Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War (and Yes, There are Spoilers)

I liked Avengers: Infinity War and in many ways it’s a technical cinematic (excuse the pun) marvel — it’s not an easy job to integrate this many storylines, characters and stars into a single movie and both give them all enough space to do their thing, and still keep the film hurtling inevitably toward a climax. In this regard, this film’s cinematic predecessors aren’t so much other superhero films as the Cecil De Mille-style biblical epics, the kind where big name stars were dropped in for even the smallest roles, and part of the experience was watching, say, Vincent Price vamp about as a ridiculously incongruent ancient Egyptian. This is that, except that the gods are played by Australians and Brits, and the plague in this case is Josh Brolin, underneath some impressive CGI.

But as impressively well put together as it is — and it is; after this, Civil War and The Winter Soldier, I’m perfectly willing to say that the Russo brothers are possibly the most adept action directors we have working in film right now — and as enjoyable and exciting as the film is in the moment (which, bluntly, is its remit as a superhero film: to keep you munching your popcorn delightedly as events transpire onscreen), the film suffers and for me is ultimately unsatisfying. Not for anything the film itself does or doesn’t do; again, this is an extraordinarily competent film, and enjoyable on every level, and a more than satisfactory funnel into which to pour the entire official Marvel universe to date. It suffers not because of what it does, but because of what I know.

And what do I know?

(and here is where I put the spoiler warning, so if you haven’t seen the film, go no further)

(although honestly since the film made $250 million domestically and $630 million worldwide in its first weekend, there doesn’t seem like there’s anyone who hasn’t seen this film by this point)

(even so, once again: spoiler warning)

(okay, that’s enough parenthetical grafs for right now)

What I know is that there’s no friggin’ way Spider-Man and Black Panther, to name just two, go out like punks.

This isn’t a question of story, this is a question of economics. Black Panther grossed $688 million in the US and $1.3 billion worldwide; even if a Black Panther 2 made half that (and it seems unlikely it would make just half that), it would still be one of the top five grossing films of its year. If you think Disney, of all companies, is going to leave that sort of money on the table, you are officially super high. Likewise, if you think Marvel is going to let Spider-Man, still their biggest and most well-known superhero, despite years of fumbling at the hands of Sony, lie fallow after they’ve just now reintegrated him into the official Marvel universe (and his most recent film did $880 million business worldwide), then, again, you are supremely buzzed, my friend.

Additionally, I’m well aware that on the Marvel schedule, there is another Avengers film, originally called Infinity War Part 2. It’s not called that anymore, but it’s not because Infinity War was meant to be its own stand-alone film in the Marvel continuity, or because the next Avengers film isn’t going to be Infinity War, Part 2; they just want to give it a cooler title. This was always going to be a film that was going to end on a cliff-hanger.

Knowing what I know about Marvel and Disney’s business, here’s what I felt when Black Panther turned into dust at the end of Infinity War, not for anything he did, but simply because he was part of the unlucky half of the thinking universe that fell under Thanos’ curse:

lol, yeah, okay there, Marvel. 

Likewise with Spider-Man; likewise with two-thirds of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and so on.

Again, to be clear: This is not the fault of Avengers: Infinity War. It hit its marks and hit them well, and the internal logic of the film holds up. Viewed from the inside of the film, the filmmakers didn’t shy away from what was necessary — they killed a shitload of characters, not only to illustrate the stakes, but to make the point of what Thanos’ scheme means to everyone in the universe.  It does just about everything right within its own framework. I could quibble at points here and there, but not with the overall film.

But Infinity War doesn’t exist only within its own framework; it exists as part of an overall business plan for Marvel and Disney. And, leaving aside the simple fact that comic book universes aren’t exactly a sterling model of finality in even the best of times, Marvel and Disney aren’t going to deprive themselves of consistent money-makers. Not just in the cinema but in merchandising, licensing and all other sorts of ancillary revenue streams.

And that, simply, lowers the stakes. People who were congratulating the Marvel universe for going all Game of Thrones on their characters misapprehend this fact about the films’ corporate masters. When George RR Martin kills someone, they (mostly) stay dead; there’s real risk there. In the case of Marvel, and of Infinity War, meh. They’ll be back. Most likely, they’ll all be back (yes, even Loki. As if they would waste that fan favorite).

So, while I very much enjoyed Infinity War, and would highly recommend it on its own merits, in a fundamental way I left the theater unengaged with it. It’s because I knew, more than in any other film in the Marvel universe to date, that its stakes were false. I mean, I could be wrong. I would be delighted to be wrong. But I know Disney, and I know Marvel, and I know their release schedule, and I know basic economics. And I know if you’re one of the largest entertainment companies on the planet, you don’t wipe out that sort of value, just for the sake of a single film, and one splash of box office income. It’s just not smart.

And thus the irony here that the real Infinity War spoiler for me was not a list of who lived and who died in the film, but a release schedule, and a company philosophy.

141 thoughts on “Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War (and Yes, There are Spoilers)

  1. (Many spoilers, because if Our Host has spoilers, I reckon *I* can…)

    I agree that the Russo’s tipped their hands with Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange.

    And my wife, at least, is convinced that Loki (God of Mischief) allowed them all to think he’d been killed because he’d never be that rash.

    But some of them are going to stay dead. Heimdall for one is a dead (heh) certainty (I believe Elba’s contract is up). Maybe Gamora. Maybe. (Adorable waif Gamora in the Soulstone is certainly a loophole should they want one.)

    Short version, anyone physically killed is at least a candidate for real death. Anyone dusted is coming back.

  2. If the deaths had been those of actors whose contracts we know are up (Downey, Evans, Hemsworth), or of a tier one of two levels down in the Marvel pantheon (Okoye, Wong, etc.), the stakes would have seemed real. And turning the Hulk into a scaredy-cat after the first scene was just a rude and really shitty way to treat one of Marvel’s most popular characters.

  3. Honestly, the ending just pissed me off precisely because of what you said about Marvel’s release schedule. Either it’s all going to be reset, or the “planned” movies were feints to draw us off the scent (I’m only half joking about this option.) Like you said, if it is permanent than Disney and Marvel are literally leaving *all of the money* on the table and I don’t see Disney doing that.

  4. Your dissatisfaction mirrors mine. Once it was all over, I didn’t think, “Oh no! These beloved characters are gone!” I thought, “Huh. That’s it? Well, I wonder how they’ll bring them back.”

  5. To be blunt – I’d read the original comic storyline, so I knew, going in, that the deaths weren’t going to stick – and the people reading Starlin’s original comic knew this too (there Thanos kills, one by one, every Avenger) – the questions are (from a narrative standpoint) “How will our heroes get out of this in the next film?” and “In this film, how will that big wham moment play out?”

    For me it worked really well. For me, kind of the bigger part was when The Red Skull showed up again. I assumed that little dangling plot thread was never going to be resolved, and I was pleased when basically they went “Yeah, we remember that beat from First Avenger, we’re going to resolve that.”

  6. Agree 100%. My basic problem with the comics is just what you point out–there really is no such thing as canon, and death is never final, especially for popular characters. As a result killing off a character in a movie really seems kind of pointless. I mean, did anyone think that Superman would not be coming back for Justice League–even if they hadn’t read about Superman’s death (and subsequent resurrection) in the comics? Even if they didn’t beat us over the head with the foreshadowing by Dr. Strange (he agrees to turn over his stone just to save Tony’s life, then tells him “it had to happen this way” as he “dies”), nobody really thinks that Spiderman, Black Panther, and virtually all of the Guardians are gone. Without some real risk, it’s hard to have real drama.

  7. Gerry, I actually LIKE making Hulk afraid.

    He has never been beaten. He’s never really been seriously threatened until now. I actually makes sense that he’s scared, because he’s never actually been brave. He’s been invulnerable. And no he isn’t. I think they’re leading up to a Doc Green type character, because Banner has shown bravery where Hulk hasn’t.

    And Peter had to “die” because Tony has to believe that he let his (proxy) son down (way to telegraph THAT punch guys…between the Spider-Man movie and the “baby talk” he and Pepper were having when the attack started, it was inevitable that that was going to happen).

  8. “This was always going to be a film that was going to end on a cliff-hanger.”

    I’d actually argue that within it’s own framework it doesn’t actually end on a cliffhanger*. The story resolves, and no one’s fate is actually uncertain. You have to bring outside knowledge in for it to be a cliffhanger.

    But on the larger point – this always actually interests me: the suspension of disbelief and what you’re going in for. Because what you’re talking about is true of nearly all franchise heroes: Bond is never going to die. Batman is never going to die.

    And indeed, within those frameworks, the overall outcome is almost never in doubt: the hero is going to win.

    Which for me, doesn’t actually diminish my enjoyment of those things. I’m not ever in it for the what, it’s always the how.

    (Because my job, or at least a large part of my job, is writing in franchise vehicles, I’m also sort of fascinated and pleased by fans who don’t see it that way. I got a middling decent amount of crap for putting two heroes together romantically because one was the decades long canon love interest of another hero.

    I knew that some other writer would eventually undo this and bring the canon couple back together, but a lot of fans reacted as if that weren’t the case. I do actually wish I could engage with fiction that way.)

  9. I felt the same way. It was difficult to buy into Loki’s death because of his previous comeback, and then at the end, even without paying attention to the release schedule, I was like “yeah so about that time stone that Thanos literally just used to un-kill Vision.”

    Because, I mean. Black Panther.

    If they wanted us to believe the dead were really dead, they would have killed a different set of characters. And if they wanted us to buy “the heroes just epically failed in an unsalvageable way,” they would have made different storytelling choices for literally the last ten years.

