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As anticipation grows for the fourth Avengers movie, so does speculation about the movie’s title, which remains under wraps with just over six months to go until release. By this point in its release cycle, even Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s title was known — that got revealed 11 months out — and the lack of knowledge is making the fandom both excited and frustrated.
It’s almost guaranteed that the movie’s title will feature or adapt a comic book series, following in the pattern established by earlier movies in the series — The Avengers, Age of Ultron and [The] Infinity War were all comic books before they were movies, even if the storylines don’t match entirely. But with more than half a century’s worth of comic books to choose from, which titles are most likely for Marvel Studios and Joe and Anthony Russo to choose? Here are our five picks.
The title was originally coined for the 2004 comic book storyline that ended one era of the Avengers. It’s something that would be fitting to revive for the movie that, thanks to the presumed retirement of the onscreen Captain America,Thor and Iron Man, brings about another final adventure for the cinematic incarnation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Also, what better description is there of the way the good guys were left at the end of Avengers: Infinity War? (Technically, there’s 2011’s “Shattered Heroes,” but that might be slightly too on the nose.)
Avengers: Secret Wars
The “Secret Wars” title has been used on a number of occasions, starting with 1984’s toy tie-in series Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars; it’s popped up since on storylines with significance within the larger Marvel mythology, making it suitable for use for the movie that is, to all intents and purposes, the climax of the original era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Depending on the plot of Avengers 4, it could also refer to whatever the inevitably covert comeback plan of the heroes ends up being. After all, it has to be covert, surely. It would be ridiculous to just attack Thanos in public…wouldn’t it?
Avengers: Fear Itself
While the 2011 comic book series Fear Itself doesn’t have any particular Thanos connection, it is an Avengers-centric storyline that sees the heroes facing the traditional unbeatable odds and villains far outside of their comfort zone — beings with godlike powers who induce a state of panic on Earth. That’s not a million miles away from what Avengers 4 might present, and even if it was, there’s something fitting (and especially Marvel-esque) about invoking Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address when promoting the final appearance of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers.
Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet
Infinity Gauntlet was the title of the 1991 comic book series that came before 1992’s The Infinity War, but the storyline of Gauntlet might sound familiar to moviegoers: It’s what the remaining Marvel heroes get up to after Thanos snaps his fingers and wipes out half of all life with the Infinity Gauntlet. (As it happens, they just try and confront him publicly, apparently not having seen my comment about how ridiculous that would be. Spoiler: It really doesn’t work out well for them.) Titling the fourth feature Infinity Gauntlet would also underscore that the movie is the second half of the story started in Infinity War, given the recurring “Infinity.” It’s the only upside for using this one.
If fan speculation is to be believed, this is the title Marvel is going to use — one that originated in a 2006 event set in space featuring heroes standing against a massive invasion from another dimension. Evidence for this in many people’s eyes comes in the fact that the word “annihilation” has been used in dialogue in both Captain America: The First Avenger and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is either a coincidence brought about by the fact that “annihilation” is a pretty fun dramatic word or a sign that Marvel is playing the long game unlike anyone ever imagined.
The still-untitled fourth Avengers movie will be released May 3, 2019. Hopefully, by that point, we’ll know what it’s actually called.
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