I Know What it’s Like to Lose

Avengers: Infinity War took superhero movies to the next level. As the nineteenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War was the pay off for 10 years worth of storytelling. Ever since Iron Man was released in 2008, I could never have imagined such a cinematic event. I remained a dedicated Marvel fan who saw every single movie in theaters. Along with all the shorts, TV, and streaming shows that seemed to become less canon as time went on. I knew Infinity War was going to be a big deal as soon as the Phase Three slate was announced at Comic-Con. All of a sudden Marvel Studios was tripling their release schedule just to make the 10 year mark. Originally intended to be the 2 part Avengers: Infinity War – Part I & II, the third official Avengers crossover is primarily based on the 1991 storyline The Infinity Gauntlet.

Despite the sequel storyline being titled The Infinity War, the movie has more in common with the former. The MCU had been building up to the epic storyline ever since Thanos was first introduced in The Avengers. My excitement increased every time one of the six Infinity Stones popped up. After reading The Infinity Gauntlet, I knew Marvel would make use of all the major characters that were previously introduced. The first trailer didn’t disappoint with appearances from the Avengers, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy set to the famous Nick Fury speech and a chilling monologue from Thanos. Since Joss Whedon was overwhelmed by the size of Age of Ultron, the Russo Brothers proved themselves worthy of directing after Civil War. Little did I know the impact they would leave…

39. Avengers Infinity War

Thanos throws a moon

Avengers: Infinity War was the best theater going experience I had up to that point. So nice I had to see it twice. Although I knew I was in for an emotional experience, I still avoided spoilers as best I could. Most trailers did their best to hide key moments. Despite The Infinity Gauntlet featuring the likes of Adam Warlock, Mephisto, the Silver Surfer, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, Infinity War is surprisingly faithful with the characters they do have. Created by Jim Starlin in 1973, Thanos made his debut alongside Drax the Destroyer in The Invincible Iron Man #55. It was obvious from the start that he was a Darkseid rip off, but the Mad Titan eventually grew into a force to be reckoned with. As one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, Thanos is most known for his goal of collecting all six Infinity Gems in his Infinity Gauntlet in order to appease his one true love, Mistress Death herself.

After the Avengers defeated Loki and the Chitauri during the Battle of New York, Thanos made his presence known in a mid-credits scene with a creepy smile. It wasn’t until Guardians of the Galaxy that Thanos finally appeared in full with the pitch perfect voice of Josh Brolin. Replacing Damion Poitier, Brolin brought a calm menace to the Mad Titan. He’s no stranger to comic book roles, having already performed in 6 with Deadpool 2 on the way. The last Thanos appearance for 3 years was in an Age of Ultron mid-credits scene where he finally dons his trademark Infinity Gauntlet. The line, “Fine I’ll do it myself” was likely referring to his lack of involvement up to that point. You’d think 6 years worth of build up couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, but Thanos is without a doubt the greatest villain in the MCU. And that’s saying something considering their villain problem. Thanos never gets lost in this ensemble of superheroes, because he’s practically the main character. He’s the one with an arc and a goal to accomplish.

Infinity War doesn’t waste time establishing characters, because at this point, why watch the crossover if you’re not going to see the rest of the MCU? The war is already in progress as soon as the Marvel Studios logo plays with a haunting distress call from an Asgardian voiced by Thor director Kenneth Branagh. The darker tone is established from the start with the Sanctuary II attacking the Asgardian vessel. All the hope and optimism from Thor: Ragnarok is snuffed out with piles of dead Asgardians who were killed by the Black Order. The Children of Thanos have always been a staple of the Mad Titan. Yet the Black Order are actually a fairly recent creation. They were mainly part of the 2013 Infinity storyline that the movie is also partially based on.

The group was only included to give the Avengers something to punch when Thanos wasn’t around. The Black Order consists of Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, and Cull Obsidian. Like Thanos, every member is done with motion capture CGI. With the exception of the despicably charismatic herald Ebony Maw, most of the Black Order are simply a means to an end. Maw stands out with his use of telekinesis and sophisticated way of hyping up Thanos. Midnight stands out as the only female alien on the team and for having a more recognizable actress like Carrie Coon voice her. Glaive’s only definable trait is his vengeful attitude, and Obsidian is a straightforward muscle with a war hammer. Their appearances match their comic counterparts, but it’s not enough to distract from the true big bad.

