One Thing You’ll Never Take Away: A Tribute to Tony Stark (SPOILERS!)

One Thing You’ll Never Take Away: A Tribute to Tony Stark (SPOILERS!)

I want to start off this post by saying that I never really liked Tony Stark. Well, I can’t say I never liked him. I just never considered him one of my favorite characters out of the many to choose from in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Usually, I don’t pick favorites at all, but when the question came up, he was never a first choice.

I mean, who would pick “genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist” Anthony Stark as a role model? Who likes listening to somebody that arrogant and snarky? Pick Captain America, the do-gooder who always does what he believes is right. Or Thor, the buff god of thunder with a redemptive origin story.

Not Tony. Tony’s too flawed.

Tony Stark Was Made to be Hated

I once read something about Stark’s character origin that I thought was interesting, so I went and dug up the article again. Long story short, Tony Stark was created to be despised.

Stan Lee recalls in an interview for the first Iron Man film:
“I think I gave myself a dare. It was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military. So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist. I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, and shove him down their throats and make them like him … And he became very popular.”

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/little-known-sci-fi-fact-stan-lee-thought-marvel%E2%80%99s-readers-would-hate-iron-man-first

And I thought that was very interesting. How do you make people like a character who represents everything they hate?

But then look at what Tony Stark became. From the minute Robert Downey Jr. stepped in to play the billionaire in 2008, a previously unknown character suddenly became a household name, and it’s not because of the storyline, it’s not because of the CGI, it’s not even because of the music (though I love it to death).

It’s because of the character and Downey Jr.’s portrayal of him.

That being said, back to the original question. Most likeable characters are generally agreeable. Some of the more interesting ones start out with issues, but go on the “hero’s journey” like Luke Skywalker or have a redemption arc like Thor. Usually, unlikeable heroes don’t last very long, which is why there are so few of them.

So what makes Tony different?

The Story of Tony Stark

Let’s look at Tony’s journey throughout the MCU. There will be Endgame spoilers in this section so if you haven’t watched the movie yet, a) go watch it and b) please don’t continue reading past this point, though I don’t know why I bother as the spoilers are all over social media anyway.

Iron Man

Tony Stark is basically the father of the MCU in terms of characters. In Iron Man, after being attacked and captured in Afghanistan by the Ten Rings, Tony, a completely self-enraptured, profiteering celebrity arms dealer, realizes that his weapons are being stolen and used against American citizens.

He builds his first suit as a way to get out of the cave and when he gets home, building a better, more streamlined suit becomes his obsession. Soon not only has he designed one that can fly, but is basically his own personalized weapon only he can control. Using the suit, he rectifies the wrongs that his company had been causing and becomes a national hero.

Iron Man 2

Fast forward to Iron Man 2. At this point in a typical hero’s journey type story, Tony should be sorted by now. Right?

Not even close.

Tony allowed the suit and his own genius to boost his own ego. Being the hero and getting to save everyone all the time went to his head and made him more arrogant than ever. It’s not that he was doing anything wrong per se, he made the US safer, he saved countless people, he definitely qualifies as the good guy.

But I think pride has a unique place among other character flaws because it’s something everyone struggles with. Tony Stark became the embodiment of one of the sins that roots more deeply and is harder to beat than almost any other. It doesn’t cause any obvious problems, not right away.

But left unchecked, pride is one of the most dangerous and self-destructing things that can ever ruin a person’s life, or in Tony’s case, the world.

The Avengers and Iron Man 3

The Avengers does a bit for his character development, but not much. The movie makes sure viewers are aware that he “doesn’t play well with others” by focusing on his conflict with the other Avengers, specifically Cap. The end of the movie also establishes, however, that he is capable of working with other people and even more than that, that he is willing to sacrifice his own life to save the people he loves.

Follow his story through Iron Man 3 and you can see that his arrogance is still there, but by the end of this story, he realized to some extent what his pride had done to Pepper, and from there his character development started to skyrocket.

Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War

In Age of Ultron, it seemed he had become more of a team player. However, this movie is where that arrogance started to cause major issues for more than just himself. Ever since the Battle of New York, he’d had PTSD about what would have happened if he hadn’t been able to save everyone. His pride made him take the weight of that burden onto his own shoulders. He became obsessed with finding a way to protect the earth from alien invasions.

He went behind the team’s back and coerced Bruce to help him use the Mind Stone in Loki’s scepter to try and create what he called “a suit of armor around the world”. And then the plan went out of control. Ultron emerged, twisted Tony’s plan to include the death of all humanity, and suddenly Tony has put the entire world in danger because he didn’t listen to his teammates.

An encounter with Scarlet Witch makes his PTSD worse, and by the time you get to Captain America: Civil War, he’s so afraid of himself and his own arrogance that he agrees to the Sokovia Accords. This is a large part of what caused the division between himself and Cap.

I want to make sure you’re understanding this.

Make a note here that Tony is still trying. Despite his flaws here, he still cares about his friends and the fate of the world more than anything else in the world, and he’s willing to do anything to ensure their safety. What his pride is preventing him from seeing, however, is that he alone is not responsible for the fate of the world. He cannot expect himself to take on that burden alone.

His character development has gone on an amazing journey by this point in his story – he started out only caring about himself and now he’s destroying himself trying to keep everyone else safe.

This is also the main point of conflict between Tony and Cap. Tony has gotten so paranoid that he has placed safety above freedom. Steve believes nothing is more important than freedom – evidenced very clearly by his stance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And then when he felt he had failed, his pride prevented him from taking responsibility. Instead, he blamed the others.

Infinity War and Endgame

And then comes Avengers: Infinity War. After finding out that the baddie responsible for the danger to the world since the Battle of New York is planning on attacking, after having been a part of such a catastrophic team split that he doesn’t even feel he can call on Steve for help, he chases his young protegee Peter into space and loses everything.

Very little of this is actually his fault. But his pride and ever-decreasing self-esteem causes him to think that it is.

Now for the Endgame part. Captain Marvel rescues him and Nebula from a slow death drifting in space and he gets reunited with Pepper.

And he gives up. He finds a cabin in the woods, hides away with Pepper, has a kid: Morgan. He’s lost a lot, so he’s clinging to what he does have, because for once in his life, he’s stopped believing it’s up to him. He’s lost hope.

But, irony of ironies, guess what?

According to Strange’s visions of the future, the fate of the world actually is up to him.

He refuses the team’s suggestion of time travel when they approach him for help. He doesn’t want to lose his family over the chance of bringing Peter and the rest of the world back.

But Tony Stark is, deep down, a hero. He could never be anything else. And for once in his life, he puts away his own desires. His genius kicks in and he realizes, not pridefully but accurately, that he can help.

An accurate assessment of one’s abilities is not pride, it’s common sense. And Tony realized that without his expertise, that slim chance of recovering what was lost was no chance at all. And ultimately, that expertise was the only way to save everyone. Tony’s ultimate goal, to keep the world safe from otherworldly threats, was finally accomplished.

At the cost of his life.

A True Hero

He knew that was probably going to be the price. And he paid it willingly. Not for attention or recognition, not for a martyrlike self-shouldered burden of care, but for his love for his friends and a desire to make the world better. And I love Pepper’s words to him as he lay dying in the aftermath of the battle: “We’re going to be okay. You can rest now.”

What does the life of this one remarkable character say to us? It says that even the most flawed people can be heroes. It says that it doesn’t matter the mistakes you’ve made in the past if you make the right decisions in the future. In our lives, no matter how broken we are or how many mistakes we’ve made, God can still use us if we let go of our shortcomings and follow Him instead. It says that if Tony Stark can be a hero, so can we.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13, KJV

This is what makes Tony Stark a great hero. He wasn’t my favorite character originally. He was created as an embodiment of everything people hate. His movie character was dominated by pride and caused as many problems as he solved. But not every hero is perfect, not every hero never makes mistakes or has no flaws.

A hero is someone who cares for someone else more than they care for themselves, and is willing to take action to defend them.

From the moment he created that suit to escape from the desert cave to that final, defiant snap wielding all six Infinity stones, Tony Stark created a legacy for himself that other characters will be hard-pressed to match.

