All Those 'Avengers 4' Theories Make Way More Sense Once You Read These Marvel Comics Storylines
Spoilers ahead. The Marvel Cinematic Universe shook the world with Avengers: Infinity War. Seeing beloved heroes including Spider-Man and Black Panther dissolve into black dust was pretty traumatizing, and left fans everywhere wondering how they were going to be brought back in Avengers 4 in time for their own solo sequels. We still don't know for sure, but there are a lot of theories. And to make sense of all the speculation, these are the seven Marvel comics facts and storylines you need to know to follow the major Avengers 4 theories.
As said, there are a lot of ideas as to what is going to happen in Avengers 4. Will Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of the OG team sacrifice themselves to save the new generation of superheroes? Is everyone killed by the snap of Thanos' fingers actually still alive within the Soul Stone? Did Dr. Strange know he was going to die all along, and was that part of his plan? And will the multiverse end up saving us all? These are just a handful of the theories being floated by fans, and many of them draw from knowledge of Marvel comics, which have introduced the concept of the multiverse and aspects of the Soul Stone not yet shown on screen.
1"Avengers, Vol. 2" (2010-2012)
In this run of the Avengers comics, the Infinity Stones play a key part in the Avengers fight against the Hood. It's a great refresher of how the Infinity Stones work independently and together, according to IGN, which will no doubt come in handy by the time Avengers 4 rolls around.
2The Soul World
In the comics, the Soul World (also known as Soulworld according to Marvel's official website) is a pocket dimension, a sort of purgatory or prison inside the Soul Stone. Those killed by or in relation to the Soul Stone are absorbed by it and placed in the Soul World, where they are meant to be at peace. Anybody absorbed by the Stone resides there, and many Avengers 4 theories revolve around the superheroes who turned to dust at the end of Infinity War being stuck in the Soul World, and thus capable of resurrection.
3Heroes In The Soul World Are Not Actually Dead
Contrary to what it sounds like, the Soul World is not actually a version of the afterlife. As noted by Polygon, it is made clear in Infinity Gauntlet, the comic by Jim Starlin and George Perez, that being absorbed in the Soul World actually prevents one form being killed definitively. (This has to do with Mistress Death, a character thus far not included in the MCU.) This gives even more weight to the theory that the Avengers won't get their fellow supers back via time travel, but by breaking them out of the Soul World.
4Scarlet Witch Has Created Alternate Realities
At the end of Infinity War, Scarlet Witch was turned into dust by Thanos, but it's worth noting that she has brought others back from the dead in the comics. In the comic Avengers: Didassembled, as reported by CBR.com, Scarlet Witch saves Hawkeye by creating an alternate reality for him after he dies. Scarlet Witch's ability to create an entire new reality has not yet been included in the MCU, but if the multiverse theory for Avengers 4 is true, then she could be crucial to its development.
5The Death Stone
In recent comics, specifically The Infinity Gauntlet 2.5, Anwen Bakian, a member of the Nova Corp, used the Reality Stone to create the Death Stone and gave it to Thanos. After it was placed in Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet, it corrupted him with black matter, and, according to Marvel.Wikia, eventually turned him into dust. The idea of the Death Stone is especially interesting when coupled with the Doctor Strange Infinity War theory that suggests he gave Thanos a Time Stone from another dimension.
6Nebula Defeats Thanos
In the Infinity Gauntlet comics, as reported by Polygon, Nebula is the one who defeats Thanos. She grabs the Infinity Gauntlet, puts it on and uses it to reverse everything he's done so far, thus saving the Avengers. It's worth noting that, in the comics, she is corrupted buy the Infinity Stones' power and ends up turning evil, but, hey, you never know how the MCU might tweak a good comics plot line.
Marvel comics series Avengers Forever, according to ComicBook.com, saw Avengers from various timelines come together to face a huge threat. The comics did not include Thanos, but the idea that Avengers from different times and perhaps even different dimensions is definitely worth paying attention to in the context of Avengers 4. Again, the fact that Avengers from different timelines have come together in the comics supports the Doctor Strange Avengers 4 theory, which suggests that the real Time Stone could be hidden on an alternate dimension, which means it could be used by alternate dimension Avengers to assemble a new Avengers Forever team of time traveling heroes.
All in all, knowing about the Marvel comics will only help so much when it comes to Avengers 4 theories. But, boy, is it fun to discuss.