Unexpected things that could happen in Marvel Phase 3

Marvel's Phase 3 begins May 6 with the release of Captain America: Civil War, and in spite of the studio's ever-secretive ways, we know a few things about what to expect from their next round of superhero blockbusters. There are a bunch of cool new characters like Doctor Strange and Black Panther, for starters, and everything in Phase 3 is building up to the epic showdown with Thanos we've been waiting years to witness. As much as we might think we know, however, there's still plenty of room for the unexpected. Here's a look at some of the curveballs Marvel could be sending our way in Phase 3.

Everyone dies

Marvel has spent almost a decade putting together an amazingly intricate web of characters and interrelated plots, so it's going to come as quite a surprise when they pull it all down by killing everyone on the canvas. Okay, that may sound unlikely, but the comics that Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok are based on involve the main characters dying, and that's just the start—the comics that serve as the source material for Avengers: Infinity War show Thanos killing off the entire team. Alas, poor Avengers, it was nice knowing you.

Thor is replaced by a clone

This might sound completely insane, but again, it's an idea supported by those pesky comic books. In the comics version of Civil War, Tony Stark's side ends up genetically engineering a clone of Thor to fight for them since the real one isn't around. That clone's name? Ragnarok—which, of course, is also the subtitle of the next Thor sequel. Did we just blow your mind?

Spider-Man joins the Avengers

Okay, so maybe this one isn't quite so unexpected, given that we already know Spidey will join the fray in Captain America: Civil War. And in the comics, Spider-Man is a member of the Avengers in good standing. But man, can you even wrap your head around how awesome it would be to actually have Spider-Man standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Thor and Hulk and the gang in Avengers: Infinity War? Watch out, Thanos: he has radioactive blood.

Black Panther marries Storm

We know that Marvel cut a deal with Sony to share the film rights to Spider-Man. Is it possible that another deal with Fox could allow Storm from the X-Men franchise to appear in Marvel films? Not only would it be a fantastic surprise, but it would make sense for her to appear in Black Panther given that in the comics, Storm and Black Panther were actually married for awhile. This one is a long shot, but the payoff would totally be worth the effort.

Doctor Strange helps The Defenders jump to the big screen

So far there has been disappointingly little crossover between the movie and television sides of Marvel's cinematic universe. Sure, the Avengers get name-dropped from time to time in Jessica Jones, and sometimes an alien artifact ends up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but for the most part, it's just lip service. In Phase 3, three things could change all that: Doctor Strange, The Defenders, and Avengers: Infinity War. In the comics, Doctor Strange is the dude who brought the Defenders together, so it would only make sense if he teamed up with the TV version of the team to help the Avengers take on Thanos in Infinity War. Synergy!

The Guardians of the Galaxy team up with the Avengers

The Defenders aren't the only super team that could make an unexpected appearance in Infinity War: don't be shocked if the Guardians of the Galaxy also get involved in a major way. After all, Gamora is Thanos's daughter, and stopping him from blowing up the galaxy would seem to be Job One for the team given their name. Just thinking about the possibility of seeing Groot team up with Hulk, or Rocket Raccoon trade quips with Spider-Man, is enough to send us to geek heaven.

Black Widow gets her own movie

Fans have clamored for a Black Widow solo film ever since Iron Man 2 hit theaters in 2010, but Marvel has refused to give Scarlett Johansson her own standalone feature. There's reason to think that might change in Phase 3, though. Why? Captain Marvel, that's why. Marvel's first feature focusing on a female superhero is set to hit theaters in 2019, just a year after the Wasp gets co-billing in Ant-Man and The Wasp. The time is finally right for Black Widow to get the spotlight. Let's hope Marvel gives it to her.

The Vision becomes Adam Warlock

We're going really deep on this one. You hardcore comic geeks know what we're talking about: Thanos's archenemy, the golden cosmic savior known as Adam Warlock. Warlock plays a key role in just about every major Thanos storyline, so it's a bit curious that he hasn't appeared in the films yet—but maybe that's because Marvel is planning on using Vision in that role instead. Like Warlock, Vision is an artificial being dedicated to preserving life and maintaining balance. More importantly, Vision is entrusted with the care of one of the Infinity Stones—just like Warlock. Could Vision be a much more important character than anyone's guessed? We'll see.

Loki becomes a good guy

What could Marvel do to really blow our minds in Phase 3? Well, what if Loki joins the good guys and helps them in their battle against Thanos? It's not as crazy as it might sound. Loki may be many things, but he's not a nihilist like Thanos. After all, if Thanos destroys the entire universe and kills everyone, who is Loki going to play his tricks on, or imperiously lord over? At his core, Loki is always about one thing first: protecting his own skin. If that happens to require saving everyone else in the process by fighting against Thanos, so be it.