The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the first and last line of defense against those who seek to cause harm to the planet. Originally composed of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye, the roster grew over the years.
First, the team disbanded, and a few years later, it began treating being outside of the Avengers as a full-time job (see 2015’s Age of Ultron). Eventually, they found themselves divided over the Sokovia Accords and ended up falling out.
It wasn’t until several years later that they reunited to fend off Thanos and his forces. But after Avengers: Endgame, the team has been MIA, having lost Steve, Tony and Nat, while the rest go their separate ways. But one question has been on fans’ minds since 2019: Are the Avengers, as an organized team, still viable?
Feige gives an Avengers status update
Speaking on stage at the D23 Expo today as I announce Thunderbolts lineup, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, via Disney Examiner, confirmed that the Avengers do not currently exist in the MCU after the events of Avengers: Endgame: “Just because there isn’t an organization like the Avengers anymore, but we now have The Thunderbolts.”
Furthermore, Captain America himself, Anthony Mackie, added that the former Avengers heroes are “all… unemployed” while speaking in an interview with Variety that took place after the presentation:
“All the Avengers are out of a job. We’ve got a new and improved group. No, they’re over there with their Metamucil and, you know, hanging out. You know, we’re the new guys… We’re the top dogs now.”
When Mackie was (inexplicably?) asked if he really was the new Captain America, the actor replied, “I guess we’ll see in … 2024.”
When faced with a question about how long he had been in the superhero game, Mackie ended up doing some wrong mental math and mistakenly said since “2008.”
Are the Thunderbolts the new Go-to Team?
If the Avengers aren’t currently a thing, will the Thunderbolts step in to fill that void?
Little is known about the MCU’s Thunderbolts beyond their confirmed roster: Yelena Belova, Taskmaster, Bucky Barnes, John Walker, Red Guardian, and Ava Starr aka Ghost. The group also appears to be spearheaded by Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina. But their motives and what brings them together in the first place remain unclear.
Perhaps they will serve as a government-sanctioned superhero team that those in charge can keep on a tight leash. The Avengers were never known for following global regulations and rules, so a team that can actually be controlled would be seen as a huge advantage.
Of course, the Avengers will meet again in Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Warsdue out in 2025, and likely starring Anthony Mackie’s Captain America. Captain America: New World Order lands on May 3, 2024 and Thunderbolts hits theaters on July 26, 2024.