He is, and always will be, Iron Man.

So, to Tony Stark, my favorite Marvel hero:

Love you 3000.

My 2019 List of Upcoming Media

My 2019 List of Upcoming Media

My 2019 List of Upcoming Media

Hey everyone! Since its the beginning of the year I thought I’d update everyone on the books, TV shows, and movies coming out this year that are on my radar. I’ll see how many of these I can catch (and possibly write about) through the year and I’ll come back to this post in December and see how much I accomplished.

Some of these I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while, others I just discovered in my search for new things coming out this year. Either way, here’s my list and I hope you find something that interests you!

If you have something I should add to my list, let me know in the comments!

It would be a very long post if I introduced each item on here, so I decided to just list their names and release dates for now. Links lead to the trailers for the movies and shows. If there’s no link, that means the trailer isn’t out yet.

Movies:

  • Spiderman: Far from Home (July 5)
  • Cats (December 20 – based on the musical)
  • Inversion (release date TBD)
  • Boss Level (release date TBD)

TV Shows:

  • Good Omens (first half of the year, release date TBD)
  • The War of the Worlds (later in the year, release date TBD)

Doctor Who series 12 doesn’t look like it will be coming out until 2020.

Books:

  • The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini (sequel to the Inheritance Cycle)
  • Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
  • Mind Games by Shana Silver
  • Dragon Ghosts by Lisa McMann (Book 3 of the Unwanteds Quests)
  • We Walked the Sky by Lisa Feidler
  • The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first book the the Greystone Secrets series)
  • The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick
  • Time Jumpers by Brandon Mull (Book 5 of the Five Kingdoms series)
  • Invisible by Andrew Grant

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I feel like my TV shows list is kinda small, though of course I’m not counting the shows that are not coming out this year or that are releasing new seasons but I haven’t seen the previous seasons yet.

If you have anything else you think I should be interested in, mention it in the comments and I shall be eternally grateful (I feel since I mentioned Toy Story I had to say that).

My Top 10 Fandom Christmas Posts 2018

My Top 10 Fandom Christmas Posts 2018

My Top 10 Fandom Christmas Posts 2018

Merry Christmas, everyone! For this post I decided to pick my top 10 favorite Christmas posts off Pinterest and Tumblr to share with you guys. Most are fandom-related, some aren’t. I’ll try to be fair – one post per fandom. I won’t let Doctor Who hog all the glory, even though it has so many of the best Christmas memes. Let me know in the comments what you think of my picks, and if you have any other memes you’d like to share!

Let’s get started!

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This meme is from the Christmas episode Voyage of the Damned, and my brain was doing the same thing as the Doctor’s face while hearing Mr. Copper’s wildly extravagant rendition of our Christmas escapades.

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Most of the time, I don’t get the fascination with text posts involving the young versions of characters, but this one is so stinking cute I had to make an exception. And the fact that it doesn’t involve Johnlock (which I do not ship and which there are a bajillion posts about) is a definite plus.

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Woo! Way to go, Loki! Just the idea of Loki in a Santa hat is hilarious, though. I want one of those cardboard cutouts….

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I’m a fairly new SPN fan and I haven’t made it all the way through the show yet, but I’ve seen enough that I understand this one just fine. You get that grandma-killer, Sam and Dean!

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That’s a lot of cookies, for sure. My family used to do something like this every year, though I was little so I don’t know for sure if we really had that many cookies.

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Whoa. Cool it, Peeta. What’s Katniss supposed to say to that?

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I’ve always wondered about that myself….

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Ruuuude! That’s just rude. Dumbledore, you leave my baby Severus alone! I will admit, it is kinda funny though.

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Not many Jingle Bells parodies are this well done. I have seen this one a lot and it has made me laugh every single time.

What did you think of my list? Please comment and let me know! Christmas posts are fun – I wish I could have picked more than 10 for this post. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful week!

