Be it known — spoilers ahead for Infinity War and Ant Man & the Wasp.
If you’re up to date with the 20 current Avengers-universe movies, you might recall there are some heroes left behind on Thanos’ home world of Titan, presumably stranded. How will those “left behind” by the dusting get reunited with Earth and the other Avengers?
First, consider who survived The Snap on Titan, and what their options/powers/spaceships are. We have Iron Man, a full Avenger, with a ruined suit and seemingly out of nanobots. Also Nebula lived, who may or may not be considered a Guardian of the Galaxy (and the only other survivor of their group besides Rocket), but crucially, can pilot spaceships.
Considered dead on Titan: Dr. Strange, Star Lord, Drax, Mantis, and — most heartbreakingly — Spider-Man.[pullquote]For one thing, we don’t know yet how The Snap will be undone (although we assume it will be, for many reasons), or when.[/pullquote] If time re-setting is involved, things could pick up moments after said snap, bringing everyone back quickly. Then it might be a matter of hopping on Star Lord’s new ship, the Benatar, and sailing back to Earth. It could be just that easy, but the next Spiderman movie is confirmed to be titled Far From Home, which might showcase Peter Parker stranded on Titan for at least some of his second solo film. Which would seriously be poignant and exciting.
If our missing heroes heroes don’t get resurrected right away, then only Stark and Nebula remain on Titan. Do they know where The Benatar (Star-Lord’s ship) is parked? Can either of them fly it? Was it damaged by Thanos during the attack? We’ve seen Nebula pilot other ships, and Stark is a tech genius, so this solution is probably too easy — just build something and fly to where-ever the Avengers re-group.(Guesses: Wakanda, Wong’s NYC Santum Santorium, or the Avengers compound, all on Earth, the only planet that makes sense post-snap. Or, hey, they could convene on the X-Men campus, since X-Men is officially a Disney property now.) However, I’m betting the Benatar won’t be flyable. And we saw that Nebula wrecked her ship, attacking Thanos. So, all easy options are probably moot.
Which simply means the narrative will have to be creative in getting Iron Man home. [pullquote]Tony and Nebula marooned on Titan is an interesting development, and the MCU movie schedule gives fans time to make theories. [/pullquote]Such as:
Who can bring Stark and Nebula back from Titan?
- Posit that Dr. Strange travels through time after he returns, and sends everyone back to the last time they had a working ship. Or to anywhen, say the battle of New York. He’s the only one who knows the end game, the only right choice in 14 million futures. Alternatively, Wong is available for these services, in NYC — if Wong survived the Infinity War.
- Or someone like Ant Man (maybe with Bill Foster and Ghost) travels through Time Vortices in the Quantum Realm, and manipulates the time/space continuum — POOF; all fixed.
- Captain Marvel, who is said to be the most powerful Avenger by endless internet sources, will take care of it in her movie, in March 2019. I’m actively avoiding internet spoilers, but this seems to be a well-known point. Clearly, Nick Fury placed all his stock in that belief, in the very end.
- Thor will travel to Titan via Stormbreaker and the Bifrost, and bring them back.
- Rocket will use his space pod to see who is left on Titan, once he figures out where the rest of the Guardians went. The Guardians, and Thor, are his only friends, so he might be motivated to find out who made it out alive.
- Pepper Potts will use Tony’s Tech to track him, don one of Stark’s suits (she’s done it before), and find someone to take a ship (or the Bifrost) to Titan and retrieve him. And we know Potts and Happy will be motivated to get Tony back. Maybe she can team up with War Machine, find something from Tony’s workshop full of tech, and make a plan.
- Tony and Nebula rescue themselves by building a ship from the parts all around Titan, or repair Nebula’s small ship/the Benatar.
- Or our remaining heroes will get an Infinity Stone from the broken Gauntlet, and use it to manipulate space, reality, or time.
- The Ravagers, lead by Kraglin, head to Titan. (Maybe he also got Nebula’s message on where the Guardians were going.)
- Valkyrie, with Korg, mount a spaceship rescue. We know they weren’t on the Asguardian ship when Thanos arrived. So, if they survived The Snap, they should show up somewhere.
How will anyone know where Stark is? Two real ways exist to get this info:
- Tech — Someone will find a way to track Iron Man’s trajectory/ location. Surely there is a Vibranium answer in Wakanda for this. Or the nanobytes from Stark Industries. Or a Pym Particle from the Quantum Realm. There’s lot of high-tech MacGuffins in the MCU.
- Magic — Through mediation and astral travels, Wong will find Tony, create a portal, and bring him back. As far as I know, only the Dr. Strange allies use magic. Although if the Asguardians are gods, this might be an avenue for magic too, for whomever is left.
So…there are really two options, ultimately: magic or tech. Either a lot of the next Avengers film will be about a rescue attempt, or things will be resolved quickly, easily, and possibly off-screen. I’d like to see Avengers 4 devote some time to finding and rescuing Stark, but with literally dozens of characters needing facetime in one movie, it’s likely this cliffhanger will be a simple fix.
There just isn’t a lot of time to track down who and what is left in the universe in two hours and still provide a good story. We also have to retrieve Scott Lang (Ant Man) from the Quantum Realm, which necessitates another rescue operation. (We discussed possible ways Ant Man will return here.)
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