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MCU Characters Who Will Certainly Die In The Multiverse Saga - Looper Staff Predicts

Let's be honest: the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't exactly amazing at killing its darlings most of the time. Unlike shows like "Game of Thrones" and its subsequent prequel-sequel "House of the Dragon," which mercilessly cull their enormous casts in brutal fashion at every opportunity, the MCU has, in large part, been mostly precious with its characters. Even at the end of 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War," when half of all living creatures found themselves vanished from the earthy plane by one snap of Thanos' (Josh Brolin) huge purple fingers, that entire thing was triumphantly undone just one year later in "Avengers: Endgame," with only a few characters really dying. (It's worth noting that sometimes, it comes down to actors like Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. simply not renewing their contracts, but that's for a different and probably less interesting article.)

With all of this in mind, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" just kicked the fifth phase of the MCU and had two deaths to boot, but some fans are ready for real bloodshed — and as it happens, those fans work here at Looper. Here's who the Looper staff thinks is definitely going to die in "The Multiverse Saga."

Nick Staniforth - Drax is deader than dead

We can't be sure, but it's pretty much written in the stars that not only is Dave Bautista's time as Drax the Destroyer up, but he's going out like the legendary literal-taking hero we know and love him to be. The man himself has expressed his respect for the role that propelled his career but assured us that the road would end for him in the MCU with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Last year, the actor admitted, "I just don't know if I want Drax to be my legacy — it's a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff." What better for his time as Drax than to end in a dramatic death of the Marvel favorite?

Will it suck? Of course. You can anticipate big fat showers of tears when Drax gets destroyed. Then again, with the slow batch of torches being subtly passed over in various corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's only fitting that his gets extinguished in what promises to be a glorious goodbye to our favorite bunch of a-holes. What's the alternative? Kill Rocket? What's wrong with you? Have you no soul? We already know we'll see his early years as a lab experiment. Do you want to kill him off too? Well, sorry, that's not happening. Instead, we're going to get Drax heading face-first into death, probably complaining about his nipples chaffing, with a Ravager funeral to follow quickly. It's what he would've wanted.

Kieran Fisher - Say goodbye to Nick Fury

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) will have a big part to play on "Avengers: Secret Invasion." The leader of the Avengers Initiative will spearhead the war against the Skrulls — the shapeshifting aliens who were introduced in "Captain Marvel" — and try to prevent them from achieving world domination. Everyone is rooting for Fury and his colleagues to get the job done. At the same time, someone major needs to die in order for the secret invaders to be regarded as a serious threat, and Fury is the perfect combination of important and replaceable to fill that requirement.

While "Secret Invasion" will give our man a meaningful role, the character is completely disposable in the grand scheme of things. Sure, he was an integral component in the formation of the Avengers and in connecting the MCU's various moving parts early on. But let's face it — the MCU is beyond established now, and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is more than ready to fill Fury's shoes (provided that she doesn't turn out to be a Skrull or die in her own right). Fury's role has dwindled overall, and he probably won't have a significant role to play after "Secret Invasion." I'm sorry, but it's true. And you all know it.

It pains me to comprehend the idea of Fury never showing up in another post-credits scene or embarking on more buddy adventures with Captain Marvel. Losing him will be devastating, but a heartbreaking death is better than him eventually withering away in a hospital bed. Do you want Fury to end up like Peggy Carter in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," or do you want him to go down in a blaze of glory? He's going to die, and our tears will create rivers.

Nina Starner - Yelena will get yeeted

Look. Just listen. I don't like this anymore than you do. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Florence Pugh, sometimes dubbed "Miss Flo" by her friends and enemies alike, is an international treasure. She makes marmalade! She made Amy March — the original anti-hero — into a fully realized and even relatable character! She had to put up with "Don't Worry Darling," for God's sake! I do think she'll probably get killed off in Phase 5, though, and I think that for a deeply cynical reason.

