How the MCU could try to integrate the Champions on-screen


Considering the turbulent future of the original six Avengers, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be planting seeds for new origin stories and a new team entirely. We think the MCU is teasing a Champions team-up sometime in the cinematic universe’s future.

We’re still preemptively mourning the two likely candidates to sacrifice themselves from the universe’s wellbeing (i.e. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers) in Avengers: Endgame, while we simultaneously figure out what we’ll wear to their funerals on April 26, 2019.

Although we’ll probably never be ready for the fictional tragedies that await us in Endgame, we’re already theorizing what Marvel has planned for its post-Phase 3 eras of the MCU. Given the vague but optimistic headlines over the last year, we think the MCU could slowly set-up the on-screen version of one of our favorite team of superheroes: the Champions.

Granted, it will take some time before any heroic alliances even start to resemble crude renditions of the Champions in MCU. We know that building a powerful team takes time. Even before the on-screen iteration of the Avengers formed, the MCU rolled out five predecessor movies before the first Avengers film debuted, marking the end of Phase 1. It takes time to make a team. We get that. That is why we’re pretty hopeful that the MCU is concocting a scheme to form the Champions.

The Champions probably won’t make it into the upcoming Phase 4, and we might have to wait awhile after Phase 4 before we even see solo movies for Champion-related characters. Regardless, the foundation for the Champions team could already be in the works.

Ms. Marvel (2016) #28. Photo Credit: Marvel Comics.

Back in May, president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige announced ambiguous plans for Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel. Kamala is a standalone hero in her own right, but she’s also been a collaborative team member in (but not limited to) the Avengers and the Champions. There’s very little info we know right now regarding the MCU’s plans for Kamala Khan; a casting call was put out this summer but there’s been little else since. Given her affiliation with Carol Danvers, the Avengers, and the Champions, the MCU could write a tertiary saga about her team-based character development while her personal narrative unfolds on-screen.

Granted, Kamala Khan isn’t enough to indicate the MCU’s plans for the Champions — even if she is the founder and leader of the team. With increasing speculations about a Nova film breaking into the MCU’s roster, it sounds like the cinematic universe might be orchestrating a buildup to the team of teen crime-fighters that will play into the preexisting Avengers, as well as some other intergalactic peace-keeping organizations.

Champions (2016) #17. Photo Credit: Marvel Comics.

As Adam McKay, co-writer of Ant-Man, tells Josh Horowitz during an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he believes the MCU could be developing a movie about Richard Rider’s Nova. Although Sam Alexander is obviously the Nova we know and love in the newer Champions, Richard Rider’s film would introduce the Nova Corps and easily transition into Sam’s rise as Nova in the MCU.

Now the new Champions are more than just Kamala and Sam, seeing as the team also comprises of Riri Williams (Ironheart), Amadeus Cho (Hulk and Brawn, depending on the time), Viv Vision, Amka Aliyak (Snowguard), Nadia Pym (Wasp), and Miles Morales (Spider-Man) and more.

Seeing as Miles Morales already exists in the MCU, thanks to a hint given by Donald Glover’s role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the slow lead-up to the movie incarnation of the Champions could also make Miles a visible hero in the MCU. After all, there’s room for more than one arachnid-themed hero in the universe.

Champions (2016) #1. Photo Credit: Marvel Comics.

Focusing on Kamala, Nova, and Miles sometime in the vaguely foreseeable future would obviously lead more toward the newer Champions team, rather than the original team of Champions in the 1970s. With Feige’s push for extended storytelling that parallels the comics, this new plan to appease comic book fans and incorporate more extensive stories on the Disney+ streaming platform could crossover into the MCU films as well.

The MCU could implement these longer narratives to show Kamala’s time as an individual hero along with her relationships with her friends and family that we’ve seen in her comics. Likewise, it could unfold Kamala’s time in the Avengers, which would easily set up the arch of her, Sam, and Miles disbanded from the team and constructed their own team of Champions shortly afterward.

It will be a long journey before the MCU even creates the framework for the founding members of the Champions, let alone the entire team of Champions. However, as the MCU developed the narrative behind the Avengers, it also slowly integrated new Avengers, entirely new teams, and it’s still continually developing solo films for the original Avengers (i.e. the upcoming Black Widow film). Disney could take a similar approach if it starts to set-up the Champions.

More. Marvel’s Champions offers positive lesbian representation in latest issue. light

We already know that Avengers 4 will provoke a lot of reconstruction in the MCU, both with the dynamics within the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy team. After the Fox and Disney merger, we’ll likely see the X-Men and adjacent characters and teams in the MCU at some point in the future. With the team tally gradually growing, the Champions could also join the expanding cinematic universe.