Holies, stay in pretty peace and quietness. Just leave them aside for now.
Let’s first talk about the troublemaker, Space Stone . Red Skull created a super weapon with the aid of Space Gem, kept winning in World War II and was stopped by Captain America latter.
Space Stone finds that Red Skull was good for nothing, so he sends Red Skull to Vormir and lies in the sea to rest in quiet on its own.
Then let’s talk about the calculating Mind Stone. It was developed by HYDRA to create Witch and Quicksilver who defeated all people except Hawkeye in the first battle with the avengers.
And Tony just wanted to use it to create an AI for world peace, or the other version of Jarvis, but resulted in the creation of Paranoid Ultron.
Then a question must be proposed as whether it is Tony himself that sets improper parameters or whether the stone is trying to intervene.
Then let’s talk about the ambitious Reality Stone. According to Odin, it was trying to find a host and draw its vitality. This means that Reality Stone has consciousness.
Reality Stone hoped to find a host that it can master, hence it chose the human Jane as the host.
Finally, let’s talk about the most mysterious Soul Stone. Only when the holder sacrifices the most beloved one, can he truly get it.
Is this a setting that the red skeleton knows by himself? Obviously no. It must be disclosed by the Stone.
If there is always a link between infinite stones, we can understand the plot better---Soul Gem asks Space Gem to send Red Skull to his place, and Mind Gem asks Space Gem to open a portal to help Loki make a mess on the earth.
All the three seasons of Avengers contain plots during which these three gems hit a wave of combo and make troubles.
You can say that Thanos is having a very difficult game of chess. But do you know that these three Infinity Stones add fuel to the flames?
So, what is the purpose Infinity Stones？ Let’s guess.
We may have forgotten that in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 the creators of the Six Infinity Bitch Stones were mentioned as the four Deity of the universe: Eternity, death, annihilation and infinity.
Perhaps, everything is only about a chess game played by the four Deity using the Six Infinity Stones as the chess pieces to balance the universe. If the four Deity were responsible for balancing the universe, everything may be reshuffled.
Although Thanos knew the mystery, he was not able to prevent the four Deity. Hence, he chose to balance the universe in his own way by wiping out half of the universe, which is far better than starting a reshuffle.
At the end of the movie, we can see that when Thanos finally realized the dream after years of expedition and wars and collection of stones, he did not want to become the cosmological hegemony but retired and showed a fatigue and smiling face while looking at the sunshine
When he met the young Gamora who asked, “Did you do it?”
Thanos: “I did.”
Gamora: “What is the cost?”
Many people think that it's in the soul world that Thanos met the young Gamora, which is not the case. The director explained that this is a momentary dream of Thanos, reflecting his sadness and helplessness.
At that moment, we really could not link up Thanos and the villains. This is just the ending plot of Infinite Gauntlet, as Thanos had finished his historical tasks.
I can understand why the director would say that "Avenger 3" and "Avenger 4" are two completely different movies.
This is because avengers in Avenger 4 must be confronted with more powerful threat from the four Deity.
It was reported before that Sofia Boutella, the Blade Woman in Kingsman is talking about joining the Avenger 4 to play the goddess of death.
This may well mean that the four great gods are the villains of Avenger 4.
Thanos snapped his fingers to balance the universe, while avengers of the first generation need to seek for rebalance of the universe in their own way.
This time may require of travelling through space-time.
04 Not Necessarily a Reversal of the Future
It is rumored that the plot of "Avenger 4" took place five years after “Avenger 3".
The surviving avengers begin taking actions with the identity of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They cooperate with Doctor Pym on the technology of travelling through space-time and strive for opportunities to go back to defeat Thanos.
This helps to understand why there is a gray Iron Man and his aegis badges, Ant man in the present and Captain America in studio photos of Avenger 4.
From this point of view, these three may come from the present, the past and the future respectively.
We also see a studio photo which bears the words of “Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing”.
This is the B.A.R.F. technology that Iron Man presents in Captain America 3, with which he plays back the memory of his parents Howard and Maria in the speech made in MIT.
It is possible that the technology co-developed by Tony and Ant man in Avenger 4 is the combination of Pym technology and B.A.R.F. technology. The Pym technology can help to see the content of parallel world and B.A.R.F. technology can help realize space-time representation.
But in fact, they may not be passing through time and space in traditional sense, but communicate with people on different timeline through some device.
That is to say, people on different timeline are drawn to the same dimension for communication.
