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Avengers 4 Leak Reveals Another Unexpected Return

What once was old is new again. 

As has often been the case in the past, the official LEGO set for an upcoming Marvel Studios film — in this case, the long-awaited Avengers: Endgame — may have revealed a major spoiler. Namely, the return of the Chitauri, the invading alien race from the first Avengers movie. (via We Got This Covered)

Over the years, plot points such as the destruction of Tony Stark's home in Iron Man 3, the presence of the Hulkbuster armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scott Lang "going big" during the airport brawl in Captain America: Civil War, and more have been… er, sneak previewed for fans by LEGO sets released in advance of their respective films' debuts. The official set for Endgame appears to be carrying on this noble tradition with the inclusion of figures which really can't be anything other than Chitauri warriors, who laid waste to New York in the climactic battle of The Avengers. Although the attack was shown in that film's post-credits sequence to have been orchestrated by Thanos, it was headed up by Loki, who (it has since been retconned) was under the malicious influence of the Infinity Stone housed in his scepter.

Bolstering this speculation are set photos from Endgame that appeared late last year, showing our heroes — in full Phase One garb, accompanied by an anachronistic Ant-Man — revisiting the Battle of New York, presumably as part of their master plan to reverse the extinction of half of all life in the universe brought about by the Decimation (or, if you will, the "Snappening"). The presence of Chitauri warriors in the LEGO set suggests that the Avengers won't simply be picking through the rubble for clues, but may actually have to relive the battle in one form or another — possibly even purposefully altering its outcome, in order to create conditions favorable to bringing about the one in 14 billion-plus possibilities (magically reviewed by Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War) that results in the heroes' eventual victory over Thanos.

The likelihood that our heroes will have to engage in a bit of light time travel in order to reverse Thanos' victory is all but certain at this point, and not just because of those set photos. When they were first made public, opinion was pretty much split down the middle as to whether actual time travel would be involved, or if we were seeing Tony Stark's B.A.R.F. technology from Captain America: Civil War — which allows the user to holographically reconstruct incidents from their past using their memories — in action. If the latter were the case, then we could safely assume that the return to the Battle of New York would constitute some kind of fact-finding mission, perhaps a search for some weakness of Thanos that was overlooked the first time around in all the carnage. 

But we've gotten a few significant clues in the intervening months that this is likely not the case. First, we got the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp, in which Scott wound up trapped in the Quantum Realm when those tasked with pulling him back out — Hope Van Dyne, Janet Van Dyne, and Hank Pym — were all dusted in the Decimation before they could do so. Before entering the Quantum Realm, Scott was sternly warned not to fall into a "time vortex," and the first teaser trailer for Endgame revealed that he was indeed able to extract himself somehow. Will the venerable Ant-Man's experience with the Quantum Realm come into play in the Avengers' plan? Will Scott, as he is wont to do, take exactly the action he was warned not to, employing one of those tricky time vortexes (vortices?) to help the team revisit the Battle of New York? It certainly seems possible.

On the other hand, we also know that Brie Larson's Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel — set to appear in her own '90s-set feature next month — will play a major role in the events of Endgame, as teased by the infamous Infinity War post-credits sequence in which Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) puts out a distress call to the good Captain before he, too, crumbles to dust. In a recent interview, Jackson — who will also co-star in Captain Marvel as a digitally de-aged, two-eyed Fury — made a comment about Danvers' power set that could be seen as particularly revealing. "I guess we might figure out that she can do things that nobody else can do," Jackson told TotalFilm. "She can time travel, so maybe she can get ahead or behind or whatever, and figure out what all that is. The fact I have the pager [used to put out the distress call] 20 years later — it gets addressed in an interesting sort of way."

Now, this could be seen as a sort of off-the-cuff comment, as Captain Marvel's time travel abilities had never been brought up prior. But it can also be assumed that Jackson knows plenty about the events of Endgame that we don't, and he just might have let a major plot point slip.

However it happens, the good folks at LEGO have clued us in to the fact that Earth's Mightiest Heroes will indeed have to relive their greatest victory, which — regardless of how some involved parties might have felt — was actually nothing like what went down in Budapest. We'll see what it all means when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, 2019.