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Avengers 5 — rumored to be called ‘Secret Wars’ has fans dishing out fan theories faster than we can report them. Marvel fans were sad to see Robert Downey Jr. leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame. There has been a lot of speculation that Downey will return to the MCU at some point, and one fan theory predicts that Iron Man’s return will coincide with Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) retirement. Here’s a look at how Marvel might bring Tony back into the fold in Avengers 5.

Avengers 5 Secret Wars Robert Downey Jr
Will Robert Downey Jr. return for ‘Secret Wars’? | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Inside the Secret Wars storyline

Marvel has already confirmed that it will explore the multiverse like never before in Phase 4 of the MCU. The studio teased this in Spider-Man: Far From Home and is set to explore it even further in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (and possibly in the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision).

According to Inverse, Marvel’s big plan is to build up to a major storyline in the comics called the Secret Wars. If that is the case, then the story offers a clear way for some fan-favorites to return to action in Avengers 5 and beyond.

The original Secret Wars storyline was published in the 1980s and was largely a marketing ploy to sell toys. In that version of events, a villain named Beyonder transported a slew of heroes and villains to a planet called Battleworld to fight it out.

This included most of the Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Ultron, Doctor Doom, and Doctor Octopus. Marvel released an updated version of the story in 2015 that expanded on the original concept.

In the modern Secret Wars story, characters from various universes were brought together on Battleworld. This allowed Marvel to team up duplicate heroes from across different timelines, opening the door for a total reset and re-launch of various superheroes.

How will Secret Wars play out in the MCU?

The Secret Wars story is by far Marvel’s biggest crossover event in the comics. It dwarfs the story of the Infinity Stones that played out in Endgame, which means the studio will need time to build up to it.

This could be why Marvel has yet to reveal when Avengers 5 will premiere and why it was not included in Phase 4 of the MCU. The studio also needs to introduce more characters, like X-Men and the Fantastic Four, all of whom played an important role in Secret Wars.

If this is the direction that Marvel is taking, then there is a strong possibility that other fan-favorites will return as well. This includes Iron Man, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Captain America (Chris Evans).

To add another twist, Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have already revealed that the only way they want to return to Marvel is if they get to helm a Secret Wars film.

Unfortunately, Marvel has not said anything about Secret Wars or what it has planned for the Avengers moving forward.

This fan theory predicts Thor’s retirement will lead to Iron Man’s return

Following the events in Endgame, Thor is one of the last original Avengers in the MCU. Although he is set to return for a fourth solo movie in Thor: Love and Thunder, fans have speculated that the movie might be his last outing.

We already know that Natalie Portman is returning to play Jane Foster, a.k.a. the new Thor in Love and Thunder. In Secret Wars, Jane was one of the characters who fought alongside the Avengers.

If Thor does retire at the end of Love and Thunder, the chances of Marvel exploring Secret Wars becomes even greater. Although fans would be sad to see Hemsworth go, his departure would open the door for Iron Man to return and help fill the void.


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Hemsworth has not commented on his future in the MCU. There are some reports that he will enjoy a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so we might be counting him out a little too soon.

The next movie in Marvel’s lineup is Black Widow, which is scheduled to premiere in theaters in November.

Marvel has not confirmed anything about Avengers 5 or bringing the Secret Wars storyline to the big screens.