From the studio photos, it can be seen that Iron Man and Ant man arrive at the point of the victory of New York war, and, Loki is defeated by the Avenger.
As this is the moment when Infinity Stone appears, Iron Man and Ant man must figure out why the universe loses balance after returning to the past.
Before this, there were fans claiming that they saw Aaron Johnson who played Quicksilver and Frank Grillo who played Crossbones on the set of Avenger 4.
If the claiming is true, it does not mean that Quicksilver and Crossbones will be revived.
More likely it may mean that Iron Man do not only go to a time point, but go to the time points when the Infinite Stones appear.
As mentioned above, Iron Man may probably become the second person to manipulate the Six Infinity Stones like Adam Warlock in the original. Then he would probably use the Infinite Gauntlet to rebalance the universe and return the Infinite Stones to their original places.
In short, the avenger would collect the Infinite Stones, and then return them to the original position to fundamentally solve the problem of cosmic imbalance.
Until then, Thanos may realize there are better ways to balance the universe and would possibly choose to help the avenger.
05 Why is injury always incurred to the earth?
Some people once asked me why all kinds of crises happen on the earth and why aliens always come to earth.
Everyone will say, because this movie is for the earth people.
Leave the factors outside the theater aside first, and rethink about this question, “why are there so many troubles on the earth?”
Thor once said to Fury:
“It is your development of the universe cube that leads Loki and his allies here. As what you do mean preparation for star wars from the view of other stars.”
To put it simply, it is that the earth people themselves have too many excessive actions, which have attracted the attention of the aliens. No planet can have so many superpowers and super weapons.
The development of the Infinity Stones by the earth people, together with the unreasonable use by other aliens, are the reasons for aggravating the imbalance of the universe.
06 Plot Prediction of Avenger 4
The playwright of Marvel once said in an interview:
But what puzzled us lies with the definition of "death" by the playwright. As Spider Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange and others all appear in sequels, how could they really die?
Obviously, it is the playwrights’ arrangement to let some people leave for a while and let the avenger in the first generation to play a pivotal role.
After all, the contract of actors in Avenger 1 expires and what worries us is the destiny of avenger in the first generation.
It is supposed that there are only about ten major heroes including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Loki, Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine, Ant man, Wasp and Captain Marvel, with the number halved comparing with 20 heroes in Avenger 3.
So what we should worry about is not the disappearing roles, but the fact that some of the remaining heroes are in danger.
Let’s roughly imagine what heroes are doing in Avenger 4:
Spider Man, Banne and Ant man study the technology of time-space travelling; Ant man and Spider Man travelled back to 2012;
The space-time machines they built need lots of energy, while Thor is the carrier of energy provider with the process of energy supply quite painful;
Captain America and the War Machine meet the difficulties of the government represented by General Ross;
The Hawkeye’s family flees to ashes, so he goes to Japan to as a wanderer;
The Black Widow goes to Japan to look for Hawkeye, because only he knows the whereabouts of Captain Marvel.
All above is purely my guess based on the photos of Avenger 4 and all kinds of rumors, for reference only.
I believe that the plot of fourth sequel is entangled, but is sure to have a sweet ending. As Marvel is not stupid, he will not make Avenger 4 a tragedy. Otherwise, many fans will definitely choose to escape from Marvel works.
The actress who played "Pepper" once gave a major spoiler: in Avenger 4, Iron Man and Pepper will get married and have a baby.
I would like to believe that Avenger 4 ends with the wedding of Iron Man and Virginia "Pepper”, and that Tony and Pepper will live an ordinary life. As there are new heroes protecting the world, he does not need to shoulder so much burden any longer.
During the wedding, Banner quietly proposes to Natasha, who does not reply, but the corners of her mouth are rising slightly while making fantasies about their bland and happy days in the future; Hawkeye watches the grand wedding with his family with joy, hugging his wife Lara and the kids in his arms; Captain America returns to Peggy's grave and murmurs how much he missed her in a low voice and is willing to live a good life bearing her good vision of life;
Thor may not be present at the wedding. He must know where Loki's soul is and flies up to the universe with a glimmer of hope and a trace of fear to begin the journey of the resurrection to his beloved ones after a hurry goodbye to his comrades. From then on, avengers of the first generation formally retire and new heroes will play the pivotal roles in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is the outcome of Avenger 4 in my mind, but I hope the real ending will be better than what I have imagined.