Spoiled Infinity Yak

I saw Avengers: Infinity War, and agree with Scalzi and others who found the drama of the big character deaths extremely weakened by the knowledge they’re gonna get a mulligan. There wasn’t even a hint of a moment of feeling shocked or bad about the deaths. There would have been more feeling if in the film we spent more time with the survivors, got to feel their reactions, but they didn’t do that. It made sense in terms of pacing to skip that – the deaths came super late in the film. But it still fell flat as drama.

A movie that’s an obvious two parter should leave you wanting and wondering about the second, but not because the first ended feeling a bit like a bad joke. Nonetheless, I do think it was competently done, gratifying explodey action 5eva. Just not as good of quality in storytelling as many other MCU joints.

Anyhow, if you wanna talk about the movie with someone without fear of spoiling, I put the word Spoiled in the title, so feel free to be completely open here.

What else do I wanna say? OH YEAH. The stuff from the trailers that didn’t end up in the movie at all! The Hulk running in Wakanda. An entire Thanos speech (one doesn’t consider fun when balancing the cosmos…). That shit feels reeeeally weird. Like we were lied to about the movie. Just a strange experience.

Also, the reason the Hulk wasn’t running in Wakanda – Banner couldn’t hulk out in the movie and I could think of zero reason why except for budget. Was he literally left in a cage to make way for Purple Man Group? If so, W the earthly F?

Also watching Agents of Shield with its half-assed tie-in moments, and shit isn’t adding up there. Thanos attack was supposed to be what precipitated actions leading to the destruction of the Earth, but Thanos wasn’t about destroying the earth, leaving the idea as a depressing wacky temporal comedy of errors.

The season has been hella weak by comparison to the last few, the aliens feel like B movie versions of the Guardians movies aliens, which puts them on a continuum of bad towards the Inhumans show. Yikes. And the show has no choice but to have half the cast members disintegrate, because its finale airs long before we discover the method of Mulligan in the movies.

Then there’s the Netflix shows. They try to tie in but that’s also feeling pretty flimsy at this point. None of those characters got to be in the movies, even in the background. And how will they deform their plots to account for where the movie ‘verse has been left hanging? They just can’t. It’d be ridiculous.

Ant Man and the Wasp has the advantage of being able to bump their plot back in time farther than Agents of Shield can, but I’d like to see the end credit scene be the entire cast disintegrating, just as a way to keep the goof going. Why not?

Mmm, sequel thoughts. I’d love to see a few long conversations between Nebula and Tony Stark, with them stranded on a distant world, tragedy all around and nothin’ to do. That would be an interesting bit of drama. I’d like the dead to stay dead for a good chunk of the beginning.

So how does the Mulligan work? I knew even before I watched the movie what they were going to pull, so I thought maybe they could give the reality stone to the Scarlet Witch and have her pull an Avengers Disassembled or non-mutants-referring House of M style plot. MCU Scarlet Witch hasn’t been shown to have powers on the level she did in the comic, but getting an infinity stone could make the difference. But they killed her, so that’s out.

In the original Infinity Gauntlet story, if I recall, the souls of the dead are, in a sense, inside the Soul Gem. Adam Warlock leads Gamora and Drax back to the land of the living (along with another character who hasn’t appeared yet, and if I’m remembering this right – it was years ago & I don’t feel like researching). If the movie verse is similar, Dr. Strange could take that role. And it would make sense of his action of giving the time stone to Thanos. Like, why would he ever have done that, especially to spare fucking Tony Stark? Only if he was counting on dying to get a peep inside the gem and come up with a better plan.

Lastly, reiterate what I said at Nate’s, they removed Thanos’s original motive — pining for the embodiment of death itself, killing half of everything to impress her. That’s especially weird, given the end credit scene of the first Avengers heavily implied that was his still his thang. Also, it just made a LOT more sense as a motive than this half-assed overpopulation is bad gimmick.

So bad move, and also one that shows the MCU is willing to throw its own foreshadowing in the garbage. The end of Guardians 2 foreshadowed the birth of Adam Warlock, but they might never use him, and certainly it would be weird for him to show up new in the next Avengers joint.

The deaths of Spiderman, Black Panther, and the Guardians means they can’t make any movies for those guys until after the next Avengers movie, so I really don’t know quite what to expect here. It’s a silly state of affairs. I guess we can have fun with it. Oh noes, I’m ded. x_x


  1. says

    lol no one on FtB wants to talk about infinity war. nate’s spot had very few comments, mine none. i’ve noticed tumblr also seems like it doesn’t give a shit to talk about the movie. that’s a statement in itself.

  2. says

    Tumblr likes emotional stuff. This wasn’t. Though I found movie Thanos way more interesting and nuanced than comic book Thanos. That might be an indictment of the comics more than anything.