How Halloween Turned into My First Attempt at Cosplay – Part 2

How Halloween Turned into My First Attempt at Cosplay – Part 2

How Halloween Turned Into My First Attempt at Cosplay – Part 2

Okay. Sorry it took so long to get the other half of this out. I would have done it last week, only the Avengers: Endgame trailer dropped and that took priority. If you haven’t read the first part of this post, go ahead and read that first.

But, back to my cosplay story….

After my successful Amy Pond, I was feeling pretty confident that I could pull off Loki.

I mean, it wasn’t going to be perfect, since I didn’t have a black wig or hair dye and I don’t have the skill at the moment to make movie-accurate armor. What I did have was horns and a scepter provided by my friend Emily, a green cape from Party City, a cardboard box, a paper bag, markers, glue, Scotch tape, and a whole lot of determination.

So I mentioned in my last post that I had cut out armguards off a template I found on Pinterest. I got them wet, bent them around my forearms, then let them dry in that shape by putting my water bottle and a glowstick package on their sides on my desk and placing the cardboard pieces on top.

When they were dry the next morning, I very carefully took orange and brown markers and drew a design which I copied from a couple different Pinterest designs. I drew the original design in orange, then highlighted the edges and important sections in brown. Here’s a picture of the finished design:

Next time I go for a costume like this I’m going to try to recreate this look with craft foam, spray paint, and a craft awl to create actual texture, but overall, I was pretty impressed with how it turned out. I then decided to make guards for the upper arms to match, and ended up with this:

I then cut strips off my paper bag, taped them to the sides of the guards, and strapped them to my arms.

Cool, right?

So, with the horns, scepter, cape, and arm guards, I felt like I was pretty close to done, but I wanted to add just a little bit more. So I took my paper bag, and cut a long strip that I taped across my chest from my left shoulder to my waist like a sash.

I was going to leave it at that, but I wore the costume all day on Halloween, and halfway through the afternoon I decided I needed a little bit more. So I cut up more of the paper bag to put over my shoulders to suspend the cape a little more, and also added some strips around my thighs to add to  the aesthetic. Those didn’t last very long (needed to use something a little stronger than paper and tape on fabric) but it looked great if I was standing still.

I wore my tall brown boots because I always feel impressive when I wear those (and I don’t own any black ones), and slicked my hair back behind me. The horns were a little top-heavy as you can imagine, and I had to really cover them in packing tape to get them to stay together, but it was so worth it!

I wore it all day, through all my classes, and got so many compliments on it (I want to point out that I didn’t’ carry the horns and scepter around all day, though!). Then I wore it trick-or-treating with a bunch of friends to all the theme houses next to the campus, and over to the university president’s house, where he was serving cookies and cider. I put my name on the list for his costume contest, and he took a picture of me in my costume for future reference.

Guess what? The next, day, my picture appeared on his Instagram along with the announcement that I had won the contest! The prize was a $50 gift card to the campus bookstore, which is super helpful for next semester’s books.

So, thanks to Emily and my obsession with fandoms, my first foray into cosplay was successful and I can’t wait to do it again!

If you have ideas for which characters I should cosplay next, comment below and let me know! Thanks for reading!

Avengers: End Game Trailer Review

Avengers: End Game Trailer Review

Finally, the new trailer for Avengers 4 is here! After all the hype and false alarms, we now not only have the trailer, but also the title: Avengers: Endgame. Disclaimer: I have not read the comics, but I have been closely following social media conversations involving theories and comic references for this universe. This trailer made me geek out and I needed an outlet, so this is why I’m glad I have a blog now. So I can do stuff like that.

I promise, I have not peeked at any other trailer reviews as of yet, though as soon as I post this I’m going to, so all this is 100% my inferences from this trailer based on what I know. I can’t source anyone because a lot of my knowledge is from scrolling through Tumblr and Pinterest, so credit to anyone to whom credit is due.

The trailer starts with Tony, leaving a message for Pepper via his damaged helmet. Tony looks like he’s alone on the ship, which is obviously Peter Quill’s ship, the Milano.  But Nebula was left on Titan, too. Where is she? And with that question, the scene cuts to the Marvel logo, which disintegrates as a visual reminder of the events of Infinity War.

