‘Avengers: Endgame’: Who will live and who will die? Every Marvel superhero’s chance of survival, ranked

‘Avengers: Endgame’: Who will live and who will die? Every Marvel superhero’s chance of survival, ranked

After the catastrophic ending of Infinity War, every character is fair game in the conclusion to Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Which Marvel superhero will make it out of 'Avengers: Endgame' alive?
Photo: Marvel Pictures

Friends, we are gathered here today to honour those Marvel superheroes we lost. Or, more importantly, worry about the ones that are probably about to exit.

In last year’s mega-epic Avengers: Infinity War, cosmic villain Thanos wiped out half of galactic existence with one apocalyptic snap of his Infinity Gauntlet, powered by six all-powerful Infinity Stones. And going halfsies on a universal scale meant a bunch of our favourite do-gooders went bye-bye, disintegrating into ash and leaving fans in a nervous state … at least until we see the culmination of the 22-film Marvel movie saga so far with Avengers: Endgame (in cinema April 24).

Original Avengers like Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lead the charge to figure out how to save the day in desperate circumstances, though the limited footage glimpsed in trailers hasn’t shown us much of anything in terms of how they’ll fix the situation. (Time travel? Another set of Infinity Stones? Who knows!)

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What’s most intriguing for fans is not who’s dead now but who will be at the end of Endgame, especially if there’s another all-out climactic fight with Thanos. Evans, Downey and Hemsworth have talked about this being their swan song after years of Marvel movies, and dead heroes with sequels in the works – Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has one coming out this summer! – may not stay that way.

So who’s making it out alive for the next phase of superhero flicks? Here’s a status report on all the major heroes heading into the new Avengers, ranked by their chances of survival – from most likely to perish to totally going to live:

31. Hawkeye

Current state: Alive but in a dark place

AWOL through Infinity War, Jeremy Renner’s archer showed back up in the first Endgame trailer with a different haircut and a grim persona. We’re not sure what’s happened, but likely this mood has to do with watching some or all of his family get wiped out. What bigger sacrifice could there be for the Avengers’ unsung hero than laying down his life to bring his loved ones back? (Also, the trailer has him training what looks like his daughter, perhaps a setup to her taking her dad’s moniker in future Marvel films.)


30. Thor

Current state: Alive

The Asgardian thunder god has had a good run – including three solo films – but botched his chance at taking out Thanos before he could do his nefarious deed. With half-brother Loki dead by Thanos’ hand, Thor has nothing to lose this time around and may give his life for another chance to make things right.

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29. Captain America

Current state: Alive

Chris Evans has been the most vocal about his goodbyes; that could be a total swerve, but leaving everything on the battlefield has been pretty much his entire character arc. And it would be the biggest emotional gut punch for fans. Given what’s happened in the comics, someone else other than Steve Rogers will likely carry Cap’s shield going forward – though if death doesn’t await Steve, walking off into the sunset with a happyish ending could work, too.


28. Iron Man

Current state: Alive but stuck in space

Arguably the most A-list of all the Marvel dudes, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is more likely to stick than Cap to stick around: He’s been a mentor to Spider-Man and maybe he plays the Nick Fury get-the-band-together role in upcoming movies. But consider how much he’s changed since being the endlessly cocky arms dealer from the first Iron Man, and him sacrificing everything to ensure a future makes a lot of sense.


27. Winter Soldier

Current state: Disintegrated

Played by Sebastian Stan, Bucky Barnes took over Cap’s shield from Steve Rogers in the comics – a possibility for the movies, too. And there’s been talk of a show on the Disney+ streaming service with him and Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. That all said, he did spend decades as a notorious Hydra assassin, so if he does come back to life, Bucky going down swinging with his best friend Cap would be a huge moment AND right his karma.


26. War Machine

Current state: Alive

James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) is already crippled, so one would hope another tragedy wouldn’t befall him. Yet of the surviving Avengers with no upcoming solo movies, he’s probably a good bet to be part of the death toll if Hawkeye doesn’t perish.

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25. Nebula

Current state: Alive but stuck in space

Karen Gillan’s former space villainess – and one of Thanos’ daughters, along with Gamora – really, really wants to take out Dad. By any means necessary. Which could be bad for her health.


24. Mantis

Current state: Disintegrated

The empathic enigma played by Pom Klementieff was added to the Guardians of the Galaxy in their second film. But the old saying goes, last one in, first one out, which doesn’t bode well for her. (Though with director James Gunn now returning for a third Guardians film, it probably depends on how much he digs her.)


23. Black Widow

Current state: Alive

What happens to Scarlett Johansson’s secret agent is, kind of like the character, a very large question mark. She has a solo film coming in the next round of Marvel movies but it’s set to be a prequel that takes place before the first Avengers. Maybe the answer is have the cake and eat it, too: Watch her die valiantly in Endgame but then explore her adventures in the past.


22. Maria Hill

Current state: Disintegrated

The longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. mainstay played by Cobie Smulders will appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home (out in July). What we don’t know yet is whether it takes place pre- or post-snap. Her fate is pretty much 50/50 at this point.

