With Captain Rogers and Tony Stark out of the picture, there is a void for someone to step up and take the mantle of the leader of the Avengers. With threats emerging from inside and outside their sacred timeline, Earth’s mightiest heroes will need (and of course, will get) a new leader. Let’s discuss the top 10 possible suitors and their probability in order of assuming this role.
10. James Rhodes
The odds are unlikely but he makes the list for a few reasons. As a Colonel in the US military, Rhodey clearly possesses leadership qualities, and in the current timeline, he’s been an Avenger for at least 8 years. He probably has the best access to any tech Mr. Stark left behind and is clearly taking more of a center-stage in the MCU after his best friend’s death in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. However, we just have to see after ‘Armor Wars’ whether Rhodey even has a big role, let alone leading the new team.
Despite being the leader of the Eternals, we still don’t necessarily believe he will lead the Avengers. His oath to only interfere where Deviants are involved could hold him back. The possibility is purely based on the stinger of the first ‘Eternals’ trailer, where Sprite asks: ‘now that Captain Rogers and Iron Man are both gone, who do you think gonna lead the Avengers’. Ikaris of course responds: ‘I could lead them’, but like his Eternal counterparts who laughed at his response, we too find this unlikely.
Hear me out. Hawkeye seemed to have retired as an Avenger in his last three appearances in the MCU, but from his series, I believe there is a bigger role in place for the archer. Not only a founding member of the MCU’s Avengers, Hawkeye actually founded (and led) the West Coast Avengers alongside Kate Bishop in the comics. There are a few rumors that this team could be introduced to the MCU, and would fit in after Clint meets Kate in ‘Hawkeye’ which premieres next month.
One of the most powerful and long-lasting heroes, it’s hard to overlook Odinson as a candidate. Even though the God of Thunder seems like he’s just getting started in the MCU, and may even continue as an Avenger, Thor makes it very clear throughout the MCU he is not a leader, to a point where he crowns Valkyrie as the new King of Asgard.
6. The Black Knight
Dane Whitman’s alias should become clearer in ‘Eternals’ next month, and there are many reasons to picture him as the one to lead. In 2018, reliable Twitter source Roger Wardell made it clear there are big plans for Whitman in the franchise, tweeting Marvel Studios “see the character as a potential New Avenger and capable of holding his own solo film, and possibly a trilogy”. Despite no mention of being a leader in the report, the Black Knight actually led the Avengers during the 90s in some comic runs.
5. Bruce Banner
The man whose legacy is bringing back half the universe with the snap of a finger seems to be taking an even more central role in the MCU since we began Phase 4. He has already seemingly introduced Shang-Chi to the team and is confirmed to appear in ‘She-Hulk’ which should premiere next year. Furthermore, actor Mark Ruffalo increases his chances of being a leader when he replied to a potential appearance in Moon Knight saying: “As the person who’s responsible for this next phase of the MCU, I would hate to spoil something.” This responsibility could be hinting at a leadership role, but likely something else.
4. Doctor Strange
Here is someone who’s definitely central to upcoming events in the MCU as we head towards ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and his own sequel. Strange, evidently being a key player in the MCU could easily assume this mantle with his popularity, power, and presence he possesses. His knowledge of the other Avengers would also be an asset in potentially assembling a new team as well. However, despite regularly helping the team in both comics and cinema, Strange’s pledge to being the Sorcerer Supreme and dealing with mystical threats would likely prevent him from ever being labeled ‘leader’.
Peter Parker is undoubtedly Marvel’s biggest asset, which is why he averages a solo film every 2 years and appeared in three crossover events since 2016. It does not seem like Marvel Studios and Sony would plan on slowing this run, and as the character gets older, he could live up to or even attempt to surpass Tony Stark’s legacy. He probably will not lead the next batch of Avengers, but if he sticks around well into his adult years, with several solo outings and crossovers under his belt, Spider-Man could have all the hallmarks to lead.
2. Captain Marvel
A more than likely contender, Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige purely stated: “Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire cinematic universe.” That should be evidence enough on its own. Danvers undoubtedly has the mentality and the power set to lead a new team. However, the only reason she comes in at second is we are yet to see raw leadership qualities towards other heroes in the two films she has appeared in. That said, Carol has a huge future in the MCU where her character within will be explored deeper in ‘The Marvels’ and possibly earlier in ‘Ms. Marvel’ which is expected to premiere early next year.
Most Likely To Lead The Avengers: Captain America
Sam Wilson has fully stepped out the shadow of being a side-character and is now the established Captain America. Honoring the legacy of Steve Rogers whilst complying himself to relevant issues in modern politics and society, Sam is not only a capable hero but has displayed leadership traits throughout ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ through his advising of Bucky and understanding Karli Morgenthau. The shield he holds does not just bear the hope of America and the world, but a new meaning. It’s the very symbol wielded to lead the Avengers to face Loki, Ultron, and an entire cinematic universe against Thanos. And now, this responsibility should fall to Sam Wilson.