Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe experienced the definition of a good news-bad news situation after Marvel's panel at 2017's San Diego Comic Con. The good news: the studio debuted the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. The bad news: it wasn't released online. Despite the secrecy surrounding the footage, descriptions have made their way around the Internet, and already fans are theorizing on who dies in Avengers: Infinity War. Yes, the footage is just as bleak as fans expected, and as the first installment of the final (planned) Avengers adventure, it's bound to leave some of our favorite characters in the dust.
The question of who will die in Infinity War — if anybody — has been one debated by fans for a while. Though no major character deaths have been confirmed explicitly, director duo Anthony and Joe Russo have hinted as much. "I think fans should be prepared for some very intense surprises in these movies," Joe Russo told MTV at SDCC, via Comicbook.com. "My brother and I believe in stakes; I believe that everything has to come to an end at some point, in order for it to have value." This ominous tease, paired with some particularly shocking SDCC footage of Vision being essentially torn apart, suggests that some heroes aren't going to make it out alive, but who?
Based on what very little information we have, I've ranked the five Marvel heroes most likely to die in Infinity War. Note: Returning cast members within the MCU have not all been officially confirmed (I'm looking at you, Samuel L. Jackson), so to avoid any confusion, this list is based only on characters featured in the above Infinity War poster.
Vision dying in Infinity War is one of the more popular theories going around, in part because he is born out of the Mind Stone. The Mind Stone, of course, is an infinity stone, which means that Thanos, the villain, will be going after it at all costs. Something tells me he wouldn't hesitate before pulling that stone straight out of Vision's red head.
Vision's death would also be more than enough to knock the Avengers down a few pegs. As a member of the team, his death would have a great effect on all of our heroes, especially Iron Man, whose moral compass has been at the center of the Avengers series. (Vision is also unlikely to get his own spinoff, his death also wouldn't hurt Marvel Studios' bottom line.)
Nebula's death wouldn't have the same kind of emotional resonance as Vision's, mostly because the Avengers have yet to meet her and the rest of the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. That said, narratively her death makes the most sense after Vision. When we last saw Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, she was dead-set on killing Thanos. Chances are she'll be following him to Earth in Infinity War, and might get herself killed trying to take him down. Plus, her death would be a great catalyst for the Guardians to join in on the fight, as Gamora would undoubtedly be compelled to avenge her sister.
I know what you're thinking: Marvel wouldn't dare kill off their best villain to date. But, when you look at Loki's arc over the past two Thor films, it actually makes sense. Based on the trailers for Thor: Ragnarok, it looks like Loki will, once again, be switching sides and fighting alongside Thor instead of against him. For years, Loki has been getting closer and closer to landing a spot on the good guy team. What better way to end his transition from villain to hero than to give him a dramatic, superhero death?
Like Vision, Hawkeye is one of the key member of the Avengers with almost zero likelihood of starring in his own franchise, which means he's definitely up on the chopping block. That said, Hawkeye has had so little play in previous movies, filmmakers might think it's just too cruel to kill him. Still, his death would definitely shake up the Avengers crew, Black Widow in particular, and would no doubt give them serious pause. (Full disclosure: this one might be a bit more of a personal wish, because like T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War, I just don't care about Hawkeye.)
5. Iron Man / Captain America
I put Iron Man and Captain America together on this list because, unlike the other potential deaths listed above, I think these are mutually exclusive. Both Iron Man and Captain America will not die in the same movie — it would just be cruel to take away the MCU's two most successful heroes in one swoop. That said, either one of their deaths would be extremely effective and would hit audiences the most.
I'm tempted to say that Tony Stark is more likely to die because of how present he is in the MCU (just imagine the consequences), but that might just be my massive crush on Cap and his biceps talking.
Of course, there are plenty of other characters who could meet their end in Avengers: Infinity War, but let's just hope that the Russo brothers stick to killing one (maybe two) of these characters. I don't know how much superhero death I can take.