The first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) served to introduce various superheroes — from far-reaching galaxies, all boasting different extraordinary capabilities. But, by the end of the saga, each pivotal member fought side-by-side. They came to be The Avengers, combining their efforts to defeat the biggest, baddest threat that ever was: Thanos and his army of creepy combatants. Yet, moving forward, multiple superhero teams may feature in smaller mash-up films, changing the landscape’s approach.
Based on available information, Phase 4 will likely lay the foundation for five distinct superhero teams in the MCU. And while various heroes may dip their toes in other teams, coming to lend a hand when necessary, the lines separating the groups should become rather distinct.
1. The A-Force
Captain Marvel — whose presence will likely serve to represent the MCU moving forward — will undoubtedly take charge of the A-Force: the all-female superhero team in the comics. With She-Hulk on the horizon, Natalie Portman set to become Mighty Thor, and Ms. Marvel coming to Disney+, this entire team is almost assembled.
And, let us not forget that Valkyrie recently became the King of Asgard. Captain Marvel may be a primary Avenger, but she will also likely lead this specific group of heroes on intergalactic missions.
2. The New Avengers / The Young Avengers
Now that Tony Stark and Captain America have bid the MCU farewell, the primary Avengers team will start to take on a different look. And, if youngsters are set to take the reigns, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could wind up leading the team.
As for the likely culprits, fans could expect Iron Lad (likely to be portrayed by Iron Man 3’s Ty Simpkins), appearances by Ms. Marvel (who looks up to Spidey in the comics), and possibly Kate Bishop, who will enter the landscape via Hawkeye. And, if rumors surrounding Loki turn out to be true — that he will get stuck in his childhood form in Thor: Love and Thunder — Kevin Feige may be planning to bring him into the soiree as a changed man-boy.
3. The Illuminati
According to Marvel and DC insider Mikey Sutton, Doctor Strange will begin to assemble his team of highly-intelligent individuals in the Multiverse of Madness. As for those destined to join, Mr. Fantastic / Reed Richards and Professor X are reportedly going to enter the landscape via this team, creating a path to their respective groups in the MCU.
4. The X-Men
Now that the Fox/Disney merger has placed the X-Men under Kevin Fiege’s watchful eye, it goes without saying that they will be joining the landscape in the near future. Yet, their mode of entry remains undetermined, as some rumors suggest that Storm will be the first to join via Black Panther 2, while others point to Professor X.
5. The Fantastic Four
With Mr. Fantastic rumored to be joining the MCU in Phase 4, it’s only a matter of time until his family of explorers takes his side. From the Human Torch to the Thing and Invisible Woman, it will be interesting to see who plays each character. If fans have their way, John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt will portray Reed Richards and Sue Storm, respectively.
6. The Thunderbolts
While The Thunderbolts team is sometimes good and sometimes bad, they deserve a spot on this list. They will likely retain a narrative impact following the Black Widow prequel. Rumor has it that a post-credits scene in Black Widow will introduce General Ross’s plan for a Thunderbolts team, with Yelena Belova’s Black Widow as member one.