Not to be too morbid so soon but the most exciting part of that Civil War (CW) trailer arguably puts into perspective a greater issue Marvel writers and the Russo Brothers are going to have to face by the time Infinity Wars (IW) ends in 2019. With the introduction of Spiderman into The Avengers universe it adds another character to an already swelling cast list and gives rise to the necessary duty of balancing the movies and trimming the fat. At present, given the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy rosters there are currently as many as 24 major characters that could make an appearance at some point, or for the entirety, of the two-part finale. Given that such movies are hitting around $1-1.5billion mark, the specifics of the agreement with Sony for Spiderman, new competition from the DC Universe and potential changes in attitudes towards superhero movies Marvel may well have to make some serious deductions to their squad if they are going to see their movies become a profitable success. In this most recent trailer for CW we are introduced to the apparent death of James ‘War Machine’ Rhodes and of course there is still the question, will Steve Rogers survive because Cap does fall at the hands of Crossbones and a manipulated Agent 13 in the comics! Despite this there are still over 20 characters to account for over the course of these movies and I’ve got my opinion as to how they may have to do it.
First, I think War Machine will die, and so I exclude him from the Infinity Wars Roster, and I also do not believe Steve Rogers will be killed off and I shall explain why. My deduction is that Steve Rogers will be badly injured and presumed dead, but the after credits scene in this movie will involve contacting Doctor Strange and Steve Rogers being brought to the best surgeon, and Sorcerer Supreme, in the world and that is where his story will be suspended and he shall not return until IW2. This is because, a tie in with Doctor Strange would be very easily done and makes chronological sense in regards to the movie sequence. Bucky becoming Captain America is also highly symbolic and I can see him taking up the shield for IW1 to fulfil that fan favourite moment, but then again, Chris Evans apparently still has a movie or two left on his deal and fans also like continuity so to bring him back in IW2 makes sense.
There are also some obvious casting points, the Guardians of the Galaxy will probably not need to turn up until IW2 if they haven’t been introduced to the Avengers before IW1, as sequentially they would fit the role as rescuers and helpers rather than messengers of an impending doom; which I think Thor and Hulk will do by the post-credits end of Ragnorak. This is the same for Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp because they have movies between the two parts suggesting they are busy elsewhere, which is subject to change but makes the decision for Marvel. Keeping Spiderman out of the two parts would also be sensible as the deal with Sony will likely be tenuous, he is a young character; a bit out of place in such a scenario, and would be great for future movies. Black Panther and Doctor Strange are also not yet fully integrated into the Avengers, if there is one at the end of CW, so I cannot see them turning up until IW2.
But here is where we start killing them off, I would predict that Nick Fury, Black Widow, The Vision, possibly Falcon and Scarlett Witch will not see the end of IW1. The Vision obviously holds one of the gems that Thanos needs, making him target number one for the Titan. Scarlet Witch also has an interesting relationship with the Vision that has only been suggested at thus far, but I could easily imagine the character going down with her partner, whilst she is also a new and undeveloped character and more easily removed. It also seems destined for Maria Hill to take over as head of Shield (or equivalent) as she does in the comics and thus Nick Fury to not make it to take up the post. Finally Black Widow, a character who everyone wants to be developed but has never taken centre stage, always fighting within herself to define whether she is the ‘hero’ would most likely be the one to make a self-sacrificing plunge to buy time for the Avengers to prepare and come back for IW2. Additionally, with the introduction of Captain Marvel, The Wasp, Agent 13, Maria Hill being more prominent and Gomorrah to enter with the Guardians, there is a growing number of females on the roster, which I have no problem with, but it may unbalance the team a little.
This sets up the final Avengers line-up to be Iron Man, Captain America, Winter Soldier, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Wasp, Falcon, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Star-Lord, Gomorrah, Groot, Rocket, Drax. I have doubts regarding Falcon’s longevity but apart from that, that is my two cents on death in the Marvel Universe, hope its of value to you.