After a whopping 18 films, and a seemingly unending amount coming on the horizon, the MCU has defied everyone’s expectations and helped redefine what a movie franchise can be. And as impressive as the MCU has been, it’s been largely devoid of any real consequences—so long as you’re one of the good guys. Sure, we’ve seen a couple minor characters meet their untimely end, but by and large, our heroes have made it through every one of their outings more or less unscathed.
That could all change once Infinity War hits theaters later this month, beginning to close out MCU’s Phase 3 and bring about changes that are sure to permanently alter the landscape for all future entries. But the question is: who’s really going to be safe after all this?
Here’s a rundown of the odds for who’s likely to live, and die, in the upcoming Infinity War.
The Black Panther: 1000-1
Aside from having the 5th largest-grossing film of all time, and the first one since 2009’s Avatar to hold its own as the #1 box office draw for five straight weeks, director Ryan Coogler created a rich world with full of vibrant characters. While much of Infinity War looks to take place in Wakanda, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) represents the future of the MCU, meaning his character’s all but certain to make it out triumphant. Or, at the very least, alive.
Disney spent quite a bit of money getting Spider-Man (Tom Holland) back into their sandbox, and they’re not going to let him go this early on. Not to mention he’s still got the Homecoming sequel along with the follow-up to Infinity War before the character fulfills the contractual rights. Plus, Spidey’s not only a young character that has lots of opportunity to grow, he’s as endearing as he is funny, and offing him would put an especially dour note on things.
Arguably the most underdog hero in a cinematic universe full of underdog heroes, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) also brings some delightful levity to the MCU. Considering his franchise is just starting to take off (continuing with Ant-Man & The Wasp this July), it seems extremely unlikely they’ll punch his ticket two months prior.
Black Widow: 100-1
While there’s been talk of putting Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) in a solo movie of her own as far back as her introduction in 2010’s Iron Man 2, there’s little evidence that it’s actually moving forward, despite the success that Marvel's rival, DC, saw with Wonder Woman last year. Still, outside of the upcoming Captain Marvel, and a handful of side characters spread out across the franchises, women heroes are still woefully underrepresented in the overall MCU. This would indicate that Black Widow, while she doesn’t possess any superpowers, will make it out of Infinity War to fight another day. Though it doesn't mean she'll finally get her own film anytime soon.
Losing Hulk would be a huge loss for our heroes since he’s unquestionably the most powerful member of the bunch. But let’s be honest, he’s always been a bit out of place in the MCU. After the character was introduced in The Incredible Hulk 10 years ago (way before Mark Ruffalo was brought in to replace Ed Norton), he hasn’t really found his place as a solo act—hence him only being used in ensemble films. While pairing him with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in Ragnarok was a smart move, killing him off would solve the problem of constantly having to answer the "Where's Poochie?" conundrum, where Hulk has to be accounted for even was whenever he’s not around.
Speaking of the third (and best) Thor movie, Hemsworth’s contract with the MCU is nearing an end. While Ragnarok's post-credit stinger served as the perfect precursor to Infinity War, it did leave Asgard destroyed, meaning he’s more or less completed his larger story arc. While his god-like powers will be a tremendous asset in the fight against Thanos, it seems entirely possible that he’ll go down in the process. This could, however, mean more interesting things to come from Loki (Tom Hiddleston), especially since the two of them finally seemed to be getting along.
Though he might not be considered a major character, Drax (Dave Bautista) has had one real goal in mind since his introduction: to kill Thanos as revenge for the murder of his family. He’s also not known for his patience or overall strategic attack strategies, meaning his impulses could get the best of him before the fight even really gets going. What makes the possibility even more likely is director James Gunn has been teasing a shakeup of the Guardians’ roster since way back in 2014. Having already picked up both Nebula (Karen Gillam) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last summer, their starship might be seeming a little crowded. Killing Drax -- especially early on -- would definitely lend some gravitas to Infinity War and show everyone the stakes they’re really up against this time.
The living embodiment of JARVIS is both supremely powerful and extremely underused. Also, to point out the obvious, his powers are drawn from the Mind Stone embedded in his forehead. Obviously, Thanos will be wanting that for his gauntlet, which certainly doesn’t bode well for the android's fate. Also, considering that they’ve been hinting at his relationship with Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson), losing him could set up an interesting arc for her character. She’s already lost her brother, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), during Age of Ultron’s final battle, and doesn’t seem to have the best control over her (admittedly ill-defined) powers. Adding to her character’s already-tragic backstory could awaken something truly terrifying in her that will turn the tide of the battle.
Captain America: 2-1
This is where the question starts to become a little more “when” than “if.” Chris Evans, who’s donned the red, white, and blue uniform for eight movies now, has recently made it clear that his tenure as Captain America is nearing its end. Specifically, after the second Infinity War movie, slated to come out sometime in 2019. That doesn’t mean that he won’t meet his fate at the end of this summer’s installment, however. His appearance in the as-yet-untitled sequel to Infinity War could be a flashback, some fancy fan-dangling with the Time Stone, or (even more likely), a giant fake-out designed to make his death this round that much more shocking.
Iron Man: Even
Like Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. has been one of the pillars of the MCU since he donned the Iron Man Mach I armor ten years ago. That said, Downey’s acting fee doesn’t come cheap, and after eight MCU movies (tying only with Cap on the sheer number of appearances), it’s all but inevitable that Tony Stark will go down in a fight against Thanos. Obviously, this will be a huge blow to not only his MCU cohorts, but to the larger viewing audience. Still, it honestly seems like a necessary step to move things into Phase IV and beyond. The real question is: will he and Cap make amends before it happens?
No one really knows what's going on with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) so far. He hasn't been featured in any of the trailers released so far, and his bow & arrow likely won't do a lot of good in the showdown with an all-powerful demi-god. However, he was given a pretty thorough backstory in Age of Ultron, which could add some dramatic weight to whatever fate becomes him. Or he could show up in the nick of time and end up saving the day. Really, this one is anyone's guess.