Friday, May 4, 2018

My friend Tony Hale is a Marvel fanatic and all around fun guy and he's got some keen observations about the Infinity War aftermath which I'm sharing with you.

Okay, Avengers: Infinity War is now over. As for spoiler warnings, you should have seen it by now. If not, well you probably shouldn't read this post, because it's talking about the aftermath of said Infinity War.

Introduction (by me):
First off, Infinity War happened even if we want to say it didn't happen because of all the bad feels. Sometimes evil just wins, and Thanos owned the Avengers in a way that was more than just defeat. He broke the Avengers, probably summed up best with Captain America's last line in the movie as he realized what Thanos had just done and uttered, "Oh God." And we are all (every one of us that reads this blog) aware that Marvel and Disney are not just going to close the books on this one, because if they did, there would be worldwide outrage. As it stands there are support groups forming (I've been invited to one) where people are openly discussing and talking about the trauma caused by Infinity War. We know this isn't the end of the story though, even if it is breaking the fourth wall (like Deadpool). There is no way that cash cows like Spider-Man and Black Panther are staying dead. So accepting this fact, let's move forward and discuss not when or if it should indeed happen, but why it should happen.

Observations by Tony Hale:
Why should the events of Infinity War be reversible? This is an excellent question.

Look, Thanos won each infinity stone through force or sacrifice...all except the time stone, which he bargained for with Doctor Strange. The time stone was also in a protective bubble when he gained it, whereas all the other stones were touched to stone per se. This was peculiar, and I doubt it was a random lens flare. Observe: earlier in the movie, Vision makes an off hand comment about the "entity" or "being" in the mind stone warning him. Could this imply that the stones have some intelligence to them? If we can agree that "yes" the stones do have an intelligence to them, then this is a big deal. Allow me to explain.

I think that this means the stones "choose" their wielders to some degree. If that's the case, then I think that it's possible that by not vanquishing the owner--Doctor Strange--that Thanos failed to truly gain power over the stone.

And while we are at it, let us consider Doctor Strange himself. The enigmatic Sorcerer Supreme said early on in the movie (inside the doughnut-shaped spaceship that channeled Prometheus in a big way) that he would, "not hesitate to sacrifice either Tony Stark or Peter Parker for the time stone." This seemed very harsh, and Doctor Strange said it with brutal conviction. I don't think he said it because he wanted to be an asshole to either Stark or Peter, but because he meant it in the bottom of his gut.  The time stone was far too valuable, and Doctor Strange was a good enough guy that he wanted them both to realize he didn't (ultimately) have their back.

However, all of this somehow goes out the window when Stark gets stabbed by Thanos and Thanos is just about to kill Stark. Strange stops him by offering up the time stone for Tony Stark's life. Thanos, always a man of his word, accepts the exchange and then disappears. When Stark asks Doctor Strange why he did that...Doctor Strange replies, "We are entering the end game now" and even later, "Tony, you must trust me, because this was the only way."

These are all fascinating events that I have pondered about all weekend. For one, it makes me think that it's possible that Doctor Strange still has control, to some degree, over the time stone, even though his body is "gone." Remember, Doctor Strange can project himself into the astral plane. If I'm right, then this could be the key to Thanos's downfall. I seems logical that Doctor Strange knows exactly what is happening, and that out of the fourteen million plus possibilities he saw using the time stone's power, that he has made a choice that put them on the correct path to being able to beat Thanos.

My observations regarding the Hulk in Infinity War

In our conversation, my friend Tony was disappointed by only one thing with Infinity War, and it was this: "Not enough Hulk."

So what was going on with that? I think the directors were doing two things. First off, they wanted to show how terrifying Thanos was by making the (arguably) most terrifying Avenger afraid to fight Thanos after he opens an ass-kicking clinic on him before the opening credits of the movie. But could there be another side to this?

Here's a theory that is less obvious that I came up with on my own: the Hulk has respect issues with Banner. See, Hulk just came from a place where he was loved and wanted. This taught Hulk an important lesson: that he isn't loved and wanted with the Avengers. Instead of showing him appreciation, they use him for his strength and then immediately try to send him away. Personally, I think that Banner needs to apologize to Hulk and tell him that he needs him before it's ever going to get better. I expect this to happen in the Avengers 4 next May.

So there you have it. Have any of you come up with observations about the movie that you'd care to share in the comments below?


  1. Ok, I won't read it then. Have a good weekend.

  2. Thanks!! I caught those confusing comments and shrugged. And Dr. Strange is a unique person; he is mortal but really now?

    Next year? Nooooo

  3. I was pissed when I saw Black Panther disappear because I knew it was all BS. Spiderman, Starlord, Groot gone and it went on and on. It took me out of the movie and that scene pissed me off for a couple of days.

    After thinking about it a bit, I changed my mind a bit because they writers were stuck due to the realities of filmmaking. Disney has all these actors signs for X number of movies for a set amount of money. The stories of the original Avengers are played out and conveniently they all survived. It isn't a coincidence that most of them only have one picture left on their deals.

    The heroes with stories left to tell were blinked out of existence. That seems convenient and maybe we'll find out Dr Strange's power allowed him to pick this timeline. It also gives Disney the option of another film for if they choose that path.

    I'm sure as the writers sat down to write Avengers 3 & 4 they had to feel they had about 14 million permutations themselves as they wrote out their storyboards. Keep in mind that while they finish Avengers 4, Spiderman is shooting its next installment. So is Guardians and Black Panther. Of those 3 movies only Rocket survived and he's CGI. That makes everyone's job on all these films easier.

    I'd bet Ant-Man wasn't in Infinity War because shooting schedules were too close. Hawkeye wasn't in it because he only has one film left on his contract. The answer for Hulk is even simpler. Mark Ruffalo has complained in the past that he wanted a movie where he take part in the action instead of having CGI do the heavy lifting. Hulk's performance issues fit perfect into giving one of their stars what they want and it makes sense to keep Ruffalo happy as Hulk certainly could fit into a post-Ironman/Cap universe.

    The one thing I wonder is how much we will see of the 'blinked out' heroes in Avengers 4. My guess is not much if at all. It's a swan song to the originals and it allows the story to focus on them. We know they are going to need to make a sacrifice to undo the 'blink'. The biggest question is how many die.

    The amazing thing as I think about this is the writers had all these limitations and still were able to write a script that worked so well. It makes the achievement of Infinity War even better.

  4. Yeah, still haven't seen Infinity War. Maybe eventually...

  5. Support groups, really? How gullible are people? Black Panther just made over a billion dollars, so obviously he's not dead. If they'd killed Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and others who don't have sequels lined up then I might buy it.