. The sight of the Chitauri invasion fleet in outer space haunted him ever since. Wanda showed Tony a vision of his greatest fear, that Earth had fallen to the alien invaders and the Avengers were dead because they simply weren’t strong enough to prevent ‘the inevitable’. Steve Rogers’ last words, “You could have saved us!”, traumatized Stark. Tony then became obsessed with building Ultron as “a suit of armor around the world.” Tony’s dream looks more like what was seen of Thanos in the original Avengers than how it all played out on Titan in Infinity War, but it could still be interpreted as a harbinger of what would happen on Titan.
In Infinity War, when Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) told Tony about Thanos and the Infinity Stones, Stark said “This is it!” because he had been dreading this moment for years. Tony then devoted himself to doing anything it took, including sacrificing himself, to stop Thanos. Of course, Thanos also knew about Stark, and despite Iron Man’s best efforts to lead the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, he still failed to take the Infinity Gauntlet from the Mad Titan (although Star-Lord’s worst behavior bears a lot of the blame for that).
Ultimately, Thanos’ finger snap seems to be the flashpoint where Tony’s worst nightmare came true as he watched evil win and his friends die. However, what ended up happening isn’t quite as absolute as Tony feared. Billions may be dead, but Tony’s dream was wrong because the original six Avengers didn’t die. This could actually end up infusing Iron Man with the hope he desperately needs to avenge the universe. The question now is whether Stark can somehow set it all to right in Avengers 4. Defeating Thanos should put Tony’s greatest fear to rest, but what will such an epic victory end up costing the billionaire genius
Captain America’s Dream Of Returning To The 1940s
Despite Steve Rogers’ best efforts to assimilate to life in the 21st century, he tragically remains a man out of time. When Scarlet Witch peered into his mind, she didn’t see Rogers’ greatest fear but his secret desire – the thing he was robbed off – getting to continue his life after World War II with his one true love, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Thanks to Scarlet Witch, Rogers hallucinated a big band victory party in 1945. Peggy was there to greet him, promising “The war’s over, Steve. We can go home. Imagine it.” This showed that even though Rogers has built a life for himself with loyal friends and that the world needs him as the leader of the Avengers, he yearns to go back to the time and place where he really belongs. After all, he buried Peggy in Captain America: Civil War, severing his last living link to his past.
A huge question regarding Avengers 4 is whether or not Steve Rogers’ dream will actually get to come true. There is evidence that time travel will be a key component of the film, likely thanks to Ant-Man’s access to the Quantum Realm. But what will ultimately become of Captain America if the Avengers defeat Thanos and restore the billions of lives in the universe the Titan wiped out? Is returning to his 21st-century life to lead the Avengers (possibly still as a fugitive thanks to the Sokovia Accords) a just reward for all of Steve Rogers’ sacrifices? Or will he actually gain his heart’s desire and get to return to his own time to live out his days with Peggy if they put Thanos down? But if that happens, what would Steve Rogers living in the past mean for the timeline and the future of the MCU?
Black Widow’s Dream Of Her Past
The other Avenger haunted by her past is Natasha Romanoff. Wanda induced a vision where the Black Widow remembered her days as a girl in the Red Room, the KGB’s facility where she and other children were trained to become assassins. Specifically, Natasha recalled being told that she can’t break because she is “made of marble” and worst of all, her ‘graduation ceremony’ where she was sterilized so she can never bear children. Black Widow is the most professional and efficient member of the Avengers, but her cool facade hides her many dark secrets and regrets, although she did share this part of her past with Bruce Banner at Hawkeye’s family‘s farmhouse.
Natasha’s past and resolving her lifelong trauma is something that will most likely be fully depicted and addressed in the upcoming Black Widow solo film. With Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) signing on as director, the prequel depicting how Natasha Romanoff became the Black Widow – which could also detail her first encounter with the Winter Soldier – should finally hit theaters as part of the next phase of MCU films after Avengers 4.
As for whether or not Natasha survives next year’s epic blowoff with Thanos, given that Scarlett Johansson is one of the actors expected to leave the MCU after Avengers 4, it’s not yet clear whether Black Widow has a future in Phase 4 and beyond. However, Johansson is certainly returning to star in her long-awaited solo film, which should illuminate Natasha’s mysterious past and, at last, give fans the full picture on just who the Black Widow is.