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Going into Avengers: Infinity War, fans were hoping that Marvel would really go for it by killing off some beloved characters. Well, be careful what you wish for. In the movie, a whopping 16 protagonists die — at least, seemingly.
It is basically guaranteed that some of these deaths will not be permanent, but a few of them probably will be. So which is which? Who’s coming back, and who’s not? Here’s a look at the characters killed off in Infinity War who will definitely return, as well as the ones who will probably stay dead.
Warning: This article will contain major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
12 characters seemingly die at the end of the film
Thanos in Infinity War. | Marvel
Infinity War establishes early on that if Thanos gets all of the Infinity Stones and snaps his fingers, half of all life in the universe will cease to exist. And that’s exactly how the movie ends: Thanos gets the stones, snaps his fingers, and half the population disappears. This includes many of our heroes.
In case you lost track, the characters who seemingly die when Thanos snaps are Bucky Barnes, Black Panther, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Sam Wilson, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Maria Hill, and Nick Fury.
So wait, did Marvel seriously just kill off 12 major characters, in addition to the four others who died earlier in the movie? What’s going on?
Next: This fact changes the way we look at the cliffhanger ending.
Many of these characters have already been confirmed to return
Black Panther | Marvel Studios
If you’ve kept up with Marvel news even a little bit, the shocking deaths at the end of Infinity War surely did not phase you. After all, we know for a fact that several of these characters will return in future movies.
Spider-Man, for instance, has a movie scheduled for release in July 2019. With Black Panther, it should be blatantly obvious that Marvel isn’t about to kill off its new most popular character. But a Black Panther sequel has also been explicitly confirmed to be on the way.
In addition, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out in 2020. Yet literally every Guardian “dies” in Infinity War except for Rocket. So unless that third movie is just about Rocket drifting through space while listening to sad songs on Peter’s Zune, obviously, these characters are all coming back.
Next: There’s evidence of how this cliffhanger will be resolved in the comic.
In the comics, everyone who disappears after the snap comes back
Thanos snaps his finger. | Marvel Comics
For more of a sense of what’s in store, we just need to take a look at the comics. In Infinity Gauntlet, the storyline that Infinity War is based on, the snap happens just like it does in the movie. And in the comic, every single person who disappears after the snap ends up coming back to life by the end of the story. The Infinity Gauntlet is used to set everything back to normal and bring everyone back.
Granted, the comic book is a lot different than the movie. A completely separate set of characters die, and the circumstances under which they get brought back will almost certainly not be the same as on screen. However, it seems like a pretty safe bet that Marvel is lifting the idea of having characters apparently die at Thanos’ hands, only to return, for Avengers 4.
Next: Avengers 4 might feature the characters returning in this way.
The characters may actually be trapped in Soul World
Soul World in the Marvel comics | Marvel.com
Technically, we didn’t really see any of these characters “die” in the traditional sense. They only disappeared, seemingly vanishing out of existence. But one explanation as to how they will return lies in the source material once again.
In the comics, the Soul Stone has the power to trap people in a pocket dimension known as Soul World. The theory among fans now is that those who “died” at the end of Infinity War actually just got transported here. So it seems that Avengers 4 will be about the original team of heroes banding together to save the new generation.
How will they do so? That remains to be seen, but if they are able to get the Soul Stone from Thanos, they may be able to free their friends. One theory is that Captain America will die in the process, with Tony killing him as a sacrifice like Thanos killed Gamora. It’s also possible that all of the original Avengers will die in order to save the new ones.
Next: These two characters, sadly, are likely dead for good.
Heimdall and Loki will likely stay dead
Loki holds up the Tesseract | Marvel
Of course, there were other deaths in the movie outside of those who disappeared in the snap. The film got started right away with the deaths of Heimdall and Loki. And sadly, these characters seem likely to stay dead. Both of them have had fairly complete storylines, and besides, we don’t even know if we’re getting any more Thor movies.
Loki, in particular, seems unlikely to come back. Thanos specifically has a line about how there will be “no resurrections this time,” which seems like a meta reference. It would also be downright ridiculous if Loki “dies,” only to come back, twice in two separate movies. So sadly, we think that these two are staying dead.
That being said, Tom Hiddleston will nevertheless show up again in Avengers 4; set photos have shown the filming of a scene that takes place at the Battle of New York, so Hiddleston will be playing the version of Loki from the 2012 Avengers film.
Next: This other character likely won’t be coming back, either.
Vision probably won’t come back, either
Vision in Avengers: Infinity War. | Marvel Studios
So what about Vision? Will he stay dead, or might he come back? This one seems like it could go either way. On the one hand, Thanos very clearly murders Vision in the movie, so there’s no ambiguity about his death like there is with those who disappeared in the snap. On the other hand, Vision was basically just an AI with a physical vessel. So is it possible he could be rebuilt if our heroes get the Mind Stone back?
There’s also always the possibility of the characters changing reality via time travel or some other Infinity Stone shenanigans, therefore allowing Vision to return. However, Vision’s death was impactful enough that this would be a disappointment. He’s also a minor enough character that he seems like someone Marvel would be willing to lose.
For now, then, we’re going to predict that Vision stays dead.
Next: It’s still unclear whether this character will return, but we think they will.
Gamora could return if she’s trapped in Soul World
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Marvel Studios
The character whose status is the hardest to predict is Gamora. Her death is the most significant in the movie, and so you’d assume that Marvel would be willing to commit to it. Plus, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had said that some of the forthcoming deaths would be permanent.
But an important fact to consider is that there is a third Guardians movie coming out in 2020. So far, these films have functioned well on their own, so would director James Gunn really be okay with one of the leads of his trilogy dying between installments?
Gunn had said that you will be able to watch the three Guardians movies on their own without Avengers and they’ll make sense; one would think that Gamora dying off screen would prevent that from being true. He had also said that Gamora will be a big part of Guardians 3. Finally, Zoe Saldana had previously said she’s in Avengers 4, although that could just be a flashback or vision sequence.
So how could Gamora possibly come back if we saw her fall to her death? Well, there has been some indication via set photos that Avengers 4 involves time travel, so it’s possible that the surviving heroes go back in time to prevent all of the deaths in Infinity War from happening in the first place.
It’s also possible that Gamora, too, is trapped in Soul World; maybe that’s what the scene of Thanos talking to a young Gamora indicates. It’s totally up in the air until Avengers 4, but for now, we’re going to predict that Gamora will return.
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