When the MCU kicked off in 2008 and stacked its original cast of Avengers, some of those actors were staging comebacks, some were relative newcomers, and some were fairly established. It's been over a decade, and now, the MCU is made up of... let me check my notes... 8 million different projects. Unless they hold an open casting call for every single part in every single project, Feige and his motley crew have to start dipping into the well of extremely established prestige actors, and dip they have. I very nearly picked Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa for this list as well as Kathryn Hahn's Agatha, and though I went with Pugh, my rationale was the same for all three: none of these in-demand powerhouse performers are going to toil away in the MCU and watch other projects fall by the wayside while they remain under contract. Elizabeth Olsen has admited that her time in the MCU has stopped her from taking parts she wanted, and while there's obviously money in the MCU, let's be honest. All these people are rich already anyway.

Florence Pugh is young, talented, and has years of career triumphs ahead of her; that's why I think they'll kill Yelena off sooner rather than later. Plus, let's not forget that like her late "sister," she can't have babies, which is apparently a cardinal sin within the MCU... so good riddance, I guess!

Aahil Dayani - Marvel should give Bucky Barnes the boot

It's hard to see a future for Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues. Now redeemed as the White Wolf after a miserable few years of brooding and self-reflection, Barnes has accepted his time as the Winter Soldier and is looking forward to the future. Barnes' appearance in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" solidified that he's changed for the better and has found a genuine friend in Sam (Anthony Mackie), the new Captain America.

With Barnes in a better place, what better way to conclude his arc than to kill him? While that's cruel, his death feels necessary. The character is set to appear in "Thunderbolts," which should be a more grounded, "Winter Soldier"-like film for Marvel Studios. Joining Barnes is a motley crew of other capable soldiers, like Yelena Belova, Red Guardian (David Harbour), and more.

Barnes is no longer the only soldier in town. Barnes is at peace. Kill Barnes!

"Thunderbolts" has a lot of convincing to do. To bring the team together, it would work to have Bucky die, like how Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) convinced the Avengers to play nice after Agent Coulson's (Clark Gregg) death. Bucky's death would also signify the end of an era and allow Sam, the brand new Cap, to reel with the passing of another friend, which always makes for compelling cinema. While Bucky is probably going to get the boot, we just have to hope that he meets his end in a heroic, daring way that doesn't compromise his character. Maybe have him die while he saves Cap? Or how about the nefarious U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), a character he has considerable beef with?

Now that's an honorable death where his sacrifices can come through.

Pauli Poisuo - Endgame turned Steve Rogers into Schrödinger's Cap

Several of my esteemed colleagues have thought this long and hard. Several MCU characters are nearing the end of their natural arc in the months to come, and selecting one of them is good hustle, and I respect that. Personally, however, I'm the kind of gambler who puts all the chips on zero, then runs around the table whooping while the other players patiently wait for me to realize I'm at the Blackjack table. Hence, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Sorry, the MCU, your original Captain America is toast.

Steve had a good run. He helped beat Thanos (Josh Brolin), switched careers from superheroing to timeline renovation, and got to spend the rest of his days sitting out all sorts of crises while waltzing the night away with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Not a bad life for a guy whose first 25 years or so were a non-stop conga line of humiliation, tragedy, war, deep freeze, and waking up just to find that your entire social circle is dead and the aliens are invading.

The fun thing with Steve is that after pulling the Old Steve stunt in "Avengers: Endgame," he's soundly in storytelling limbo. There's no way they'll bring him back to die onscreen, because that'd suck attention from the MCU's current need to establish Sam Wilson's (Anthony Mackie) Captain America. In other words, Steve probably won't be seen again, so he could die offscreen at any given moment. For the purposes of this article, we'll say that he dies ... what's the next MCU project to arrive? "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" or "Secret Invasion?" Oh, let's say five minutes before one of those drops.

After all, who's going to say otherwise? Until someone peeks inside the box to see if he's alive, you can't prove that Steve Rogers didn't die just now. Sorry, everyone — Schrödinger's Cap wins the day.

Melissa Lemieux - Rocket Racoon will beat Drax to the punch

While Dave Bautista's comments very much indicate that Drax is probably headed for that big starfield in the sky, don't rule out the possibility that Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) might beat him there, if only by minutes. The trailer for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" contains many flashbacks to Rocket's past and the process that turned him from an innocent and vulnerable type into the loquacious, angry little guy we know and love. It's possible that the team might lose more than one member in their next film as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its journey into Phase 5, and this heavy centering of the story on Rocket's past might indicate that he's about to exit the storyline in a dramatic fashion.

