As Phase 4 proved, the MCU is in a very different place leaving fans wondering about the Avengers 5 lineup. It was the first phase of the MCU that did not lead to an Avengers team-up movie. Alas, the Avengers are set to return in Phase 6 with two new movies, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. However, with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers ending their MCU runs in Avengers: Endgame as well as plenty of new heroes being introduced along with the existing ones, it is likely that fans will see a very different Avengers 5 lineup compared to the past.
The Multiverse Saga has not been entirely smooth for the MCU so far, but the emergence of Kang (Jonathan Majors) was seen as the best part of Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania, setting him on his path to be the big bad in Avengers 5. The question then becomes which of the heroes of the MCU will join forces to take him on. While fans can expect a massive roster of heroes for Avengers: Secret Wars, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will likely keep it as a smaller team with a mixture of some of the more established heroes and the new recruits who have proven themselves worthy of being Avengers.
With Tony Stark and Steve Rogers gone, Doctor Strange now stands as one of the most vital heroes on the planet. He was already fighting with the Avengers in previous films, and with the team being as gutted as they are, he would probably feel that he couldn’t leave them to their own devices. Additionally, though Strange has not come face to face with Kang yet, he has the most experience with the multiverse out of all the major heroes with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Avengers team would likely need him to navigate the madness of it all.
Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, And Kamala Khan
Avengers: Endgame already established that Captain Marvel spends most of her time dealing with problems out in space and not on Earth, but with her being one of the strongest heroes in the MCU, it would make sense for Earth’s heroes to try and call her for help. Not only that, but with her appearance in the post-credits scene to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it’s clear that she’s going to be showing up in more films in the future.
Additionally, with Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan set to star alongside her in the upcoming MCU film The Marvels, the two of them will likely be involved in the plot in some way; the comics have an established precedent for it with both of them being Avengers at different points in time, Monica even leading the team for a brief period of time in the eighties.
Bruce Banner And Jennifer Walters
As the only founding member of the Avengers who’s still on Earth, still on active duty, and still alive, Bruce Banner’s involvement is virtually assured, whether it be as himself or as the Hulk; Bruce being featured in the post-credits scene of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings certainly helps with that. It’s also possible that his cousin Jennifer Walters, a.k.a She-Hulk, will make an appearance so that the team will have someone who can more reliably draw on Hulk-level strength and have an easier time controlling it. It remains to be seen how Jennifer’s fourth-wall breaking will work within an Avengers movie, but the team would benefit from a lawyer on their team given the damage they cause.
Shang-Chi And Katy
Close friends Shang-Chi and Katy aren’t officially Avengers, the post-credits scene of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has them getting involved with other heroes when Wong, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner ask them about the Ten Rings. The Ten Rings have been set up to have some sort of big mystery tied into their construction and it seems as though they could be directly related to Kang. It’s possible that this is a setup for a Shang-Chi sequel rather than bringing Shang-Chi into the Avengers movie, but given that Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton is directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, he seems like a lock.
Wong has already helped the Avengers several times in the films, such as when he helped fight Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian in Avengers: Infinity War and helped bring everyone together in the climax of Avengers: Endgame. Wong also appears in Shang-Chi when he brought Shang-Chi and Katy to the Sanctum Sanctorum to discuss the Ten Rings with them, thus setting up future plot points with both characters. All in all, recent films have shown an interest in using Wong to varying degrees, so it would make sense for the next Avengers film to follow suit.
Spider-Man was officially made an Avenger in Avengers: Infinity War, so it would make sense for him to show up in the next Avengers film. In the past, Spider-Man’s involvement in the future of the MCU seemed up for debate thanks to Sony’s contract with Marvel having to be reworked. However, a new Spider-Man MCU adventure is being planned so it looks like Peter Parker could return, possibly with his iconic black Spider-Man suit. He has also tangled with the multiverse already making him a key hero to bring in against Kang.
Sam Wilson was given Steve’s shield at the end of Avengers: Endgame, and at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he officially took on the mantle of Captain America. While Sam’s current status as an Avenger isn’t entirely clear, the fact that he’s the new Captain America means that the odds of him being involved in future iterations of the team are very high. Additionally, with Sam set to star in Captain America: New World Order film, it’s clear that the MCU still has a role for him that won’t end any time soon.
Rhodey’s current status as both War Machine and an Avenger isn’t exactly clear at the moment. While he did officially join the team at the end of Phase 2, his injury in Captain America: Civil War more or less benched him, and his participation in the MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame came across as it being an emergency situation and the Avengers needing all the help they can get. Still, Rhodey never officially retired, so whatever happens in the next Avengers film will likely involve him in some way; Rhodey is also set to star in Armor Wars, so that will likely set up what the MCU will do with him going forward.
