Although Marvel’s cinematic efforts have been somewhat unfairly labelled as being overly formulaic, it is true that the up and coming fourth phase of the MCU is promising to be distinctly different from its predecessors. The arrivals of the Guardians of the Galaxy and, to a lesser extent, Doctor Strange, have precipitated a wider cosmic influence currently working its way through the MCU – one that will, as we all anticipate, manifest most potently in Avengers: Infinity War.
The film’s promising death – lots of it, if we’re to believe the antics of Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle – and that’s not all that bad, really. Although it may be painful to think it, Marvel’s premier franchise is almost a decade old. And, as terrifying as it may be, it’s clear that the universe is in need of reinforcements, especially with the likely departures of Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans inching ever closer.
It’s a case of out with the old, in with the new, but – luckily for Marvel – the company has a massive history to boast, and with that comes plenty of comic book storylines that, in no small way, have the potential to reinvigorate and fundamentally alter the makeup of the MCU.
That means New Avengers, and cast departures, and much, much more. Most importantly, however, it makes things unpredictable, and there are particular comics out there that should be first in line for an adaptation.
10. The Death Of Captain America
Something that has, undeniably, been built towards since the Winter Soldier entered the scene in the first Captain America sequel, is the eventual death of Steve Rogers. It was teased heavily in Civil War (the character does die in the fallout of that comic series), but – either in Infinity War or Avengers 4 – it’s definitely on its way. Sad times.
Thankfully, the MCU – much like the 616 comics universe itself – has the perfect replacement lined up in Bucky Barnes. The redemptive arc the character’s been put on certainly lends itself well to the idea that he’ll be donning the red, white and blue motif soon, and it’s because of that that The Death of Captain America – a key arc in Ed Brubaker’s run on the character – will likely serve as the basis for any cinematic passing of the torch.
It’s unlike Marvel to adapt a story beat for beat (a good thing, in Netflix’s case), but we can expect the main themes of Brubaker’s series to touch the MCU’s interpretation of the character’s death, much as it did in both The First Avenger and its sequel.
Cap’s a prime target for Thanos, sadly. In this sense, his death isn’t a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Given it does possess an air of the inevitable about it, here’s hoping that Marvel are able to put a twist on the arc.