True, characters like Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoë Saldana) have had their pasts spilled out in explicit length in various film installments, and only one of them has died at press time. And it's always possible that the time stream might be mucked around with, bringing back to life what has been lost. But the MCU thrives off of surprises, and killing off Rocket just after audiences learn what makes him tick would be a fitting, if emotionally diabolical, choice.

Whoever Peter Parker makes friends with -- Tom Meisfjord

The fictional everyman exists for a reason: To suffer for our amusement. This is simply a historical fact. Arthur Dent was an everyman, and his planet exploded. Miles O'Brien was an everyman, and he couldn't go one year on "Deep Space Nine" without getting turned into broccoli that could feel pain or whatever. Jim Halpert was an everyman, and he had to be on the last two seasons of "The Office."

And Peter Parker is and has always been an everyman. Introduced in 1962, he represented a bold new direction for superhero narratives. Not an eccentric billionaire or a Vitruvian space god; he was a lower-middle-class kid with money problems, girl problems, and a super-dead uncle. The fact that readers could see themselves in the struggles of a regular guy made the character all the more compelling when he had greatness thrust upon him.

Unfortunately, it also means that Pete wears tragedy like it's Axe body spray, and anyone around him will get it stuck in their noses. At last check-in, the Spider-Man of the MCU had lost an uncle, an aunt, and an iron mentor, while aiding and abetting in the unplanned lobotomization of an entire planet. He has no one left. He's lost so much.

But it's not enough, so I'm guessing that in the next movie, he makes friends with, like, a guy that owns a food truck, and then the truck gets blown up by, I don't know, Big Wheel. You remember Big Wheel? That's probably who blows up the food truck. Pete's gonna be so bummed about that.

Kim Bell - Loki isn't done with his streak of deaths

I know, I know. Tom Hiddleston's Loki is, more or less, kinda sorta/probably, maybe/possibly already dead...ish. In fact, Loki has "died" several times at this point, though the actual number is up for debate, thanks to both Loki being Loki and alternate timelines and variants. However — rather than get distracted by the God of Mischief's personal morality rate, I will use his general proclivity for death to hedge my bets. Fool me four times? Shame on franchise. Fool me five times? Shame on me. And I will not be duped again. This time, I'll be ready for it.

Yes, Hiddleston has said he'd like to play Loki for as long as possible. And yes, Marvel would have to be out of its mind to permanently do away with the last compelling thing about the "Thor" franchise. But neither of these realities precludes the possibility that the character will meet yet another dramatic demise. In fact, these things pretty much ensure that "Loki" Season 2 will have to raise the stakes for Hiddleston's character, and the only way to do that, at this point, is to kill him off "for real."

Not, like, for real-for real, mind you, but just regular "for real." As a person with a high tolerance for the suspension of disbelief — and very little tolerance for picking apart timelines and multiverses — I'm just gonna go ahead and accept that we'll get yet another Loki death and yet another Loki resurrection somewhere in the near future. I don't care how it happens, and I don't care whether or not it makes sense because it probably won't. However it goes down, this much I know: it will go down.

And if, for some reason, Marvel Studios does decide to kill Loki off (for real-for real), Hiddleston will have that much more time to do what I, personally, need him to do more of —that is: narrate books, read poetry, and debate/act-out 19th-century novels.

Russell Murray - Professor X will return, but not for long

Obviously, there are no "X-Men" films currently on the Marvel Studios slate (and there's even some speculation that this will continue to be the case until after "The Multiverse Saga" concludes). That said, whenever Kevin Feige and Co. do get around to those mutants, one thing is inevitable: Professor X will die... I just think it'll be in the current saga. Charles can be brought back in any number of ways in the next two phases, but he'll probably be axed yet again.

Ever since Patrick Stewart began playing the character in the 2000 film "X-Men," screenwriters have always been bizarrely eager to sideline him. Sometimes he gets trapped in a mutant prison, and sometimes, he takes a special serum to take away his powers, but 33% of the time, he just dies. Even in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, poor Charles gets his neck snapped almost immediately by the Scarlet Witch.

There may be some logic to killing off Xavier quickly within the MCU. Along with Magneto and Wolverine, the studio might feel that Professor X has been both exhausted and inescapably mythologized by the wonderful actors that played them. While it isn't necessarily my favorite option, it isn't surprising to see him axed to focus on different characters this time.