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Character interactions we want to see in the MCU's Phase 4

For the first few years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most of its characters stayed largely confined to their respective solo franchises. Although Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) popped up in a few movies, ambitiously tying them together into one shared universe, it wasn't until The Avengers that Marvel's A-list big screen heroes started playing a major role in each others' stories. As the MCU moved into Phases Two and Three, one-off character crossovers started to occur much more frequently, with the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) showing up in Ant-Man, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) appearing in Thor: Ragnarok, and many other surprise cameos along the way that allowed us to witness fun and unexpected interactions between previously unrelated characters in the MCU.

With Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the last remnants of the walls dividing the separate regions of the MCU were finally obliterated once and for all. That's when we were able to see some entertaining pairings between characters who would've never previously crossed paths, such as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), or Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper). 

Now, Phase Four of the MCU is just around the corner, promising exciting new pairings such as Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Doctor Strange, or Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop, we're looking ahead to some of the interactions between established characters that we haven't seen yet. In fact, we've got a wish list of the meetings we're most hoping for in the next phase of the MCU.

Natasha Romanoff could find a friend in Monica Rambeau

Although Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) died during the Time Heist in Avengers: Endgame, we're about to take another trip back in time with her in Black Widow, which is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Natasha has been around in the MCU since its earliest days, which means we've already seen her cross paths with the vast majority of its characters, and her untimely demise limits the possibilities for existing characters she could plausibly interact with for the first time. However, while Black Widow promises to introduce new characters such as Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Alexi Shostakov (David Harbour), there is one character we've already met who we'd like to see come face to face with the Black Widow.

Monica Rambeau is the daughter of Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), the best friend of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). We met Monica in Captain Marvel, played by pre-teen actress Akira Akbar, but have been promised a grown-up version of the character in WandaVision, played by Teyonah Parris. We'd love to see the adult Monica get a surprise introduction in Black Widow, likely before she acquires her superpowers and becomes Spectrum (or one of her other superhero aliases). Not only would it be nice to check in with Monica before the events of WandaVision, but it would be great to see Natasha make another female friend and ally, and to have another Avenger who remembers her well as the MCU goes forward.

Sam Wilson and Carol Danvers have a surprising amount in common

For the characters who died and were brought back five years later following "the blip," it probably came as quite a shock when Captain Marvel showed up midway through the final battle of Avengers: Endgame and singlehandedly tore through an entire spaceship. The first of the blipped characters to be revealed as alive was Sam Wilson, who will be co-headlining the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes. Although Sam has shown up in three Avengers movies (and briefly in Ant-Man), he's primarily been a Captain America character, and hasn't interacted much with quite a few of the MCU's sprawling roster of characters. 

While there's no shortage of existing characters Sam hasn't yet met, the one we'd most like to see him interact with is Carol Danvers. Sam will be in the market for a new best friend after losing Steve to the past in Endgame, and we get the feeling Carol has been a little personally unmoored ever since losing and regaining her memories in Captain Marvel. They could each use a new shoulder to lean on, and we can see their personalities playing well off of one another. In addition to their shared military background, Sam's experience running a support group for veterans may be just what Carol needs to help unpack all she's been through, and their shared unconventional losses of their best friends may help them understand one another in a unique and interesting way. 

Jimmy Woo and the Vision should become best buddies

Although WandaVision has confirmed that Ant-Man and the Wasp's FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) will be appearing in some capacity, we have no idea what sort of role he'll play in the mind-bending tale. WandaVision is one of the least predictable of the Disney+ shows due to the seemingly contradictory confirmations that it'll take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but also apparently in the 1950s. As such, it's entirely possible that some characters may exist in one time period or reality, and not in others, meaning that there's no guarantee that Wanda or Vision (Paul Bettany) will actually interact with every member of the show's cast. 

