The MCU Could Wind Up With 7 Distinct Superhero Teams in Phase 5: Inside the Post-‘Avengers: Endgame’ Landscape

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, opening the door for new heroes via Disney+ shows and standalone installments. As some heroes bid farewell (Captain America, Iron Man) — or prepare to exit the franchise (Thor, Natasha Romanoff)— others are getting ready to make their debuts (She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, etc.) following Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel Studios MCU Avengers
Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Screening | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Avengers: Infinity War

Combining what we know about the future of the MCU — concerning existing members, as well as leaks and rumors surrounding characters with entrances in the pipeline — seven distinct teams may come to represent the franchise. While the first three phases of the MCU captured individual heroes and combined them to create the Avengers, the next few may work to develop individual teams with fewer members constituting each team. So, how do we get to seven? 

1. The A-Force

All signs suggest that Captain Marvel will come to lead the all-female superhero team known as the A-Force. Both Captain Marvel and Valkyrie exist in the MCU already. Jane Foster is returning to play Mighty Thor in Love and Thunder, and Jennifer Walters will make her small screen debut in She-Hulk. The foundation for this movie already exists — with most members of the team already participating in the franchise or coming soon. 

2. The New/Young Avengers 

The New Avengers have been rumored for quite some time, and it seems plausible that such a team will come to the forefront of the Marvel landscape. Spider-Man will likely lead the team consisting of Kate Bishop (likely to take Clint Barton’s place as Hawkeye’s via the Disney+ show), Ms. Marvel (who is about to receive her Disney+ debut), Iron Lad (possibly Harley from Iron Man 3), and Miss America (which is reportedly in development). 

3. Thunderbolts 

Depending on which Marvel insiders you follow, you may have heard that the Thunderbolts will receive their introduction (or their entrace will be suggested) via Black Widow or Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Both General Ross and Zemo are integral players in this group; with the former showing up in Black Widow and the latter front and center for Falcon and the Winter Soldier, both are possible. But, either way, this team comprised of good guys and bad guys will likely receive a standalone installment or a Disney+ show in Phase 5.

4.  Guardians of the Galaxy 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely be one of the funniest MCU movies to come out of Phase 5; however, they may also play a larger role in the phase’s narrative continuity than expected. With such a delay between installments, we may even see a few new faces join the squad we know and love; however, either way, this motley crew will likely go on some pivotal missions as a standalone team. 

5. The Illuminati 

According to Marvel Insider Mikey Sutton, Doctor Strange will form — or begin to cement the foundation — for The Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The theory: When Wanda fractures reality — leaving portals for extraterrestrial threats to enter earth — he will need to recruit heroes to battle forces the Avengers are not prepped to combat. These heroes will come to constitute the Illuminati, and the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards and the X-Men’s Professor X will be two major players. 

6. X-Men 

If the Illuminati is about to form and Professor X is one of the members on the team, it’s only a matter of time until the X-Men make their way to the silver screen. Furthermore, let us not forget that Kevin Feige recently met with Patrick Stewart (the actor behind Charles Xavier) to discuss a reentrance. Though Stewart says the will not return, it’s clear that the mutants are a priority for the Marvel President.

7. The Fantastic Four 

Multiple leaks — from Doctor Doom becoming the main antagonist down the line to Reed Richards becoming Peter Parker’s new mentor — hint at the Fantastic Four’s entrance. However, when and how they will come into the picture remain a bit foggy. However, if Reed Richards joins the Illuminati, a doorway to his team may present itself. In short, though Avengers: Endgame was a great and unifying culmination, the MCU may boast multiple culminations with multiple severe threats on a grander scale moving forward.