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Infinity War Represents Marvel’s Fun But Dangerous Future

May 13, 2018

Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War” sought to combine nearly every Marvel storyline from the past ten years into one symphony of a superhero movie. And while I enjoyed the movie, I am not going to lie, it has me concerned (DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS).

I will not say the movie did not have me on the edge of my seat. The way the story grouped different characters and showed how each piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe puzzle fit together was exciting and interesting. How could it not be? It’s everything Marvel fans have been waiting for for years.

The movie also got to showcase Marvel’s newfound affinity for humor once again (if you have seen “Thor: Ragnarok,”  you know what I mean) and it worked well. They found the opportunity to put some of their comedic powerhouse characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, and Thor together for some great gags. Teenage Groot was a little lackluster but still, it was overall a good time.

However, despite my enjoyment, I cannot look past some of the details of the movie’s intensely dramatic ending that have me worried for what may come next in the Avengers series and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Two key issues stick out in my mind.

First, this is one of the few times I think Marvel can learn from their rivals at DC. Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to say DC has done something right (can you tell that I am still mad about “Suicide Squad”?). Rather, Marvel should keep in mind one of DC’s biggest critiques regarding their main hero, Superman.

DC fans have bemoaned how excessive Superman’s powers are in his storylines, especially in the comics. Superman became so strong that eventually even the notion of anything beating him just became so ludicrous it was not even worth writing. I am not saying it has happened yet, but I think Marvel needs to be particularly careful with how they treat Thanos in the next movie or they could have a similar situation on their hands.

Now that Thanos has all six infinity stones, the thought of anything submitting him to its will is insane. He pretty much wasted all the protagonists even without all six stones. I am genuinely curious to know how the writers and directors will choose to portray his defeat, but I am worried that it will be by way of some nonsense plan that abandons any semblance of realism left in the MCU. I think they can do it, but I just hope they are careful about it.

Secondly, and this is the one that has really been bugging me, if you kill off half your characters (literally HALF) then death becomes meaningless. I am not a child so I know that Marvel will not leave half of its characters, including some that already have or are likely to have sequels slated for the future like Spider-Man and Black Panther, dead. So Marvel will be forced to resurrect its dead characters.

But resurrection takes the emotional intensity out of death in movies. Gamora’s death was truly one of the most heart-wrenching scenes Marvel has put out in years and there is so much potential to develop Peter Quill’s character through this event. But, a lot the intensity of that scene goes away once I remember that Marvel has a resurrection up its sleeve and Gamora, even though she was not killed along with half of the other protagonists in the final scene, will not remain dead. As much as I love Gamora and Zoe Saldana, I wish she would stay dead simply for how bold the move would be and how much potential it brings to the “Guardians of the Galaxy” storyline.

To me, the plan for the resurrection was very obviously foreshadowed when Thanos reversed Scarlet Witch’s murder of Vision to retrieve the mind stone using the time stone. This might crossover into my first grievance with the movie but the existence of the time stone is too much for the movie to deal with. Even if they do not use the time stone to resurrect the majority of the characters, the fact that it can even do that just seems like a way to cheat death.

Having gotten this off my chest, I must reiterate that I truly liked the movie. I gasped, I laughed, I screamed and I even teared up a little bit. It was a rollercoaster and frankly, any movie that gives me more of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is a win for me (he is the best one yet and you can fight me if you disagree).

But, I do not want Marvel to get too convoluted with its plot lines and I am worried that this movie signals that for the future. Especially with “Captain Marvel” in the works, a portrayal of what many consider to be the most powerful Avenger in the MCU, the studio should take caution when it comes to grandiose stories. The MCU has shown a lot of progress over the years, learning how to communicate stories about fantasies in a way that makes them feel grounded in reality. Hopefully, they do not mess that up.

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