Even though it starts with an image of Tony’s helmet, the trailer looks to be more about Steve’s story. The Russos said that characters not given much screentime in IW (like Steve) will be given more in Endgame. If IW was about Tony (engagement to Pepper, dream about a baby, responsibility and burden of guilt, Peter’s death, Thanos recognizing him, Strange sacrificing the stone for him) then Endgame will be about Steve because they are equal characters and equally reaching the end of their character arcs.

There’s a quick shot of Thanos’ armor set up on a pole,almost like a scarecrow…not sure where or why. Is it a warning, a trophy, a memento?

Then we see someone walking through a field of prickly plants. It’s impossible to tell who this person is, or even if they’re male or female, but they’re limping. The left leg is noticeably stiffer than the right. The sun is shining on the camera so it’s hard to see…but my first impression was that it almost looks like Gamora. I have no proof of this. It could just as easily be Nebula, Natasha, or Bucky, as all of them wear gloves like that on occasion. But I’m leaning towards female, and it just feels like Gamora. No explanation, just a gut instinct. But if I’m right, how is this possible? Is it inside the Soul Stone? Does she get resurrected somehow? The plants could also signify that the world is flourishing with half its population pruned, just like Thanos predicted, which is supported by Natasha’s voiceover about Thanos wiping out 50% of the world’s population. Just like a forest is always more healthy after a wildfire. The prickles, however, might also signify that it’s not flourishing in a good way.

Quick shots of a once-again clean-shaven, weeping Steve, then Nat, who is still blond but her hair is longer, long enough to pull back as we see later in the trailer. Steve crying is an instant tearjerker and hits us right in the feels, especially when we remember that the last time we saw him crying was at Peggy’s funeral. (Remember that detail, I’ll come back to that). Then we get Bruce looking at photos of Peter, Scott, and Shuri. The remaining Avengers don’t know the status of any of these three individuals, though we know that Peter disintegrated in the Snap and Scott is stuck in the Quantum Realm. Scott’s name clearly has the word MISSING next to it, and it looks like Peter’s does too. And it looks like neither we nor the characters know where Shuri is at the moment.

We see a wide shot of that large room in the Avengers training facility, then Thor in a hoodie, sitting in front of a white, interestingly paneled wall. Kinda gives off a prison cell vibe, what with the black bar passing in front of the camera’s foreground, but don’t quote me on that. He could just as easily be taking some alone time somewhere in Wakanda or the training facility.

Next, a shot of Nebula obviously on the Milano. So Tony isn’t alone, though he sure seemed like it at the beginning. Maybe she hates him and won’t talk to him. She probably hates him, given that 1) she hates everyone and 2) Thanos succeeded with the snap, Gamora is gone, and yet she and Tony survived– for her character, this could easily equal survivor’s guilt taken out on him.

Then blue fingers – assuming this is still Nebula, since she’s the only blue character confirmed to be in this movie – brushing some fabric that looks like the sleeve of someone sitting in a chair, with a strap that looks like a seatbelt. Whose sleeve? Tony’s? But Steve’s voiceover (“We lost friends,”) seems to say maybe it’s someone different, maybe at a later time in the movie.

Then – Hawkeye! But, actually, I don’t think it’s him. Not really. This seems to confirm the longstanding fan theory about Ronin. Like I said, I am unfortunately not a comic reader, but Ronin is said to be Hawkeye’s darkest alter ego from the comics. While the Russos and the MCU in general cannot be said to have ever imitated the comics exactly, I have been hearing for over a year now in all the hype for IW and now End Game (so many sources I can’t even cite something) that Hawkeye will don the Ronin alter ego, who is a kind of lone samurai act, because he lost his entire family in the Snap. Which is super sad, because Clint is my favorite character, and I love his family, but it makes sense as a character motivation and would be a great next step in his character arc, which has kind of been dragging compared to other Marvel characters. This is further strengthened by Steve’s voiceover again saying, “We lost family,” just as Clint appears on the screen.

There are so many interesting things about this scene alone that I want to highlight: what’s that cool sword/butcher knife thing he’s holding? And the even cooler armguard? I wanna know more about his costume and why he chose it. Who’s that on the ground at his feet? And why does it look like they’re outside the Sanctum in Hong Kong from Doctor Strange? Doesn’t it look like the same street that the final battle happens in? If so, why are they there? And we just saw Nat at the Avengers training facility in New Jersey so how and why does she end up there?

