IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE, GO AWAY NOW!
I have a theory about how the heroes will return everyone that was lost at the end of Avengers 4.
Dr. Strange may have in fact taken a piece of the Time Gem and will use it for one last attempt to go back in time to a certain point to prevent Thanos from using the Gauntlet. Possibly during the moment when they had Thanos restrained and was attempting to remove the Gauntlet from Thanos’s grasp.
Allow me to explain. So at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to kill half of the living beings to “bring balance to the universe” by merely snapping his fingers. Immediately after, we see the Gauntlet, which to me appears to have been broken, still on Thanos’s hand and it appears that the Infinity Stones have lost their bright glow. The stones having lost their glow could mean that either they no longer work (this idea was quickly debunked shortly after when Thanos teleports away) or using the stones in unison somehow depleted their energy and they aren’t as strong as they once were – the energy from each stone caused the domino effect where the energy from one stone short-circuited the adjacent stone. From this point on, we do not see the stones again. The next time that we see Thanos, he no longer has the Gauntlet on so we have no clue to the whereabouts of the Infinity Stones. Does he still have them? Where they destroyed? We simply do not know!
At this point, it seems that the heroes may not have a solution to try and fix what Thanos did. I believe there may be some light at the end of that tunnel and hope for the heroes.
Those who follow comics closely are aware the movie has taken specific scenes and events from the comics that involve Thanos and the Infinity Gems and incorporated them in the movie One scene from Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers comic that leads me to this theory is when Captain America used the Infinity Gauntlet to try and prevent the incursions that were happening at the time. (See video below for full explanation).The problem with doing this is the Gems were not supposed to be used together. The Living Tribunal ruled that the Infinity Gems were not safe being controlled by Adam Warlock or anyone being and that they could never be used in unison by so the Tribunal deactivated them.
Well, what ended happening was, Cap ended up destroying the Mind, Space, Reality, Power and Soul gems and the Time gem disappeared. Keep the Time gem in the back of your mind.
The destruction of the Gauntlet by Cap is similar to what happens in Avengers: Infinity War after Thanos uses all the gems in unison. Again, Thanos escapes with the Gauntlet and presumably the stones as well. Whether they still function or not is unknown.
The video below explains in greater detail explains the circumstances that lead Captain America to destroying the Infinity Gauntlet.
So that brings me to my next point – The Time Gem. The Time gem shows up again in the comics years later, twice. Wolverine, who was supposedly dead and encased in adamantium, is now somehow in possession of the Time Gem. The second appearance is seen when Cosmic Ghost Rider travels back in time, to take present-day Thanos to the future. However, Cosmic Ghost Rider only has a piece of the Time Gem, so its power is limited.
I said all that to say, that we have proof, albeit from the comic, that the Gems still work even when there is only a piece of it left. A whole gem allows you complete control of time and having a piece of the gem gives you limited power over time. So it’s theoretically possible that the Stones function the same way in the movie and Dr. Strange may be holding the wild card which is a piece of the time stone.
…and that IS Dr. Strange’s endgame plan. Let Thanos win then figure out how to go back and prevent everything.