Could the Infinity Watch Join the MCU’s Phase Four?!?

With Avengers: Infinity War out on DVD last week, I obviously rewatched it the other night.  As I was watching it, a thought struck me that hadn’t before.  I’ve spent a lot of time wondering who will live and who will die? after the dust has settled from Avengers 4 but I haven’t really thought about what will happen to the Infinity Stones?  As I considered this my mind drifted to something I haven’t really thought about since the ‘90s – the Infinity Watch.

In the Marvel Comics, the Infinity Gems were first introduced in Jim Starlin and George Pérez’s 1991 miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet.  In it, Thanos assembled the six Infinity Gems (Soul, green; Mind, blue; Time, red; Reality, yellow; Space, purple; and Power, pink) to wipe out half of all life in the cosmos in an attempt to win the favor of Death…who he loved…like, romantically.  It’s simultaneously weird and super nihilistic.  Anyway, after the assembled might of Marvel’s heroes stopped him, the Living Tribunal ordered the Gems split up to protect all of reality.  Under the leadership of Adam Warlock, the Infinity Watch was formed.  Each member possessed one of the six Infinity Gems and, as a team, they guarded the Gems and the cosmos.  Adam Warlock was their leader and the guardian of the Soul Gem.  Gamora was the guardian of the Time Gem while Drax guarded the Power Gem (incidentally, I first met Gamora and Drax care of the Infinity Watch).  Moondragon was the guardian of the Mind Gem.  Pip the Troll was the guardian of the Space Gem.  Thanos, humbled by his experience with the Gauntlet, became the secret guardian of the Reality Gem, wanting to do his part to protect creation after attempting to destroy it.

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The 1992 version of the Infinity Watch – Gamora, Thanos, Adam Warlock, Moondragon, Drax, and Pip. / Photo Credit – Marvel COmics

Currently, in Marvel’s boring and uninspired move to cash in on the big movie the pages of Gerry Duggan’s Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars series, a new Infinity Watch has been convened by Doctor Strange.  This time around, Doctor Strange is the guardian of the Time Stone (green).  Adam Warlock once more holds the Soul Stone (orange).  Black Widow guards the Space Stone (blue).  Captain Marvel is the guardian of the Reality Stone (red).  Star Lord is the guardian of the Power Stone (purple).  And crime boss Turk Barrett holds the Mind Stone (yellow).  Huh…isn’t it weird that once the Infinity Gems reformed in the Marvel Universe their names and colors changed?  Where have I seen this color/stone scheme before………….*cough* MCU *cough.*

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The 2018 version of the Infinity Watch – Turk Barrett, Adam Warlock, Black Widow, Star Lord, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

So…what if we get something like this after Avengers 4??  I’ll be honest, up until I was rewatching Avengers: Infinity War Friday night I was 100% sure the Infinity Stones would be destroyed at the end of Avengers 4.  I still think that’s the most probable case too.  One of my complaints with the film was the Russos couldn’t handle the power of the Stones in their narrative.  As much time as they spent developing the cosmos-spanning chase and battle for the Infinity Stones they never seemed to understand the implications of wielding such power (or they understood it and ignored it in their writing).  The most frustrating example for me (of the many, many examples in the film) was Doctor Strange literally had control of time.  There is NO WAY Thanos could’ve won.  Period.  There is no believable conflict nor the potential for any believable conflict.  Strange could have stripped Thanos of the Stones he had inside of a second without breaking a sweat.  He could’ve frozen time and taken the Stones from and/or killed Thanos as soon as he came in contact with him.  And there was literally nothing Thanos could’ve done to prevent this as Strange literally controls time.  But I’m digressing.

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“Wait…hold on…you control TIME?  Why wouldn’t you stop time to beat me in two seconds and save half the life in all the cosmos?” / Photo Credit – Avengers: Infinity War

Given how the Russos muddled having objects of such a massive power level in this film, I don’t see them leaving the Infinity Stones lying around the MCU.  They are complex li’l macguffins and Jim Starlin and George Pérez took great strides to set their narrative up in a way where they worked, despite the Infinity Gems giving their holder the transcendent power of God.  So, given their inherent complexity, it seems more than likely they’ll be destroyed in Avengers 4 and whatever the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe holds, it will be Infinity Stone free.

But what if the Infinity Stones aren’t destroyed?  What if an Infinity Watch is formed??

