AVENGERS 4 concept art was recently released showing several heroes looking very different than when we last saw them in INFINITY WAR. What could this mean for the future of the MCU? Let’s look at some of the biggest observations and see what we can piece together.

The Concept Art: First Impressions

The concept art image in question depicts the remaining Avengers ready for action. Captain America leads the team alongside the original Avengers from the first film, including Hawkeye. Accompanying them are those who also survived Thanos’ actions such as Rocket Raccoon, Nebula, and War Machine. Furthermore, Ant-Man joins the party, who wasn’t in INFINITY WAR either. We also see newcomer Captain Marvel, who will get her introduction next year before AVENGERS 4.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Several of these characters look different than when we last saw them, having different hairstyles and suits. The visual is super important in films such as these, as they’re are based and adapted from the ever visual medium of comics. Meaning, what we see tells a story. Let’s see what those stories could be.

Hulk Looks Smaller…and Has a Suit?

Probably the most noticeable appearance that differs from films past is the Hulks. First of all, he looks significantly smaller than usual. To make a comparison, he looks to be the size of Colossus from the X-Men as opposed to the larger Hulk size we’ve seen before.

Moreover, he’s wearing a suit! It looks as though Hulk is wearing some sort of black and blue bodysuit, the purpose of which is unknown. Hulk’s usual look thus far has been purple shorts with no cover for the torso. The notable exception being gladiator armor when Hulk served as the Grandmaster’s champion in THOR: RAGNAROK.

This means that this new suit seen in the concept art can’t just be a stylistic choice. The best guess I have is that this suit will factor into the conflict arc between Bruce Banner and the Hulk. In INFINITY WAR, Hulk gets the crap beat out of him at the film’s start by Thanos. From that point, Hulk refuses to come out of Banner. Banner ends up having to don Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster armor in order to help the Avengers.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Perhaps the reason that Hulk looks smaller and wears a suit is that Banner has found a way to create a more perfect union between himself and the Hulk. What if the suit allows Banner and Hulk to work together simultaneously? While it appears that he may not have the whole size and strength of Hulk, what if Banner’s intelligence remains? This would be a very cool dynamic and echoes more than a few arcs from the comics where Banner has attempted to do exactly this.

It would also be an interesting conclusion for the arc we’ve seen with Banner and Hulk thus far in the MCU.

Captain America: A Return to the Shining Symbolic Hero

Captain America looks much more like he has in films past. Where in INFINITY WAR he wears a faded suit and sports a full beard, he now appears with a fresh face and suit. Captain America looks to be the hero that stands for freedom and justice once again.

Steve Roger’s INFINITY WAR look was absolutely the result of his actions and perspective from CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. His belief that the Avengers should have the right to choose when and where they help and fight put him at odds not only with the governments of the world but with several of his allies, most notably Iron Man. The end of the film leaves Rogers and his remaining allies as fugitives. The faded stars and stripes in INFINITY WAR symbolize that Steve Rogers is now following his own moral compass as opposed to what the majority would wish he would do.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Perhaps AVENGERS 4 has that majority seeing things differently. Thanos’ actions would certainly show the world that they need as many heroes as possible more than ever. What if the Accords are repealed, giving Rogers the opportunity to be the shining symbol he once was?

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

It should be noted that Captain America’s does not have any weapon in the concept art. This leads me to believe that he might get his original shield back. After his fight with Stark in CIVIL WAR, he left the shield behind after Tony told him he didn’t deserve it.

It would be a very impactful moment if Stark were go give the shield back to Rogers as a way of making amends from their past conflict. Resolution seems likely, as Tony stands right next to Rogers in the concept art.