Ant-Man And The Wasp
While Ant-Man and the Wasp have mostly kept to their solo adventures, the fact that they have worked with the Avengers before in both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame, which makes it likely that they’ll be included in the next Avengers film. What seems to solidify their involvement, however, is that they are the first heroes to fight Kang or at least a variant. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania set up Kang as the next big bad in preparation for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. It is clear Ant-Man and the Wasp will be sharing their knowledge of this multiverse villain with the other heroes.
Though Ant-Man was the first hero to fight Kang, Loki will likely have the most knowledge of him as a villain by the time Avengers: The Kang Dynasty arrives. He Who Remains was the first Kang variant in the MCU and was introduced in Loki season 2. The post-credit scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hinted that Loki season 2 would see the God of Mischief chasing Kang variants throughout the multiverse. If Loki survives that, he would be an asset to the Avengers.
Given that Chris Hemsworth has expressed wanting Thor’s next appearance to be his last, the MCU will want to be careful about how they use him. As one of the most popular characters in the MCU, he might overshadow the other heroes and his final appearance might be best saved for a solo adventure. However, it feels like one of the original Avengers should appear alongside the new recruits to guide them and Thor is the most prominent of the remaining ones. Seeing Thor killed by Kang might be the perfect thing to spur the rest of Earth’s mightiest heroes to defeat the villain.
Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight made for one of the most unique heroes introduced in Phase 4 of the MCU. While it is uncertain if Moon Knight season 2 will happen, the dark hero could appear next alongside his fellow Marvel heroes as one of the new Avengers. Given that some of Kang’s variants have connections to Ancient Egypt, it is easy to see how Moon Knight could get involved. On top of that, it seems unlikely that the new Avengers movie would pass up the opportunity to have other heroes reacting to Marc Spector and his multiple personalities. It would be especially interesting to see what would happen when Jake Lockley emerges.
While Hawkeye is the only member of the original Avengers lineup to not get a solo movie, his Disney+ series gave him the opportunity to be in the spotlight. However, it also made Clint Barton’s MCU future somewhat questionable as he was seen as an older Hawkeye using hearing aids and taking longer to recover from beatings. It also seemed he was more focused on retirement than saving the day. Luckily, the show introduced a new Hawkeye as well with Kate Bishop coming into the fold. Though a little more reckless and inexperienced, Kate is very eager to get into all the superhero action. If a new Avengers team was being formed, she would do everything she could to get herself in there.
Certainly the most unexpected loss of an MCU hero has been T’Challa with the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman. His version of Black Panther would not only have been a shoo-in for the Avengers 5 lineup, but he would have been a likely candidate to lead the team. Fittingly, his sister Shuri stepped into the role of Black Panther, carrying T’Challa’s legacy. She proved herself worthy to take on the mantle in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever while still struggling with the responsibility of it. It would be interesting to see that struggle continue as Shuri attempts to step up as an Avenger the way her brother did.
Namor was also introduced as in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as the movie’s antagonist. He battled against Wakanda and even killed Shuri’s mother, but in the end, he seemed willing to form a truce with Wakanda even if it was in hopes of combining their forces against the rest of the world. This shaky alliance is very in line with Namor in the comics as he was one always more of an anti-hero who was as likely to fight against the Avengers as he was to team up with them. Seeing this dynamic play out on the Avengers 5 lineup could be really entertaining with Namor as the powerful member of the team they cannot fully trust.
Thor: Love and Thunder brought Greek gods into the MCU, most prominently with Russell Crowe’s Zeus. However, the most exciting addition came in the post-credit scene with Hercules being brought into the MCU. The casting of Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso’s Roy Kent, made the character even more exciting and one that needs to be brought back as soon as possible. Though the credit tease suggested Hercules would serve as an antagonist to Thor, he is actually a very prominent member of the Avengers in the comic books. If Thor isn’t going to join the team this time around, it would be nice for the Avengers to have another god on their side.
The return of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in the MCU has been one of the most thrilling reveals of the Multiverse Saga so far. Thankfully, his return was not just a cameo as Murdock has appeared in Spider-Man: Now Way Home, She-Hulk and will once again lead his own series with Daredevil: Born Again. However, fans really want to see him suit up in a big-screen adventure and it would be a lot of fun to see a street-level hero like him dealing with a multiverse war against Kang in Avengers 5. While Jon Bernthal’s Punisher will return in Daredevil: Born Again, he isn’t one to play well with others and will likely not join the Avengers.
Riri Williams is another fan-favorite character from the comics who made her MCU debut in Phase 4. Ahead of headlining her own Disney+ series, Riri appeared in a supporting role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever where she proved she was an up-and-coming genius hero who had already developed her own Ironheart suit. By the time the Avengers 5 lineup comes together, Riri will have already starred in Ironheart and it is likely she will appear alongside War Machine in Armor Wars. This sets her up to be a much more experienced hero who could stand alongside some of these other heroes.