It’s not that far outside the realm of possibility if you think about it!  In an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com in July of 2018, Kevin Feige said the future of the MCU will be more and more cosmic.  Nova’s appearance in the MCU has been teased and there’s no doubt the Guardians movies and Thor: Ragnarök have shown how rich the cosmic side of things can be.  Plus Captain Marvel’s on her way and, with the Disney/Fox merger apparently a done deal, the arrival of the Fantastic Four keeps getting closer.  The Infinity Watch would fit perfectly into an increasingly cosmic MCU.  Also, with the powers of the Infinity Stones (when handled correctly…) could open up doors to tell stories through time and across multiple realities!  That could make for some fascinating storytelling.

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Could we be seeing Rich Rider as Nova in the MCU?!?  As a kid who grew up loving the New Warriors that would be GREAT! / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Also, while the Guardians of the Galaxy have become a central (and profitable) pillar of the MCU, Disney’s seemingly permanent firing of James Gunn leaves their future in doubt.  While sources have said Disney will stick with Gunn’s script, the film will obviously have a different feel in the hands of a different director.  Only time will tell if whoever takes over Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 can capture the magic Gunn delivered.  However, if the Guardians start to falter without Gunn’s unique vision and heart (and if more of the cast have misgivings like Dave Bautista has voiced about going forward without James Gunn), then the Guardians as we know them may not exist after Avengers 4 and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3.

If the Guardians of the Galaxy don’t work as well as a team/film without Gunn and/or if more of the actors choose to walk away after their contracts are up, then the Infinity Watch could be the cosmic team to anchor the MCU’s Phase Four.  We know Adam Warlock was going to be central to Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and, with Gunn’s script still in play, that shouldn’t change.  Starlin and Pérez’s The Infinity Gauntlet is arguably Adam Warlock’s most iconic storyline and the MCU’s version of that is playing out without him.  But an Infinity Watch would give Adam Warlock a home in the MCU.  He could take some of the Guardians of the Galaxy with him too!  It would be a version of what happened in the comics, only in reverse.

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Once Adam Warlock emerges from Ayesha’s cocoon…who knows what will happen??  Maybe he’ll lead a new cosmic team :). / Photo Credit – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

As I said above, I don’t think it’s likely but I think it could be very, very interesting.  So, for the sake of fun, if the Infinity Watch enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who should hold each Infinity Stone??  I’ve spent a little time thinking about it (but nowhere near as much as I normally obsess over something like this (at least not yet)) and here are my thoughts on the matter:

Soul Stone – Adam Warlock

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

This one just seems obvious.  Warlock’s history is tied so tightly to the Soul Gem/Stone, it would feel very wrong to have a version of the Infinity Watch bouncing around the Marvel Cinematic Universe without Adam Warlock being the guardian of the Soul Stone.

Time Stone – Doctor Strange

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Photo Credit – Doctor Strange

Like Warlock above, this one just makes sense.  In the MCU they made the Time Stone and the Eye of Agamotto the same mystical talisman.  Unless all the Stones are destroyed, I can’t see a version of the story play out where the Time Stone doesn’t end up back with Doctor Strange.  He was very insistent about his duty to guard it in Avengers: Infinity War and the Eye of Agamotto is an iconic part of the Sorcerer Supreme’s arsenal.  Also, with many of the MCU’s biggest players most likely stepping away after Avengers 4, Benedict Cumberbatch – along with Chadwick Boseman and Brie Larson – will undoubtably be part of the MCU’s new core, as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson have been for the last ten years.  Strange seems to fit more organically here than he would on an Avengers team.

Power Stone – Gamora

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

This may seem like a surprise but I think she makes the most sense, of all the Guardians (if they disband), to make the jump.  If they aren’t just written out, Rocket and Groot could do their own thing or show up in the Thor films.  I doubt we’ll see Drax, given Dave Bautista’s feelings toward Disney.  And as much as I love Nebula, I’m not sure how much longer Karen Gillan wants to shave her head/part of her head every few years.  Also, in the comics Gamora always had a rich, complicated relationship with Adam Warlock – lovers, teammates, adversaries – so bringing her in makes narrative sense too.  Also, as Gamora’s the deadliest woman in the galaxy, the idea of her having the Power Stone could make for some incredible fight scenes.