Returning Heroes

Adding to the line-up post-INFINITY WAR comes Hawkeye and Ant-Man. For now, I can only speculate as to why they’re joining the fight now for AVENGERS 4. Hawkeye sports a mohawk and a darker costume that from films past. Leaked set photos give some more insight to his new duds as it looks to be that he’s wearing black with gold lining. Here are some thoughts as to why this could be.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Hawkeye is not present in INFINITY WAR, and Black Widow provides the reason why: at the end of CIVIL WAR, Clint took a deal with the government to go under house arrest in order to be with his family. This is also the same reason why we don’t see Ant-Man as he has his daughter Cassie. Hawkeye’s family may also be the cause for his return to the Avengers.

Many believe that Hawkeye’s family disappeared as a result of Thanos wiping out half of all life in the universe. If that were to be the case, Clint would most definitely be looking to get payback and to find a way to bring them back. His change of attire adds to this theory as it looks close to his Ronin persona. In the comics, Clint becomes Ronin after a tragic loss. If his family is indeed gone, it would make sense for Clint to go down this route in the MCU.

Ant-Man is among the ranks in the concept art, but it is interesting that Wasp is not present. Could it be that she disappears as well? Also, how tragic would it be if everything is fine and dandy at the end of this July’s ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, and then we get a post-credits scene where Wasp and Cassie disappear?

Where Were These Characters During AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR?

Captain Marvel: The Newcomer

We also see Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, who is confirmed to join the fight in AVENGERS 4, although we have yet to meet her. She gets a reference during the post-credits scene of INFINITY WAR, where Nick Fury uses a high-tech pager to call her right before he turns to dust.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Audiences will get an introduction to Carol next year before AVENGERS 4, and she’s going to be a powerhouse. Her origin film will take place in the 90s, so it will be interesting to see where she’s been. Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson says that Captain Marvel is so strong that she can move planets!

If that’s the case, then Carol Danvers is shaping up to be the Avengers’ strongest player against Thanos. She may even get set up to lead the Avengers as the MCU goes forward into Phase 4.

Other Noteworthy Character Observations

Black Widow and War Machine are sporting new looks as well. War Machine has a new suit that is much bigger than his previous suits. Perhaps it has more firepower and tech, such as the nano-tech Tony used in INFINITY WAR? Black Widow has also changed he hair yet again, back to red and pulled back.

Widow also stands right next to Hulk, so perhaps this hints more of their relationship being featured more? It’s essentially been on hiatus as Banner’s been in space since AGE OF ULTRON.

Nebula is a part of the team, her desire to kill Thanos prompting her to join forces with the Avengers. Rocket is there, sadly the only surviving Guardian of the Galaxy. Thor’s present too, with his new hair, costume, and hammer we saw in INFINITY WAR.

What Could Be Forthcoming For Marvel’s AVENGERS 4?

Concept Art Speculation: The Time and Place: Titan or Quantum Realm?

With all of the style changes made to quite a few of the Avengers, I have come to believe that AVENGERS 4 will take place in real-time. It won’t begin right where INFINITY WAR left off. This would mean that a year has passed since Thanos snapped his fingers. I think that this is great. What better way to see the impact Thanos has caused than to give humanity and its heroes time to live in the new reality?

I suspect time-travel will come into play, probably via Ant-Man, and the Avengers will go back in time to prevent or even the destroy the Infinity Stones before they could ever get into Thanos’ hands.

Concept Art
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As far as the bluish setting that the Avengers are in, it’s possible that it could be on Titan. There looks to be some wreckage in the background of the concept art. However, it would be far more interesting if the concept art setting was the Quantum Realm, the subatomic dimension between time and space. The Realm will be explored more in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP and serves a great potential vehicle for time travel for the Avengers in AVENGERS 4. That’s my theory anyway, and many other subscribe to that idea as well.

This leaked concept art provides a lot of interesting speculations and observations to be made. Especially about the potential possibilities for the MCU’s future. Unfortunately, we won’t get any more news from SDCC, as Marvel Studios is opting out this year. We’ll be sure to provide more news as it comes!

AVENGERS 4 will release on May 3rd, 2019

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