In his opening speech, Thanos makes it clear that he’s the greatest threat the Avengers will ever face. His appearance has evolved significantly from The Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. In the former, he was dark purple with Poitier portraying him with makeup while dressed in his trademark armor. In the latter, he was all CGI with Brolin providing motion capture. His light purple skin and soulless eyes carried over into Age of Ultron, but that was dropped as soon as Thanos became the central focus. Thanos became one of the most realistic CGI creations of all time with medium purple skin, more expressive eyes, and subtle quirks that make him feel like a living alien being. Infinity War achieves an impossible juggling act that hasn’t been seen on the big screen before. This is a rare live-action superhero film where the heroes stay in costume for a majority of the movie. Choosing Infinity War over Infinity Gauntlet as a title made sense since this is without a doubt a war with a satisfying amount of action throughout. All credit goes to Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige, the Russo Brothers, the all-star returning cast, crew, Disney, and the seldom acknowledged writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

Although Civil War was previously the biggest ensemble in the MCU, it still retained the small scale practicality of The Winter Soldier. The Russos maintain their loose filming techniques, but a cosmic adventure such as this deserved grander special effects in more alien worlds. The writers were in a particularly challenging position trying to meld every tone in the MCU together. Even a movie as serious as Infinity War retains the hilarious banter we’ve come to love. Yet the jokes never undermine the emotional stakes and always feel organic. Almost every MCU director was consulted in order to maintain consistency with the Phase Three movies that hadn’t even been released yet. Despite all the pain he goes through, Chris Hemsworth and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi ensured Thor’s comedic portrayal wouldn’t be entirely lost. I’m still slightly bummed that Thor retains his comic inaccurate short hair, eye patch, and capeless look seen at the end of Ragnarok, but he isn’t the only character to throw accuracy out the window.

Hemsworth is finally given substantial screen time in an Avengers movie since his personal journey is made clear in only the first 10 minutes of the movie. There’s no sign of Valkyrie, Korg, or Meik, but Heimdall is injured and Loki is unharmed. Thor is in bad shape with Thanos threatening to kill him with the purple Power Stone. Half the fun of the MCU was mapping out the location of each Infinity Stone. Unlike the comics, the Gems are called Stones, colors are swapped, and they each reside in separate artifacts. The First Avenger, The Avengers, The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Age of Ultron, and Doctor Strange have all featured one or more of the colorful McGuffins. It wasn’t always perfect, but their plan payed off in the end. Putting Infinity War in the unique position of figuring out a way to include all 6.

Thanos retrieving the Power Stone had to be skipped entirely since decimating Xandar would’ve required a whole other planet, plus the Nova Corps. The Tesseract, which houses the blue Space Stone was stolen by Loki before it could be destroyed on Asgard. Loki truly redeems himself by unveiling the Tesseract to spare his brother’s life, but not before coming full circle with the line “We have a Hulk.” Hulk survived the assault and starts an incredible first fight with the equally imposing Mad Titan. Their brutal CGI fight is a dream come true, but Thanos’ calculated maneuvers win out against Hulk’s brute strength. I hope you enjoyed that, because that’s all we get of the Hulk in the entire 2 hour & 40 minute movie! Although the filmmakers have come up with an excuse, I know it’s just so the strongest Avengers can’t easily win. Idris Elba gets one final hurrah as Heimdall uses the remainder of his dark magic to transport the Hulk to Earth using the Bifröst.

SPOILER ALERT! from here on out. Heimdall is the first of many killed with Thor telling Thanos he’ll die for that. As Maw chains him up, all he can do is watch as his enemy obtains a second Stone. All Thanos has to do is crush the cosmic cube to reveal the Stone underneath. Another costume change I’m not crazy about is Thanos ditching his trademark gold helmet and armor. My only gripe is the fact that general audiences will forever associate him with a bald sleeveless look. It’s not a bad look, but I know they only did it for CGI purposes. After his failure to seige New York, Loki offers his guidance to Thanos. As Loki attempts to take out the Mad Titan, Thanos does the unthinkable. The former greatest villain in the MCU is brutally strangled to death. Putting an end to Tom Hiddleston’s brilliant take of this version of the God of Mischief.

