Superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are licking their wounds after their blockbuster rumble in Joe and Anthony Russo’s astounding Captain America: Civil War. But as the dust clears, the overall status of the MCU has been altered, as it was after 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and again in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. So, what does the MCU look like now?
First and foremost, the Avengers, as a team, look like they’re pretty much done. Over. (For now.)
In 2012’s The Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes were a magical, sci-fi superhero squad. But at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the beginning of Civil War, the roster switch changed them into a tight special ops unit of (generally) human, military-trained soldiers. Sure, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) can do freaky magic and Vision (Paul Bettany) is a cosmic synthetic, but no one is a literal god or an eight-thousand pound ogre. You might have noticed: Thor and Hulk were absent for all of Civil War.
But now even that quasi-human team is fractured. Including retired Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and non-member Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the dissenting “Team Cap” Avengers were locked up in General Ross’s compound. Ex-Captain America and now fugitive (and possibly Nomad?) Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) shows up to break them out before the credits roll. But even so, most of those Avengers are left without anywhere to go.
Who even ARE the Avengers now?
Rogers hands leadership of the Avengers over to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who began Civil War retired from his role as Iron Man, and boyfriend to Pepper. Though his position isn’t explicit, Stark will most likely lead the Avengers going forward, and will definitely suit up once again.
Vision is also still an Avenger, as he fought for the “victorious” Team Iron Man because his objective, perfect logic motivated him to.
Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, who flew as War Machine, is currently recovering from paralysis. Vision misfired while aiming for Falcon, sending War Machine crashing into the ground, so we can expect tension between Rhodey and a guilt-ridden, annoying robot with a cape in future films.
Bucky is back on ice and in Wakanda
Caught in the crossfire of Civil War was James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan), better known as ex-HYDRA assassin Winter Soldier. Bucky begins Civil War hiding in Bucharest until the events of Civil War force him out.
After fighting by his best pal Cap’s side, Bucky submits to cryogenic containment in the heavily guarded and isolated Wakanda, home of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who dons the mantle Black Panther.
Black Widow is on the run
Rogers and his side of the conflict aren’t the only ones left to fend for themselves. After betraying her side to let Rogers and Bucky escape to Siberia, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) may have to answer for her treason.
But she’s also Black Widow. Though her whereabouts at the end of Civil War are ambiguous, her exchange with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in her last moments indicates she’s going completely rogue, a situation her comic book version is no stranger to.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is still a shadow organization
After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Season 1 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the once-reputable agency became a public menace when it rained hell down on Washington D.C. The organization was, officially, disbanded and replaced with the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit) once led by Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) but now led by Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar).
But S.H.I.E.L.D. is alive, and more than kicking. The once prominent agency is now way, way, way off the books and led by the presumed-dead Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who has taken over from a retired Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who hasn’t been seen since Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spidey is coming home
Peter Parker is back home, in more ways than one. After the colossal fight in Germany, Tom Holland’s Peter is now a full-fledged Spider-Man thanks to Tony Stark’s generosity (he gave him the suit, echoing the comic book Civil War). Back home in Queens — and with Marvel Studios — Holland will now swing across New York skyscrapers as Spider-Man in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The Infinity Stones are still scattered
For all the changes to the MCU, little was revealed about the universe-altering Infinity Stones, which will likely fall into the hands of Thanos in 2018 and 2019’s Infinity War (a two-part installment that the Russos say will soon get an official name change). All the Infinity Stones are still wherever they were when Civil War began.
The Guardians of the Galaxy?
Never showed up in Civil War. Still a bunch of a-holes, flying around in space.