    I don’t think Gamorra’s staying dead, either, unless Zoe Saldana wants out. And honestly I really, really hope they push the reset button on the Asgardian ship while they’re at it (not just Loki), just because the story possibilities of Asgardian refugees settling in Iceland have so much potential (we saw you and your “this could be Asgard,” Odin).

    So yeah–this film felt like the first half of a really good movie. But it was so obviously a first half that it wasn’t satisfying on its own; I wish they had just called it “Part I” so I could have gone in knowing we were getting a Lord of the Rings situation.

  10. I have the theory that we’ve been Final Fantasy-ed. I’ll explain:
    Deaths in combat are not permanent; deaths in cutscenes are. I bet that we will see everyone that have been dusted come back, but the deaths that were given their own scenes and meaning during the search of the gems are going to be permanent.

  11. I’m with you. When I saw Black Panther, the title character of one of the highest-grossing Marvel movies of all time (and I’m only hedging because I’m not taking the time to look up where it is on the list), I knew that everyone who was dusted would come back. Also, I read the comic this is based on.
    What this does, though, is raise the stakes for part 2. They couldn’t stop Thanos when the had an army of superheroes, how are they going to do it when it’s just the original six Avengers, Rocket, War Machine and Nebula (I think)?
    I’m also not so sure about the characters who were killed outside of the ending. I feel Loki is a goner if Tom Hiddleston wants him to be; same goes for
    Vision. Gamora might not be but if she is, at least fans got to see her and Peter say what needed to be said.

  12. Yep, all of this. I went in slightly-spoiled, but fully expected to have a stronger emotional reaction to all of the deaths.

    The uneven pacing of the “dusting” scenes also pulled me out of it – I think a straight-up montage of folks dissolving (maybe all of them calling the name of their nearest & reaching out, e.g. like Bucky and Wanda) could have really built up the sense of scale of loss; not clear why SpiderMan got a whole paragraph (other than deliberate emotional manipulation, which: fair. Tom Holland plays a great teenager with all the unevenness of cocky-to-needy that entails).

    Similarly, leaving some main characters off-screen for it (rather than either seeing them dust OR seeing them alive) with some follow-up dialog (“Has anyone seen T’Challa?”) would have also built suspense/uncertainty.

  13. Makes me feel better that someone who has actually been a film critic had the exact same reaction as I did. I tried to explain it to my friend afterwards, but you have done it so much more elegantly.

  14. If this movie was the final Avengers movie, it would have been a spectacular ending indeed. But as you say, I just saw an article on Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Plus I completely agree with the economic stakes. How often do we watch a TV series, knowing it runs for several seasons and wonder if the MC will survive? We KNOW he/she will. One check of IMDB cast lists will prove it. Same here. Which begs the question: what do you do with the next movie to satisfy fans without insulting them?

  15. My reaction at the end of the film was the same as Scalzi’s. Huh, I wonder how some of them will return in the sequel. My son thinks less strategically, however, so his reaction was “fuck”. Or should I say, “FUCK!”, shouted loudly just when the rest of the audience went silent. I believe there was a slight echo from the walls. We had a discussion not only about the film’s ending but also about etiquette right afterwards.

  16. I came out of it thinking that I liked all the bits (great performances, funny moments, tense moments), but the whole left me unmoved. It went too fast for me to even attempt to work up any emotion about the “deaths.” They didn’t even give the characters in the movie a chance to really react enough to get me emotional about the deaths. (Usually my second line of defense.)

    I also didn’t realize that this was a two-parter, so I spent a lot of the movie getting frustrated that it was taking so long to get anywhere. That’ll teach me to try not to look at things like this ahead of time.

    I suspect I will like this movie MUCH better after the second part is released.

    And they’d better give me enough time to cry!

  17. Honestly, I don’t think this is necessarily the fault of the directors or writers, but how the story HAD to go. I mean, this storyline is 27 years old. It’s not unknown and for everything to play out the way it should the massive amounts of deaths (no matter how temporary) are part of the story and always have been.

    I think that this is more of a flaw for having any jump from one medium to the next. While the MCU doesn’t 100% follow comics, it stays pretty linear to them and honors them as best it can considering, again, the medium they are working with.

    I think your take on it is completely understandable, and I definitely felt the same way, but I can’t help but wonder how it could have been any better given such a concrete chain of events.

    In any case, I felt the weight of all the deaths heavily regardless of what I knew. I think the fact that entire theatres all over the world sat in stunned silence the last 20 minutes of the movie and into the credits is a testament to the writers and actors. I may have known some of these heroes wouldn’t stay dead, but that didn’t keep me from having tears streaming down my face when the credits rolled.

  18. I’m really curious how they handle the disappearance of half the world (which would absolutely devastate the functioning of civil society, the economy, etc) in the movies happening in the interim. How do we have an Ant Man movie when the world should/would be in the middle of a total societal collapse.

  19. George Schlossnagle:

    I strongly suspect Ant-Man and the Wasp will happen immediately prior to the events of Infinity War.

    Kelly Brantley:

    Well, of course, that’s just the thing — I don’t think the film or the filmmakers really are at fault, here, and I don’t think, within the internal logic of the universe, this is a problem that’s easily solved. Breaking the fourth wall is fine for Deadpool, less so for Avengers.

    I should note that I, too, am now curious how they’ll defeat Thanos and bring everyone back, so in that sense, I’m perfectly happy to line up for the next Avengers film. But the intended emotional impact of so many characters dying was blunted for me. I’m not worried that Black Panther or Spider-Man won’t come back, is what I’m saying.

  20. I do think anyone ‘dusted’ by the gauntlet will come back, it’s the traditional deaths before that which are more in question. And from a narrative standpoint, I’m looking at who might use the gauntlet to ‘undo’ Thanos’ work. The mostly likely choice for total reset is Thor – as he’d reset things at least as far back as rescuing his people on the refugee ship (meaning we’d get Loki and Heimdall back).

    Outside the story, it’s a frustrating movie because i know I have to wait a year to see the resolution. I remember passing on Kill Bill vol I for this very reason – except I could do that without fear. Marvel built up Infinity War so much, you wouldn’t be able to touch the internet between now and next May without some sort of spoiler. So, yeah…half an epic movie. And from the shape of, I can even guess at how the second half will look, but I still have to wait.

    The real test of Marvel’s marketing is going to come next year – and reproducing this box office. Because I think the sudden stop at the end of Infinity War, the unsatisfying way it happened, it’s not going to age well.

  21. I agree with itinerantpedant that anyone killed by The Snap will be coming back and anyone killed before is not.

    I thought it was brave of the Russo brothers to snap away two of the biggest money makers and beloved characters at the end. Sure, we all know they are coming back, but you probably will not see Black Panther and Spider-Man in any of the marketing for the next Avengers movie. Disney would really like to have them on the next poster.

    The really mystery for me will be how they resolve the Infinity War storyline. I read the comics a couple of years ago, and found the ending underwhelming. It seems that they are going for something similar for the next movie, and I hope they are able to make the impact more meaningful in the movies. If not, then they have a character literally say “Yoink!” when Thanos is defeated.

    I am curious how Ant-Man and the Wasp will play out. It could be the only Marvel movie that deals with the fallout of Infinity War before the sequel. Captain Marvel is supposed to be set in the 1990’s.

  22. As pointed out above, Dr. Strange saw one way out of the mess and proceeded along those lines. I am quite sure that we will see “real” deaths in the second movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if Captain America and Iron Man sacrifice themselves to save the day. Perhaps Cap will do the sacrifice so someone else can get the soul stone – he has to meet up with the Red Skull again, right?

  23. That’s fascinating, because I thought the direction they went was brave for precisely the same reasons you outline as an issue. We knew going into the film that they had told us certain characters were not going to survive. We also knew that some of them were ‘safe’ because they had future films in the works. By killing off a huge swathe of the cast, many or most of whom are these ‘safe’ characters, they raise the stakes but in a different way. The shock value is no longer a singular “Oh no, they killed my favourite”, it becomes a much more long term “Oh no, how on earth will they get back from this place”.

    It’s playing extremely cleverly with audience expectations, and letting the emotionality of big deaths (Peter particularly hurt) play out for characters that we ultimately know are safe, so allowing us hope and lessening the sting and betrayal. (Personally, it also took me the first few to realise that’s what was happening, starting with the less ‘safe’ ones was a good strategy too.).

    I think it also raises the stakes for the next one, because those currently alive are the ones in most long term danger. Our favourites may yet perish, but the shape of the narrative makes me think that they will be ‘worthwhile’ deaths in service of maintaining ultimate continuity for good rather than painful losses for no good reason. For me, that makes for a better story. Your mileage may vary…

  24. The original core Avengers, the ones whose contracts might be up, mostly don’t get dusted (on camera at least): Iron Man, Cap, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor. (Unless I missed some of those.) We haven’t seen Hawkeye at all, don’t know what he’s up to, but probably he didn’t get dusted because people involved are dropping hints about him coming back in Avengers 4.

    That suggests to me that the next movie is going to be their swan song, one last go-round for the old band, and a bunch of them are going to get sacrificed somehow to bring everyone else back.

  25. The movie lost me at the same point, but a similar reason. I DETEST cliff-hangers. I find them barely tolerable for “To be resolved next week”, lousy for season enders, and in a movie like this when it will be resolved a year from now? Bleargh.

    I do separate cliff-hangers from a little bit that sets up the next installment. For example, “Spider-Man Homecoming” where Aunt Mae sees Peter in the suit.

