Over recent years, the MCU's original Avengers have been gradually fading away from the franchise. Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Chris Evans' Captain America bid farewell with Avengers: Endgame while Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow returned for one last time with her 2021 Phase 4 solo movie.
Now, the only remaining heroes from the 2021 line-up are Chris Hemsworth's Thor, Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye. All three of the survivors continue to have uncertain futures in the MCU after their Phase 4 appearances, with no confirmation of when any of them will return again.
Disney+ Snaps Away Original Avengers
The Marvel section on Disney+ was updated to replace its original banner with a new graphic that removes two original Avengers - Chris Hemsworth's Thor and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow.
Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa was also removed, with Letitia Wright's Shuri - who was featured on the original artwork outside of the suit - taking his place in the Black Panther suit after the passing of both the actor and character.
When Disney+ launched, the service's Marvel section featured all six of the MCU's original Earth's Mightiest Heroes, along with Nick Fury, in a collage of their character posters from 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The list of heroes now featured on Disney+'s Marvel artwork can be seen below:
- Shang-Chi - Simu Liu
- Black Panther (Shuri) - Letitia Wright
- Captain Marvel - Brie Larson
- Nick Fury - Samuel L. Jackson
- Captain America (Sam Wilson) - Anthony Mackie
- Scarlet Witch - Elizabeth Olsen
- Loki - Tom Hiddleston
- Yelena Belova - Florence Pugh
Are the Original Avengers Leaving the MCU?
Black Widow and Thor were the only original Avengers featured on Disney+'s original Marvel header as the only ones of the six set to lead major theatrical outings during Phase 4 - while Hawkeye and Hulk made their presence known in the form of streaming original series.
Now that Black Widow has officially departed the MCU and Thor currently has no future appearances in sight, it only makes sense to remove them from the artwork to clear room for those who have recently led projects, are set to return in the immediate future, or are expected to have major roles in the years to come.
While Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Natasha Romanoff could be seen again in Avengers: Secret Wars or other major projects, their time as the leaders of the MCU has now come to an end, with the focus now shifting to new heroes.
More stories to come with Thor and Hulk have already been teased, as the Asgardian god is set to face off with Hercules and the gamma-infused hero just had his son brought into the mix. There's no telling what the future holds for Hawkeye given actor Jeremy Renner recently suffered a major injury and his character already passed on the mantle to Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop anyway.
So while some of the original Avengers may still be around, all of them appear to be taking a reduced role in the MCU lately. Over time, it's likely all three will continue to transition further into more of a mentor role as they pass on their mantles and prepare to eventually exit the franchise.
All four Avengers movies are streaming now on Disney+.