The events of Avengers: Endgame and Infinity War had taken an insurmountable toll on earth’s mightiest heroes. Ravaged by Thanos and the hordes of the Black Order, the planet’s sworn protectors had their numbers greatly depleted by the time they managed to vanquish the titan. To save humanity once and for all, they had to lose not only Vision—who had the mind stone implanted in his forehead—but Black Widow and Iron Man, both of whom sacrificed their own lives to safeguard the future. As if that wasn’t enough upheaval, Captain America opted to put down the shield in favor of seeing what the suburban life with Peggy Carter could’ve been like, allowing nature to take its course and rendering to a frail but contented old man.

Meanwhile, removed from the cinematic plotlines, the acrimonious renegotiations between Marvel and SONY had resulted in Tom Holland’s Spiderman being requisitioned from the joint cinematic world, leaving yet another massive hole in their plans. Luckily, new reports suggest that the two companies have held crisis talks and managed to broker a deal. 

In light of everything that’s happened, the next phase of the MCU will require a recalibration of The Avengers’ ranks as they hurtle towards the next major conflict. Now, Kevin Feige and his team will be trawling through the back issues to find new recruits for the all-star team and we’ve got some suggestions for some worthy appointments.


MOON KNIGHT

A Marvel institution dating back to 1975, the ethereal Moon Knight is one character for whom fans have maintained a ravenous appetite. Whether he’s masquerading as a mercenary, taxi driver or champion boxer, Mark Spector is a multi-faceted individual and an avatar for an ancient deity all wrapped into one. Armed with the power of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, Moon Knight is often reductively referred to as Marvel’s answer to Batman - but there’s far more to delve into than that.

Hampered by his split-personality disorder, Moon Knight is but one of Spector’s numerous alter egos and his frayed mental state has led to a breakdown or two. Divided between periods of harmony and more derisory encounters with the Avengers, adding Moon Knight to the MCU would insert an air of unpredictability and adversarial interaction into the proceedings that hasn’t been seen since the early days of the franchise. If that isn’t enough, throw the fact that Keanu Reeves is reportedly interested in the role and it seems to be all but a done deal.


SHE-HULK

Slated for inclusion on the Disney+ network, the character of Jennifer Walters—better known as She-Hulk—would be an excellent addition to the MCU. Predominantly associated with The Avengers, the lawyer-turned-behemoth was granted her powers resulting a near-fatal ambush from a criminal firm that she’d hoped to prosecute. Thankfully, the assault happened to take place during a visit her cousin Bruce Banner. After she’d been shot by the assailants, Bruce opted to take drastic action and give her an emergency blood transfusion to save her life.

From there, she grew to Amazonian proportions and became a gamma-ray infused hero in her own right. Much like the incarnation of The Hulk that we saw in Endgame, She-Hulk’s powers don’t come at the expense of her cognizance, and her vivacious personality has played a crucial role in making her a fan favorite. Seeing as comedy plays a crucial role in the modern Marvel canon, the prospect of watching the interplay between the two cousins before they team up to dole out beatings to any would-be villains is exciting to say the least.


HERCULES

After the character was equipped with a revised modernized design in the comics, speculation began to pick up steam as to whether we’d be seeing the Greek demigod in the MCU. Derived from the well-known mythological character, the colossal son of Zeus has been ingrained in the pages of The Avengers since way back in the ’60s.

Positioned on the bridge between humanity and immorality, the cherished hero has been pitted against everyone from other staples of Greek folklore to Baron Zemo, Electra and scores of iconic foes. Speculated to be the MCU’s first openly gay protagonist, the forthcoming on-screen debut of The Eternals could provide the perfect conduit to usher the iconic character into the movie universe.


WONDER MAN

Originally earmarked to arrive in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, Nathan Fillion was all set to undertake the role of Simon Williams in a series of movie posters that would preface the actor/superhero’s arrival. But in director James Gunn’s own words, the scene which featured the advertisements “slowed down” the film’s frenetic pace and collided with the cutting room floor. Nonetheless, the fans’ eagerness to see Wonder Man make an appearance in the MCU has yet to be satiated.