However, we really hope that we get to see what happens when Jimmy encounters Vision for the first time. It's not just that we want each of them to make a good friend — apart from Wanda, Vision has always seemed kind of isolated, and Jimmy came across as pretty lonely in Ant-Man. We'd love nothing more than to see the two of them buddy up and fill that bestie-shaped hole in each other's lives. But also, given Jimmy's interest in Scott's (Paul Rudd) close-up magic tricks, we expect him to be blown away by Vision's abilities, and really, his entire half-technological, half-magical existence. It's a pairing rife with emotional and comedic possibilities, and we sincerely hope we get to see it. 

Wanda Maximoff could send Baron Mordo over the edge

The ending of Doctor Strange pulled a first for an MCU movie, laying the groundwork for a character who had been an ally throughout the entire film to become a villain in the next one. So although Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) hasn't yet been confirmed to appear in Phase Four, it would be surprising if he never shows up, and we think WandaVision would be a great and unexpected place to bring him back. The rigidly principled Mordo spent most of Doctor Strange growing increasingly uncomfortable with the way that both Strange and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) used magic, so we can't imagine he'll react well to Wanda Maximoff and her reality-altering powers.

This pairing would almost assuredly not result in a friendship, but would be a fascinating way to tie the worlds of WandaVision and Doctor Strange together — an event which we already know has to happen, one way or another. Perhaps Wanda creates some sort of alternate reality where Vision is alive, splitting open the multiverse and drawing Mordo's attention, thus leading directly into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Or maybe Mordo is already well on his way down a dark path, and Wanda is the one who discovers it, prompting her to seek help from Doctor Strange. The possibilities are boundless, making us hopeful that we'll get to see Wanda confront Strange's rival Master of the Mystic Arts in Phase Four. 

Peggy Carter could challenge Loki in just the right ways

Probably no upcoming Marvel series has more question marks surrounding it than Loki, which will follow a post-Avengers, pre-Phase Two Loki (Tom Hiddleston) through different periods in time after stealing the Tesseract (a.k.a. Space Stone) in Avengers: Endgame. How he's time hopping without the Time Stone is anyone's guess, but what's more interesting to us is who he might meet as he journeys through different points in history. We can think of no character from the MCU's past we'd like to see engage with the God of Mischief as much as Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). 

Although Peggy has been one of the MCU's most beloved characters ever since Captain America: The First Avenger, the 70-year time jump at the end of that movie has made it nearly impossible for her to interact with any of the franchise's other popular characters, although Marvel has made it a point to work her into their modern storylines wherever they could. But if Loki goes back to the 1940s or '50s, he could easily run into Peggy during her Agent Carter days, possibly before her marriage to the time-traveling Steve (Chris Evans). In the absence of his brother, and especially since Loki will begin his series lacking all of his character development from Thor: The Dark World and beyond, it would be great to see him interact with one of the few other characters who, in all likelihood, could probably lift Mjolnir just as well as her husband if she was only given the chance. 

The Ancient One might be able to set Loki on the right path

While the possibilities for who could make a surprise appearance in Loki are nearly endless, another name at the top of our list is Doctor Strange's the Ancient One, who surprised us by showing up in Avengers: Endgame and was the first one to introduce the idea of multiple realities if all six Infinity Stones aren't present to keep the timeline in place. She'd be the perfect one for Loki to meet up with as he skips through time, especially if he has an Infinity Stone in tow. 

In addition to providing some much-needed exposition on how Loki's adventures may muddy up the larger timeline, the Ancient One also has the unique ability to see alternate futures, meaning that although Loki will have no knowledge of his character growth in Phases Two and Three of the MCU, she very well could. Perhaps a meeting with the Ancient One will be exactly what Loki needs in order to help him become a better version of himself, putting him on the path to becoming the kind of person who would sacrifice himself in order to save his brother at the beginning of Infinity War. While we're thrilled to still have a version of Loki gallivanting around the MCU, we'd be lying if we said we won't miss the one we've already come to know and love. 

