I’m going to put this right at the top here: Every word in this post contains spoilers about Avengers: Infinity War.
I’m not doing a standard review, since there have been a million of those already, and most of them are probably better than what I could do.
So, instead, this will be a spoilers & speculation post.
I’ll be directly addressing the fates of all the major character in the film, and what I believe that will and/or should mean for their future.
You have been sufficiently warned, so anything you see below this line is your own fault.
The misdirection that I reference is in the way that Infinity War was advertised. “Where Will You Be When It All Ends” is a super ironic tag line since nothing – including the movie itsel – really ends here. And, as long as we’re mentioning fake-out advertising, the dramatic struggle between Captain America and Thanos is little more than a footnote in this movie. There isn’t even any audio besides the dramatic “We’re All F*cked” music playing over the scene. Lastly, all those shots of the Hulk in Wakanda were easily plucked out by the CGI crew.
None of those little marketing fibs made me angry, though, when all was said and done. I very much enjoyed Infinity War, but I’ll abstain from giving my full thoughts on it as a film until it’s actually finished next year. This was not really a full movie; it was the first two acts of the three act film.
With that said, I thought it was done as well as you could possibly do something of this magnitude, with this many primary characters – most of whom are already carrying their own film franchises.
Some reviewers thought Thanos himself was a problem, but I thought that Josh Brolin imbued the character with enough humanity (for lack of a better term) to make even Motion Capture God Andy Serkis proud.
Every character got a chance to get their stuff in, albeit in smaller doses than usual. But I didn’t feel like anyone got cheated out of screen time, since there was only so much to go around – even at two hours and forty minutes – and everyone got a pretty equal share.
Now let’s take a tally.
I’ll be listed cause of death (or “death”) next to each character’s name. Everyone who got dusted by Thanos’ Finger Snap Of Doom (he was right, Thor should have gone for the head) will be tagged as “Oh Snap!”
Heimdall – Stabbed in the chest by member of Thanos’ Black Order.
Loki – Choked to death by Thanos himself.
Gamora – Dropped off a cliff as a sacrifice to attain the Soul Stone (which was protected by the Red Skull, who made a legit surprise cameo!).
Vision – Mind Stone yanked out of his head by Thanos.
Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes – Oh Snap!
Black Panther / King T’Challa – Oh Snap!
Spider-Man / Peter Parker – Oh Snap!
Doctor Stephen Strange – Oh Snap!
Falcon / Sam Wilson – Oh Snap!
Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff – Oh Snap!
Star-Lord / Peter Quill – Oh Snap!
Drax – Oh Snap!
Mantis – Oh Snap!
Groot – Oh Snap!
Nick Fury – Oh Snap!
Maria Hill – Oh Snap!
Hawkeye / Clint Barton (not in the film)
Ant-Man / Scott Lang (not in the film)
The Wasp / Hope Van Dyne (not in the film)
Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers (teased in the stinger, so presumably alive)
Captain America / Steve Rogers
Iron Man / Tony Stark
Hulk / Bruce Banner
Black Widow / Natasha Romanov
War Machine / James Rhodes
Now, as far as who’s dead “for real” I’m going to say that only Heimdall, and Loki fit that bill.
Fact is that Idris Elba was too good for that role when they cast him, and has better things to do with his time.
Loki, meanwhile, has been great in all the movies he’s appeared, but he’s essentially a villain who already appeared in five movies. That being said, Loki’s been presumed dead a few times before, so you never know.
We’ve already seen an incarnation of Gamora in the Soul Stone’s pocket dimension immediately after the Finger Snap Of Doom. I don’t believe it’s going out on a limb to suggest that she’ll find her way out of the Soul Stone just in time to give Big Daddy T a stab or two.
Everyone who disintegrated after the Finger Snap Of Doom are, ironically, the safest characters. For various reason – financial and otherwise – it would be a bad idea to keep any of them dead past Avengers 4. I expect we’ll see all of them either immediately after Thanos is vanquished, or just in the nick of time to help with the vanquishing.
As for the unknowns – I expect we’ll find out Ant-Man and The Wasp’s status by the time their movie in July comes along. Because of that, and because they weren’t actually in Infinity War, I won’t speculate too much on their fates.
Here’s the funny thing I noticed about all the survivors: All of the original Avengers squad is still alive (I’m assuming Hawkeye is amongst the living as well, so we can get a full reunion in Avengers 4).
This makes way more sense than to kill any of them off in a movie as crowded ad Infinity War was. They’ll have at least the first half of Avengers 4 to do their victory lap. I do believe, however, that victory will come at a great cost.
“Who do you believe will actually die fighting the good fight against the Mad Titan” you may ask?
I can’t get a read on Hawkeye, but he’s been absent enough since Age Of Ultron that I think he may be traveling to that great archery range in the sky.
Tony Stark has cycled through a complete character arc at least twice in the last ten years. Also, Robert Downey, Jr still has a back-end deal that pays him based on box office grosses that I believe Marvel probably wants to get out of.
From a storyline perspective, the tandem of T’Challa and Shuri have the awesome armor / billion (trillion?) dollar bank account to fill in Iron Man’s spot. Also, Doctor Strange telling him “I’m sorry, Tony. There was no other way.” tells me that 1 out-of-14,000,000 chance at victory he foresaw will come at the cost of Tony’s life.
Steve Rogers has really been the backbone of the whole MCU in many ways. His character has also had one vast, and fantastic character arc that tells me his story ends while saving the universe from Thanos. Chris Evan also seems like he’s interested in doing some different things.
I think that Bucky will take up the mantle of Captain America, much as he did in the comics for a few years. He won’t be going at it alone, though, since I think he’ll need help from Falcon to fill Steve’s shoes. This also hopefully gives us a chance at more of their delightful “I hate you / I hate you more” dynamic in future films.
I believe that Black Widow will stick around to be the third leg that help carry the weight of Steve Rogers’ legacy. She, as a character, still has a lot of untapped potential. Also, Scarlett Johansson has a movie star presence that’s tough to replace.
Thor should be safe, especially since they only just figured out how to make a great Thor movie with Thor: Ragnarok. Chris Hemsworth also seems like he’s having a great time in Ragnarok, and Infinity War. Besides, he only just got that badass Storm Breaker. It’d be a shame not to see that bad boy in action some more.
Hulk is, as he always has been, a lot of fun. Also, it’s nice to “Have a Hulk” in your back pocket whenever the need may arise. I think the Green Giant will be sticking around longer.
Rhodey has been around since the very first MCU movie, and Don Cheadle has been playing him since way back in Iron Man 2. War Machine would certainly help fill in that expected Iron Man-shaped hole, but his survival is a true wildcard in Avengers 4.
I expect Captain Marvel, Rocket, Nebula, and the Wakanda Trio (Shuri, Mbaka, Okoye) will help fill our the margins of Avengers 4. I think the only real death risk out of that group is Nebula.
At any rate, that’s where I stand on the present – and future – of the Avengers, and the MCU in-general. Where I also stand is happily in-line to see Avengers 4 as soon as I’m possibly able to.