It’s a lot to take in as Thor’s ship blows up with him still inside. Fortunately, Hulk was able to reach Earth in the most helpful location he can. After his brief encounter with Thor, Doctor Strange & Wong have continued to safeguard the planet from the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York. Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong continue to have great banter before the Hulk crash lands in the Sanctum. As opposed to the Silver Surfer who did the same in the original storyline. As Bruce Banner warns a confused Strange of Thanos’ arrival, the Avengers: Infinity War logo signals the incoming conflict with another ominous version of the original score. The only way to tell a story this massive was to separate every hero into a smaller group…

40. Avengers Infinity War

Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Guardians on Titan

Avengers: Infinity War may be lengthy, but the story is actually pretty simple. The threat of Thanos is enough to affect Earth and the entire galaxy. So every single superhero in the movie needs to be simplified with the primary motivation of stopping the Mad Titan. Infinity War takes place all in one day that extracts a heavy toll. The first group is in New York where Tony Stark is seen jogging with his fiancée Pepper Potts. Despite a few close calls, Robert Downey Jr. has stayed faithful to playing Tony Stark/Iron Man for 10 years. Gwyneth Paltrow nearly left after Iron Man 3, but Downey Jr. knew how important their love story was. After Homecoming, Tony proposed to Pepper, but is constantly having dreams that seem real. One includes them having a child named Morgan (remember that!) and the other involves the fear he’s been having ever since Age of Ultron that the aliens will return. That day has finally come with Stark coming face to face with the Sorcerer Supreme.

Doctor Strange meeting Iron Man is a dream pairing as he slings open a portal to retrieve Stark. Strange & Stark come to blows for a variety of reasons. Both have enormous egos and stylish goatees, but one is reliant on science and the other is reliant on magic. Leading to an interesting dynamic where both are fighting for control. Downey Jr. and Cumberbatch also coincidentally play Sherlock Holmes, but they don’t go for the obvious joke. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson contributed to his character, but it’s tough to say what that was. This is easily my favorite portrayal of Doctor Strange, because he finally gets a chance to be a fully formed Sorcerer Supreme. Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t always on set due to scheduling conflicts, but I think that was a good thing.

Strange feels more commanding when he’s not physically interacting with anyone. That’s better left to his faithful Cloak of Levitation. Although his appearance hasn’t changed, Strange’s magic has vastly improved with so many spells we haven’t seen before. Bruce walks out of the portal and greets Stark with a hug. Mark Ruffalo may have never gotten his own trilogy, but Ragnarok was meant to start something of an unofficial trilogy. Hulk has been at odds with Banner and that’s apparently the reason why he won’t Hulk out. Leaving Banner to do most of the heavy lifting and be the one who gets passed around the most. Wong once again explains the history of the Infinity Stones back at the Sanctum. It’s there that Doctor Strange continues to wear the Eye of Agamotto containing the green Time Stone. As they argue over what their next move should be, Stark realizes his only option is to call Steve Rogers. Since he’s the only one who can locate Vision after he turned off his transponder.

After recounting the aftermath of Civil War, Bruce convinces Tony to set their problems aside. Before he can make the call on the flip phone Steve gave him, the invasion officially begins. It’s enough to trigger Peter Parker’s spider-senses that were almost completely forgotten about in Homecoming. It’s just great to see Tom Holland front and center as Spider-Man after all the secrecy surrounding his appearance in Civil War. Even if he does tend to spoil things as much as Ruffalo. Jacob Batalon briefly appears as Ned in order to comically distract his fellow students while he swings into action. Just as funny is Stan Lee’s cameo as a bus driver who points out the fact that the teens have already seen a spaceship before. Maw & Obsidian are the first to encounter Stark, Strange, Wong, and Banner. It’s an amazing display of magic and science even though Hulk refusing to come out in battle is a little annoying. Leaving Strange to match wits with Maw and Stark to unveil his new nanotech infused Mark L armor. This is the most different Iron Man suit so far since it’s more form fitting with the nanotech creating stronger weapons like a shield, blades, and heavier firepower. It’s an awkward, but awesome suit that’s useful for a battle like this.