    Why do I hate cliff-hangers? First, they’re invariably cheats. We know that the bomb won’t destroy the city. We know Our Hero isn’t really dead. etc. This took the cheats to new levels – oh noes they’re disintegrating! – and far too many key characters.

    Second, it shows a lack of confidence. “We’ve got to make sure they come back for the next installment!” If it had ended with Thanos laughing off Thor’s attack then bamfing out, they wouldn’t have sold one less ticket for the next movie.

    Third, stories should have an end in themselves. Oh, there’s still work to be done, problems to be solved, but this story is done. Excellent example of that is the Harry Potter series. Each book/movie resolves the individual story. Yes, there’s a larger story going on throughout the whole series, but this story is done.

  26. I consider the next year “Intermission”. My thoughts on this one will be influenced by Infinity War 2.

    There were so many signposts within the movie, saying that this could all be reversed, And when you are dealing with objects that control time, reality, souls, etc, then consequences are not as consequential as that may appear.

    I went into this with a LOTR mindset, that this will be the first half of a much longer movie. You kinda have to with just the knowledge of the release schedule. I hope they take another clue from LOTR and just plop us into the plot with no backstory or rehash of this movie. With all the ways you can watch a movie, everyone has until next May to watch Part 1.

  27. I think this too. I think all the ones we saw actually die, and look dead probably wont come back. I certainly hope that Loki doesn’t as I was getting really tired of him, but he is a fan favoriete so maybe not. And I didnt feel anything in particular about Black Panther dying because that movie paid for several people’s house payments, and they want to repeat that, so yeah, he aint dead.

  28. I wasn’t disappointed, but it wasn’t the framework of the schedule and the knowledge that these franchises aren’t going to be just dropped that makes me more than confident a certain number of them are coming back. The entire setup is overlapping examples of Chekov’s ‘guns in the first scene’ literary device. Strange sees only one possible path to victory; drones on about protecting the Time Gem, and then hands it over to ostensibly save Tony? Vision holds the Mind Stone, and at multiple points they illustrate he is not only more than just a construct of the stone but that his own mind might imprint on it. Add into the trailers that show Hulk running into battle with the rest in Wakanda and Captain America forcing back an Infinity Gauntlet that only has two stones set in it, neither of which appear in the movie. I thought they went a little too far making it obvious that at some point the Time Stone is going to be used for the heroes to do exactly what Thanos did, and reverse time to a point that they can confront Thanos and beat him before he kills off half the universe and any number of beloved Marvel properties.

    I think the movie rolled the dice and succeeded doing what it was trying to do. As a viewer, even knowing that Spider-Man wasn’t going to stay dead, I was invested enough in the scene to feel the impact of his loss regardless of the knowledge.

  29. Dr. Strange was very careful not to give any spoilers away, but he did let Tony Stark know that this was part of the one path that would succeed, so I assume he’s fated to figure it out in the next one.
    I quite like that the two actors who most famously want to get out (Downey & Evans) are left – that means their characters can reconcile their differences and sacrifice themselves in the next one to bring everyone dusted back, which will hopefully alleviate some fanguish at their departure.

  30. I felt the exact same way—as soon as the characters who have at least two more movies to make for their individual trilogies started disappearing, I knew the premise of the sequel was going to be using the time stone to reset everything.

    I went into this movie expecting Captain America to have a Boromir-style death scene as the climax of this half of the story (or Iron Man—or both, once they were separated)—in order to give the Avengers something personal to avenge, which would have been a good callback to the first team movie. So when both of these Phase 1 heroes survived this movie and several Phase 3 characters didn’t, I was more than a little disgruntled that they ended with no jeopardy that these “deaths” would stick (unlike characters who died earlier in the film).

    All in all, though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, which I will likely go see again within the next week, just to catch all the small details I missed on the first viewing. After all, I’m still walking around quoting lines from it.

    “You’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards.” <– My new motto.

  31. I wouldn’t be surprised if Captain America and Iron Man sacrifice themselves to save the day.

    They said, “soul for a soul” in order to use the Soul stone. I expect that to come back into play.

    Third, stories should have an end in themselves.

    And so this story does. It takes more than one movie to tell this story, but the story is not the form or format—it’ll be complete in and of itself.

    (I note that this is a fairly comment critique, particularly for monthly pamphlet version of comics. But I think expectations for different formats should be different. The “rules” for long form television are not the same for episodic television are not the same for graphic novels are not the same for movies).

  32. Some other thoughts:
    Holy god, that cameo when Thanos and Gamorra are going for the Soul Stone. (Not gonna spoil that.)
    Why is Rocket always at the middle of such great emotional beats? I genuinely got choked up when he and Thor were talking about what happened to him and the Asgardians.
    I’ve had some people tell me that Gamorra was fridged, but I don’t agree. She wasn’t killed solely to cause drama or anguish for Peter; I think her death is going to be key to fixing everything, in a manner similar to Adam Warlock’s appearance in the Infinity Gauntlet comics.
    I’m with itinerantpedant: I think the Hulk being afraid to come out was a great bit of character development. He was decisively and unequivocally beaten at the beginning of the movie, something that has never happened to him before. (Thor beat him in Ragnarok but given the Grandmaster’s meddling, the Hulk’s can shrug it off as “I would have come back”.) Thanos gives the thesis statement for the movie right up front—how do you handle it when you are right, when you have justice and morality on your side, and you STILL lose? That’s the question that the Avengers have to answer at the end of this movie and going into the next one, because Thanos WON.

  33. I saw the movie Saturday night and left the theater at 2am with the following feeling – Infinity War reminded me a lot of Empire Strikes Back. Ending on a down beat, our heroes demoralized and feeling a bit helpless because the Bad Guy came out on top. And then there is me as a viewer, knowing only part of the story has been told and having to wait for what will come next. Kinda like waiting for the next novel in a book series.

    I’m not a Marvel comic book reader, so I don’t know how this has all played out in print. I am savvy enough on the internet to have known that Avengers 3 & 4 made up a two part story, so I went into the movie with that knowledge. That little bit of knowledge was enough for me to enjoy the ride. I know some people aren’t too keen about who got dusted, but the movie wouldn’t have the same emotional gut punch if we just saw a bunch of regular (non-superhero) people get dusted. Seeing characters both new and familiar twisted that knife a little more. I sat in the theater and heard sobbing behind me with each dusting as favorite characters had the unthinkable happen. You sit there in the theater, watching the credits in a daze, wondering how are they going to get out of this one.

    All 10 years of Marvel movies have been leading up to this. We have seen these characters overcome huge odds, with blows both physical and emotional. But this…this randomness of who stays and who is left behind. The survivor’s guilt that some will surely experience, and will that make them stronger or weaker? What is the fate of those we haven’t seen on screen yet? (Ant Man and Wasp – do their movie events happen before or after Thanos? Hawkeye? Captain Marvel?) I, for one, will keep thinking and wondering, and when Avengers 4 comes out, my butt will be in a theater seat opening weekend to see how this chapter closes.

  34. “Third, stories should have an end in themselves. Oh, there’s still work to be done, problems to be solved, but this story is done.”

    This is exactly what happened in Infinity War.

    It’s a cliffhanger to you, because you bring metaknowledge in. It is not a cliffhanger within the narrative of the story. From that standpoint; it’s Thanos story, and he wins, at a heavy cost. We even get a post victory moment to cap that.

    You (well, probably) don’t think the Avengers ended on a cliffhanger because the heroes succeeded and killed the villains in one swoop and the movie ended. Narratively, this is the same deal, just from the villain perspective. It’s not structured as a cliffhanger.

  35. My immediate thought was that Tony Stark or Cap. America is going to have to sacrifice himself and become one with the soul stone to release the Gem from the gauntlet in the sequel. Then Nebula will steal the Gauntlet and reverse time to before everyone became dust. Too bad I don’t have the time Gem to find out if this is true right now.

  36. Completely agree. The loss will certainly motivate the characters to fix what happened but I’m in no doubt that no one is dead. I also hope that the Asgardian refuge ship destruction is undone as well. Thor: Ragnarok was a triumph of a movie and to basically have it completely undone in 5 minutes really pissed me off.

  37. While I see where you’re coming from here, in my mind there’s never really any “risk” in these movies. A few days ago, Blastr, I read an article about how Dwayne Johnson threatened to walk away from Rampage if they killed the gorilla at the end, as the original script had. His logic was that when someone comes to a Dwayne Johnson movie, they know that no matter what happens, by the end, everything will be OK – the hostages will all be saved, the family will be rescued from the earthquake, the players in Jumanji will succeed. It’s his brand. The fun is not in the tension of what will happen, it’s how it will happen. With a Marvel movie, it’s the same way – before we ever see the movie, we know Tony will beat Vanko and his drones, we know that Thor will figure out a way to beat his sister, we know that no matter how god-like Mordo appears, Dr. Strange will defeat him, etc. For these kinds of films, the fun is not, ever, in the What, it’s in the How. So, in this movie, which is essentially the first half of a 5 hour movie (as any of the LotR movies were a third of a 9 hour movie), we’ve simply set up the problem that needs to be solved and now the real fun of the How can happen. In the end, it’s a given that everything will be OK. It’s what you expect when you walk in and Marvel always delivers it.

  38. I’ve decided that if this was the Last Marvel Movie, it would be quite the artistic triumph for movies.
    The finality would be REAL.

    But there’s more money to be made.

  39. Eggzactly! When Bucky died I gasped. And Tom Holland had me weeping. But then I got pissed. Because I *know* the upcoming movie schedule, and I am not high, so even though I know this was written/shot before the release of Black Panther, I also know there’s no friggin way they’re not doing a Black Panther 2.

    All of these movies can’t be prequels.