Mind Stone – Moondragon

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Granted, this is entirely contingent on her showing up in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 which I have NO reason to believe she will outside of my wanting her to do so.  But I think, if the Infinity Watch was to form in the MCU, it would make sense that we have a few characters who aren’t already tied to their own solo films or already present in a bunch of other Marvel movies.  I loved Moondragon’s character in the Abnett and Lanning Guardians comics and I’m sad she hasn’t shown up already in the MCU.  Also, her character in the comics is Drax’s daughter.  If they kept that family tie in place it would be away to keep “Drax’s presence” alive after Dave Bautista most likely finishes out his contracts with Disney and walks away from the franchise.  As a powerful telepath in her own right, it’s only fitting she’d wield the Mind Stone as she did in the comics.

Space Stone – Captain Marvel

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Photo Credit – Marvel Comics and Getty Images

I went back and forth on this one.  If there’s an Infinity Watch, would Captain Marvel be on it?  I’ve always envisioned her and Black Panther being the new core of the Avengers after Iron Man and Captain America take their final bows.  And that still may be the case.  But, as she’s so cosmically anchored, seeing her here fits.  And as she’s already pretty much the strongest person in the Marvel Universe, I think giving her the power to leap across the cosmos at the slightest sign of trouble would make a lot of sense.  It could also easily facilitate her being on the Infinity Watch, in her own solo movies, and with the Avengers too.  Plus, imagine Gamora holding the Power Stone together with Captain Marvel being as strong as she regularly is…those two could get into fistfights with Celestials!

Reality Stone – Peter Quill

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Photo Credit – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

If Peter Quill stays, giving him something as transcendent as reality could make for complex stories, seeing as he turned down the power of a god once before.  Also, the idea of a love triangle between Peter, Gamora, and Adam Warlock could make for some interesting writing.  I don’t know if I see Star Lord being the type of guy to take a backseat in the leadership role BUT he and Adam Warlock had an incredible relationship in Abnett and Lanning’s Guardians Of The Galaxy run and I think it could organically rise on screen too.  Also, if we were to add another Guardian to the Infinity Watch, he – both with Chris Pratt’s bankability as a star and Peter’s place in the MCU – seems the most logical fit to follow Gamora.  Conversely, if Chris Pratt/Peter Quill doesn’t want to sign up for the Infinity Watch, I could see Nova here, safeguarding the Reality Stone after Xandar was destroyed by Thanos.

I left out Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Hollands’ Spider-Man because, while they will undoubtably be central to the future of the MCU, neither of them feel organic to the Infinity Watch.  Peter Parker is first and foremost our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and T’Challa’s highest duty will always be to Wakanda.  The idea of either of them galivanting through space for large chunks of time doesn’t fit.

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While I LOVE these guys, I think they work best on Earth. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Ant-Man (while he’s spent some time with the Guardians in the comics) and Hawkeye each have kids so they aren’t going to be trapsing around the galaxy with things as powerful as the Infinity Stones either.

As a result, Scott and Clint would fit better on whatever Avengers team rises up after Avengers 4.  Sure, the MCU’s going cosmic in a big way, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a version of the Avengers.  I see the newer heroes – Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon, Ant-Man, the Wasp, – staying together under the leadership of Black Panther and/or Captain Marvel (hopefully the Black Widow… (and/or maybe Bucky Barnes once he takes up Cap’s mantle after Steve falls (like I said…I’m pretty sure we’ll lose Cap (and I don’t think the MCU is confident or progressive enough to make Sam Wilson Captain America))).

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Some possible Avengers 3.0, post Avengers 4. / Photo Credit – Avengers: Infinity WarAnt-ManAvengers: Age Of Ultron…okay, there are a lot of movies here.

I also intentionally left out all the “classic” Avengers.  They’ve had their time in the spotlight.  As I’ve said before, I imagine Iron Man, Captain America, and probably the Hulk will fall in Avengers 4.  If they stay around, it will be a more limited run.  Thor will keep kicking in Taika Wattie’s Thor films (as will cosmic characters like Valkyrie and Loki, hence my not considering them above) and, given his power level, he doesn’t need a Stone anyway.  As much as I would LOVE to see Black Widow on this team as she is in the current comics, we don’t know how much longer Scarlett Johansson wants to kick around the MCU.  In an interview with Variety in 2016, she was asked about a Black Widow solo movie.  She said, “Yeah, of course.  I talked to them about it often.  It would have to fit in the idea of where they want to go.  I’m invested in that character.  Marvel is greatly invested in that character.  If I did it, I’d have to do it while I still actually wanted to wear a skin-tight catsuit.  I don’t know how much longer that’s going to be.”  Given Avengers 4 and the fact that Marvel seems to be FINALLY trying to get this Black Widow solo movie(s) together, I don’t see Natasha joining the Infinity Watch as likely.  But it would still be AWESOME…

