The lack of memorable villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been an ongoing source of criticism for the franchise, but in just this year, the MCU has provided us with at least two baddies who seemed to buck the trend. On the one hand, Thanos finally got the spotlight in Avengers: Infinity War, and his first starring role went so well for the guy that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will need the entirety of next year’s Avengers 4 to undo the damage he’s done. On the other hand, there’s Killmonger, who made a similarly strong impression with Black Panther, but seemingly didn’t live to see a sequel.
But as well as delivering more of the Mad Titan, could Avengers 4 find a way of bringing Michael B. Jordan’s character back into the saga? That’s what’s being suggested in this new piece of speculation from ComicBook.com, and as with so many theories regarding the upcoming ensemble actioner, this one involves time travel.
Naturally, the titular team of the next Avengers film will have a pretty big fight on their hands, and if a trip to the past is on the cards, then presumably they’re going to want Thanos beaten before he can erase half the universe’s population once more. If so, then they probably wouldn’t say no to using some of the most advanced weaponry that Earth has to offer, which brings us to vibranium.
While the world was largely unaware of Wakanda’s supply of vibranium until the nation opened its doors to them at the end of Black Panther, the unusual metal sure would’ve come in handy in the Battle of New York, back in 2012. It’s here that the theory suggests a fresh assault is launched against Thanos’ forces, but first the team could travel back to 1992, when Killmonger’s father N’Jobu helped Klaw steal some vibranium.
Were the Avengers to somehow interfere in this heist in order to acquire some of this precious resource – either by stealing from Klaw, or collaborating with N’Jobu – then this would likely alter the timeline significantly. Erik “Killmonger” Stevens could therefore be put on a fresh path, freeing him up for further encounters with his old foe T’Challa in future Black Panther movies. Could it be that the Wakanda-based reshoots for next year’s release are laying the groundwork for such a retcon?
Granted, the author of this piece admits themselves that the films offer little evidence of this idea playing out, but it’s a nice theory that would ensure there’d still be at least one interesting, multi-movie villain in the MCU after Thanos and Loki are out the picture. We’ll see if the Russo Brothers have a similar trick in mind when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.