We have arrived at last to the culmination of a ten-year journey that has spawned multiple films, sequels and of course, massive team up movies. When Avengers: Assemble was released in 2012, I couldn’t believe it. To me, seeing comic book heroes from multiple films co-exist in the same universe and fight against a singular foe was nothing short of spectacular; it had never been done before and it truly felt like a comic book had been brought to life. Of course, the film was an enormous success and continued to fuel the very profitable and entertaining freight train that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their competitors have failed spectacularly in their attempt to try and jump on the bandwagon and create a cinematic universe overnight and as such, Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) are not only setting the bar, they are the bar.
It’s no surprise then, that excitement and anticipation for the latest film (Avengers: Infinity War) has reached fever pitch. Everywhere you look, you see the iconic symbolism and characters plastered on billboards, posters and even illuminating towers. This has filtered down to the public, myself included and I simply can’t remember being as excited for a film since X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Full disclaimer, X-Men are my favourite comic book heroes bar none, period.)
The first trailer is something I’ve probably watched over fifty times by now, and each time I never fail to get goosebumps as the “Avengers Theme” blares out at the climax of the trailer. It’s been an ever-present in the films and is the perfect backdrop to the epic visual image of the heroes charging into battle.
Death, Darkness, and Doom
With that said, however, there is a slight cause for trepidation. The trailers, clues and other such media are all hinting at this film having serious consequences; i.e. big character deaths and a villain that is not going to be taken lightly. It’s foolish to compare Thanos to anything we’ve seen before in terms of antagonists, but my cause for concern comes from Ultron. All the marketing and trailers centered around a very dark tone, with Ultron being portrayed as a huge threat that would cause our heroic team to be really against it. The first trailer really epitomizes this for me and I believe many others felt the same, which is why some fans were left disappointed with the film, as they weren’t served what they thought they ordered. Instead of a menacing, dark and serious villain, we got a quick-witted James Spader voiced robot trading quips with Tony Stark. Although there were consequences (Quicksilver dying) this wasn’t as impactful, as he was a new character. The trailers and “reading in between the lines” had Hawkeye earmarked as the sacrificial lamb, but this clever misdirection from Marvel kept the true death a secret, albeit a somewhat underwhelming one.
The point is that yes, the media so far is nothing short of amazing, but I’m going in with expectations slightly tempered, as I’ve been burned before. I’m hoping that Thanos is going to live up to all that we expect, after all, ten years is a hell of a time to build up a villain, so he should be foreboding and powerful at the very least. My prediction is that he will be given plenty of screen time to flesh him out and may even have a backstory that garners sympathy from the audience in some way. Complex villains are always the best, the layers and depth of character are far more interesting than a bizarre CGI monster suddenly appearing and wrecking everything for no real reason. (Okay, last shot at DC taken, promise).
Something that will lead to this development of Thanos is that he will kill Nebula, his daughter. I know I sound confident, but I think her death will serve as a pivotal plot device to portray how unforgiving and powerful he is, as well as giving his other daughter, Gamora a reason to go all out against him. Unfortunately for the Guardians, I can also see Mantis being axed, again to add some emotional weight and gravity to the situation. Her sweet relationship with Drax will be heavily leaned into in order to really hit the point home and I think it’ll be a heart-wrenching moment for the audience.
Ready for more death? Good. Pepper Potts is next. It’s a gut feeling, not really based on much, but there’s something about the first trailer that points me to this. When Thanos punches Iron Man, the body language and mannerisms look quite feminine to me. So my theory is that Thanos transported Pepper to that location in order to again, demonstrate his power and cruelty to us and in the last moment, Tony is able to affix an Iron Man suit to her to give some protection – much like he did in Iron Man 3. This is probably the least likely of my predictions, but one I’ll stick by nonetheless as it will again have gigantic ramifications, especially if it happened fairly early into the movie and really help set the tone for what’s to come.
Captain America. This seems to be the one death that everyone is sure about and I’m not going to buck the trend here; I think this is the end for Steve Rodgers. Being a fan of wrestling, there’s often “real world” events or facts that can help one deduce the outcome of a storyline, and I think the same thing could be happening here. Chris Evans is reportedly done with these films after Avengers 4, which follows Infinity War, so my theory is that he will appear in the fourth Avengers film in some kind of flashback/time travel capacity, but his present-day body will be very much broken and crushed by our big bad and this will lead to how I think the film finishes; a snap of the fingers on a fully completed Infinity Gauntlet and fade to black. Half of the Universe wiped out, just like that.
Loki. I have a bad feeling for Thor’s adopted brother. Again, possibly a red-herring from Disney, but in the trailer, Thanos has Thor’s head in his hand and I believe he’s making the God of Thunder watch Loki’s execution at the hands of the Black Order, who we also see attempt to pry the Mind Stone from the forehead of Vision, who I think will actually survive, rescued by Captain America and Scarlet Witch who then flee to Wakanda for medical assistance, and to mount a formidable defence.
Moments to Make Your Mouth Drop
Okay, so while that’s a lot of bleak moments to endure, I think this movie will also more than balance this with an outrageous outlay of amazing action sequences and scenes, one of which will take place in Wakanda. There are three things I would love to see during this battle. Firstly, I want to see Hulk explode out of the Hulkbuster armour. I very much think it will be Bruce Banner operating the Hulkbuster, as he doesn’t wish to turn back into the Hulk again. However, at some point, I think he gets overwhelmed and is being torn apart, literally, and that’s when our favourite green rage monster appears to cause havoc. The next moment that would make me wide-eyed with joy would be seeing Thor appear to somewhat save the day. Picture this; the Avengers are completely overwhelmed, Cap is on the verge of death at the hands of Thanos, yet there’s a grin emerging on his face. A puzzled Thanos asks why he’s smiling and Rodgers simply says “thunder” and that’s when we get a wide shot of the battle and an enormous lightning storm strike, with Thor descending into battle, flanked by the Guardians in their gunships with “Immigrant Song” echoing in the background. With Thor’s arrival, we would see the tide of the battle turn and to amplify this, Tony Stark arrives with Doctor Strange, Spiderman and whoever else is left. What follows is a beatdown on Thanos by the entire team, in a sequence similar to Civil War, where Bucky and Cap’ hammered Iron Man. Of course, it wouldn’t actually defeat Thanos, but offer a great visual nonetheless.
It’s crazy to me now, but prior to Thor: Ragnarok, I was getting a bit of “Marvel fatigue”. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was okay and Spider-Man: Homecoming didn’t really grab my attention, but then after Ragnarok I was back in and now I’m fully on board. I compounded this with a recent watch of many of the Marvel films and now Friday simply can’t come soon enough. Let’s see what happens and hopefully, we’re all blown away. What do you think will happen? Let me know below or reach me on social media!