We look at the comics and spec­u­late wildly on Phase Three of Mar­vel’s movie mas­ter­plan

SFX - - Red alert -

What’s this Civil War about?

If Phase One was all about get­ting the band to­gether, it looks like the end of Phase Two will see our he­roes suf­fer a vi­o­lent case of mu­si­cal dif­fer­ences. The fall out from Ul­tron’s dis­as­sem­blage will prob­a­bly land mostly on the conscience of Tony Stark: it’s his “se­cu­rity mea­sure” that sets about try­ing to mur­der hu­man­ity. We reckon this civic guilt brings Iron Man nose- to- nose with free­dom fan Steve Rogers in Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War, an epic Earth- split­ting bat­tle that could leave Cap out of com­mis­sion.

Where’s the big green smasher while all this i s go­ing on?

Also ex­pect Bruce Banner to be shuf­fled off the main stage. Given the ne­ces­sity of Hulk­buster ar­mour in Age Of Ul­tron, we think that the Avengers’ smash­ing weapon gets him­self la­belled a li­a­bil­ity by the gov­ern­ment forces wag­ing a Civil War. Could The Hulk find him­self ex­iled into outer space cour­tesy of his best bud Tony Stark?

How many I nfin­ity Stones are left again?

There’s a good chance that Phase Three will not only set up a new gen­er­a­tion of Avengers, but also put the fin­ish­ing touches on the In­fin­ity Gaunt­let. We’re four stones down, with two to go: the time and the soul gems. The lat­ter could turn up dur­ing Doc­tor Strange – which may also in­tro­duce the idea of par­al­lel uni­verses to Mar­vel’s cin­e­matic au­di­ences.

Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 would seem like the log­i­cal place to in­tro­duce the time stone – some of the cos­mos crew’s best- known sto­ries have in­volved a spot of flux ca­pac­i­tor ac­tion – and also lets fan- favourite ( and peren­nial Thanos both­erer) Adam War­lock out of his co­coon, as teased in the first movie.

Thor: Rag­narok? I sn’t that a night­club…

We sus­pect Phase Three’s dra­matic tip­ping point will take place on As­gard. Thor: Rag­narok could see the God Of Thun­der bat­tle the colos­sal fire gi­ant Sur­tur at the Nine Realms’ “end of days” – a Norse apoc­a­lypse spurred on by Loki’s at­tempt to wig­gle out of his debt to Thanos, who could be fish­ing a cer­tain golden glove out of the ashes of As­gard.

The comic ver­sion of this story had Thor go to blond god heaven, which would see him out for the first sor­tie of In­fin­ity War, the two- part Avengers team- up. This sets us up for an Em­pire Strikes Back- bum­mer of a cliffhanger for Part I as Thanos and his su­per­pow­ered bling prove too much for Avengers Mark II – in­clud­ing Doc­tor Strange and other new­com­ers Black Pan­ther and Ant- Man – leav­ing the gang re­quir­ing some se­ri­ous back up…

How does Cap­tain Mar­vel fit i n?

The in­ter­est­ing thing about the Avengers: In­fin­ity War split is the movies that are sand­wiched by it: Cap­tain Mar­vel and In­hu­mans. While we’d imag­ine the lat­ter will have one eye on be­com­ing a key part of the Mar­vel Phase Four ( and the other eye on X- Men), we reckon Ma­jor Carol Dan­vers’ mega- pow­ers are now likely to stem from the In­fin­ity Gaunt­let, adding a much needed su­per­string to the Avengers’ bow.

Will we ever see the orig­i­nal Avengers to­gether again?

We’d be sur­prised if the whole gang wasn’t back for In­fin­ity War Part II: a last hur­rah of the big stars’ multi- movie con­tracts. Thor, Cap and Hulk will re­turn from the grave, the jail cell or outer space ( maybe with a lit­tle help from cer­tain galaxy- based Guardians), while Tony Stark – ef­fec­tively a bad­die in Civil War – will find his re­demp­tion. Hawk­eye will also be in there too. Prob­a­bly.

When does i t be­gin?

Phase Three of­fi­cially kicks off with Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War on 29 April 2016, and con­cludes with Avengers: In­fin­ity War Part 2, due out on 3 May 2019.

Steve Rogers will bat­ter Tony Stark in 2016, mark our words. Kapow!

Thanos seems pleased, but we think he should adopt a more mod­est pose.

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