The following piece contains major spoilers for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
So now the dust has settled and most people who really want to see Infinity War will have done, lets dig into what happened, who died and what could be on its way in next year’s Avengers follow-up.
Infinity War should have a second subtitle: A series of stupid and costly mistakes. The most heartbreaking thing about the film is that our heroes could have saved the day, but because they’re human (OK, some of them not literally) they screw up, they act rashly and give into their impulses. Thanos was banking on this and he knows as long as he keeps going and sticks to the plan someone among the twenty-odd remarkable individuals facing off against him will give him his opening.
Like all great villains, Thanos is convinced he’s right, that his wiping out of half of existence is for the greatest of greater goods (“I offered them a solution”). From the genesis of his grotesque relationship with Gamora, he priming her for succession. Nebula got all the physical abuse, what Thanos did to Gamora out of professed love is far more monstrous.
We see that Doctor Strange has resigned to his fate by the end, he knows what’s coming. It would have been kinder to Tony to kill him than have him live through this. I would imagine the deaths pre-finger snap are going to stick. Heimdall, Loki and Gamora, probably vision too, are gone. Everyone who was dusted out of existence – Bucky, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Falcon, Star-Lord, Drax, Groot, Mantis Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Nick Fury post-credits – who can say? Well the Guardians, Panther and Spidey will be back because they’ve got sequels to get to.
So Red Skull’s just been bumming around on that rock for 70+ years, huh? It was an unexpected cameo, and it’s a key scene, but is it particularly relevant that it’s this character given that role?
The sequel has got to involve time-travel or reality-jumping. I wouldn’t be surprised if after this, realities didn’t remain separate and we’d have the main emotional punch of the sequel being not a punch but a forced separation of our heroes for the sake of the universe a-la DOCTOR WHO’s “Doomsday”.
For those who say it’s not especially thematically deep, I’d agree Marvel have done more layered and zeitgeist-y stories, but Infinity War draws on one big and affecting idea: the relative value of life. Cap warns Vision they would never “trade lives” to win the day, Thanos takes the life of the one person in existence he had feelings for to reach his goal, so in turn Quill endangers the entire galaxy because “the one” has been taken from him. That’s playing with some pretty heavy emotions right there. SSP