Strange is prevented from using the Stone, so Maw decides to take him instead. Spider-Man makes his grand entrance by rescuing Mr. Stark from Obsidian and throwing a car at him. Wong slings Obsidian to the arctic and earns an invite to Stark’s wedding in the process. Spidey tries to web up Strange, but gets beamed up in the process. Leaving Stark to rescue them both by having F.R.I.D.A.Y. activate his suit’s rocket propulsion. Peter nearly falls from the ship, but Stark sends the Iron Spider suit that was teased at the end of Homecoming to save him. It doesn’t really resemble the suit from the comics, but it is closer to his classic look with more gold and the suits high tech spider legs. Stark tries to send Parker home, but he stays on board anyway. Almost an entire hour goes by before this group is followed up on. Maw tries to extract the Time Stone through torture, but Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Cloak of Levitation come to Strange’s rescue. Using the really old movie Aliens as inspiration, Maw is killed by being sucked into space. Strange & Stark continue to argue over what to do next, but my other dreams come true when Spider-Man officially meets Doctor Strange. I’m sure Steve Ditko would be proud.

Strange & Stark eventually manage to work out an arrangement and Tony knights Peter as an Avenger for good measure. Their plan is to pilot Maw’s ship in order to face Thanos on his home planet. Meanwhile on Earth, Wong is no help at all as he stays out of the fight to protect the Sanctum. Leaving Bruce to make the call to Steve. The only Stone remaining on Earth is the yellow Mind Stone in Vision’s head. Vision begins to feel pain from the Stone, but Wanda is there to fix it. Despite the age difference between Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, I was thrilled to finally see Vision and the Scarlet Witch together. They share a kiss at their hideout in Edinburgh, but I do wish Vision was an android while it was happening. Bettany briefly shows his face since Vision is suddenly able to alter his appearance to look human. Wanda has also changed slightly with red hair and a more subtle Sokovian accent. They’re both currently on the run due to the accords, but the news of an invasion pulls them apart. Glaive stabs Vision through the chest and prevents him from phasing for the rest of the movie. Wanda fights back against Glaive & Midnight using her magic to save her true love.

When they’re backed into a train station, Steve Rogers makes his epic introduction by grabbing Midnight’s spear midair. This was Chris Evans’ chance to finally let his beard and hair grow out since Steve is no longer Captain America. He’s been on the run in a worn out suit with the star removed. I’m partially miffed at his Nomad appearance, but this is easily the least amount of screen time Cap has ever had. In his short time, Steve makes it clear that he’s going to fight no matter what the accords say. Black Widow & Falcon have stayed loyal to their friend in the time they’ve been on the run. I’m not a fan of Natasha’s short bleach blonde hair, but I understand it’s what she needed to stay in hiding. Scarlett Johansson has her moments and now sports a more tactical military catsuit. Sam Wilson hasn’t changed at all with Anthony Mackie wearing the same Falcon suit. They meet Rhodey at the Avengers Compound where he’s in the middle of talking to Secretary Ross and his boardroom via hologram. It’s a quick cameo from William Hurt, but he sends a clear message. Rhodey continues to wear his life changing leg braces, but Don Cheadle does manage to get a few funny scenes. He warmly greets Cap’s renegade team at the same time Bruce walks in.

It’s an awkward reunion, but fortunately that’s all we get from Nat & Bruce’s pointless relationship. The true romance to focus on is the one between Wanda & Vision. Vision wants Wanda to destroy his Stone, but she refuses. Bruce proposes the possibility of removing the Stone without deactivating Vision. It’s also at the Compound that Hawkeye and Ant-Man’s absences are explained away with the both of them accepting house arrest for going against the accords. Despite being a massive crossover involving everyone, it made more sense to follow up Scott Lang’s story in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Clint Barton was featured in early concept art, but that’s about it. Without their help, Steve turns to the King of Wakanda. T’Challa & Okoye prepare for their arrival by supplying the fully recovered White Wolf with an impressive Vibranium arm. Sebastian Stan is more optimistic as Bucky since Wakanda has changed him for the better. Danai Gurira has plenty of badass moments as Okoye and even some unexpected jokes. It will for forever be bittersweet to see Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther, but it’s better to appreciate his performance for as long as he’s on screen.