Doctor Strange would be the ideal person to first encounter Blade

Previously portrayed in the Blade trilogy of the early 2000s by Wesley Snipes, the MCU's version of the half-vampiric vampire hunter will be played by Mahershala Ali, who was introduced in a surprise announcement at 2019's San Diego Comic Con. Kevin Feige has since confirmed that the Blade movie will not be a part of Phase Four, and will be coming at some point afterward, but we can't help but suspect that he had a reason for introducing the MCU's Blade so early. Perhaps, much like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Blade will make his first appearance in someone else's movie before getting one of his own.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness would be the perfect opportunity to bring in Blade, since an alternate reality would explain why it's taken so long for Marvel to reveal that vampires exist in the MCU. Director Scott Derrickson teased that Multiverse of Madness will be the first scary MCU film, and vampires would certainly fit in with a more horror-attuned aesthetic. Bringing Blade into the world of Doctor Strange opens up the possibilities for interactions between the two characters, as the surgeon-turned-sorcerer is forced to reckon with the reality of creatures straight out of folklore. Although we imagine that Strange and Blade will need a little time to warm up to one another, we see a lot of potential in pairing up these two no-nonsense characters, and hope Marvel gives us a chance to see them working together. 

Darcy Lewis would be the perfect foil for Wong

Along with the surprise announcement that WandaVision would be bringing back Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp came the equally shocking revelation that the series would also be pulling in the character of Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from the first two Thor movies. Darcy was astrophysicist Jane Foster's (Natalie Portman) intern, although her political science major didn't always make her the best fit for Jane's scientific theorizing and experimentation. Like Jane, Darcy didn't appear in Thor: Ragnarok, but now it appears she'll be returning for WandaVision, although we have no idea how or why. 

Since WandaVision is reported to lead directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we are crossing our fingers that Darcy will be coming along for the ride too. When and if she does, we hope she'll have a chance to get to know Wong (Benedict Wong), Strange's long-suffering friend and instructor in the Mystic Arts. Considering how Darcy always reacted to Thor's magic-adjacent abilities (R.I.P. Mew-mew), we suspect her reactions to the actual magic practiced by those in the Sanctum Santorum would be a comedic goldmine. Plus, Wong and Darcy both know how it feels to be relegated to the sidekick, and we imagine that Darcy's blunt honesty and abundant eccentricities will provide an entertaining contrast to Wong's deadpan demeanor and constant exasperation. 

Peter Parker and Shuri would make a mind-blowing pairing

The MCU likely has many more years of life left in it, but thanks to Marvel's ongoing tug-of-war with Sony, we're only guaranteed two more appearances from Tom Holland's Peter Parker (one more Spider-Man movie and an unnamed team-up). We can only hope that one of these projects finally gives us a meeting we've been hoping for ever since Black Panther. Although the Spider-Man movies already contain the vast majority of the teenage characters in the MCU (a fact that will likely be changing soon with Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye), Peter hasn't yet come face to face with that other Marvel wunderkind, Wakanda's princess and chief innovator, Shuri (Letitia Wright). The two were briefly in the same place at the same time during Avengers: Endgame, but as far as we know, they never interacted. 

All that could (and should) change in the MCU's Spider-Man 3, which will pick up on the heels of that doozy of a cliffhanger at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Perhaps Peter goes into hiding after his secret identity is revealed, and winds up seeking aid from the people of Wakanda, or perhaps Shuri's role as head of the science and information exchange for the Wakandan International Outreach Centre will take her to Midtown School for Science and Technology, which Peter has to be graduating from soon, right? We'll accept any number of scenarios as long as it brings two of the MCU's greatest scientific minds — and most enjoyable characters — together for a few scenes.

Nebula and Korg could provide the biggest laughs of Phase Four

The opening of Avengers: Endgame gave us a pairing we never really expected to see, as Tony Stark and Nebula made their way laboriously back to Earth after finding themselves the only survivors on Titan following the snap. These two proved to have a delightful dynamic, and the quiet scenes of the two of them together were surprisingly poignant. Nebula then went on to play one of the most important roles in Endgame, and ended the film back aboard the Benatar with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy — minus Gamora (Zoe Saldana), plus Thor. Assuming they're still all traveling the stars together as the Asgardians of the Galaxy at the beginning of Thor: Love and Thunder, we sincerely hope that Nebula gets a chance to interact with Taika Waititi's cuddly rock-man, Korg.

