I write this post speculatively, before going to watch Avengers: Infinity War this weekend. Over the last couple of weeks, I have prepared by re-watching all the MCU films. Admittedly, nodding off before the end of some. With the exception of Black Panther, which has yet to be released on DVD/Blu Ray, I will have re-watched them all prior to the movie.
On the surface, this movie looks set to break all the rules. Many team based superhero films have dealt with criticism about certain fan favourite characters not getting enough screen time.
Even with two potentially epic movies, (in both scope and run-time) as Infinity War is conceptually a part 1 with Avengers 4 (title TBA) to come later, there are many, many characters looking to play a role.
Going in. May have some spoilers of some around some of the previous movies and maybe Infinity War trailers.
So, a mix of reminders of where heroes were last seen and predictions based on trailers, Infinity Gauntlet comics, or just sheer speciualtion.
Thor and Hulk finished Thor: Ragnarok with Loki and a weary collection of Asgardian and assorted aliens on a spaceship. In the post credit sequence, running into a huge foreboding spaceship that will prove to belong to Thanos.
Flashback to Avengers 1 where Loki was given provided fairly vivid promises should his scheme fail.
‘If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice where he can not find you.’ – The Other
So you just know Loki is going to be thrilled about this meeting. Yet, there is little doubt that he managed to pick up the Tesseract during Ragnarok. What appear to be the earliest scenes of Thanos in the trailer show him with both the blue Space stone and the Purple Power stone in his gauntlet. So Loki is definitely going to surrender that in about 3 seconds flat, and point to where he last left the Mind Stone (on Earth) while he is at it.
Side point – A spectacular opening sequence might be Thanos coming to Xandar to take the Power Stone which was last seen in their possession.
But next, I turn my attention to Hulk. One scene in the trailer sees Banner having fallen through the roof of Dr Strange’s sactorum. In the comics, this was the Silver Surfer, coming to Earth to warn about Thanos’ pending arrival.
So I theorise that Thanos, on running into the escaping Thor & friends, will see Banner Hulk out and take a swing at Thanos. Thanos then BLAMMOs hulk with the Power Stone and literally punches him through space all the way to Earth. Perhaps deliberately chosing Dr Strange’s location so that (a) Earth can prepare for Thanos arrival and hopefully make some sport out of it, and (b) because Thanos is sensitive to the Infinity stones, he knows Strange has one in his possession (Time Stone / Eye of Agamotto).
Things look grim here for Thor and his merry band, with only Thor, Loki and Hulk guaranteed further appearances by the trailers. Still, it would be a shame for Heimdall, Valkyrie and Korg to meet their end here. Especially with the latter having only just arrived in the MCU. So perhaps Thanos disables their ship and leaves them in space, helpless.
Back on Earth, Iron Man is seen conferring with Dr Strange and Wong in the trailers, so the Avengers are on alert that Thanos is on his way looking for Infinity Stones and heroes to smack down.
Tony makes some calls. Spiderman gets handed the upgraded suit he knocked back in Homecoming, but is seen wearing in trailers. Vision has the Mind Stone, so is held back from combat so they aren’t just handing Thanos what he wants (Dr Strange held back initially also for similar reasons).
That leaves a recovering War Machine, who seemed to appear in the trailer so at least appears to have had his suit upgraded to offset his injuries, and Black Widow as active Avengers. T’challa had his own stuff to deal with back home in Wakanda. Scarlet Witch seems to have more relationship development with Vision this movie, so seems to have been forgiven for joining Team Cap.
Falcon, Hawkeye and Ant Man were last seen in cells on The Raft, but the post Civil War scene suggests Cap was breaking them out. Well, it showed Falcon getting busted out. We assume Cap wouldn’t leave the other two behind.
So Cap, Falcon and Hawkeye go off the grid. Hawkeye appears to adopt his Ronin persona. One assumes for anonymity. Would not be surprised to hear Cap referred to as Nomad for similar reasons.
So, undermanned, Tony goes at Thanos Hulkbuster style. It will not end well. Vision gets Mind Gem plucked.
Wrecked, the fall back plan is Wakanda. Where Cap last left Winter Soldier. All remaining forces regroup.
Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy pick up Thor: Lost in Space edition. The Milano cannot carry everyone, so Thor charges Heimdall and Valkyrie to protect the Asgardian refugees while Thor heads to Earth.
Guardians are keen on preventing Thanos from getting all Infinity Stones, having learned (or even been present) for the fall of Xandar. They head for Earth with Thor in tow, where they join in with confronting Thanos.
Thanos wins, and the film ends with him taking the Time Stone from Dr Strange, with all heroes beat down hard, and possibly some deaths.
Maybe Thanos makes it seem everyone is dead, only we learn Dr Strange cast an illusion and flung everyone across a couple of dimensions. Or Ant-Man and Wasp dropped everyone into the Microverse at the critical moment.
Leaving part 2 of Infinity War (Avengers 4) with the setting that Thanos now needs 2 more Infinity stones, neither of which were last noted as being on Earth.
Great timing for a Captain Marvel movie set out in space – eh? So then she can participate in Avengers 4 as well.
The Aether was given to the Collector, but also, the Collector’s place kind of blew up. So for all we know, Howard the Duck has it.
Leaving the final Infinity stone to be revealed, the Soul Stone. I cannot see there being time for this one’s location to be revealed in Infinity War. A teaser post credits at most.
For me, the logical place for the Soul Gem to turn up would be along with Adam Warlock, whose presence was teased at the post credits of GoTG2. He could either form the basis of GoTG3, or spill over into Captain Marvel.
Also, I fully expect Nebula to play a major role in Thanos ultimate defeat. Though it would also be appropriate that Thanos himself be the source of his own downfall.
Interestingly, the fourth Avengers film has not been named with the excuse being that doing so would be a spoiler for Infinity War.
The common suggestion is Avengers: The Infinity Gauntlet, but that hardly seems a spoiler. Even people not familiar with the comic material have put together that Thanos is on a stone-gathering quest. Not much of a spoiler in that.
‘Heroes Reborn’ is another iconic Marvel event that would give away more than you would like going in to Infinity War.
Oh, Cap got smooshed? Never mind, the next one is called Heroes Reborn so he will be back.
Yeah, that would really deflate the moment. Okay, Reborn was Onslaught related, and I don’t see an X-Men crossover at this point in the proceedings. But blogs were built for speculation like that.
Actually, with Disney progressively gobbling up the universe, Onslaught or A vs X events could be on the horizon. There’s even a chance of the Fantastic Four being brought back into the MCU.
But for now, enough speculation. Instead, I can sit back and watch the Russo’s work their magic. I sincerely hope they can pull off such an ambitious roll-call in this movie.
Perhaps the single biggest threat will be that after the long and prolonged success of the MCU, anything less than ground breaking genius will be deemed inadequate by an unforgiving fan base.