Black Panther was still fresh in everyone’s head, so it’s understandable that a lot of the subsequent TV spots focused on Wakanda. Letitia Wright once again shows her genius as Shuri comes up with a safe way to remove the Mind Stone. Meanwhile in space, “Rubberband Man” by Detroit Spinners became the perfect Awesome Mix song to introduce the Guardians of the Galaxy. One of the many reasons why James Gunn needed to be around to make sure his lovable a-holes remained just as funny and endearing as they’ve always been. The Guardians of the Galaxy have always felt like separate entities in the MCU, but their connection to Thanos was too strong not to give them substantial screen time. They’re just as hilarious as before, but the looming threat does bring out a lot of drama. Since Vol. 2 took place in 2014 like the first movie, that means it’s chronologically been 4 years since their last appearance. The Guardians have noticeably become more of a family who take their missions as seriously as they can. The only thing that hasn’t changed is their appearances. With the exception of Groot who’s now grown into a rebellious teenager distracted by his Defender video game for most of the movie. Thus, Vin Diesel’s “I am Groot” sounds more adolescent.

Infinity War features all three Chris’ as Chris Pratt brings Star-Lord’s likeable goofiness to the rest of the quip heavy MCU. Zoe Saldana has softened Gamora up considerably with a sweet romance that finally happened between her and Quill. In a movie packed with funny characters, Drax turned out to be the most hilarious with Dave Batista improvising a lot of the best moments. Bradley Cooper is also pretty funny since Rocket’s wisecracks always get plenty of attention. Sean Gunn continues to do mocap despite his brother not directing. Mantis is very much part of the team now with Pom Klementieff being another unexpected scene stealer. Her empathic powers very much come in handy later on. The Guardians fly in their new ship the Benatar to answer the Asgardian distress call. All they see is devastation, but Thor has managed to survive. The Guardians meeting an Avenger for the first time is about how I expected, but I do think they would’ve had more material if Thor’s hair was still long. Instead they hilariously lean into how handsome and muscular Chris Hemsworth is. As Mantis wakes the God of Thunder, the conquest of the Mad Titan is all anyone can talk about…

41. Avengers Infinity War

Captain America, Black Widow, the Winter Soldier, and Black Panther in Wakanda

Despite losing his mother, father, sister, home, best friend, and brother recently, Thor isn’t the most serious person in the room. Thor’s sense of humor fits comfortably in the world of the Guardians. Quill feels threatened by Thor’s manliness, especially after he flirts with Gamora. With the exception of a flashback revealing how Thanos adopted Gamora and slaughtered half her planet, we learn everything we need to know about their strained relationship from Saldana’s stellar performance. She makes Peter promise to kill her if Thanos ever captures her and they seal it with a kiss. Drax may mostly be around for comic relief, but he also gets serious when it comes to avenging the death of his wife & daughter. The Guardians part ways once again when Thor realizes he needs a new weapon. Thor continues the joke of mistaking Rocket the raccoon for a rabbit and invites him and Groot on his quest to Nidavellir. Another of the Nine Realms that hasn’t been seen before. As Thor, Rocket, and Groot take their pod, Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis find Thanos on the Celestial head Knowhere. It was there that the Asgardians gave the red Reality Stone to the Collector.

Benicio del Toro gets back into eccentric mode as the Collector is interrogated by Thanos on an abandoned Knowhere. Drax is over eager to vanquish his foe, but Mantis puts him to sleep. Gamora manages to fatally wound her father and stab him with the perfectly balanced knife he gave her. We’ll never know how the fluid Aether can be turned into a Stone, because Thanos already possess it. The power of the Reality Stone is finally seen with his death being an illusion and Knowhere being more devastated than initially thought. Just like the comics, Thanos turns Drax to stone, Mantis to ribbons, and Star-Lord’s blaster to bubbles when he attempts to honor his word. Thanos keeps his daughter in comfortable captivity on his ship. The primary difference between comic Thanos and movie Thanos is motivation. In the comics, it was his love of Death that caused him to wipe out half the universe. In the movie, Thanos feels it’s his duty to balance the universe in order to create peace. Some may support his misguided goal, but he’s still a villain to me. Especially when Thanos tortures his other daughter Nebula until Gamora reveals the location of the mysterious orange Soul Stone. Fortunately, Karen Gillan managed to turn the cybernetic Nebula into more of a sympathetic character.

