The moment of reckoning is approaching. Hope for humanity could still be salvaged. Samuel L. Jackson may once again don an eyepatch.
In the final countdown to Avengers: Endgame, it's time to consolidate your embarrassing amount of knowledge about the 21 films that comprise Marvel's cinematic universe. Thanks to Thanos' epic Bitch Snap™ at the end of Infinity War, half the universe is dead (including the most beloved Avengers) and the Infinity Stones have become accessories on a glove so ugly that it's capable of un-making existence. But considering Marvel's reported plans to release 10 more films by 2022 (including sequels to Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange), we doubt that any of the Avengers will remain dead since that would mean missing out on Marvel Studios' paychecks.
Before Endgame kills most of the wild fan theories that have infested the Internet, we're placing our bets on one of these three contenders. If we're wrong, snap at us.
1. Time Travel Theory (Doctor Strange Knows All)
Likelihood: ⚡⚡⚡ out of 5
Have we forgotten that Doctor Strange can see into the future? In 2016's unfortunate flick Doctor Strange, a bald Tilda Swinton warns him that he can only see as far as his own lifespan. But then the end of the movie features him creating endless time loops that reset each time he dies. As BuzzFeed News points out, there's a scene at the end of Infinity War that's only possible if Doctor Strange was within a time loop at the end of the film. Tony asks him how many outcomes foretell the Avengers winning. He answers ominously, “One." Theoretically, if he's seeing past his own death, this means that the entire ending of Infinity War could be reset.
2. Gamora Isn't Dead and Maybe Saves the Universe
Likelihood: ⚡⚡ out of 5
Sure, the most glamorous Guardian of the Galaxy was thrown into the pit of Vormir when Thanos sacrificed her to obtain the Soul Stone. But as Den of Geek's editor-in-chief Mike Cecchini points out, in the Marvel comic books the Soul Stone actually preserves the souls of many characters who are believed to be dead. He says, "There's a lot of precedent for that from the comic book stories [in which] the Soul Stone was where various characters would cool their heels until they were ready to take on Thanos properly."
In fact, Infinity War director Joe Russo confirmed (at least part of) this theory last year. In a Q&A, he said, "When [Thanos] goes inside the soul stone, he has this kind of conversation with the younger version of his Gamora." So when it comes to whether or not Gamora's soul in inside the stone, "She, in fact is, yes," said Russo. "It was an attempt on our part because we don't like two-dimensional roles or three-dimensional villains. Every villain is a hero in their own story and as insane and psychotic and brutal and violent as Thanos is, he's a more complex villain if you go on a journey with him emotionally. He does care for things and it is complicated for him to execute his plan and it cost him something."
3. Not All Cats Are Jerks (The Tabby Will Save Us All)
Captain Marvel introduced Goose, Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) orange tabby cat. Actually, he's a Flerken, a "very rare, apparently extremely dangerous alien animal with human-level intellect that just happens to look indistinguishable from earth cats. They're also able to do some really freaky things." One of their powers is to produce poisonous venom, which is actually how Nick Fury lost his eye. Another power is the ability to swallow anything—even an Infinity Stone. Oh, and they can also unlock portals to other realms. So, should the infinity stones be freed from Thanos' gauntlet, Goose could swallow them and transport them to another realm. How? The portals are in their cheeks. You heard me.
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