    And on another note, it seems hella risky for Disney to be laying all it’s bets on an unknown MCU character.

  40. Yeah I felt the same way too, for a moment I was worried they were going to dust Okoye but when Black Panther got dusted I immediately disconnected because there’s no way that’s sticking and that this is going to all be undone in the next movie. They got me partially back though with Parker apologizing to Stark for dying as he was dying.

    I have a feeling it’s going to end with members of the original Avengers sacrificing themselves in order to bring back those who’ve dusted in a weirdly poetic way of passing the torch onto the new generation of superheros in the MCU, who will them be a united force in the same way the Avengers were after Coulson died and I’m looking forward to seeing how they manage, if they manage, to write themselves out of the situation they’re in now.

    If they really wanted to mess with their audiences they’d cancel the release dates for some of the planned sequel movies and maybe put placeholders of movies of surviving characters there in the meantime (example announcement: due to the events in Avengers Infinity War we’re rescheduling some movies, Doctor Strange 2 will now be replaced by Rocket Raccoon the stand alone prequel people have been asking for) just to try and help promote the idea that it may be permanent.

  41. Some other other thoughts:
    Groot’s helping hand when they were forging Stormbreaker was the best kind of comics geekery. (And yay for the Peter Dinklage casting!)
    The same goes for Okoye and Black Widow vs. Proxima Midnight.

  42. Well, Black Panther and Spider-Man are both mantles that can be passed on. It would be entirely possible for those mantles to be taken up by, say, Shuri and Miles Morales in the sequels. (Not likely, mind, but possible.)

    I had the same feeling. I couldn’t really connect with it emotionally because a world that has the Time Stone is a world where anything can be rewritten. I’m usually a sucker for emotional beats, but the only thing that got me even a little choked up was Peter disintegrating in Tony’s arms, because holy hell they really like breaking Tony as much as possible don’t they?

    I will say that I think this can still have some lasting emotional impact if they can reverse the deaths but not the memories. The image of watching your closest friends turn to dust is gonna stick with you even if they got better (let alone the memory of being dusted).

  43. It didn’t occur to me until after I’d already hit post where I’d seen exactly that done: Doctor Who. Rory is still haunted by his centuries as an Auton even after the giant Pandorica reboot. So the plot consequences got reset but the character ones didn’t.

  44. I’m suspecting that Ant Man & the Wasp will take place during the action of IW.

    SPOILER

    A major plot point in the film is shrinking down to the quantum realm to find Hank’s wife Janet (played by Michele Pfeiffer). Imagine the ending of the film being Scott and Hope (and maybe Janet) coming back from the quantum realm to find half the people in the world (and possibly Hank) gone.

    But I’m usually horrible at predicting these things so I’m probably wrong…

  45. I also thought that leaving all 6 of the original Avengers standing was at least as hand-tipping as killing T’Challa, Parker, and Strange*. I think it’s clear the idea here was to do a massive, universe-spanning team-up movie, and then do Avengers 3.

    Really, the only deaths here that have any chance of sticking are Vision and Heimdal. Everyone wished away by Thanos will be restored. Gamora will be revived, probably via Nebula sacrificing herself. No, Loki isn’t dead. Loki doesn’t throw himself into the wood chipper. At this point, I’m not sure it’s actually possible to kill Loki.

    I think pacing the death here could have mitigated the issues of the choices of casualties. After Hemidal and Loki, it’s some 90 minutes until Gamora was fridged (which was TOTAL BULLSHIT by the way, and I don’t even like Gamora, or any of the Guardians). Everyone else dies in the last moments. An Irwin Allen-style bloodbath would have been much more compelling, and might have distracted me from what In know to be true about this series.

    *Not only has Blank Panther 2 been announced, MCU Spider-Man 2 is far enough into pre-production that locations are being revealed, and Dr. Strange 2, while still not official, is all but guaranteed by the first film’s post-credit scene. (MCU post-credit scenes have never yet lied.)

  46. I have to disagree with a lot of people here, as I think all these characters getting all dusty is still a powerful moment even though we all know pretty much everyone is coming back. To say why I will have to spoil a couple of Dresden Files novels, so

    SPOILER WARNING

    In the book Changes, Dresden gets shot in the head and does what most people do when that happens. However, I know he comes back because there are currently multiple novels that come after this book, so obviously he comes back in some way. This does not mean I wasn’t shocked by the turn of events, I just was now wondering how he would get out of that situation.

    DRESDEN SPOILER ENDS

    It is the same with Infinity War. Yes, probably all the dust is going to get vacuumed back into people, but how far are the current survivors going to have to go to get everyone back? Especially if I use my meta-knowledge once again, as I know that Chris Evans contract is done with this last Avengers movie, and so are some others I can’t think of right now.

    It seems like a lot of people were dissapointed by the ending, but it left me thinking, “how the hell are they going to get out of this one.” The stakes have literally never been higher.

  47. @Brittany Constable: True, but it’s not really time for that to happen yet. I’d be a gutsy move if they did, indeed–if the next Spidey and Black Panther movies starred Miles and Shuri–but the Black Panther and MCU!Spidey franchises are both just getting started.

    I think the key pattern is that the old guard from the first Avengers movie all lived (except for Nick Fury and Maria Hill, and Loki if you count him), and the people who evaporated were mostly the later new-guard and sidekick characters… and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s consistent enough to be noticeable.

    That’s why I think the original Avengers roster whose actors have already made enough money may mostly die in Avengers 4, while bringing everyone else back. (Not Black Widow, I guess, since has a solo one coming up.)

  48. Downey and Evans survived because they are the marketing tentpoles for the sequel. I hope Thor survives, because Hemsworth was awesome in this; I would argue they saw him in the Ghostbusters movie and said ‘Huh, he can do comedy? Let’s try that.’

  49. Sounds like everyone is in agreement. They could have killed off Iron man, and it would suck, but imagine Shuri taking over the reigns. They could have not killed off Killmonger at the end of Black Panther, only to kill him in Infinity war. Dusting everyone but Rocket seems a unbelievable, but Rocket, Groot, and Nebula would be an interesting shuffle. They could also have killed off Captain America along with Buckey, since Captain Marvel is coming out.

  50. I’m so glad that I can’t/don’t see behind the curtain like you do. It would rub the shine off a movie night. But I guess I’m just kicking the can down the road a bit. I would surely realize the low stakes once the next movies came out.

  51. From the sounds of gasps and cries, and one woman saying very loudly, “I will not accept this!” at the showing I saw, many people don’t know the storyline or future plans. For them the shock of the ending was quite strong. And I agree that if it had ended there and no sequel, that would be an awesome and courageous end. But, of course we know it isn’t the final end. I hope they are able to resolve it with as much impact as this movie generated at the end.

    Also, this is not the first time the Hulk has been beaten. He lost against the Hulk Buster armor (which Banner even says in this movie). However, I think Thanos was on such a higher level that the Hulk really felt outclassed, unlike losing to the armor. It wasn’t even close when fighting Thanos.

    I also appreciated the callback to the first Avengers movie when Loki says, “We have a Hulk.”

  52. Just to repeat what others have said: we know from Titan onwards that this is the Brightest Timeline.

  53. Thor’s switch to comedy was in Thor: Ragnarok, in which (paradoxically) he also leveled up considerably in power and maturity. This movie undid a lot of Thor: Ragnarok’s plot resolution, but it kept the changes to Thor, and that was, I think, the best thing about a movie I mostly found unsatisfying for the same reasons John did.

  54. I haven’t read the comics and having carefully kept away from all press to avoid spoilers I went in not knowing it was the first half of a 2 parter and not knowing the canon, and I had a similar reaction, that the dusted are not going to stay dusted, and the dead who died in other ways might stay dead.

    As soon as Dr Strange talked about there being just one possibility where the win I knew that that would be where we end up, and that we’re going to be led to believe that we’ve been diverted to one of the 14 million other possibilities. But I am curious about *how* they will bring everyone back.

    I think it is possible that Loki will stay dead, for now at least – partly because I think Hiddleston may want out, and partly because Loki has a track record of *not* dying, (Thor even comments on it) so they could confound expectations by *not* bringing him back!

  55. Very disappointed. Went from the BEST Marvel villain (killmonger) to one of the most boring (scrotum-chin, I mean thanos).

    And comic books never kill off then resurrect their characters.

  56. I read an article on Cracked over the weekend that suggested that AM&TW use of the quantum realm will be setup for what comes next year, and I find that very believable. Marvel has been planning this for years, at this point, and it can’t be coincidental that there are only 2 movies in between Chapter 3 & 4. Both movies are there for very specific reasons. Ant Man is there to show us part of the path to the solution, and Captain Marvel will serve the same setup function for Chapter 4, that Black Panther did for Chapter 3.

  57. Another bit of trivia I noticed…

    The phone number for Steve Rogers was a 678 number, which is an Atlanta area code (my cell phone has that area code, too). Where that scene was filmed is about a mile from my office in midtown Atlanta. It was also amusing that it was a flip phone that Stark was using.

  58. I went in with not just knowing there was going to be a part two and how well some of these movies did, but also with a bit of knowledge on how the original Infinity War comic went.

    I’m not going to be sad about any character’s death until well into the next movie. Possibly up to the closing credits.

  59. “Why else did Disney buy Marvel? The intellectual property!” (said in the same way as that old PSA about the evils of marijuana, which said, “Why else do you think that they call it ‘dope?’)

