The following contains major spoilers for The Marvels.
After far too many delays The Marvels is finally here and, while critics seem to be split on the movie, I really enjoyed it overall. I didn't write the CinemaBlend review for this cosmic adventure, but I agree with it. It was hard for me not to have a great deal of fun with Nia DaCosta's flick, and the chemistry between the three leads was perfect. Of course, as with many Marvel films, a lot of the buzz isn’t about the movie itself, but the future it teases. In the case of this latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, fans got two teases, but I am far more excited about one than the other.
The Marvels mid-credits scene -- which saw Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau rescued by and recuperating alongside the X-Men of an alternate universe -- was fun. I enjoyed seeing the return of Kelsey Grammer as Beast as much as anybody but, for me, the far bigger deal wasn’t the scene during the credits -- it was the Marvels ending itself. That provided us with a tease of where Kamala Khan's story arc is going, and I am officially excited about what could happen in upcoming Marvel movies or shows.
A New Avengers Team Is Beginning To Assemble
The ending of The Marvels plays like the original Iron Man post-credits scene but as done by an awkward teenager, because it was. It sees Kamala Khan (a.k.a Ms. Marvel) hiding in a dark corner of Kate Bishop’s apartment, before telling her that she’s putting together a team. Many have wondered what the future might hold for the Avengers as a team, and it looks a younger is on the way.
A lot of what we’ve seen throughout Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the MCU has involved the introductions of alternate versions (or variants) of characters as well as iconic mantles being passed on to new holders. For a while, there have been signs of a Young Avengers team being introduced in this continuity, so this concept certainly isn’t new. However, this is our first official confirmation that such a thing is actually in the cards.
I Already Love Most Of The Characters That Will Likely Make Up The New Team
After viewers were introduced to “the Avenger Initiative” in 2008's Iron Man, the rest of Phase One introduced the characters that would be part of it. At this point, we’ve likely already met the characters that will probably be part of this new avenging team, and I pretty much love all of them.
We, of course, we have Iman Vellani's Ms. Marvel and Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop, who has taken up the mantle of Hawkeye. I love these characters in large part because the actresses who play them are phenomenal, and so I’m excited to see both of them take on more prominent roles in the MCU and mix it up. During The Marvels' conclusion, Kamala Khan also mentions that “Ant-Man has a daughter,” so it seems likely that Cassie Lang, played by Kathryn Newton, (who showed her capabilities under pressure in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) could also join up.
But beyond that, there are a few other very likely candidates to be part of this new team that we already know of. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever showcased two of them. In that film, Shuri became the newest character to take on the mantle of the titular Panther. The film also introduced tech prodigy Riri Williams, whose story will be expanded upon in DIsney+'s upcoming Ironheart TV show down the road. Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, who has crossed paths with Bishop, would make an excellent member. Though she may not join up given that she's slated to be a part of the Thunderbolts lineup, but she could pull double duty, I think. Also, I'd personally love to see Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk make a return. Though Jennifer Walters might be a bit too old for a “Young” Avengers team, this group is going to need somebody to keep an eye on them, right?
There are even more characters who, while they seem less likely to get in, could still factor into the future of the Avengers. America Chavez is out there, and she has an ability that may prove useful. Wanda and Vision’s children don’t currently exist in the main MCU timeline, but that doesn’t mean they won’t show up somewhere at some point. Even Thor’s surrogate daughter, Love, could end up joining up. She seems a little young, even for this team but, with Stormbreaker in her hand, she brings a lot to the table. There's even Hulk's son, Skaar, could become a member after his debut during She-Hulk's final moments. Though it's unclear whether anything will come to fruition in that regard. The same is true when it comes to Isaiah Bradley's grandson, Eli, who was introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (and becomes Patriot in the comics).
Ideally, I'd be down to see Kamala, Kate, Shuri, Riri, Yelena, and Cassie Lang make up the roster. Can you imagine seeing them have their own big team moment with the camera circling around them while an epic Avengers theme (one similar to Alan Silvestri’s) fills the theater?
The Multiverse Saga Is Fun, But It’s Not Moving The Story Forward
Where and when we’ll see this new team take center stage is far from clear. It may not even be until the Multiverse Saga is over, or perhaps they'll end up playing a major role in the two upcoming Avengers films. Whatever the plan, there is certainly a lot more of the larger saga left to go.
More on Marvel movies
I’ve enjoyed the Multiverse Saga overall, but my issue with it is that I don’t feel like it’s story is moving along all that swiftly. I’ve gone on record saying that one of the things I love the most about the current MCU is that it has the opportunity to do something Marvel Comics never does, which is to continually move the story forward. And yet, the Multiverse Saga feels like it's stalling in some ways.
A lot of what we’re getting is material that harps on what has come before. We saw Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home as well as characters from the old X-Men franchise in Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness, and now, The Marvels.
I love these appearances as much as any fan, and I won’t pretend that I’m not excited to see Hugh Jackman donning the yellow suit to play Wolverine one more time. Yet there’s such a focus on these heroes of yesteryear, and less so on the heroes of tomorrow. It all feels like a gimmick meant to draw in cash at the box office and less of a way to expand the narrative into interesting territory. The recent rumor that Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson might return to the fold was my literal worst fear for the future of this franchise. (Thankfully, that was seemingly debunked when studio head Kevin Feige discussed major MCU topics recently.)
A New Avengers Team Feels Like A Real Next Step For The MCU
I love aforementioned veteran characters and the actors who play them, but I have the old movies if I want to see them again. I want to see the MCU move forward, with new characters on new adventures, and that includes a new team of Avengers that figure out how to follow in the footsteps of those who came before them. After that, it would be great to see those characters pass the baton to yet another generation, pushing the universe into a future that the comics never see, because they eventually must return to the status quo.
Let's not see that status quo again. This recent tease of a new Avengers team makes me excited for what might come. If this new group is going to be a key part of this saga, then I’ll certainly be paying attention but not because I’m that interested in what happens with the Multiverse but because I just want to know what happens to Earth's Mightiest (New) Heroes.
You can check out The Marvels -- which is one of the biggest titles on the schedule of 2023 new movie releases -- in theaters now. You can also stream past MCU flicks and shows using a Disney+ subscription.