Spoiler Warning for all Marvel movies.
Video courtesy of Marvel Entertainment's Youtube
After watching “Infinity War” and sobbing for nearly three hours, I was struck with an epiphany. They cannot be dead. Not my beloved Marvel heroes, not half of the population, no. One of the deaths, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), is a multi-billion dollar brick in the MCU wall. Another character dead, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has a solo sequel set seconds after prospective Avengers four comes out (not to mention Marvel fighting tooth and nail with Sony to use him). It would be economically catastrophic for the deaths to be real. After a brief cheer for the power of capitalism, it was time to analyze the MCU.
The survivors of “Infinity War” are not survivors for no reason. The original Avengers are the ones left standing; this leaves a field of nostalgia for the fourth and final Avengers for Phase III. While this may give the audience the camaraderie that they know and love, the fans are left searching for their new favorites among tombstones. This grouping leads to the significance of the Guardians of the Galaxy being killed off.
“Infinity War” ends with a peek inside the soul stone. Young Gamora and Thanos share a moment within a faded orange atmosphere before the end credits begin rolling to a stunned silence. That orange atmosphere is the inside of the soul stone; this scene hints that all subject to dust are actually in the soul stone. This is true in “Infinity Gauntlet,” one of the comics that served as inspiration for “Infinity War.” The alliance that would ensue of all half of the heroes being united in the stone would be sure to wreak havoc on Thanos.
Besides this, one life lesson is to always trust Benedict Cumberbatch or, in this case, Doctor Strange. After seeing into the future and finding the one way out of four million that leads to the team’s success, Strange sacrifices the time stone to Thanos in order to save Tony Stark. This is after snidely remarking that if it came down to a choice between him and the stone, he would save the stone. Since Strange made the decision to give up the stone to save Stark, it is clear Stark is needed to get to the one timeline where the heroes win. Him being an almost omniscient character also shows that audiences can trust Strange’s decisions.
Although Stark and Rogers will now have to put their differences aside and work together—something that will prove to be a tedious task—there is one thing family and heroes’ deaths will prove to be helpful toward: motivation. After watching “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” onlookers were quick to point out the father figure role Tony immediately took in Peter’s life. Since Tony was forced to watch his “super son” Peter die in his arms, this may give both motivation and rage needed to take down Thanos. However, sheer motivation will not be the only thing needed in the final fight, there needs to be a new strongest Avenger.
Now that Scarlett Witch is dead, who will be the strongest Avenger? Well, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel will be a worthy contender. Her Kree powers (such as superhuman strength and endurance) will allow her to give Thanos a run for his infinity stones, yet she may not be the key player in the final showdown.
Out of all the galactic heroes, Nebula was one of the few to leave nearly unscathed. At first look she may seem like dead weight, but we see her in action in “Infinity Gauntlet” snatching the gauntlet from Thanos and reversing its effects. So if Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) does not steal the show, it will most likely be done by Nebula (Karen Gillan).
This leaves the final possibility, one both hopeful and unrealistic. Some believe that Thanos will reverse the entire war out of love for Gamora. Although this is an easy way out that provides the happy ending viewers are seeking, there is no logical reason to like this ending. The serious problem with “Infinity War” is that it condones a perverse Stockholm Syndrome-esque love from Thanos. Not only is this unhealthy for the young Marvel fans watching the movie, but it is simply gross in nature when put into society. Thanos loved nothing except his own plan. To say that his torture, mind games and mild decency by allowing her to survive the attack on her planet equals love is not only wrong, but obscene.
There are many different paths the fourth Avengers can take, and there will surely be more hints as to what will occur once the title is released. Until then, curl up and relax; do not go through the stages of grief just yet because there is still more to come.