Avengers 4 time travel plot revealed by Synchro-Staff in set images

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Wong (Benedict Wong)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018
Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Wong (Benedict Wong)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018 /

After Avengers: Infinity War premieres, the major focus will be on the highly secreted plot of Avengers 4. Details are scarce but a key item seen on set could’ve revealed the film’s plot.

While little is known about Avengers 4, leaked set images have opened the door for much speculation. The images depict the Avengers back at the Battle of New York which is interesting for a lot of reasons. At the same time, the Avengers are packing some unique watches that we’ve never seen before. The Avengers’ watches and their return to New York have led many fans to believe a time-travel plot is about to unfold, but there may be more to the images in question.

Aside from the unique watches that the Avengers are wearing, they appear to be passing around a baton-like prop used as a placeholder for something. It’s unclear what the object is but its length and positioning resemble a staff of some kind. Identical placeholders were used for the Black Order’s staffs in Avengers: Infinity War, meaning this prop is likely one too. The staff could be any number of mystical artifacts from the Marvel universe but our guess is that it’s the Synchro-Staff.

Is the Synchro-Staff the major MacGuffin of Avengers 4?

The reason this staff-looking object is the big screen adaptation of the Synchro-Staff has to do with the power it holds. In the comics, the staff allows its wielder to explore their histories, similar to how Stark’s B.A.R.F device works. This is particularly important because of how the Avengers 4 set images depict our heroes back at the Battle of New York. No other items in the universe fit the bill and the Infinity Gauntlet isn’t in the picture either, making the Synchro-Staff the most believable option. Of course, there’s something more important in these images.

As you can see, the Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in these images is very different from the one we’ve come to know. The first thing that sticks out is Stark’s blonde hair because he’s always had a full head of dark hair. The other detail we need to acknowledge is the SHIELD jacket he’s wearing. Stark may be wearing the jacket out of necessity but if our theories are correct, the Tony Stark seen in the Avengers 4 set images is the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a different reality, giving reason to why he’s wearing it.

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Assuming this version of Stark is Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., he likely originates from an alternate timeline. The Synchro-Staff would make it possible for a different Tony Stark to appear if the original meets an untimely end. Plus, the Infinity Gauntlet is going to alter reality in some manner; evidenced by Hawkeye becoming Ronin. Therefore, an alternate version of Tony Stark appearing in the MCU is just as plausible.

Are time travelers like Kang The Conqueror on their way to the MCU?

What this means for the MCU is that Avengers: Infinity War is probably going to end with a time-traveler being introduced, followed by a major appearance in Avengers 4. As for the character, it could be anyone at this point, but since the Synchro-Staff is involved, the likeliest candidate is Immortus or some incarnation of him.

In the comics, Immortus is actually Nathaniel Richards, a time traveler who goes by many names, Kang the Conqueror being the most well-known. The Avengers’ comic counterparts have faced Kang on several occasions and in various timelines/realities so an introduction to the MCU is plausible. Plus, Kang seems like a fitting candidate to become the MCU’s next big bad, that is if a time-travel plot is at play here.

Next: Is Silver Surfer in Avengers: Infinity War?

In any case, traveling through time with the Synchro-Staff should make for an interesting dynamic. Think about it, the Avengers visiting different worlds, encountering new heroes and new villains we didn’t know existed would be amazing to see play out. That scenario would also allow some of the heroes who’ve already become established in the MCU to remain here after mainstays like Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man retire for good. Nevertheless, time-traveling Avengers seems like a distinct possibility at the moment.

Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on April 27, 2018. Avengers 4 premieres on May 3, 2019.