Gamora relents by revealing the location of the Stone to be on Vormir. The Soul Stone was the subject of many fan theories since it was the only Stone that never appeared in a previous movie. I always assumed Heimdall’s orange eyes and soul detecting abilities meant the Stone resided within him, but his death put an end to that theory. Vormir is a mysterious planet with the most unexpected stonekeeper imaginable. I gasped as soon as the Red Skull made his long awaited return to the MCU. After the Tesseract sent him to space back in WWII, he apparently stayed alive as an otherworldly wraith who guides souls to a power he cannot possess. Impressionist Ross Marquand replaces Hugo Weaving since the latter was always apprehensive about returning. The horrible truth of the Soul Stone is that it can only be possessed when a loved one is sacrificed. Although Gamora thinks her father has lost, Thanos does love his daughter in a twisted way. I was emotional before, but I didn’t start crying until Gamora was tragically thrown to her death. Nebula manges to send a message to Mantis and the Guardians fly to Titan to face Thanos.

It’s there that the Guardians have a violent, but humorous first encounter with Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange. Their fight is awesome and they only manage to trust each other when Quill reveals his master to be Jesus. The combination of characters is the coolest in the movie, since it leads to plenty of great material. Mr. Lord frustrates Stark by trying to be the leader and even gets a wake up call when Peter tells Peter that Footloose was never the greatest movie of all time. Drax & Mantis are no help, but Doctor Strange does manage to do something we’ve never seen before. Strange goes forward in time to view 14,000,605 possible futures, but only one where they win. Meanwhile in Nidavellir, Thor reveals his ability to understand Groot and Rocket tries to encourage Thor with a replacement eye. Now he no longer has to wear the eye patch, but Nidavellir is too dark to see regardless. The home of the dwarves resembles a mechanical star with what is supposed to be the brightly lit dying star at the center. It was here that Mjolnir was forged, so Thor seeks a weapon just as powerful to kill Thanos. I knew Peter Dinklage was likely playing Eitri the Dwarf King, but I didn’t expect him to be a giant. It’s a bizarre choice and Eitri has a weird accent, but it works.

Although his hands were damaged by Thanos after he built the Infinity Gauntlet for him, Eitri agrees to help by constructing Stormbreaker. Beta Ray Bill wields Stormbreaker in the comics, but the giant axe more so resembles Thor’s weapon in the Ultimate Universe. Thor reaches peak godhood when he reactivates the dying star with all his might. The full blast of the star takes him out, but Teenage Groot finally does something heroic by using his arm as a handle for Stormbreaker. Meanwhile in Wakanda, another army of disposable CGI four armed Outriders are led by Glaive, Midnight, and Obsidian. Winston Duke retains M’Baku’s loyalty to T’Challa when the Jabari tribe join the fight, Steve is given Vibranium wrist gauntlets in place of a shield, Bucky joins the fight alongside Black Widow, the Wakandans, and Banner piloting Stark’s Mark XLIX Hulkbuster armor. Falcon & War Machine take care of things from the sky, but the Outriders are relentless. Rather than risk them reaching Vision, Shuri opens part of the barrier to keep the fighting in front of them. The second Battle of Wakanda is far more alien with every Avenger and honorary Avenger having time to shine.

Black Panther & Cap run the fastest, Bucky shoots anything in sight, and the Wakandans use their advanced technology. When everyone becomes overwhelmed, one of the most cheerworthy moments in recent memory occurs when Thor arrives in Wakanda with Rocket, Groot, Stormbreaker, and a new red & black cape. Thor says “Bring me Thanos” in a booming voice and the entire theater erupted when he brought his axe down in a mighty blaze of thunder. Scarlet Witch shows her immense power as well after she’s certain Vision will be safe. Glaive targets Vision, Midnight targets Wanda, and Obsidian targets Banner. Shuri’s lab is broken into by Glaive, and although she fights back, there’s not enough time to remove the Mind Stone. A great moment of girl power comes when Romanoff & Okoye help Wanda fight off Midnight. Ending with Wanda using her magic to shred Midnight in one of their vehicles. Some other highlights of the battle are Thor & Cap having another mid-fight chat where they comment on each others new facial appearances. Plus Steve meeting Groot with the classic “I am Groot” introduction, but my personal favorite scene is the unlikely pairing of Bucky & Rocket. The former Winter Soldier picks up the weapon toting raccoon to take out several enemies together. Rocket wanting his metal arm just makes the scene better.