  60. I believe Thanos because of Gamora, and also being able to feel the pain of his actions will show heart and will have buyers remorse and since the one outcome where a win is concerned with Dr. Strange seeing the future 14 billion 600 thousand and five times and only 1 win possible…The reason Dr. Strange forfeits the stone is to know Thanos is not happy when he gets what he wants and having the power to change reality he can with a turn of the time stone here, and a snap of the finger there. Thanos realizes that he is is not worthy of the power he takes and Thanos relinquishes the stones, but in doing so he is either split in two from Thors new axe and a lesser evil Thanos comes into existence and a more amazingly cool alterego comes to the fore in Ultimus. I hope they find a few good writers to create the scenario. What do you think?

  61. The Russos said all deaths before the end-dissolve were permanent.

    Which at face value would be interesting to pull off. Ballsy even leaving those deaths standing with at least one sequel being worked on that would feature a character.

    I can foresee the next Thor movie (if there is one) to follow the storyline where Thor resurrects all the Asguardians. Thus unringing that bell and anyone else who died in the last couple flicks save Odin.

    I think the fact the Russos dissolved Panther and all but one Guardian took any shock value out of it, and was a huge misstep. Just because we ALL KNOW those sequels are already in development. You know nobody will stay dead.

  62. Matthew McIrvin:
    Reportedly, Chris Hemsworth was adamant with the Russo’s that all of the character development he’d done with Thor in Ragnarok not be reverted in Infinity War. Like, “ready to walk off the set” adamant. Hemsworth is very, very proud of that movie. (As well he should be.)

  63. On a different note I would love to see this conglomarate of super heroes from Marvel melded with Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which would be freaking hilarious to see the outcomes if only an improbability drive were present.

  64. And here we come back to another series with deaths that really hurt. Don’t laugh, but I’m talking about Harry Potter. Unless Ms. Rowling decides to undo what she’s done with that story (which I doubt), those iconic figures that died throughout the story aren’t coming back. Most people who saw the movies knew it, and seeing the deaths play out on screen was painful.

  65. Thought it was largely cheesy, predictable, and manipulative. My daughter was a wreck however.

    Any thoughts on whether Pepper was dusted?

  66. Metadata doesnt count?

    That would mean anyone who reads the original source material of ANY movie has no cause to gripe.

    Read the lord of the rings books?didnt like the movie? Too bad. Sucks for you.

    Metadata would include knowing that you are only 20 minutes into a movie and knowing there is no possible way the conflict will resolve in this scene.

    Writers have to deal with metadata. That is a fundamental component of their job. They have to manage the expectations of the reader/audience, and that has to include metadata, or whats the point?

    And that includes expectations that the movie is not part 1 of a 2 part series. If thats what you are selling, you need to tell people that. So they know going in that part 1 has no conclusion, just setups for the sequel.

    And we already saw Dr Strange turn back time and save people killed. So that is an easy out the audience knows about. The writers need to manage that. And if they arent careful, they end up with stories that focus on combat and death, but none of the deaths matter. Watching Superman without kryptonite in the story is boring. Writers need to manage that. Its their job.

  67. One fun thing about the ending is how the movies could totally work without undoing the snap in the next movie. Not that I think it will happen but:
    Shuri takes over as black panther (as happened in the comics when T’Challa dies).
    Miles Morales comes in as a new spidey, since he was hinted at in homecoming.
    Wong takes over as Sorcerer Supreme.
    Captain Rocket and Nebula team up with Valkyrie and Korg to find a new home for the Asgardians in GotG3 (I think thor said Thanos only killed half the Asgardians.
    Also, if I’m dreaming anyways, T’Challa, Peter, Strange, and the others could become the Exiles, traveling around the multiverse solving problems.
    Again, none of this is going to happen, but it would be fun.

  68. I trust the Russo brothers to enact a sufficient price in A4 to bring the characters back, it will cost other lives to do it. And I suspect it is going to involve the big 3 and possibly all of them.

  69. What if the next Avengers movie was truly our reality. Where Ironman somehow returns and the cost of war is fully on his hands. Spiderman is dead, what sort of movie would that be? If in the finality of it all the heroes are not in the end with all the tech the true heroes but the every day person becomes the hero. The regular folks have to save the day and make sure no one dies in a war.

  70. …what Thanos’ scheme means to everyone in the universe.

    There’s more than one Thano, who share a scheme?

    Anyway, what I’m looking forward to is much less ‘Avengers: Just Kidding’, than it is ‘Captain Marvel’. Also, might we have a return to the conceptual inventiveness ‘Doctor Strange’ showed through the hero de-exploding citiyscapes and then defeating a villain by trapping him in an infinite bargaining loop? By contrast, 149 minutes of CGI melee fighting was a little dreary, IMO.

  71. Yeah, that was the general feeling in the packed theater. No one bought that any of this was permanent. It was just a clearing of the field so that the next Avengers movie would feature the original Avengers (plus Rocket Raccoon and War Machine, evidently.)

  72. I just want to point out that not all of the Asgardians are dead. There’s a few lines that show that only half the Asgardians were killed (as is normal for Thanos) and we don’t see what happened to Valkyrie and the rock guy and such. So Thor: Ragnarok is not completely undermined by this movie as Thor still managed to save some people from an exploding planet but it does give more of a bittersweet feeling to the ending of Ragnarok.

    I’m also in the camp that the pre-dusting deaths will stick. And while I also don’t believe that Black Panther and Spider-Man are permanently dead I still felt the emotional impact because the characters in the movie don’t know that! And having to deal with your friends disappearing is still emotionally traumatizing.

    And of course there’s going to be some kind of reset button. I knew that the instant Thanos won. Putting aside the superheroes that everyone is focusing on half the universe vanished! Of course that isn’t going to stand. And if none of the superheroes “died’ after the snap then people would be complaining that it’s weird that none of them dusted.

    With metaknowledge and logic you can easily predict that in a scenario where Thanos wins and destroys half the universe that such an event has to be reversed at some point. And if half the universe is destroyed then that means it has to include characters you know and like. And because of the prior point about reversing the snap you know that these characters will come back.

    But why is that unsatisfying? I don’t get that at all. The only alternative to avoid these issues is to have Thanos lose. And that would make it like every other superhero movie. I applaud the Russo brothers for going in this direction. We know the heroes will win eventually. But we can still be affected by the setbacks they suffer in the present. And wonder how they will eventually win.

  73. There is going to be an interesting ethical dilemma in the next movie: all of civilization everywhere in the universe is going to be seriously wrecked by half the people suddenly evaporating; there’s further suffering and death on a cosmic scale, much of it of a sort that superheroes might be able to help with. Do you abandon all that for a quest to push the magic reset button? Maybe logical, but it also seems like a bloodless thing to do.

  74. I agree completely with what you have said. I was discussing this with a friend today.

    However, I concluded the biggest spoiler in this film has to be…

    Doctor Strange.

    When he looks at all the possible outcomes of their fight, the audience should not have been told the answer to how many fights they won.

  75. The only thing that I found truly upsetting was Spidey’s death, largely because we know how fragile Stark is these days. He tried repeatedly to keep Peter out of harm’s way only to have him turn to ash in his arms. I think that might break him.
    My friend was not bothered by the ending because she assumed all the disappeared folks were just transported to an alternate universe. Which makes more sense than just killing them, if Thanos weren’t so insane. Same result but nobody dies.

  76. Some might be brought back somehow, sure. But others … what if they pull a fast one on us and the next Spideman movie is about Mike Moralles now?

  77. I agree with your overall assessment, none of the character deaths felt permanent with that knowledge. However, Tom Holland tried like all hell at the end there to convince you otherwise. I thought he did quite well. What did you think?

  78. It was self-indulgent angsty bullshit when they did it in the comics and it’s self-indulgent angsty bullshit in the movie, compounded by the fact that the dustings/deaths they chose cleared out the majority of the nonwhite and nonmale heroes.

    Literally the only reason I’m watching the second one is for Carol and if the Captain Marvel movie sucks, I may not even do that. I’m already ticked off about the entire EVERYTHING about Wasp, Scarlet Witch’s sudden Christianity, Sif’s disappearance, the scene that made Valkyrie’s bisexuality canon being cut, Widow’s relationship with Banner, and that freaking SCENE about her uterus. If they shit on another one of the female characters, the main MCU is fired and I’m sticking with Wakanda.

  79. Vincent:”you know that these characters will come back. But why is that unsatisfying?”

    Look at it this way: everyone knows how Apollo 13 was going to end. Astronauts live. But that wasnt actually the focus of the movie. The focus of the movie was HOW did they save the astronauts. Its a geek fest of dealing with dying batteries, current limits, fixing co2 scrubbers, etc, etc. If the movie had focused solely on “are they going to live?” When we already know the answer, then the movie would have fallen flat.

    The problem with superhero movies is when they get into great big gobs of combat and that becomes the focus of the movie. Who defeats whom. Who lives. Who dies. Which can be fine if you are dealing with characters capable of actually dying. But if the audience KNOWS the main superheroes cant permanently die, then the audience doesnt care about the question the movie poses, because they already know the answer. Superman will always live on. If the point of the movie is simply “will this bad guy kill superman?” Then its a boring movie. See batman vs superman. Everyone knew Supes cant stay in the ground. And everyone knew all that time spent burying superman was pointless, empty attempts at fake emotional writerly nonsense. The writers ignored the knowledge of the audience (even meta knowledge) at their own peril.

    So you better make the movie about something besides “Will they live or will they die?” because we all already know the answer. They will live until they die and resurrected or rebooted.

    I liked Dr Strange’s first movie. you knew he wasnt going to die. But that wasnt the point. The point of that movie was whether or not Strange would evolve from the egotistical prick he was at the beginning of the movie. The second act is him with shattered hands, saying he cant learn magic and wallowing in self pity. The resolution was him telling his ex girlfriend “I am so sorry” and really really meaning it. Live or die? Of course he’s going to live. That will never change. But he can evolve as a character. He can change there. Thats where the magic happens.