Given that he’s such a stalwart presence in The Avengers’ comic book variations since the issues were in single digits, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until the ionic-energy fuelled hero makes his presence felt. A founding member of the West Coast Avengers, his trials and all-too-frequent tribulations are inextricably linked to the group and his fractious history with Scarlett Witch and Vision could provide a great avenue for his arrival.


MOCKINGBIRD

Portrayed by Adrianne Palicki in the often-overlooked Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, Bobbi Morse was always one of the most captivating aspects of the show. But rather than take the character to its logical conclusion, her expulsion in Season 3 meant that fans never got to see the live-action version of her masked alter ego Mockingbird that they’d pined for. The ex-wife of Hawkeye in the comics, Palicki has been forthcoming about her desire to explore their frayed dynamic in one way or another.

If that wasn't enough, she also claimed that her character joining The Avengers was discussed in 2014. “It is a huge part of Mockingbird, of Bobbi Morse, so I'm hoping to see that relationship in the future," she teased. "So, whether it’s getting Jeremy Renner on the show, or otherwise, you can't really deny that's a huge part of her character." Regarded as one of the most fearsome women on the planet with an array of martial arts training and a keen strategic mind, seeing the dynamic between Morse and Hawkeye play out as they tried to coexist is certainly an exciting proposition.


NAMOR

Commonly known as the ruler of the underwater kingdom Atlantis, Namor is one of the more dichotomous characters in the Marvel canon. Depending on the scenario, he might either be a nefarious villain or a triumphant beacon of good for both mankind and sea life alike.

Although he places the sanctity of his kingdom above all else, the man otherwise known as The Submariner—who first appeared on Marvel’s pages way, way back in 1939—is no stranger to teaming up with The Avengers to defeat a common enemy. Not to mention, he was also a fully-fledged member of their 2013 incarnation. Alluded to since the days of Captain America: Winter Soldier and once more in Endgame, it’s high time that the temperamental ocean gatekeeper makes his way into the cinemagoing audiences’ consciousness.


LUKE CAGE

Although the Marvel Netflix series’ may have ended in an abrupt and unceremonious fashion, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the road for the entire array of characters that they had to offer. While Daredevil making his way to the multiplex screens would be an attractive concept, it appears that there’s more of a sustained desire to see Luke Cage make his way into the ranks of The Avengers. And what’s more, MCU screenwriter Stephen McFeely made it clear that there’s a precedent for it:

“We talk about that all the time," said McFeely during a Collider interview. "In a movie this big (Infinity War), we certainly had the conversation 'Should we put Luke Cage in this? Here we are in New York...” Speaking in January of this year, Luke Cage actor Mike Colter has made it clear that he’d be more than willing to take up the mantle of Harlem’s hero-for-hire once more. “You know what? Sure, absolutely, I’d be down for [movies]," he reveals. "Anything is possible. These things are sort of up in the air, at this moment. It’s pretty fresh. We got canceled on October 19th, or something like that I think the date was. So yeah, it’s still pretty fresh. We’ll see.”


BLACK KNIGHT

Not to be confused with his lunar counterpart, Black Knight is a character taken from an entirely different historical lineage. Set to be played by none other than GOT’s Kit Harington, Dane Whitman is a descendent of Sir Percy of Scandia and finds himself taking up the reins from the Camelotian knight of the roundtable. Complete with the power of the mythical “ebony blade”—before he forges his own glorified lightsaber in the “photon sword” down the road-- and his trusty flying horse Aragorn, the physicist turned fencer soon became a staple of The Avengers and Heroes For Hire rosters.

Set to debut in The Eternals, the general consensus is that this will be a minimal role that will simply introduce him into the audience before he goes on to bigger and better things. In fact, his presence in The Avengers was all but confirmed by Feige himself at D23 Expo.  “He’s a really amazing actor, and this part came up in the Eternals film we’re doing. We were so happy when he agreed to join. And it is a part that perhaps could grow into something else in the future. With the MCU expanding into cosmic territory and other esoteric areas, Black Knight would be an excellent addition to an increasingly eclectic range of characters and one that would fit in nicely alongside other folklore-oriented figures such as Thor, The Eternals, and Valkyrie.