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20 (tied). Vision and Scarlet Witch

Current state: Dead and disintegrated, respectively

 

 

The android Vision (Paul Bettany) was powered by an Infinity Stone that Thanos ripped out of his head. Things aren’t looking so good for his magical love interest (Elizabeth Olsen), either. The good news is the twosome are set to star in a Disney+ show, so they’ve got that going for them.


19. Nick Fury

Current state: Disintegrated

Like Maria Hill, Samuel L. Jackson’s well-known S.H.I.E.L.D. dude is in the new Spider-Man, so his fate is undetermined. He’s been as integral to the Marvel world as Iron Man and even though Jackson is 70, Nick’s connection with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) makes one think he’ll always be orbiting this universe.


18. Gamora

Current state: Deadish

Thanos threw his assassin daughter (Zoe Saldana) off a cliff to kill her and obtain the Soul Stone, yet the end of Infinity War glimpsed Gamora as a child within the cosmic jewel. Her role is probably essential to Endgame and it’s hard to believe they’d off the Guardians female lead before a third film.

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17. Drax the Destroyer

Current state: Disintegrated

Dave Bautista’s muscular space warrior is the low-key MVP of the Guardians franchise. And Gunn returning for another movie is a good thing for Drax fans.


16. M’Baku

Current state: Alive

The Wakandan tribe leader (Winston Duke) was a fan favorite in Black Panther and looks to be a big part of that series’ future. Plus, we’re hoping he arm-wrestles Drax one day.


15. Okoye

Current state: Alive

Like M’Baku, Danai Gurira’s Dora Milaje general is a primetime player in Wakanda and with Marvel continuing to emphasise the female contingent, it’s unlikely to sideline one of the best.


14. Falcon

Current state: Disintegrated

There’s the aforementioned Disney+ show with Winter Soldier, of course. Of those two, though, Sam Wilson seems like the best man to be passed the Captain America shield and mantle if Steve Rogers steps down or (more likely) dies.

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13. Star-Lord

Current state: Disintegrated

Oh, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), your hotheadedness snatched defeat from the jaws of victory battling Thanos. No matter, we forgive you. Expect the Guardians main man to get another shot at heroism – and at life.

 


11 (tied). Ant-Man and the Wasp

Current state: Stuck in the Quantum Realm and disintegrated, respectively

 

 

The Endgame trailer shows that Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) reconvenes with Cap and friends, and would probably like to have his more heroic girlfriend (Evangeline Lilly) back. Their fates are inextricably tied, they’re the super-shrinking faces of the Bay Area corner of the Marvel universe, and their movies make money, so safe bet they’ll be back.


10. Wong

Current state: Alive

Benedict Wong’s magic man returns in Endgame after helping the heroes stave off Thanos’ minions in Infinity War. Losing him would also be a pretty boneheaded decision, considering the Marvel universe is already severely lacking in Asian superheroes.

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9. Valkyrie

Current state: Alive

Thor’s new warrior-woman buddy (Tessa Thompson) from Thor: Ragnarok was offscreen in Infinity War yet somehow survived Thanos’ razing of the Asgardian starship that felled poor Loki. Fans love Valkyrie – and apparently want her to date Captain Marvel – so she could go the distance.

 


 

7 (tied). Rocket and Groot

Current state: Alive and disintegrated, respectively.

 

 

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in Infinity War was fan-favorite Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) watching in disbelief as his tree buddy (Vin Diesel) faded away into nothingness. You can’t have a Guardians movie without those two; plus, think of all the lost toy sales!


6. Hulk

Current state: Alive

Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and his rage-monster alter ego are key personalities in the Marvel universe and even though there’s no Hulk solo film in sight, he’s a valuable dual threat that you can insert in and improve any Marvel project (see: Thor: Ragnarok).

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5. Shuri

Current state: Disintegrated

Letitia Wright’s teenage Black Panther breakout being “dead” kind of freaked out social media on Tuesday when Marvel seemingly sealed her Infinity War fate with a black-and-white character poster (an honour bestowed on all the known deceased heroes). But it’s hard to imagine her not being a part of the future Marvel world. She could easily fill the genius void left if Stark dies. (Her taking over the Iron Man armour would not be out of the realm of possibility.)


4. Doctor Strange

Current state: Disintegrated

Earth’s sorcerer supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch) is supposed to have a sequel sooner than later, so him telling Tony, “There was no other way,” after Thanos wins – and before he disappeared – was probably referring more to their eventual success down the line rather than the infinite doom of the moment.


3. Spider-Man

Current state: Disintegrated

On the one hand, the Infinity War scene where Peter Parker (Tom Holland) dissolves in Tony Stark’s arms is so tragically beautiful. On the other hand, he’s the best movie Spidey ever. While we’ll know exactly where Far From Home falls in the overall timeline soon enough, this kid’s too good not to build future movies around.


2. Captain Marvel

Current state: Alive

Right, like they’re going to kill off their newest and possibly most powerful superhero anytime soon.


1. Black Panther

Current state: Disintegrated

Wakanda forever, obviously. Even though things look sort of bleak going in, Chadwick Boseman’s African warrior king is the main character of the biggest movie of 2018 and a best picture Oscar nominee. He’s the best-case scenario for survival, especially with a sequel coming.

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