Okay, so those are my picks.  How about you, dear reader?  What do you think about the Infinity Watch showing up in the MCU??  And, if they do, who would you like to see wielding the Stones on the team??

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Who would take up these roles in the MCU?? / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

30 thoughts on “Could the Infinity Watch Join the MCU’s Phase Four?!?

    1. THIS COULD BE A WHOLE SERIES.

      “Could the Spirits of Vengeance Join the MCU? Answer: Yes.”

      “Could the Teen Titans Join the MCU? Answer: No.”

      “Could Spider-Ham Join the MCU? Answer: Yes.”

      “Could Spawn Join the MCU? Answer: No one has cared about Spawn since 1997 and even Image knows his flash-in-the-pan fire has burned out no matter how much Todd McFarlane still wants a Spawn movie.”

      “Could Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur Join the MCU? Answer: Yes.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it would smack of desperation because everyone would know they were just trying to compete with IDW’s ‘Ghostbusters: Crossing Over’ comic series where every version of the Ghostbusters ever created – in movies, cartoons, comics, video games, etc. – cross the multiverse to work together. Although a cinematic version of the ‘Marvel vs. DC’ comic series form the mid-’90s that ended with the creation of amalgamated versions of all the heroes would be pretty badass…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’d never heard of the Infinity Watch before. However, I like your idea far more than the idea of destroying the stones. It opens up a lot more interesting story possibilities than resetting everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not surprised you’ve never heard of them. They were pretty obscure/weird even when I was a kid. I just knew them from all the ‘Infinity’ miniseries which had like eighty-seven heroes fighting the same bad guy. Nine-year-old me LOVED those :).

      I’m glad you liked the idea – it will be interesting to see where they go with ‘Avengers 4’!

      Like

      1. Oh, you can’t. For better or worse, it doesn’t even matter. By and large, they’re just there for big splash page fight or crowd scenes. Their development as characters is left to their own solo comics. Those BIG crossovers were just about getting everyone into one big battle. That’s one of the reasons I don’t think ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ worked as a movie. There were too many characters. As a kid reading a comic book, I didn’t mind a story where 99% of the characters had nothing to do outside of show up in splash pages. As an adult, I find that a little insulting. What works in a comic for me as a kid, doesn’t always translate to a film I’ll enjoy as an adult. If a character’s there, I want them to have an arc and a purpose. To my mind, of the twenty-three heroes in ‘Infinity War,’ only five or six were important to the plot. It didn’t bother me as a nine-year-old reading a comic book crossover. But as an adult I don’t really appreciate it – especially in a movie they’ve been hyping for years!

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      2. Yeah, most of the characters in Infinity War did feel like they didn’t need to be there. It was disappointing after waiting, what, ten years? I can see how it would be different on the page, though. I think they would feel more like background characters. But no one wants Bucky Barnes, for instance, to feel like a background character in the MCU after he’s finally “returned”.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Right?? There was all this incredible character work done with Bucky and all we got was a quick “hundred-year-old man” joke and the chance to see him and Rocket shoot alien monsters together. I know ‘Avengers 4’ has already been shot. I HOPE we see more of what the Russos did in ‘The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Civil War’ than ‘Infinity War’ there. If not, hopefully the MCU returns to smaller stories with the spotlight on their characters in Phase Four.

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      4. Yeah, it’s very tricky to handle multiple characters and not everyone succeeds. I don’t want to be halfway through viewing something and think, “Hey, wait, what happened to So-and-so” because they haven’t been onscreen in ages! I think smaller films could work better.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of seeing Gal Gadot lift Mjolnir is pretty incredible to visualize. It also has me back to hoping that, on the sad day Chris Hemsworth decides he’s done with these films, they follow the comics and let Natalie Portman become Thor. Then the MCU can have their own warrior goddess!

