- Rebooting beloved characters like Yondu and Vision would ruin their beautifully executed character arcs and undermine the narrative impact of their deaths.
- The shocking and bold decision to end Aunt May’s life in Spider-Man: No Way Home should be respected and not undone in a reboot.
- The deaths of Gamora, Natasha Romanoff, Thanos, T’Challa, and Tony Stark were narratively significant and emotionally impactful, and rebooting them would diminish the weight of their sacrifices and the legacy they left behind.
There is currently a lot of speculation that the events of Avengers: Secret Wars will bring about a soft reboot for the MCU. This discussion largely comes from statements and words from the author of the recently published Marvel book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, from which Kevin Feige allegedly said that Secret Wars will give the franchise an opportunity to “prune everything” that isn’t working. If true, this reboot has already been teased heavily by current Marvel properties. Loki, for example, is notably centered around the idea of errant timelines and the organization that destroys them in order to maintain one Sacred Timeline.
Beyond Loki, other MCU releases have hinted at the negative effects of the multiverse existing, including incursions, as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With the added risk of universes colliding and an unthinkably deadly multiversal war, a soft reboot seems like the best idea to prevent the MCU from descending into confusing chaos. If a reboot does occur, there is a lot of potential to reintroduce beloved, deceased characters to the MCU. But bringing back certain characters would be a mistake, as their endings in the MCU were so tragic and final that reintroduction would be narratively unsatisfying. Here are 10 characters Marvel should avoid rebooting.
The death of Peter Quill’s father figure Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was heartbreaking. Until this movie, audiences had only ever seen Yondu through Peter’s eyes, as a criminal who cared more about his own selfish desires than the boy he raised. When it’s revealed in Guardians 2 that Yondu was actually protecting Peter by not delivering Peter to his father, it suggests he may not have been the bad guy. This is confirmed when Yondu sacrifices his life to save Peter’s. Though it only spans two films, Yondu had a beautifully executed character arc that would be ruined if the MCU decided to bring him back.
9 Aunt May
Not only was Aunt May’s death in Spider-Man: No Way Home devastating, it was shocking as well. Though previous cinematic iterations of Peter Parker had suffered great losses, none of them ever lost May, and she was consistently a voice of reason and comfort whenever Peter experienced hardship. May’s loss meant that MCU Peter was left with no parental figures in his life, which made the ending in which everyone forgets him hurt that much more. Because the MCU made such a bold and unexpected move in ending May’s life, it would feel wrong and even slightly disrespectful to fans who didn’t believe she needed to die in the first place to reboot her.
Vision’s death in Avengers: Infinity War was tragic because of how gruesome it was with Thanos ripping the Mind Stone out of his head. While tragic, Vision’s death is crucial narratively, because it directly influences the events and themes of WandaVision. Wanda finds herself incapable of coping with Vision’s loss, and as a powerful sorceress, Wanda has the ability to cheat death in numerous ways, and she tries to do this through the creation of Hex Vision. At the end of WandaVision, Wanda has to come to terms with her grief and accept that loss is just another part of life, and not one that she can escape.
Because of the importance of this message, Wanda’s characterization in Doctor Strange 2 was largely ill-received, as her desperation to rekindle with her children felt like a lot of the growth she experienced in WandaVision was simply undone. If the MCU decided to reboot Vision, that would mean all of her suffering, the suffering that she inflicted upon others, and her ultimate death will have been for nothing. There does exist a White Vision in the MCU, who was made with deceased Vision’s former body parts and imbued with Hex Vision’s memories, but he should be a distinct character, not a replacement for the original Vision.
Gamora’s death in Infinity War was an unthinkable act of betrayal. A version of Gamora did return in Avengers: Endgame, but it was evident that this was not the same Gamora that audiences came to know and love, as she never met the Guardians. This is only further confirmed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as Peter realizes he won’t ever be able to get his love back because the current Gamora variant is not his Gamora. Because of the incredible impact of the main timeline Gamora’s death, namely that Thanos succeeded in retrieving all the Infinity Stones, the MCU should respect her loss and not try to reboot her.