And look – Steve is holding his compass with Peggy’s picture in it. Now that’s interesting – now Peggy has been connected with this movie twice in this trailer, even though she died in Captain America: Civil War. I haven’t seen that compass for a while. It’s nice to know he still carries it. Why does he have it out now and why was it placed in this trailer? The music and the closing of the compass lid happen in such synchronicity I wonder if there’s some symbolic meaning to it. A firmness of purpose? Is he giving up? Is it foreshadowing his death? Or is there something else going on here?

Aaaaand, the Avengers logo and title reveal! Notice, however,that the A in the background is assembling (pun intended) out of the ashes.This looks like a symbolic reference to the reversal of Thanos’ destruction,hopefully. Kind of the opposite of the “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” line from the Bible used in funerals a lot. If Thanos caused so many characters to become ashes, then surely in a comic book universe that can be reversed. And this would be the time to talk about the time travel theory, but that’s way too much for an already long post, so I’ll save it for a future one. Suffice it to say that the prevailing theory for End Game is that they find a way to travel back in time to prevent Thanos from obtaining the Infinity Stones in the first place, likely by attempting to change Loki’s timeline during or after the Battle of New York.

Also, we have to talk about the symbolism of the title “Endgame”. This phrase is used twice in the movies, once by Tony in Avengers: Age of Ultron – “We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day but that up there, that’s the end game,” and by Steven himself in IW, right after viewing all 5 million possible futures: “We’re in the end game now,”. It was my top pick out of all the circulating title possibilities and I have to say I’m gratified that I was right.

Then, at the very end, we get one more treat – because every Marvel trailer has to have a post-credits scene, just like the movies. This time it’s Ant-Man! Wait, how did he get out of the Quantum Realm? Let me guess…..bum ba dah dum! Captain Marvel! She wasn’t shown in this trailer, did you notice? They probably want to show us her skills in her own movie first. My guess is she won’t be in any of the trailers, and she will be their biggest surprise. Especially since they said that she will be the most powerful character introduced in the MCU so far. Given what Wanda did in IW, that’s saying something.

That’s a lot! Do you think I got everything? Please comment below if you noticed something I didn’t or have some insider information I’ve missed, from the comics or otherwise. I hope you enjoyed this post and keep a lookout for more soon! I’ll be sending out the other half of my cosplay story next week, unless something else comes up.

Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 of 2 (SPOILERS!!)

Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 of 2 (SPOILERS!!)

It’s time to talk about it. I apologize that it has taken me so long to write this post – I’ve had a lot of life stuff and basic procrastination in the way. I will cover major fan theories and Avengers 4 rumors in a future post once I have more time. It’s been plenty of time since Avengers: Infinity War came out, and you’ve had more than enough time to watch the movie. So I’m going to go ahead and dive right into what happened in the movie, including BIG GIANT SPOILERS (don’t say I didn’t warn you), breakdowns, and some of the major new fan theories that have been popping up on social media.

This review is meant for those readers already familiar with the Marvel Universe, so I will not be introducing characters or explaining their backstories, unless I’m specifically drawing attention to them. If you are only a casual fan or haven’t seen all the movies, heads up, this might be a little too geeky for you.

Here we go. If you’ve read this far and haven’t seen the movie, you have no one but yourself to blame.

Here’s a summary of the movie, in case you were in denial and trying to forget – Thanos has been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones – power (purple), space (blue), reality (red), soul (orange), time (green), and mind (yellow). His goal is to use them in his newly created Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe in order to balance out the remaining population and create peace and prosperity. Throughout the course of the movie, he obtains each of these stones, leaving our beloved characters dead in his wake as they try to stop him.

At the beginning, he has already been to Xandar and collected the Power stone. Then he encounters Thor’s ship and takes the Tesseract (Space stone) from Loki, killing him and Heimdall in the process. He then collects the Reality stone from Knowhere, killing the Collector, and kidnapping Gamora, who has come with Drax and Mantis to stop him.

