The following post may contain spoilers if you're not caught up on the happenings in the MCU.
Yesterday, we learned that Chris Evans was opting not to re-up his contract with Marvel after his work's completed on the Avengers: Infinity War sequel, and this reveal inspired quite the conversation behind the scenes at Birth.Movies.Death. Was Evans simply playing hardball? Did this mean Captain America was on his way out? Surely some major character would bite the dust in Infinity War (and/or its sequel), but would Cap really be the right choice?
We have our theories, you have yours. And so, in the interest of hearing everyone out, we decided to make this Infinity War deadpool somewhat official. Below are our picks for the MCU's Most Likely To Die characters, and we invite all of you to weigh in with your own theories in the comments below.
Tell us who you think's gonna kick the bucket, why, and how you think it might happen, and if you hit the nail on the head, I'll see to it that you win some kind of prize (you'll need to be dead-on, though; none of this "I guessed Spider-Man and it was actually Iron Man who was in a Spider-Man movie once" nonsense).
But first: our picks.
We always wonder when Hulk is going to get another solo movie. We hear far fewer people clambering for a Vision movie, despite the fact that his power set feels super unexplored in the MCU so far, and he has a recent comic run of high critical renowned. He’s also in the running as the MCU’s strangest character.
The truth is, we never really got to know Vision, and many of us have been waiting for him to die for a while now. He’s always been weirdly peripheral, and his entire existence hinges on an Infinity Stone you just know Thanos is gunning for. Pound for pound, he might be the most powerful Avenger, but we don’t really understand this guy. The romance brewing between Vision and Wanda Maximoff is our only key to unlocking this character, but also stands as a perfect bit of tragedy to heighten Thanos’ villainy. An Avengers movie without Vision doesn’t seem like that big a loss (and for real, I like this character a lot). That, combined with the whole Infinity Stone thing, puts him as my number one expendable Avenger. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
-- Evan Saathoff
Of the many, many things on Avengers: Infinity War's to-do list, establishing Thanos as a legitimate threat to Earth's mightiest heroes is possibly #1. It's no secret that the MCU has been, eh, somewhat deficient in the Big Screen Villain department, and it's never been more important that they get the villain right than it has been on this film: Thanos needs to be all-powerful, ruthlessly evil, a character we fear and loathe in equal measure. Of course Marvel could have him stomp onscreen and destroy an entire alien planet with the flick of his wrist, but would that really resonate with audiences who've been with this franchise since the beginning?
I submit to you that it would not. Furthermore, I submit to you that there'd be no quicker way to establish Thanos' raw power than to have him kill a literal God. And, hey, wouldn't ya know it: Marvel happens to have a literal God sitting right here. His name's Thor, he's from Asgard, and he has an eyepatch now.
Thor's run of solo films has been brought to a close. Chris Hemsworth is moving on to the Men In Black reboot, which could very well turn into its own franchise. Thor is prominently featured in the Infinity War trailers, and we've already seen hints that Thanos will wipe out all of his people in the film's opening moments (Thor has to get from that ship at the end of Ragnarok onto the Guardians' windshield somehow, and we're guessing he didn't just jump). If I were a betting man - and I'm not, really, because who enjoys losing money? - my chips would be on Thor.
-- Scott Wampler
I wager Black Widow's gonna die, because that chick has caused nothing but trouble, what with her action-figure controversy and her attempts at being a well-rounded female character. Thankfully, the latter always falls a little short, 'cause everyone knows it's not possible for a woman to kick ass, fall in love, and want a family. Godssakes, Ms. Romanoff!
On top of all that, now she thinks she deserves a standalone movie! I mean, I could watch her run and jump and ride motorcycles in slow motion all damn day, but ain't no way the girl can carry an entire feature. She's gotta go. Whatever building or debris crushes her, I'm guessing it's gonna be either Hulk's or Hawkeye's fault.
Someone's gotta shed a tear when the poor girl's finally gone.
-- Emily Sears
Cap seems like the obvious one, right?
He’s always existed as the moral center of the MCU, and Civil War solidified him as a good guy done wrong by those closest to him. He’s a character defined by other people’s reaction to his pure goodness, so it makes a certain poetic sense that he would die for the other Avengers’ sins so that they all would, you know, react to it. Plus, we just received word that Chris Evans plans to leave the MCU after Avengers 4, meaning that a death in Infinity War followed by flashbacks in the sequel isn’t too far outside the realm of possibility.
As for how he’ll die, the safe bet is that the one-on-one fight with Thanos shown in the trailer is going to lead to some dire consequences. But if I wanna reach here, I’d say the killing blow will be collateral damage from another Avenger’s actions, probably Iron Man’s. It would be consistent with Tony’s perpetual fuck-ups and tie a nice bow on his regrets before coming back for a redemption arc in next year’s finale.
Or maybe it’ll be a space laser fired from the moon, what the hell do I know?
-- Leigh Monson
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) seems like the most logical choice to be unfortunately vanquished into the next life by Thanos and whatever hellish space army he brings with him to decimate the Avengers and conquer (or destroy) Earth.
Beyond being the cinematically "oldest" Avenger - in terms of movies, not age, because I think Cap's got him beat there by, oh, a lot - his character arc has already been completed once and then rather deftly accented. The first three Iron Man pictures tell a pretty full story, and show Tony taking a journey toward emotional maturity that's arguably the most accomplished inside the MCU. Now, he's graduated to being a sort of father figure (or maybe "problematic stepdad" is better) to young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Homecoming, and had to make a rather crushing moral decision in Civil War. We know Tony Stark so well know that, should he perish, the impact on the audience would be devastating. If the Russos know what they're doing, he'd be the rather sound choice to go from a narrative/thematic perspective.
Adios, Mr. Stark. Pepper Potts will miss that sweet facial hair.
-- Jacob Knight
Alright, folks. We've placed our bets. What say you?
Make yourselves heard in the comments below.