    Tony Stark die? Not likely. And that makes the question entirely boring. But it has been interesting watching him go from an indifferent selfish weapons dealer to someone suffering from ptsd and actually caring about some people.

    Thor ragnorak. Is thor going to live? Of course he is. But the focus of that movie was partly embracing the camp, rather than take itself too seriously, and also seeing Thor become king, be responsible for his people, be a leader, make the tough decisions. Compare that to his first movie where he was clueless, reckless, and assumed he deserved to be king because of his birthright rather than for his actual leadership (which he had none in the first movie). But thor die in Ragnkrok??? Of course not.

    If you have a story that focuses solely on combat, then the only way for the audience to really have any kind of stakes in the story is if people die and stay dead. “Saving Private Ryan” did that. “Fury” did that. But those stories are the kind of stories that cant have sequels. If you want the story to be about the brutality of war, then it has to be brutal. Otherwise you get Rambo nonsense. If the main question of the story is whether they live of die, then there has to be a real chance they die and stay dead. If that isnt an option, even if the only reason it isnt an option is metadata tells us so, then the story wont be fulfilling to anyone looking for more than just flashy combat and special effect scenes.

    Those are limitations of story telling just like any other limit. Dont do infodumps. Show dont tell. Dont have Mary Sues. And dont make the story about questions that can only have one answer that the audience already knows.

  80. No, John, not everyone has seen the film. I have not nor do I plan to see the film as I am completely uninterested in its content. I think I read Batman, Superman, and The Green Lantern comics when a kid. I have seen the movies made of Superman and Batman until the last few of them and skipped the Green Lantern one due to its critical reception. The only Avengers I care about were played by Diana Rigg and Patrick McNee. As for all the spoilers, I think you are spot on. Money will be made in future films and all “dead” characters are subject to resurrection. After all in a comic book universe anything can happen. Anything. Skipped the Iron Man films too. Half the superheroes in this latest film I have never heard of anyway. No, correct that. Most of them I have never heard of and they don’t sound interesting in any case.

  81. Okay, I get what everyone’s saying, but did anyone REALLY think Harry Potter would die? Or Ron? We KNOW going in. On the other side, I give you 13 Readons Why. We already know the ending but are still invested. It’s the journey. Granted, it had to be well told.

  82. *cough*

    Hel(a) isn’t dead. She’s just a little tied up spanking a Daemon at the moment.

    If you need Luck / Chaos, you ask Loki.

    If you need some Souls rescuing from the Absolute Void of Deleted Possibility, you ask the Goddess of Death.

    You’re Welcome.

  83. I will admit to being shocked AF at all the Avenger deaths. Peter Parker dying was a heart-breaker for sure, and Okoye’s shock at T’Challa’s death was palpable. And even though I did know going in that it was the first part of a two-parter (which always means the Good Guys Win In the End (for some value of winning, which may or may not include saving everyone)), and that some of the deceased were scheduled for as yet unfilmed sequels so clearly they’re on the docket for resurrection, I still felt the emotional shock experienced by the characters left behind. They’re in the middle of the story; THEY have no idea how it ends, even if we (the audience) have a pretty darn good idea. (Clearly involving using the Gauntlet to undo things.)

    And what’s not to love about Samuel L Jackson’s end-credits scene, setting the stage for the entrance of Captain Marvel in part two?

    I don’t understand people not understanding the ending. It’s not an *ending*, it’s a MIDDLE. The whole “remaining good guys regroup and deal with pain and loss and chaos while figuring shit out to save the universe” part of the story (aka PART TWO) is where the END is. They have one shot to beat Thanos, per Dr Strange; it involves a) Tony staying alive and b) giving the time stone to Thanos. So, clearly, everything is on track!

  84. You’ve put your finger on why I’ve never, since childhood, had much of an attention span for comics. The stakes are never really the stakes. Popular characters (almost always) reset. Nothing matters, so it’s hard to care much about them.

  85. Thanks for the discussion!

    That ending wasn’t a problem for me at all, because the out-of-film reasons for everyone to later “un-disintegrate” didn’t contradict anything in-film: the film itself gave plenty of internal reasons to suspect the condition will be not permanent:

    – Dr. Strange has seen the future and said clearly that this way was the ONLY way to stop Thanos out of millions of outcomes. He said that even AFTER Thanos was seemingly NOT stopped and everyone was vanishing. Clearly, all is not yet lost in Dr. Strange’s mind.

    – Chekhov’s Time Stone has been seen to alter the past several times, and was mentioned repeatedly. If it’s used TOO much, reversing ALL consequences, that I would object to. But we should expect it will be used in some way.

    – The nature of the disintegration “deaths” was played in a somewhat softened way, gradual and painless with people aware as it happened (and even more or less cracking wise in Fury’s case). This feels distinct from Loki being choked and Heimdall being stabbed and Vision turning dark.

    – Loki and Vision are “special cases”—right down to Thor expressing slight doubt about Loki—where we can’t truly say we know what happened. Will Vision be restored if he gets his stone back? Did Shuri complete her work in time to restore “most of” Vision as she was planning? So, Heimdall and half the Asgardians (or all? I don’t think so: Valkyrie) are the deaths that feels most traditional and permanent. Other permanent deaths are to be expected in Part 2.

    – Gamora is an even more “special case”—her “death” was also kind of vague, and her “spirit” or something was seen talking after it. She was given up in trade for something—I wouldn’t feel cheated if some other trade/sacrifice could be made to bring her back (and several people seem likely candidates to make such a sacrifice).

    – Basic storytelling expectations of “darkest before the dawn” peril, a.k.a. “how will our heroes get out of this one?” I see this ending for Part 1 as just a more-interesting variation on the classic “heroes standing together about to be destroyed” cliffhanger. That’s a fine cliffhanger to have—the very definition of a cliffhanger really—and it’s fine NOT to actually have the heroes die from the scenario, when the story resumes.

    – It wasn’t just a few named characters “dying,” it was half of all humanity… and half of every living race in the universe. Letting that stand would really not be fitting the tone of the movie series, and is hardly to be expected.

    – Some of the characters who vanished were mid-arc in one way or another. Peter Parker in particular. Storytelling expectations lead us to think those arcs aren’t truly abandoned.

    So, yes, the stakes aren’t REALLY that half the universe is permanently dead. But why should they be? The movie did not, to me, falsely imply that to be truly the case. And so, our out-of-film knowledge of future films etc. changes little in terms of stakes. Take heart: I expect some new stakes in Part 2! I doubt everyone walks away.

  86. Lovely thread. It’s the second best part of seeing Infinity War, reading all the different comments, here.

    We were at a small local theatre, and the audience had that moment of silence, too. I believe there were folks that, like me, were familiar with the original comics but wondering, “Would they would really do it.” If so, how? And despite the prior knowledge, still affected by seeing this scene.

    For me, there was something about seeing these characters slowly turn to ash, at the end, and disintegrate that was as effective as the earlier scenes on Thor’s ship and Gamora’s planet. I thought Thanos particular well done, and not unhappy to see his impetus shift in this universe. Likewise, Thor, never a personal favorite, has grown on me.

    There were enough “cool things”, shout outs to creators, comics and prior movies to ping the cool meter. There was also, that sense that the writers, despite allowing certain character growth, still play with their flaws, at critical moments. I like that.

    The other place where I differed a bit from consensus, is about the Hulk. I read that reluctance more as, “No; not yet.” Although, of course, both things could be true.

    (On a personal note, the seeing of the movie led to a mad googling spree, today. I discovered that there’s a Marvel character by one of my other favorite authors, that’s my namesake and affiliated with the Guardians. She can’t show up in part 2. But since she was replaced by Hel in Ragnarok, I’d love to see her show up somewhere else. If so, bring out the popcorn. Heck; double butter.)

  87. My theater reacted to the deaths as if they were real. You should have heard the reaction to BP. (It looked like it was going to be Okoye) And Spidey. The stakes are certainly real for the characters.

    I thought the characterization was good all around, as was the quippage. Big laugh for SLJ’s “Motherfu…” which was needed at the end.

    It really demonstrated what a screw-up jerkwad Star Lord is.
    IDGAF if Dr. Strange comes back, frankly. He doesn’t really fit in. Give the whatsit stone to Wong.
    And (hot take) I’ve really had enough of Loki. He’s gotten boring.
    It’d be interesting if not all the people who poofed reappear. Or return in different locations.
    Heimdall is for sure dead.

    I think Tony and Cap will die for real in the next one. But Captain Marvel can save most people.

    I would like to see a movie — or at least a short — of Thor and Rocket. Pirate angel and rabbit!

  88. My take: the real hit isn’t who was killed by Thanos’ snap; as our host perfectly stated, we all know they’re coming back from that. The real hit is which survivors – you know, the group that includes all of the beloved original Avengers – will die in part 2 to make that happen. And they won’t be coming back.

  89. So, was I the only one watching them trying to drag the gauntlet off Thanos on Titan and thinking “just cut off his freaking arm, already”? I know, it would have trashed the rest of the movie, but my disbelief can only be suspended so far, and apparently that’s past the load limit.

    Never read the comics (*ducks*) but doesn’t Captain Marvel have time powers herself? So maybe they don’t need the gauntlet to rewind the Great Dusting…

    Also, I’m with H Savinien on the MCU treatment of the female characters (in all but Black Panther, obviously). WTAF.

