Avengers: Endgame saw the world’s mightiest heroes at their lowest point. With the universe's population abruptly cut in half by Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet, the Avengers had to get creative to undo the devastating damage. As it turns out, Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo may have been laying the foundational storyline for Avengers 5 all along.
Reddit user wafflespls recently shared two images of the Hulk, suggesting a link to the comics that's largely flown under the radar since the movie's debut. The first was of Smart Hulk holding up the wreckage of Avengers HQ to keep it from collapsing in Endgame. The second photo is of comic book Hulk, holding up a mountain with all his strength. Take a look below.
To the untrained eye, this is just Hulk holding up something heavy, which he's called upon do to fairly often, given his unparalleled strength. The comparison becomes far more striking when you take a closer look at Marvel’s 1985 Secret Wars #4 cover.
Secret Wars was a big deal for Marvel back in the 1980s. The massive crossover event saw the collision of multiple universes, timelines, and characters. The storyline was later updated in 2015, with small differences that had a dramatic impact on the future of Marvel’s heroes.
Secret Wars #4 included a storyline that left Avengers HQ in ruins. However, unlike in Endgame, the comic saw an entire mountain being dropped on top of the Avengers. Hulk is faced with the nearly impossible task of holding it up while Reed Richards (of the Fantastic Four) uses his formidable scientific knowledge to blow a giant hole in its side to escape.
We know the Russos are big fans of the Secret Wars storyline. Back at a Los Angeles screening of Infinity War in 2018, the brothers said they'd only return to the MCU if they could direct a Secret Wars movie. Such an obvious Easter egg in Endgame likely isn't a coincidence. Were the directors hinting that Secret Wars might be looming in the Avengers' future?
Of course, the shot of Hulk may have been a simple nod to the iconic Marvel event. However, Secret Wars has long been speculated to be central to the next Avengers film. What's more, an Easter egg in Spider-Man: Far From Home also stands out as a possible Secret Wars clue, which could also pave the way for the introduction of the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU. There are a lot of possibilities here.
The Inverse Analysis — Endgame was touted as the Russos’ final MCU movie, but it’s hard to imagine that they won’t be tempted back by Disney and Marvel Studios at some point. Historically, they’ve been called upon to direct the bigger MCU films like Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War, all of which included game-changing storylines and a multitude of characters from across the MCU. A Secret Wars movie sounds right up the Russos’ alley, especially given that Endgame will be several years in the rearview at that point.
Avengers: Endgame is streaming on Disney+.