Yelena Belova looking shocked in Hawkeye

Marvel’s Phase 5 And 6 Team-Ups, Explained

Marvel’s Phase 4 has wrapped up, and what a phase it was! The multiverse has been unleashed, the incursions have begun, and not one but several potential team-ups are being teased for Phases 5 and 6. While the Infinity Saga largely focused on the creation and expansion of the Avengers, the Multiverse Saga looks like it’ll introduce several independent teams into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With a bunch of Phase 6 movies still unannounced, there are lots of possibilities, so let’s take a look at a few confirmed and potential team-ups!

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The Avengers

Sam Wilson holding Captain America's shield
(Marvel)

Although the Avengers have been on hiatus since the destruction of their compound and the deaths of half their members in Endgame, we know that Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars are coming in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Who will join the team? Who will lead them? Sam Wilson is the new Captain America, so he’s an obvious choice to assemble the team. There are also hints sprinkled around Phase 4 about who might join the official roster. Shang-Chi meets with Wong, Carol Danvers, and Bruce Banner at the end of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, and they officially welcome him and Katy to the superhero life. In She-Hulk, Nikki tells Jen Walters that she could join the Avengers (plus, Mark Ruffalo mentioned the possibility in an interview). Finally, we know that Thor and Black Panther will return in some capacity to the MCU, and an Avengers team-up seems like the most likely possibility.

The Marvels

Monica, Carol, and Kamala with powers. Image: Marvel Entertainment.
(Marvel)

We’ve known about this team-up for awhile, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Coming July 28, 2023, this film will see Monica Rambeau, Carol Danvers, and Kamala Khan teaming up after they find that they all have the power to switch places with each other.

The Thunderbolts

Thunderbolts Lineup D23
(Marvel)

A Thunderbolts movie was rumored for months before the 2022 Disney D23 Expo, where Kevin Feige officially announced the project. In the comics, the Thunderbolts are a group of criminals put together by Baron Zemo, which later turns itself around and becomes a force for good. In the MCU, the Thunderbolts will be made up of anti-heroes and former villains convened by CIA director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who made it clear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that she dreams of unbridled American supremacy.

Who’s on the team? Here’s the official lineup:

  • Ava Starr (Hannah John Kama), a.k.a. Ghost, who first appeared in Ant-Man.
  • Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), a.k.a. Red Guardian, Natasha Romanov’s adopted father and Russia’s answer to Captain America.
  • Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Natasha’s adopted sister, who was recruited by Fontaine at the end of Black Widow.
  • Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, who has recovered from the brainwashing he was subjected to and is trying to make a new life for himself.
  • John Walker (Wyatt Russell), a.k.a. U.S. Agent, who was named Captain America after Steve Rogers retired but proved to be too violent for the role.
  • Antonia Dreykov (Olga Kurylenko), a.k.a. Taskmaster, a.k.a. the very “Dreykov’s daughter” Loki mentions in the original Avengers movie. Antonia was brainwashed by her father in Black Widow but was freed.

Plus, Harrison Ford recently joined the Thunderbolts cast as Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who becomes Red Hulk in the comics. Thunderbolts will come out on July 6, 2024.

The Young Avengers

America Chavez running Dr. Strange 2
America Chavez (image: Marvel)

The Young Avengers have been a team in the Marvel comics for many years now, as a team made up of teenage and college-age heroes. Marvel hasn’t announced any plans for a Young Avengers project yet, but Phase 4 laid the groundwork for the team to come together eventually. Kate Bishop, America Chavez, Wiccan, Speed, Cassie Lang, Kid Loki, and Hulkling are all members of the Young Avengers at some point in the comics, and they may have all made their MCU debuts.

Kate Bishop takes on the name Hawkeye in Hawkeye, America Chavez becomes an apprentice at Kamar-Taj in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Kid Loki is revealed to be living in the void at the end of time in Loki. Wiccan and Speed (Billy and Tommy Maximoff) exist somewhere out in the multiverse as Wanda’s kids, and Joe Locke is rumored to be playing a teenage version of Billy in Agatha: Coven of Chaos. Cassie will be donning her Stature suit in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. There’s no firm word on Hulkling (Teddy Altman) yet, but Skaar’s character design in She-Hulk looks much different than his comic book counterpart, meaning that Marvel could be merging his character with Teddy’s.

Other young MCU heroes like Kamala Khan, Riri Williams, and even Peter Parker would be logical additions to the team—but again, there’s no word yet on whether it’s actually happening.

The Street Team

Daredevil in Marvel and Disney+ She-Hulk series.
(Marvel)

Hawkeye introduced three potential members of a street-level team dedicated to taking on Kingpin, the Tracksuit Mafia, and other New York City baddies. Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), a.k.a. Echo, will return in her own series after having shot Wilson Fisk and left the Tracksuit Mafia. At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker left the Avengers life behind and went back to his roots as a street-level hero. Plus, Kate Bishop could always show up to help out.

The most exciting development on Marvel’s streets, though, is Daredevil: Born Again. This reboot will follow Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) as he takes up his horned helmet and billy clubs again. Would you like to see Daredevil, Spidey, Echo, and Kate Bishop all facing down Kingpin together? Yes, so would we.

The Midnight Sons

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(Marvel)

In the Infinity Saga, Doctor Strange was the only main supernatural hero in the MCU, but now that horizon is broadening. Wong is Sorcerer Supreme, Clea (Charlize Theron) has jumped universes to contact Strange, and Werewolf by Night introduced werewolf Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal) and monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly). Wanda Maximoff is probably still alive (remember, if you don’t see a body, the character’s not dead), and the end-credit scene of Eternals set up the entrance of both Black Knight (Kit Harington) and Blade (Mahershala Ali). Plus, Moon Knight and Layla El-Faouly’s new persona, the Scarlet Scarab, are now both in play thanks to the machinations of the Egyptian gods Khonshu and Taweret.

The point is, the MCU now has a lot of supernatural characters. What better team-up than one of the most popular supernatural team from the comics, the Midnight Sons? The original team is put together by Doctor Strange and consists of Ghost Rider, Morbius, and other characters, who fight demons like Lilith. In the MCU, all bets are off. This one is total speculation, but admit it—you’d love to see Strange and Moon Knight getting on each other’s nerves.

The Sinister Six

(image: Chuck Zlotnick)

This team-up isn’t technically in the MCU, but since Eddie Brock and Adrian Toomes both got sucked into and out of Earth 616, it warrants a mention. Sony is currently building up its own version of the league of Spider-Man villains known as the Sinister Six, and so far the roster includes Morbius, Venom, Vulture, and the forthcoming Kraven the Hunter. Will they eventually meet Tom Holland’s Spider-Man? Having Spider-Man face another multiversal pile-on would seem kind of repetitive, but it seems obvious that Sony is building up to something.

(featured image: Marvel)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>