  3. says

    It was SO meant to be emotional, but didn’t work. The part with Peter Parker bein’ all “I don’t wanna die Mr. Stark” while hugging him? And after that, Stark’s just sitting there like, “Welp, that happened.” I don’t know what I expected of the actors in the situation, but they weren’t given much screen time to work with.

  4. says

    Hang on tho, u thought “kill half the universe because overpopulation” was more interesting than “i wanna freak death”? Why is nuance even a thing you’d want in a “kill half the universe” story? It’s a gonzo concept.

  5. lanir says

    The acting for Thanos seemed really well done. The motive… the exact opposite. I automatically considered all life to be in the crosshairs when he pulled his stunt because no type of life is immune to the effects of overpopulation. But what happens then? Microorganisms rule the universe. Why? Because they breed faster and that means they adapt faster. And there’s a LOT more room to grow into. They’d occupy any niche they could reach.

    It’s also nonsense because killing off half the farm animals and crops means the proportions stay the same. You’ve got extra space and gear. That’s about it.

    I wasn’t familiar with the comic version of the story but the mind gem seemed particularly lame. To me mind is processing and that includes perceptions. A fight between someone with the power to remake reality and someone who can affect the way their opponent visualizes that reality… That could have been interesting and trippy as hell. Would’ve even taken less time if they were okay with implying rather than showing every nuance. Instead? The robot guy is just smart. Like every other AI. And the problem gets solved by who punches the other guy in the face harder. And oh noes, the smart guy doesn’t have a plan for what to do when people are punching him in the face. Their core fan base for these movies are geeks. I honestly have no idea why they would go for the chest thumping approach with a concept like that.

    While I missed the preview stuff not being in the movie thing, I generally agree with the rest of the original post. All I would add is that while Thanos has lousy reasons now, I’m kind of glad there’s no Lady Death screentime. She might have an awesome story but I never got into it because of the art. In my experience that sort of overblown style with very small female costumes tended to have really, really bad writing.

    And about the tie-ins… When I run into bonkers stuff like that in games I’m running I just let it loom there on it’s own until I find something in my story that could use it as a hook or an excuse to go in a direction I want to. That’s sort of the approach I expect from the various series. There’s absolutely no benefit to tying in very closely. It would ruin the pacing for both the series and the next film if you had a whole tv season of lingering massive movie problems.

  6. says

    DC & Marvel both have a female personification of death, among a few more old school versions in the back catalog. DC’s Death was a goth girl with an ankh necklace that had been developed by the famous Gaiman and emulated by the coolest Jen who was a senior in my high school when I was a freshman. The version from Marvel was a classic Grim Reaper skeleton-in-a-robe, which puts me in mind of the famous you-can’t-fuck-a-skeleton post on tumblr, but u know personality goes a long way. Incidentally, while Thanos loved her unrequited, she apparently had a thing for Deadpool. The more u kno.

  7. says

    Yes, because the Malthusian bad idea was RELATABLE, while “You want to do what? To WHAT?” was not. I said the CHARACTER was more interesting, and the fact that his motive was more ordinary was a big part of WHY – you can kind of see his point of view, screwy as it is. Movie Thanos was able to be relatable, even a twisted bit of sympathetic, and in fact wound up being the only character in Infinity War that actually had some emotional development and range.

    Comic Thanos meanwhile had the goddamnedest motivation, and other than that…. was a totally generic omnicidal megalomaniac comic villain. There wasn’t a thing in his personality that set him apart from the crowd of those guys in comics, and the only thing that made him a credible threat that necessitated a series of giant crossover events was the Infinity MacGuffins themselves.

    Basically, in the movie, the gems were the means to Thanos’ end. In the comics, Thanos was obviously slapped together as the villain of the week whose only purpose was to be the one the stars of the story, the gems, were attached to.

    Trying to compare the book and the comic on ‘realistic’ or ‘sensible’ kind of doesn’t work, because they’re both completely bonkers and riddled with bad ideas and plot holes.

  8. says

    I find wanting to get bizzay with a force of nature more relatable than Malthusian bad ideas myself, but it’s subjective, for sure. Also find it more interesting, but that could just be me, OK. I certainly agree they spent more time developing him than anyone else. Gamora was second, but they took care of that before the halfway mark, didn’t they?

    It’s my understanding comic Thanos predated the infinity mcguff story by at least some years, had an earlier attempt to do bad stuff with the cosmic cube. I won’t argue he’s got artistic merit as a concept, but I’m not convinced he doesn’t. Then again, my favorite genre of movie for years was action flicks, so my standard will be different.

    Other than that stuff, I think I generally agree.

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