Marvel’s Phase 3: Infinity War

Wil Cosgrove

– Warning: Contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War

Ten years ago, Robert Downey Jr. brought to life an entire new world. When Iron-Man first aired in 2008, no one had any idea that the franchise would develop into a modern cinematic phenomenon. Both fans and critics considered Iron Man a smashing success, with the movie making over half a million dollars.The movie  brought many comic book fans’ childhoods to life while simultaneously enticing a new generation of kids. Marvel fans were first shocked when Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the largest world security unit), mentioned the Avengers Initiative to Stark in the first movie. But when Stark made an appearance at the end of Hulk, it was just, dare I say, incredible. In 2012, Marvel took a big risk by bringing all their movies characters together in one big film, The Avengers. It did extremely well at the box offices when it first came out.

Now, with this base, Marvel could expand into different kinds of heroes, such as Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Even if these movies didn’t explicitly say so, they were all connected. Creating a cohesive expanding universe allowed for the true attachment of what has become one of the biggest fan bases to date. People loved seeing characters from one movie make it onto the big screen as a side character or part of a larger team. The directors amazed fans with little Easter Eggs (subtle objects, people, or references to other MCU movies) in their movies. Then, the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, made a huge announcement — he was initiating Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This stage of Marvel would wrap up the first two phases and consequently create a new chapter. In this phase, Feige announced there would be a huge culmination of everything from the past 10 years, which he called Avengers: Infinity War. This movie would bring together almost all the heroes from previous movies to fight the mad titan Thanos, and let me tell you, it was epic. There were 67 characters in this movie, and the ultimate fight scene from the script was apparently 25 pages long.

The plot for Infinity War began in the first Avengers movie. Loki was sent to earth on a mission by the mad titan Thanos to retrieve a weapon called the tesseract. This item contained one of the most powerful entities in the universe, an infinity stone. There were six of them in the universe, and each one has the power to control space, mind, power, time, souls, or reality itself. Thanos, born on the overpopulated planet Titan, saw that there was only a finite limitation of resources in the universe and requested a genocide on half the people on his planet, completely random, completely fair, attempting to save the other half. This caused uproar, and he earned himself the name “mad-titan.” He saw his planet crumble and die. Thanos made it his goal for that never to happen again. He learned about these infinity stones and realized that he could help all life in the universe by wiping it out, therefore preventing this from happening to anyone ever again. This was a big enough threat to bring the avengers and guardians together to attempt to stop that from happening.

From here on out, there are going to be major spoilers for the movie, so if you have not seen it yet, I recommend seeing it first, then reading this. OK, first, let’s address the issues. Don’t get me wrong, this movie was amazing, but nothing is ever perfect. This movie had its flaws, although they were quite limited. The beginning of the movie I felt was a little rushed. Marvel wasted no time getting right to the point. Right away, they showed Thanos with already one infinity stone. Along with many other people, I would very much like to have seen the destruction of Xandar and, later, the fight of the Asgardians against the mad titan.

Like I said in the beginning, there were 67 characters in the movie, so as expected, there were many subplots. There were almost four movies in this one big movie. This was supposed to be the big battle, the final war that the Avengers were going to have to face. I was expecting and really looking forward to one big fight scene with everyone at the end; I am going to stay optimistic and say that Avengers 4 will do us justice.

Along with everyone else who has seen this movie, I was shocked at the ending. It defied all expectations completely. When Thanos snapped and half the universe evaporated, I can’t tell you how quiet the theater went; it was astonishing. However great that might have been, it was disappointing all the same. They showed characters dying that are going to make a comeback in later years. Spider-Man already has another movie confirmed for next year, so we know he won’t stay dead for long. The same thing goes for Black Panther and Star-Lord. It was a very unsatisfying conclusion. We were led to believe that this is the big culmination of the MCU when, in reality, the big culmination will occur in next year’s Avengers.

Aside from those basic complaints, this movie lived up to the hype and destroyed most of Marvel’s negative stereotypes. Aside from Kilmonger (Black Panther) and Loki, Marvel’s villains have not had the best reputations. They have been known for being generic, wanting to conquer the world or universe, having a basic plan, and wanting to reshape the world to conform to their beliefs through big CGI fights, armor, and unrealistic stakes. Thanos is all of those things; I mean, he’s a big purple CGI alien who wants to reshape the universe by killing half of it, so why is he such a loved character? We cared about him and empathized with him. He was a good guy with corrupted morals. He had good intentions and a sad backstory. When he sat down at the end of the movie, looked over the sunset, and smiled, I couldn’t help but smile, too. If I wasn’t in such shock over all my favorite characters dying left and right, I might just have been happy for him. I can’t wait to see him come back in the next movie. He was the true hero of Infinity War.

Another criticism commonly given to Marvel movies is having unrealistic stakes with no consequences. For example, Hulk destroyed practically all of Harlem, and no one has mentioned that at all. This movie destroyed that stereotype. The consequences definitely were severe. The tragic death of Loki and Heimdall really opened up the movie and showed viewers how devastating Thanos is, and then with the shocking murder of his daughter Gamora, we saw how much he was willing to give up in order to achieve his destiny. I’m sure we can expect some more emotional deaths in the sequel, including characters that have been there since the beginning. Only time will tell.

Overall, I thought the movie was fantastic. It captured everything it could have and set up another future, which can be all the more awesome and heartbreaking. This is a movie that requires a basic Marvel knowledge to be enjoyed, and I would recommend watching Thor Ragnarok before this if you haven’t already, but anyone will appreciate this deeply. Now, all we can do is wait and see what happens to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the next movie, Avengers 4.