      I’m glad you’re digging the Infinity Watch. As I said above, I have no idea what they’ll do but I think this could be a lot of fun. There’s just so much potential with the cosmic side of things!

      Like

      1. Oh now that is the best idea – can you imagine what that would do for both franchises???? I agree with the way Thor could pan out – that way they could still mirror the path of Thor….My child and I were discussing Loki’s death and we’re hoping to see Kid Loki in the next film…….what are your thoughts?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I bet Loki will ultimately be okay. I’m basing this on how big a hit ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ was and the fact that Taiki Waititi and Chris Hemsworth said they’d do another. I don’t think Marvel/Disney will stop that cash train so I bet Thor, Loki, Valkyrie, and the rest of the ‘Ragnarok’ crew survive to go on more space-faring adventures. (Well, I do kind of think we could lose Hulk in ‘Avengers 4’…) I’m betting Loki used some sort of illusion when he faced Thanos. He tells Thanos he’s the God of Mischief right before he dies and Thor mentions how he’s faked his death before. I think those could be tells. So I’m betting he comes back…although that could just be me in denial over losing Tom Hiddleston!!! That could be it too :).

        Kid Loki could be a really fun way to go with it though! I haven’t thought about that angle at all before this second and now, honestly, I’d kind of like to see it play out.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My 11 year old is – come on it’s time for Kid Loki…..but upon reading this you’ve made me hopeful….maybe we will see Loki come back….at least to provide some more comic highlights….. any chance of Heimdall having survived??? Or do you think now that Thor has his new weapon that will open the Bifrost?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmm…I hadn’t really thought about Heimdall. Idris Elba is such an amazing actor so I would love to see him stay. But given how small his role is (comparatively) and how, as you said, Thor now has Stormbreaker, I could see his end being legitimate. I think I’d bet on his death being real. Or if he comes back he may lose his life in the final fight with Thanos. Still, you’ve given me a bit of hope!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I picked up 1 ish of Infinity Watch, and was not impressed! Such a derisory treatment of Drax i.e. mistaking an Infinity Gem for a jelly baby etc.

    Yes, th MCU will become “more and more cosmic”: that’s what I like to hear! 🙂
    I, for 1, appreciated the digression, good sir! This other great mind here, also thot how Dr Strange could have dabbled with Time to defeat Thanos; actually, I believed the use of the Mirror Dimension in th Dr Strange movie would play a crucial role in Infinity War – why couldn’t Strange just banish him there…?!

    “Captain Marvel’s on her way” – what are your initial thots concerning th trailer?
    https://bradscribe.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/hala-the-new-captain-marvel-trailer-is-here/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, that sort of use of Drax totally turned me off as a kid. I just couldn’t get into the cahracter. And I didn’t even think of the Mirror Dimension!!!! If Doctor Strange put Thanos there (especially before he had control of the Reality Stone) I can’t imagine he could’ve gotten out. That’s one more way they could’ve defeated the Mad Titan that no one thought to address in the film. Bah.

      I’ll be bouncing over to read your trailer post soon! I can’t wait! I’m excited to see some new Bradscribe wonders awaiting me. Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The very 1st time I met Drax The Destroyer was The Mighty Thor #314 (Dec 1981) – one of the greatest ishs I have ever read, and Moondragon co-starred, so it’s hard to believe that just over a decade later, the standard, for me, had really sunk.
        Apparently Doctor Strange didn’t consider th Mirror Dimension: in th heat of th moment and all that 😉
        Personally, I loved the way in which Thanos “triumphed” in the end (Brad was beaming while several millennials in the auditorium wandered around with glazed looks: amazing! 🙂 )
        Btw, I checked online: Brad SURVIVED the Snap – so, henceforth, new Bradscribe wonders will be unstoppable! 😉
        HUZZAH!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, wow…thank you. This made my night.
      It means a lot too. Also, look at you boldly throwing caution to the wind with potential spoilers!!!! But you can rest assured this came from nowhere but in my head so I could be totally wrong…which has been known to happen :).

      Like

      1. Absolutely! Sometimes I think back to the pre-internet days when the speculation was, until a trailer dropped and you saw it on TV or at a movie, 100% in your head. We’re so spoiled now, watching trailers whenever we want on YouTube. I remember having to tape the trailer for ‘The Phantom Menace’ off Entertainment Tonight so I could watch it again and again and again :).

        Liked by 1 person

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