  90. I understand your point John but I think it depends on what experience expectations you went in with. I expected a comic book movie, and the hero’s almost never die in those, and if they do they come back a few issues down the road. Which is what we got. I did expect some characters to die, and still do in the next installment because the actors have said they are tired of the roles. I didn’t expect the ending we got. And while we all know many or most of them will be back, the emotional impact came from how the characters reacted. Tony Stark doesn’t know he is in a movie and watching his protege die will deeply impact him. Same for captain america and rocket and everyone else. So I am curious to see how they react in the next movie and of course how everyone gets back (or almost eveyone, I do expect some characters to shuffle off, whatever that means in the marvel universe.

  91. Keith: “Okay, I get what everyone’s saying, but did anyone REALLY think Harry Potter would die? Or Ron? We KNOW going in. ”

    Tell me. How would you feel about the storytelling of the Harry Potter universe if Hermione had taken the Time Turner and gone back to somehow save Fred Wessley? Or if Harry had kept the elder wand to bring him back?

    What if the flash forward instead of them sending their kids off to hogwarts, was harry, hermione, and ron all doing a video collage of magical research as they figure out, one by one, how to bring back Snape, the Tonks, Dobby, Dumbledore, fred, sirius black, remus lupin, and everyone who died all the way back to the first book?

    Most people would have felt cheated. Would it be consistent within the world? In a world where magic does exactly what is needed to move the plot, certainly. And it would have totally sucked. It would have been a ruinous end to the series.

    Also, i feel it required to post this link

    https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/robins

    Also, see Hank and Dean Venture of the Venture Brothers.

  92. Remember, this is based on comics. The only Marvel character to, so far, die and stay dead, is Uncle Ben. Retcon and last minute saves are the bread and butter of comics.

    But others pointed it out too. Shuri is next in line for the throne, and would make a formidable Black Panther. There are others who have been Spider-Man. The audience knows that there will be SOME way to fix this. They just don’t know HOW, yet. And the characters don’t know a fix is even possible. They don’t know about Carol Danvers yet.

    There will be a cost to reversing this course. Will Nebula finally complete a path to redemption and reconciliation with Gamora by sacrificing her life to bring back her sister? Will Captain Marvel be the one to wrest the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos and un-snap the universe in half? Is that how Steve Rogers meets his end, passing on the Captain America helm to Bucky Barnes?

    There’s hundreds of possibilities. The end of Infinity War wasn’t so much a cliffhanger for us, as it was for the characters, and THAT is what is supposed to grab us by the heartstrings. We identify with them and share their pain and now we share their “well fuck now what?!”

  93. “It’s a comic book movie, so of course there’s going to be a reset button” isn’t really an excuse for manipulative storytelling. I stopped reading comics because of audience-jerkers like the Death of Superman, and up until AIW the MCU was doing a pretty good job of avoiding that particular comic book pitfall. Not everything needs to be translated from one medium to another, especially when the needs of the media are different: comics are perpetual, with characters from 80 years ago still kicking around unaged, but movies feature people who age, whose contracts expire. It’s possible, even necessary, to tell a story with real forward motion. (See: Star Wars.)
    I didn’t know this was half a movie, so I was pretty annoyed when I left the theater. I was under the impression that Avengers 4 was going to be its own story, and I really wish they’d left the “Part 1” subtitle on this one. As it was, I was rolling my eyes as superheroes with sequels in the works “died,” but I thought there was still half an hour of movie left to undo it. Leaving audiences dangling for a full year on a headfake cliffhanger is just manipulative.
    I get the argument that we’re supposed to feel for the characters who don’t know a reset is coming, but a) if that were the case they could have shown us Peter Parker and T’challa banging on the walls of the Soul Gem or something, so the audience would know what the characters don’t, and b) an unfortunate side effect of that decision is most of the diversity of the MCU wiped out to make (mostly) white men sad. Look at the roster of superheroes who (ostensibly) died vs. those who survived:

    “DEAD” (3 or 4 out of 13 are straight white dudes, depending how you feel about Loki)
    Valkyrie (female PoC)
    Heimdall (PoC)
    Loki (queer-coded if not openly bi)
    Gamora (female PoC)
    T’challa (PoC)
    Falcon (PoC)
    Scarlet Witch (woman)
    Mantis (woman)
    Nick Fury (PoC)
    Maria Hill (woman)
    Dr. Strange (white man)
    Peter (white man)
    Bucky (white man)
    Vision, Groot, Korg, Drax (debatable)

    ALIVE (6 out of 11 are straight white dudes)
    Tony Stark (white man)
    Bruce Banner (white, occasionally green man)
    Captain America (white man)
    Thor (white man)
    Hawkeye (presumably alive) (white man)
    Ant-Man (presumably alive) (white man)
    Rhodey (PoC)
    Black Widow (woman)
    Nebula (woman)
    Okoye (female PoC)
    Wong (presumably alive) (PoC)
    Rocket (debatable)

    (Not including Wasp and Captain Marvel, since we haven’t met them on-screen yet.)

    I haven’t seen this pointed out much, so maybe I’m inventing issues where none exist. I’m a straight white dude, and if the people more directly affected by these sorts of storytelling decisions aren’t upset then I’ll stop beating this drum. But it feels like the MCU spent a lot of effort (probably not enough) over the past few years expanding the definition of who gets to be a superhero, and then AIW closed it back up again, saying the folks who really count are mostly white men, and most of everybody else is disposable. I think it’s a little bit tragic that they gave kids Black Panther two months ago, and those kids who really needed him are going to spend the next year thinking he died like a punk as part of someone else’s story.
    I left the theater fuming and disappointed; my two-emoji review was a skier above a shark. I was already upset that they Alien 3’ed the entire supporting cast of Ragnarok — because honestly I’m far more invested in them, and Spidey, and Black Panther, and the Guardians, than the original Avengers — and the ending just made me feel used. Civil War was a much more effective crossover that told a complete story. All that said, I enjoyed the set pieces and the humor immensely, and I’ll still line up for Avengers 4 in 2019.

  94. I think I found it immensely satisfying for exactly the reason you didn’t. For me if this movie, very obviously half a story, had ended any other way, I would have been disappointed. When comic universes ramp up to this reality bending scale you know characters are going to die but those deaths may or may not be permanent, and how the character come out the other side may or may not change them in significant ways.

    What we know now, because of production schedules, is certain characters will have to be restored. What we don’t know is how they will be restored and what that will mean to them. Hopefully Marvel doesn’t cop out and do some sort of rewind where nobody remembers anything and does something interesting with the rest of the story.

  95. I’m actually glad it was that obvious that the dusted ones are coming back because it probably would have kicked off a bit of depression for me otherwise. I mean really, did we all want to leave the theater totally sad?

  96. Hah. Well, because I’m a pathological optimist, and because I particularly love the blissful escapism of movies these days, I had a moment right when the battle on Wakanda started when I though, “Ah, this is so great. This is going to be an epic battle, but it will be okay because all my favorite characters will survive when it’s over. It’s not real life; it’s a Marvel movie!!” And then, uh… But it was okay by me, because Nat was fine (otherwise my 8 year old would have been devastated, further solidifying my parental irresponsibility for taking her to the movie in the first place). Clearly Spiderman is going to survive for another movie (too young and funny not to). Doctor Strange! He’s just meeting all the other Marvel characters. Lots to explore there. Great potential for witty dialog. Yeah, Black Panther. Not really going to be dead. Too cool. The Guardians? No way. Guardians 3 is a for sure. I don’t know about Loki. He’s a fave, but at least he’s had a lot of air play. Clearly something related to Doctor Strange’s future vision and/or Gamora’s secret is going to make it all better. Fine by me! I’m willing to suspend disbelief in the Marvel world in a gigantic way for a Disney happy ending. I’ll tune into the news when I need a harsh reality check. Or not, which is why I’m surfing around over here….

  97. Also, there were many small bits and moments that I enjoyed and appreciated, too many to list, but I think the thing I appreciated the most was the way they dialed back Doctor Strange’s nasal east coast accent. I mean, seriously, we all know Cumberbatch is a Brit using an American accent but wow did it annoy the snot out of me in the Doctor Strange movie, it was so jarringly *wrong* to my ears.

    And as for all the Avengers who won’t be returning for the main action of the second movie, well, you have to stop and think just how much narrative room that leaves on the canvas for a whole new set of characters to join in the action. Ant Man, Wasp, (Mama Wasp?), Captain Marvel. They filmed both movies back to back, surely something has leaked out about the character roster?

  98. Valkyrie is not confirmed dead; she was not shown on the asgard ship that exploded.

  99. I think it’s a little bit tragic that they gave kids Black Panther two months ago, and those kids who really needed him are going to spend the next year thinking he died like a punk as part of someone else’s story.

    That rubbed me the wrong way too. I console myself with the certainty that the reason they did it was just so that the next movie can be the original Phase 1 Avengers’ last adventure as a team, and probably by the time it’s over T’Challa will be back and some of them will be gone.

  100. But… this is an adaption of a 1991 comic where everyone gets snaptured (credit to someone else) in ISSUE 1. The adapted story is *primarily* about reversing the death of half of the heroes! It’s like complaining that at the end part I of the New Testament adaption that it is obvious that Jesus will return….

  101. All I know is if I were the director of Deadpool 2 I’d be asking how fast I can put together a post-credits scene of him turning into dust, just to screw with people.

  102. Comic book “dead” is nowhere near as bad as dead “dead.”

    Remember when Dr. strange scanned the futures and found one victorious one out of the upteen million ones that end in defeat? Remember when he said “This was the only way,” before he turned to dust?