Steve tries to help Vision when Glaive attacks, but only the latter is able to deal the fatal blow. When Hulk still refuses to come out, Banner uses his Hulkbuster glove to launch Obsidian into the Wakandan barrier. My only real disappoint in Hulk not showing up during the final battle is how much of a missed opportunity it is not having him bust out of the Hulkbuster. Which is why my favorite battle is the Attack on Titan. It’s a pure nerdy dream come true that’s every bit the visual spectacle I hoped it would be. Doctor Strange having a seat as he talks with Thanos is exactly how I imagined he would handle the situation. The Mad Titan’s complicated backstory on his home planet is hinted at with Thanos using the Reality Stone to reveal Titan in its prime. As Strange powers up, Stark drops a satellite on Thanos. The rest of the heroes engage in an intense, but very satisfying fight in an attempt to overwhelm their enemy. Strange uses his portals, Cloak, and even the comic accurate Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. Iron Man uses every weapon in his arsenal and so does Star-Lord. Drax manages to get a few hits in and Nebula even shows up last minute to fight her father. Spider-Man webs up Thanos and I absolutely loved Spidey being referred to as “Insect.” When everyone manages to hold Thanos down, Mantis drops in to attempt to put him to sleep.

They’re so close to defeating the Mad Titan, but Star-Lord ruins everything when he lashes out at Thanos after learning the truth about Gamora. I don’t blame Quill, it was just poorly timed. Thanos regains his power and displays it by doing something as unbelievable as throwing a freaking moon. It leads to 2 separate fights that are my favorite one on ones in the movie. Doctor Strange engages in one the greatest wizarding duels ever put to screen. Thanos uses every Stone at his disposal and Strange manges to duplicate himself a hundredfold. Since the Time Stone isn’t inside the Eye of Agamotto, Iron Man is the next to fight. Thanos is fully aware of who Stark is after the Battle of New York. Their fight is a personal one with Stark drawing as much power as he can to defeat him. It was shocking to see Tony stabbed, but more shocking to see Strange willingly give up the Time Stone. As Tony patches himself up, Strange makes it clear that they’re in the Endgame now (remember that!). With 5 Stones in hand, Thanos teleports to Wakanda to retrieve the final Mind Stone. Black Widow, Black Panther, Okoye, Falcon, War Machine, Banner, Rocket, and Groot all fail to stop him. Steve shows his bravery by holding his Gauntlet back, but it’s not enough.

Sadly, the only option is for Wanda to kill the machine she loves. Wanda destroys Vision’s Stone, holds off Thanos, and has an emotional breakdown all at the same time. Thanos’ brief encounter with Wanda is ironic considering Brolin and Olsen’s previous work in Oldboy. Since he possesses the Time Stone, Thanos turns back time just to rip the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead. Only then does Thanos finally gain all 6 of the purple, blue, red, orange, green, and yellow Stones. Thor makes his presence known by lodging Stormbreaker into the Mad Titan’s chest. In most movies, this would be the epic hero moment that saves the day, but he should’ve gone for the head. *Snap* After reading the comic, I knew exactly what was coming. Thanos sees a young Gamora in another realm, and the Gauntlet is in bad shape when we re-enter reality. Chilling is the only word I can use to describe half of the universe disappearing in a cloud of dust.

Steve is forced to watch his oldest friend Bucky disappear, Sam disappears with Rhodey looking for him, Okoye watches in horror as her King T’Challa disappears, Rocket is unable to help when Groot disappears, and Wanda only has the lifeless body of Vision to comfort her when she disappears. Back on Titan, Drax, Mantis, and Quill all disappear with Strange soon following. My heart officially broke when my favorite superhero was the last to disappear. I cry everytime Peter begs for his life and disappears in Tony’s arms. The devastated Avengers are left defeated for the first time ever as Thanos retires to watch the sun set on a grateful universe. It’s so devastating that the credits are given no special treatment. The snap continues to affect the rest of the world in the only after-credits scene that brings back Nick Fury & Maria Hill. S.H.I.E.L.D. may be long gone (if you ignore Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), but that’s no reason not to include Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson. As civilians begin to disappear, Hill soon follows. Seeing no other option, Fury contacts someone on a pager before he’s dusted away himself. Imagine my excitement when it was revealed to be the logo for Captain Marvel. Avengers: Infinity War had a profound effect on more than just the MCU.

42. Avengers Infinity War

Thor arrives in Wakanda with Rocket and Groot

Preceded by: Avengers: Age of Ultron & Followed by: Avengers: Endgame

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