Loki is well known in the MCU for seemingly dying and being brought back to life. After he appeared to die in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, it became clear that he was one of the characters that the MCU was not willing to let go of that easily. His ultimate death in Infinity War, while jarring, was rather refreshing and satisfying, as he died committing a heroic act while on good terms with Thor. His death cemented his place as not a villain, but a morally complex antihero who had been led down dark paths due to his insecurities and trauma.
Of course, a variant of Loki currently exists in the MCU and leads his own Disney+ show, but the MCU makes it clear that this Loki is not the one who died in the main timeline. This Loki escaped his arrest after the Battle of New York and the TVA is the only entity aware of his existence. Importantly, after being terrified by He Who Remains, this Loki believes in the preservation of the Sacred Timeline. In that timeline, Loki remains dead. In the event of a reboot, the MCU should maintain the integrity of main timeline Loki’s death.
5 Natasha Romanoff
Natasha Romanoff is another character for whom a reboot could feel disrespectful to her original iteration. Her death was narratively necessary for the Avengers to succeed, but the circumstances surrounding her death were disappointing. She was one of the first of the original Avengers to debut, but she didn’t get her own movie until after she died. And that movie largely set up her spiritual successor in Yelena. Rebooting Natasha would feel like giving a fresh take to a character that audiences didn’t get a chance to connect with on a deeper level in the first place, which wouldn’t feel right.
The way Thanos’s master plan was slowly set up and executed over the Infinity Saga’s films was well done, and when the Avengers finally confronted him, it felt like the greatest payoff. Thanos’s arc was made even more compelling by the fact that he won, which the heroes hadn’t experienced before. It was only through time travel that the universe was able to return to some semblance of normalcy, but it has tangible, lasting effects from the Snap. Tony killing Thanos for good was the ultimate triumph, and the MCU reboot should keep Thanos dead in order to maintain the weight of Tony’s sacrifice.
T’Challa’s death in the MCU is unique in the sense that it was not planned. The tragic, real-life loss of Chadwick Boseman meant that the minds behind the Black Panther franchise had to make a difficult decision: do they recast him or retire the character? In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, T’Challa’s life ended too, and he and Boseman were given moving tributes by the MCU. Because T’Challa’s loss is such a heavy weight on Wakanda Forever, the way Boseman’s is on the larger MCU, rebooting him would feel be a difficult thing to do tastefully.
2 Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers isn’t confirmed to be dead in the MCU, but his narrative is certainly over. He not only succeeded in saving the universe, but he was able to travel back in time and live out a peaceful life with his soul mate Peggy Carter. Avengers: Endgame ending on a clip of Steve and Peggy finally sharing a dance is arguably the most narratively satisfying moment in the MCU because audiences got to experience at least one hero enjoying happily ever after so many tragic losses. To bring Steve back in the reboot, the MCU would likely have to disrupt or completely erase his time with Peggy, which would be incredibly unfair to him.
1 Tony Stark
Tony Stark’s death is the most tragic and impactful one in all of the MCU. Both the Avengers and the MCU at large began with them, were shaped by him, and out of all the heroes audiences got to know, they spent the most time with him. His evolution from an arrogant billionaire to a kindhearted, protective hero willing to sacrifice his own life to save the universe is powerful. Tony’s death marked the end of an era, not just for the Avengers, but for the MCU at large, and the weight of his absence can still be felt in the current phases.
A massive aspect of Tony’s success is his iconic portrayal by Robert Downey Jr., who was able to transform a previously underrated Marvel hero and make him a cultural staple. A reboot of Tony assumedly would see him recast, which would be an enormous risk for Marvel, as Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the hero is so beloved. Rebooting Tony would mean the actor taking Downey Jr.’s place would have immense shoes to fill and would be difficult narratively, considering his story ended so definitely in Endgame. Ultimately rebooting Tony would not be a wise decision for the MCU to make.