Marvel has a track record of pulling fast ones on the audience, with characters who we thought we'd never see again suddenly popping back up in later films.
William Ginter Riva - who first appeared in Iron Man - made his return in Far From Home 11 years later; Red Skull was "vanquished" in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, but later reappeared (albeit with a different actor portraying him) in Infinity War; Iron Man 3's Harley Keener came back in Endgame after a six-year absence; both Ronan the Accuser and Phil Coulson appeared in Captain Marvel; John Slattery's Howard Stark played a small but pivotal role in Endgame; and of course, there's Mr. Harrington, who had a non-speaking, unnamed cameo in 2008's The Incredible Hulk, only to reappear in Spider-Man: Homecoming as the same character.
That trend is set to continue as Marvel moves into the future, with future properties - both on the big screen and on Disney+ - poised to bring back characters who have died, disappeared, or are presumed to have departed the franchise altogether. In the case of all of these characters, it'll be nice just to see a familiar face. But with others, we have an entirely different reason to be excited: their return implies big things coming to the MCU, setting up the next several years of films and television shows.
Some of these are confirmed, and some are more of educated guesses than anything else. So, who should we all be most stoked to see?