The 'Avengers: Infinity War' Clues Hinting at Marvel's Future

The framework for 'Avengers 4' has been laid, if you know where to look.

[This story contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War]

While the end of Avengers: Infinity War left the Marvel Cinematic Universe bruised, broken and absent a number of its key players, it also left a number of clues toward where next year’s follow-up is going to go. Indeed, there are five key points that need to be explored by the next movie, with each one hinting at plot developments in the still-unnamed Avengers 4.

The New Avengers
The post-credit tease of Infinity War underscored the obvious: With so many heroes gone, new characters are going to have to step up to continue the fight. The end tease made it obvious that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) will show up, and other characters absent from Infinity War — including Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) are also scheduled to make appearances. Will audiences get to see a third lineup of Avengers from the next movie — and if so, will it stick?

Back From the Dead
With Black Panther one of Marvel’s biggest hits ever — although we’ll see how quickly (if at all) Infinity War overtakes it — and a follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming already scheduled for summer 2019, it’s a fair bet that not everyone who turned to dust at the end of Infinity War is going to stay dead in the long term. Considering that Marvel has future movies in store for almost everyone that got dusted (don't forget about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), it’s actually a fair bet that all of them will make it back to life by the end of the film. But how?

Doctor Strange’s Plan Revealed
Stephen Strange didn’t look particularly upset to give Thanos the Time Stone, did he? It’s almost as if he’d looked into the future to see a multitude of possibilities with regards to the conflict with the Mad Titan, and realized what had to happen in order to get a win. Oh, wait: He did. Let’s assume that Strange knew exactly what would happen if he gave Thanos the Time Stone, and has a plan to save the day somehow. What is it and how quickly can we find out?

Gamora’s Revenge
The idea that Gamora’s story ended with her murder on Vormir would hold a lot more weight if it hadn’t happened right in front of another apparently dead character, kept around in some semblance of life by the Soul Stone. (Add to that the fact that comic book lore has it that characters live on after death inside the actual Stone itself.) Given that Thanos woke up in the water after Gamora’s seeming death, it’s not too much to assume that something happened that the audience isn’t entirely privy to just yet. Surely Zoe Saldana isn’t the only person wondering, what if Gamora isn’t quite as dead as Thanos thinks?

The Most Cowardly One There Is
Perhaps the biggest unresolved plot from Infinity War is the question of why the Hulk refuses to appear when Banner tries to transform. It’s not as if Banner has somehow lost the ability; the partial appearance of the Hulk to say, quite clearly, “No,” on more than one occasion in the movie means that something is going on, and whatever it is, it’ll inevitably be resolved in the follow-up. Is the Hulk scared of Thanos or is something else going on? Could the Hulk somehow hold the key to defeating Thanos when the time is right?