With Marvel’s The Avengers: Infinity War just a week away, the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to this point is almost here. You’d be hard-pressed to go anywhere online without finding some talk about the movie going on. And with good reason. It is without question the most ambitious undertaking in the history of cinema. Leading the threads of nine separate series into one enormous, inter-connected franchise has been nothing short of incredible. The fact that over the span of 18 films with 15 different directors Marvel has rarely fumbled in delivering high quality, enjoyable entertainment would be reason enough for celebration on their part, but to have done so while weaving together a world of gods, super soldiers, aliens, spies, and genius billionaire playboy philanthropists, is truly amazing.
For all 10 years of its existence, Marvel Studios has been building to this moment…to Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Based loosely on Infinity Gauntlet, the 1991 limited series by Jim Starlin that saw the powerful titan Thanos collect the six Infinity Gems (changed to Stones in the MCU) that each contain the essence of and grant control to the possessor of a different facet of the universe: Mind, Power, Reality, Soul, Space, and Time. For all intents and purposes, to wield them all is to be like God…though Marvel’s actual version of God, the One-Above-All, is still more powerful as he exists outside of reality and time. Thanos uses his new found omnipotence to wipe out half the life in the universe to balance the scales as a tribute to Death, with whom he is desperately in love. This obviously draws the attention of Marvel’s heroes as well as a few villains and more neutral cosmic beings. An alliance of them all faces off against Thanos with him easily defeating/killing almost all of them, taking some serious manipulation and reverse psychology to finally get the Gauntlet from his hand, allowing Adam Warlock to reverse all the destruction Thanos had caused.
The main question surrounding Infinity War is “who will survive.” With the contracts of several of the main actors in the MCU coming to an end, and one (Chris Evans) having said he’s looking to retire from acting to focus on directing, many believe that a lot of the old guard like Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are on borrowed time. I have my own theories on what to expect in this monumental event.
Personally, I don’t expect as many major deaths in this film as most seem to. That is not said as a slight to Marvel Studios for fearing to pull the trigger on killing off their major properties as I’ve read several Marvel-haters imply. I simply believe that with Avengers 4 coming out next year and acting as a 2nd half to this story, that that is when we will see the bulk of superhero slaughter. I see Infinity War as focusing on Thanos and his quest to collect all the Infinity Stones. There will obviously be resistance from our merry band of heroes, and I do believe we will see a few deaths in the process, but not on the scale that many are expecting.
One hero whose days are all but surely numbered is Vision. The sentient android is literally walking around with the Mind Stone on his forehead. Unless he finds a way to survive without it, he’s going to have to die for Thanos to complete the Gauntlet. I also have a suspicion that Loki may meet his end in the film, possibly very early on. In the mid-credit stinger from Thor: Ragnarok we see the ship that now carries all of the Asgardian people intercepted by an enormous spaceship that clearly carries the design of Thanos’s helmet on the front. We can assume then that the ship is that of the Mad Titan himself…probably there to collect the Tesseract which houses the Space Stone. While we never actually saw Loki take the Tesseract from Odin’s vault, it clearly caught his attention on his way to resurrect Surtur in the Eternal Flame. We also see in the trailers for Infinity War that Loki appears to be holding the Tesseract and offering it up to someone. This leads me to believe that Thanos will board their ship and start killing Asgardians trying to find the Stone…a battle that I believe will result in Thor being thrown from the ship (as he’s seen floating in space and discovered by the Guardians of the Galaxy in the first trailer). Loki, finally heeding his brother’s words that he could be more than just the God of Mischief, will offer it to him in exchange for sparing his people. I see Thanos accepting the deal, but then turning around and killing Loki instead. With Loki sacrificing himself, he’ll finally be the savior of Asgard with the admiration of his people he always desired.
Outside of those two, I don’t believe any of the major characters perish in this film. I can see several of the supporting characters meeting their end, like Dr. Strange’s fellow sorcerer, Wong, or some of the secondary characters from Black Panther, as there definitely seems to be a large scale battle taking place in Wakanda, with Thanos even squaring off with Cap in one of the most truly epic snippets in any of the trailers.
So who do you think will die in Infinity War? We’ll find out if I’m right next week. I’ve got my ticket for the preview night on the 26th. I’ll try to have a review out the following day. See you then.