Throughout the Infinity Saga, the MCU bid farewell to several major heroes, including Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. With the culmination of the Multiverse Saga now at the forefront of discussion following the announcement of The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, speculation is already rife as to how they could return in 2025. Even with these heroes gone, their legacy continues to be pivotal to many Phase 4 and 5 projects. Ironheart and Armor Wars will dive into Tony Stark’s legacy, Sam Wilson strived to succeed Steve Rogers’ Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Natasha Romanoff’s sister Yelena Belova appears poised to become the next Black Widow.
Nonetheless, fans continue to call for the MCU’s original heroes to return, and the topic continues to arise in interviews with these actors. All of them have followed a similar “never say never” theme, but most agree it would take the right story to make it happen, and the opportunities are now more clear than ever. Now that the MCU has established time travel and the Multiverse, the possibilities are endless as to how the fallen Avengers could come back in the near future. Many have speculated the original Avengers will be back for Secret Wars, but one theory explains how they could return as soon as The Kang Dynasty in May 2025.
Avengers 5 Theory Explains How Dead Heroes Return Diving into Marvel Comics offers an explanation for how Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and more popular dead heroes can return in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Variants of Kang the Conqueror have previously formed a group known as the Legion of the Unliving comprised of previously deceased heroes and villains who had been either resurrected or pulled out of various time periods to combat the Avengers.
Legion of the Unliving Members of the group have included Wonder Man, Human Torch, Captain Marvel, Drax, Iron Man, and many more over the five iterations of the team that existed from 1975 to 1998. Colonel Shadow more recently formed his own Legion of the Unliving in 2019 during an issue of Jason Aaron’s Avengers. Legion of the Unliving Marvel The original formation of the Legion of the Unliving was done by Kang the Conqueror under the advice of his future self, Immortus. The team consisted of deceased characters that were pulled from time moments before their demise. The Legion saw some success as it led to the death of Iron Man and the wounding of Vision before eventually freeing itself from Kang’s control to assist the Avengers.
Perhaps this could allow for an arc in The Kang Dynasty that sees the conqueror pluck heroes from time – such as Iron Man, Quicksilver, and Black Widow – moments before their death. This would allow for a psychological endurance test for the Avengers as they face off against their fallen friends before teaming up and being forced to send them back to their deaths to restore the timeline. Arno Stark, aka Iron Man 2020, was the Variant of the armored Avenger to join the Legion in the third iteration. However, at the time, he had only served as a villain. This iteration of the team’s goal was to distract the Avengers as Immortus attempted to use the Scarlet Witch to help him control all time.