Avengers 4: 5 way-too-early predictions after Infinity War

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Credit: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures; from Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Time travel

“But Thanos has the Time Stone!” Ah yes, but what if there was another method of time travel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Something that was already introduced in previous Marvel Studios films like Ant-Man (2015) and Doctor Strange (2016), and explored further the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) and Captain Marvel (2019). That would be the “Quantum Realm,” a subatomic parallel universe where, to quote Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) “all concepts of time and space become irrelevant.”

Here’s where things could get potentially weird. The only way to access the Quantum Realm is by shrinking down to a subatomic level, just like Scott Lang did during Ant-Man. There’s also the potential risk in becoming lost within that realm, which what Hank said happened with his wife, Janet. But what if traveling through the Quantum Realm also meant traveling through space-time itself? Or perhaps other realities?

So let’s say after the events of Infinity War, rumored to take place five years later. After all, Scott’s daughter, Cassie, in Avengers 4 is played by sixteen-year-old Emma Fuhrmann. I imagine chaos abounds from Thanos wiping out half the universe. The surviving heroes, having failed, have all gone separate ways, living their own lives. All except Tony, who’s obsessed with trying to fix what Thanos did. Then, with the arrival of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Tony learns about the Quantum Realm.

After reuniting all the surviving heroes, Tony comes up with a crazy plan for defeating Thanos: they’ll get the Infinity Stones before he does. To do this, six pairs of heroes travel to the past by shrinking down to the Quantum Realm, then enlarging themselves in another time and place. This, in turn, allows them (and the audience) to revisit earlier Marvel Studios films like the first Avengers movie. Some have even speculated that Avengers 4’s actual title is Avengers Forever, the same title as a time travel story by comic book writer Kurt Busiek.

The obvious question then will this change the past of the MCU, thereby invalidating previous continuity. Not necessarily, though, as a plot point, creating alternate timelines and paradoxes is one of the risks involved. At the very least, it changes the ending of Infinity War. This also could potentially allow for the introduction of another famous Avengers villain, the time-traveling future dictator known as Kang the Conqueror.