Korg is still on Earth at the end of Endgame, as part of the New Asgard settlement over which Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) rules as King, but we know both characters are already confirmed for Love and Thunder. While we have no such confirmation for Nebula or the other Guardians, we wouldn't be surprised if the crew of the Benatar appears for at least part of the film, even if it's just to drop Thor off before heading back out again. If they do, we're crossing our fingers for some scenes between the aggressively self-serious Nebula and the gentle-hearted, unflappable Korg. We can't imagine what they'd talk about, but it would surely be thoroughly entertaining. 

Valkyrie and Lady Sif would be an explosive combo

Marvel and director Taika Waititi ruthlessly cleaned house for Thor: Ragnarok, killing off half of the supporting Asgardian characters from the previous films and cutting the Earth-bound characters out of the story entirely. However, one established Thor character whose fate is still up in the air following the events of Ragnarok, Infinity War, and Endgame is Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), who was last seen in the MCU delivering the Reality Stone to the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) at the end of Thor: The Dark World. The Russos claim that Sif was blipped along with half of all life in the universe, but there's nothing in Infinity War or Endgame to either support or refute that claim. 

Whether or not Sif was blipped, she should be alive by the time Love and Thunder rolls around, and we're ready for her to return to the MCU, if for no other reason than because we really want to see what happens when Sif and Valkyrie finally meet one another. It's high time that the Thor movies allowed more than one powerful female warrior on the thunder god's team at a time — plus, we just imagine that these two will really hit it off. Tessa Thompson has said that Valkyrie will be in search of her queen, and Alexander has volunteered herself for the role. Whether or not a romantic relationship is in the cards for the two Asgardian warriors, we still expect there to be sparks when they finally come together. 

Professor Hulk and Jane Foster could make beautiful science together

Although Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Jane Foster are both gifted scientists who have played major roles in previous Thor movies, their paths have surprisingly never crossed. By the time Bruce smashed his way into Thor: Ragnarok, Jane and Thor had broken up, and we thought she'd vanished from the MCU for good. But now that we know Jane is returning for Thor: Love and Thunder — no longer as a simple love interest, but as the Mighty Thor herself — we're anxious for Bruce to make a return appearance as well, this time as his best-of-both-worlds Professor Hulk persona.

While earlier Thor movies have allowed Jane to bounce her scientific ideas off of Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), we'd love a film in which she's allowed to riff about quantum physics with Bruce instead, especially if he's in his big green form. With Tony Stark gone, Bruce could use a new partner to talk shop with, and we can't think of a better person to speak the strange language of science-meets-superheroes than Jane Foster. With Jane set to wield Mjolnir in Love and Thunder, we're not sure what sort of scientific conundrum would take two mega-brains to solve, but no matter what it is, we're sure that getting to watch Bruce and Jane tackle it together would be extremely satisfying. 

Clint Barton and Bucky Barnes could bond over their destructive pasts

Although Clint Barton and Bucky Barnes have both been around in the MCU since Phase One (and even fought on the same team in Captain America: Civil War), we still haven't seen the two actually interact with one another. It's an odd oversight, especially considering that both were trained by branches of the same organization, have a super-spy background, and know what it feels like to have their minds taken over by an external force. So while we still have no idea how much the Disney+ shows will cross over with one another — if they do at all — our hope is that the Hawkeye series will finally bring the Hawk and the Winter Soldier together.

Although Bucky and Clint have shared a lot in common in the past, they've never been more alike than they are in the post-Endgame MCU. Clint spent the five years before the Time Heist tracking down and killing people who, while they weren't entirely innocent, likely didn't deserve the fate he meted out to them. By the time he found himself on Vormir, Clint felt significant remorse for the harm he had done. No character in the MCU is better poised to understand what that feels like than Bucky Barnes, who spent 70 years as a brainwashed Hydra assassin. If The Falcon and the Winter Soldier can work in a crossover with Hawkeye, we expect these two will have a lot to discuss, and may even be able to help one another slowly work toward healing.