    I don’t think Dr. Strange thought victory meant Thanos getting his way. The film showed us that the Time stone can be used to walk back Tim and undohat has already occurred. Thanos did this to get the Vision’s stone.

    The Time Stone can be used to undo Thanos snapping his fingers and killing half of everybody.

    Remember when Thanos says “you should have gone for the head.”

    All somebody’s really needs to do is borrow the glove for a moment to go back and tell Thor to change his aim point, and, Boom! Good guys win.

  103. It’s funny. Watching that ending I was thinking about the probability of that many of the major characters being in the randomly chosen unlucky half. They seemed to have a far greater strike rate than would be expected. Of course, if it is truly random then it’s entirely possible for that to happen, but as I say, the probability is remote.

    I also found the planet-hopping in the first half to be kind of rushed and disjointed. And I thought the GOTG weren’t treated very well by the script.

    So I enjoyed it, but I don’t rate it as highly as a lot of people seem to.

    Am I the only one thinking that Captain Marvel is going to be hunting down the time stone and rewinding to just before Thanos does his little trick?

  104. I also left the theater feeling rather empty because 1) I knew there was going to be a sequel, and 2) the solution to the sequel is right in the title of this movie. How will they get the time stone back and use it? Hopefully that will be an interesting tale, but anyone who’s dead here can be resurrected, so it removes all of the emotional punch.

  105. A significant part of the original Infinity Gauntlet story is that everything gets reset to before Thanos started making a mess, with him having basically gotten ultimate power and still not able to get what he actually wanted. My guess is they’ll do something that quite strongly resembles the end of that story, with Captain Marvel standing in for Silver Surfer and Gamora, currently chilling in Soul World, for Adam Warlock.

    So I suspect that Avengers 4 will largely reverse the positions we have at the end of 3. Everyone or almost everyone who is currently alive will be gone. Dead or permanently retired. Everyone who got dusted will be back.

  106. Hmm… In the original story (I’m going by online summaries here), that’s just the beginning: after Adam Warlock undoes Thanos’s meddling, they have to deal with different personified aspects of him messing with the Gauntlet. I wonder if they go for that kind of complication or leave it as a simpler story.

  107. lisa @ 8.56:

    Nope, not just you. I was mentally hollering “Drax, you are behind the man who ordered the deaths of your wife and daughter, at knee level. You have knives. Given the stakes, I think hamstringing is allowable” and “Didn’t Nebula have a big honkin’ sword? I see a perfectly choppable elbow joint there: have Strange open a portal near a black hole and drop that sucker into it.” But heroes don’t do that.

    (All right, Captain Rocket would absolutely have done that.)

    And if I may, I’ll join you and H. Savinien on the “Damn it, Marvel, half the human race is female, how are you STILL so full of fail on this?” bench.

    There was a line about Clint and Scott consenting to house arrest after the escape from the Raft; both felt that superheroing was putting too much stress on their families. Bets on both sets getting dusted, leaving them free to get with the avenging?

  108. Since the Infinity Gauntlet can be used to rewrite reality, I’ve been hoping that this is how Disney brings the X-Men into the MCU. The timing works and would allow the merging of universes without the kind of awkward shoehorning of them saying that mutants were always there but never mentioned in the past 19 movies.

  109. Name: “But… this is an adaption of a 1991 comic where everyone gets snaptured (credit to someone else) in ISSUE 1. The adapted story is *primarily* about reversing the death of half of the heroes!”

    Killing everyone in epidode 1 and making the rest of the series about getting everyone back works better because no one believed everyone would stay dead. And the rest of the story is about getting everyone back.

    Its called an “inciting moment”. It takes the protagonist and throws their world upside down. Important thing about the inciting moment: its step ONE of the story.

    Appollo 13 inciting moment: the explosion that causes Tom Hanks to say Houston we have a problem. We know actual history, so we know t th e crew lives. But that wasnt the focus of the movie. The focus was HOW they survive. And the movie is a celebration of the ingenuity that brought them back alive.

    Killing most superheroes in the story is an inciting monent. The rest of the story is the struggle of HOW the remaining heroes bring them back. The dead supes are a -mcguffin- that the other charzcters care about.

    By having most supes dusted at the end of the first of a two part movie, they took the inciting moment and tried to make it Act 2 of a three act play. It tries to change the deaths from a mcguffin, from an inciting moment, and turn it into the emotional crash that normally comes at the end of act 2. But since we know they wont stay dead, the emotion is hollow.

    I dont think they understood how 3 act plays work. The second act is the protagonist attempting their quest and failing. The point of act 2 is to show the audience and the protag what they must overcome about themselves to get to act 3 and resolution.

    Empire Strikes Back had Luke run off against Yodas wishes to save his friends, and that brashness and immaturity cost him his hand, the failure to save his father, and the capture of solo in carbonite. Act 3, Luke finally grows up, stops being a punk, and saves solo and his father, and the galaxy.

    Killing the supes in the first comic of a series, you know the supes will eventually come back, but the focus of the story is HOW. Killing the supes at the end of part 1 of a two part movie, doesnt work because they are trying to use the inciting event that no one really cares about except as a mcguffin and try to make it the emotional plunge that happens at tge end of act 2.

    The inciting event in star wars ep 4,5,6 is obi wan taking luke and the droids on a damn fool crusade. Imagine if ep 4 ended with luke looking at the burnt corpses of his aunt and uncle and saying “i want to go with you” and roll credits. That would be a lot of movie just to get things going. If it were a 6 episode series, that might work, but fails to tell a story for part 1 of a two part movie.

  110. @Ryan: Since the Disney-Fox deal isn’t even final yet, I don’t think they’ll have time to do anything like that. The basic story for the Infinity War sequel has to have been finalized some time ago.

    (Then there’s the Patton Oswalt “Parks and Rec” idea… the Gauntlet makes a Star Wars crossover! The female part’s a bit underwritten…)

  111. Who knows, John? Maybe this will all be retconned in an episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD? It could happen if it comes to making a hard business adjustment. Okay maybe not, but DisneyMarv have a few outlets to adjust the story thread and thus their schedule. It would be weird as hell but when there’s hundreds of millions of dollars at stake why not?

  112. Sorry for the double post but this just popped in my head after ruminating a bit. Who says the film schedule has to be chronological? What about films coming out as desired but add key references to the defeat of Thanos. Put out another Spiderman and Black Panther movie before IW2 but make sure to drop key bits of Thanos’ defeat. Do that enough and fans might go nuts waiting for the IW2 film to reveal exactly what happened that fateful day.

  113. @Greg Leon Guerrero: Clever idea–though I think that in reality the schedule is going to break chronology in the other direction: “Ant-Man and the Wasp” will be set shortly before “Infinity War”, and “Captain Marvel” will be set in the 1990s, filling in the backstory of Nick Fury’s last beeper call during the end-credits scene.

  114. I feel the same way at Easter time when Good Friday comes along. No way that Jesus stays dead. No way- there is just too much invested…

    Of course there is source material issues. I mean, all those Christians do have sooo much invested, but the bible does sorta go there…

    I mean with the Marvel movies it’s not like the Thanos’ Snap might have appeared previously in the comics on which Thanos is based…..

  115. Basically what you and everybody else said. Spidey, Black Panther and others are not gone. Not to mention that Dr Stranger literally telegraphed it earlier or the fact that (x) and (y) in an earlier scene came back from what I thought was dead.

    I came out feeling cynically manipulated where there should have been a fade to Black and ‘to be continued’.

    I enjoued the ride. I’m struggling with the emotional investment people are putting in it. Especially anybody who has watched anything genre ever involving the manipulation of time and/or reality.

  116. As I sat through all those credits to see the post-credit scene, I was thinking about “Empire Strikes Back,” too. While I know they will probably bring everyone back, and I’m betting Doctor Strange laid a trap of some kind in the time stone, I’m okay with it, because I also knew they were going to rescue Han Solo, too.

  117. That’s a pretty strong weakness in the HP series. If you’re going to write fantasy that makes thematic sense, magic has to work like physics, with rules, not just any thing goes. I suppose that is why HP is children’s literature instead of epic fantasy.

  118. Maybe I’m a soft touch, but when I’m watching Marvel movies, I just want to be wowed and entertained. Yes, I know most of the heroes will survive in the end and I’m okay with that because I enjoyed most of the dialogue and the scale of imagination wowed me. That’s what I went for and that’s what I got.

  119. Yeah, Thantos starting off kicking around Thor and Hulk and slaughtering Asgardians was a kick in the gut way of warning us that this villain is the business.

  120. Well, the Hulk is all passion, and fear is a powerful passion. Like how evil Kirk was more afraid of death than good Kirk when they were divided by a transporter beam accident.

  121. Paulliverstravels:

    Dude:

    1. The comments here don’t thread, so no one can tell to whom you are responding.

    2. For future reference, aggregate your comments into a single post. It’s confusing (and looks terrible) to have multiple sequential comments from the same person.

    Thanks.

  122. (I have one hand, so I have a different attitude…)

    I am glad they have Bucky with one arm – and while I don’t use a prosthesis, they gave him a kick-ass killer one.

    In the scene where they are trying to get the gauntlet off, the most logical thing would to cut off Thanos’s arm. Quick, efficient, Gives them a club they can hit Thaos with. Gives the screen writer a chance for Thanos to suck the arm back on.

    Groot made his arm into the handle of Thor’s axe. I thought that was a cool touch. (And Thor understanding Groot because he took an elective – I was impressed with the detail && started giggling.

    As far as the theory about the “dead” characters coming back – I suspect they are spot-on. We are talking about big companies with a big money maker – they *love* big money makers….

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