(Major spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven’t seen it and plan on watching it, I strongly recommend you leave this page immediately.)
I just returned home from my first viewing of Avengers: Infinity War and I still haven’t fully processed what just happened. Thanos actually won. 50% of the population of the universe has been erased including most of our phase two and three heroes. Who all died? Who can be brought back? Why did Doctor Strange give Thanos the Time Stone and what does this all mean for Avengers 4?
Major Deaths In Infinity War
Xandar residents (not clear if half the planet was massacred or just enough for Thanos to retrieve the Power Stone)
Remaining Asgardians (assuming Valkyrie and Korg as well)
Vision (Twice. Yeah, that’s a bummer)
Bucky Barnes/White Wolf
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
50% of the universe’s population
(The names in bold were erased from existence when Thanos snapped his fingers.)
Steve Rogers/Captain America
Tony Stark/Iron Man
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
James Rhodes/War Machine
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Hope Van Dyne/Wasp
The Collector (most likely killed when Thanos took the Reality Stone)
(The status of the names in bold have not been confirmed yet.)
What Does This Mean For Avengers 4?
This means that Avengers 4 will mostly focus on our original Avengers crew. Yes, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, and Captain Marvel are going to have major roles but this will be the ending for most (if not all) of the original group of Avengers.
This also means that Avengers 4 will most likely end with the death of Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. Even though both characters have a strong chance to bite the dust in Avengers 4, it is far more likely for Tony to sacrifice himself so the team can wield the Soul Stone (This would bring everything around to the ending of the first Avengers movie and tie into Strange’s bold decision to give up the Time Stone.).
As for who can be brought back, the most logical answer would be all of our erased heroes. We know that the MCU isn’t killing off Black Panther, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy for good since future sequels of those franchises have already been announced.
The Russo brothers, who directed Infinity War, told Variety that there is a “real commitment” to the stakes made in the film. Whether or not that statement rings true depends on the direction the brothers take in Avengers 4. For a movie that spent so much time and effort to tell you that there are consequences, it would be catastrophic for Marvel to backtrack and erase the deaths of Gamora, Loki, Heimdall, and Vision (along with the remaining Asgardians and Xandar).
Why Did Doctor Strange Give Up The Time Stone?
Numerous times throughout the film, Doctor Strange told Tony Stark that he is prepared to let anyone die if it came down to giving up the Time Stone for their lives but when that situation arose, Strange ended up giving Thanos the stone to spare Tony’s life. Why would he do that?
If you remember when the Guardians were cracking jokes instead of listening to Stark’s plan, Doctor Strange was in the background glitching out. When asked if he was okay, Strange said that he looked at over 14 million possible outcomes of their battle against Thanos. Out of those 14 million timelines, The Avengers only came out on top once. When Strange began to disappear, he told Tony that this “was the only way”. So, Strange has a plan but it looks like he won’t be around to tell anyone about it in Avengers 4.
Did Infinity War Set Up The Avengers Next Big Bad?
Props to Disney and Marvel for keeping all of their secrets under wraps until Infinity War’s release. One of the huge reveals made was the revelation that the Red Skull, last seen in the first Captain America film, has been guarding the Soul Stone for all this time in Vormir.
One question that kept floating around in my head when I walked out of the theater was when Thanos is defeated, is there any chance that he will take Red Skull’s place in Vormir? If that is the case, the Avengers may, unknowingly, set up their next big villain.
Thanos’ Motivations In Avengers 4
At the end of Infinity War, The Mad Titan completed his journey and erased 50% of the population. In his eyes, he just saved the universe from extinction. After doing this, he sits down and watches the sunrise on a beautiful planet (possibly Gamora’s homeworld) with a smile on his face.
Even though he is happy with this decision now, there were many times throughout the film where Thanos questioned his “destiny”. Whether he actually feels remorse for killing his daughter or he just becomes bored with not having a purpose in life, there is plenty of evidence that Thanos may have different motivations in Avengers 4.
Captain Marvel May Be The Last Hope To Beat Thanos
In Infinity War, Thanos defeated every one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. During the post-credits scene, we saw Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, who is set to be one of the main characters in the Captain Marvel solo film, page (yes, I said page) someone before turning to dust himself. That someone is Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel.
Kevin Feige has stated that Captain Marvel is “as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”. To me, this seems like Captain Marvel will take Vision’s place as the “Superman” of the MCU and will be the x-factor (along with Thor’s new Stormbreaker axe) in defeating Thanos in Avengers 4.
The Theme of Fatherhood Continues
As I’ve stated before in an article titled “Opinion: The MCU Is The Most Impressive Franchise In Cinematic History”, phase three of the MCU has followed a theme of fatherhood and Infinity War heavily continued that sentiment. The most impactful scenes of the movie, at least from my perspective, were scenes between Gamora/Thanos and Peter Parker/Tony Stark.
When you take into account that Tony told Pepper Potts that he had a dream that they had a son and when he woke up it was all gone, it was heartbreaking to watch Tony actually have to witness his surrogate son turn to dust in front of him.
Same when Thanos sacrificed his own daughter to wield the Soul Stone. The performance Zoe Saldana gave in that scene was absolutely perfect as you can see exactly when it clicks in her head that Thanos is about to kill her. Although this wasn’t exactly a major development made in Infinity War, I thought it was important to point out that theme and those particular scenes.
Did I leave any major developments out? What did you think about Infinity War? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us here at The Nerd Stash for all of your Nerdy News and Needs!