She takes him to Vormir, where he kills her in order to win the Soul stone, then travels to his home planet, Titan, to get the Time stone from Doctor Strange, who ended up there with Tony, Peter Parker, Peter Quill, Mantis, and Drax. He is almost defeated by the six of them, when Nebula shows up and demands to know where Gamora is. When Quill finds out Gamora is dead, he punches Thanos and they lose their chance of taking the Gauntlet. Strange eventually gives up the Time stone in exchange for Tony’s life, and Thanos travels to Earth to collect the Mind stone, which is embedded in Vision’s forehead.

 

Thanos and the Black Order attack Wakanda, which is defended by Cap, Bucky, T’Challa, Black Widow, Okoye, M’Baku, Falcon, Rhodey, and later Groot, and Rocket, and Thor (who’s wielding a cool new battle-axe he got in Nidavellir), while Wanda protects Vision as Shuri tries to separate him from the stone without killing him. But Wanda ends up having to destroy the stone while it’s still in Vision’s forehead, succeeding and killing him just as she can’t withstand Thanos any longer. Thanos uses the TIme stone to reverse time and take the stone anyway. He snaps his fingers and wipes out half of all existence despite having Thor’s battle-axe in his chest.

Half of all the remaining Avengers crumble to dust, and Thanos retires to a secluded place to watch the sunset. In the post-credits scene, Agent Hill and Nick Fury also crumble, but not before Fury sends an SOS to Captain Marvel.

Whew! This movie was packed! You should have seen how long my first draft of this summary was! All right, let’s dive in and see how much sense we can make of this thing.

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First off – I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED!!!!

Let’s take stock:

Before the snap: Heimdall, Loki, The Collector, Gamora, and Vision.

After the snap: Bucky, T’Challa, Sam, Groot, Wanda, Drax, Mantis, Peter Quill, Doctor Strange, Peter Parker, Agent Hill, and Nick Fury.

Just looking at that list makes me want to cry. But the directors let us know that we should pay more attention to who survived when it comes to theorizing about the next movie- so let’s also take a look at that list: We still have all six original Avengers (unless Hawkeye didn’t make it, which is unlikely, but more on that later) plus Rhodey, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, and M’Baku. We can also probably safely assume for the moment that Shuri and Wong are still alive, since they were not shown after the snap. Ant-Man survived (spoiler alert for Ant-Man and the Wasp) but in the end credits scene it is revealed that neither Hope van Dyne (Wasp) or Hank Pym did.

Morality Debates on a Heroic Scale

One of the first things I noticed in this movie (besides the grotesquely unnecessary number of deaths) was the overarching theme presented by the Russos in their storytelling. This theme is the moral dilemma that Thanos thrives off of – sacrifice an individual, or the universe. Starting with Thor and Loki, then Peter Quill and Gamora, Gamora and Thanos, Tony and Strange, Wanda and Vision, and Vision and Cap. Though some characters actively try to oppose this dilemma (Cap’s “We don’t trade lives”), the trade ends up happening anyway, one way or the other. It’s interesting to note which characters sacrifice their loved one or the individual they are protecting to save the universe and which characters choose to save the individual above all else. I think this tells us a lot about the characters’ motives and worldviews

 Of the six sacrifices in this movie, three are made one direction, three in the other (hmm, perfectly balanced. Coincidence? I think not!). Loki, Doctor Strange, and Vision choose to protect the individual (Thor, Tony, and Cap respectively) to the detriment of the universe, and Quill, Thanos, and Wanda decide the universe is more important, and sacrifice the individual (Gamora, Gamora, and Vision, respectively). Poor Gamora.

Where’s Hawkeye?

Going into the theater when I first went to see the movie on April 26th, I was excited to see my favorite Avenger with a whole new look and story – Hawkeye. But the further the movie progressed, the more confused I got. Where was he? When he didn’t show up by the post credits scene, I was definitely bewildered, disappointed, and most of all worried.

I had looked it up before the showing. Jeremy Renner was listed in the cast. I’d been seeing set pictures of him sporting a cool new mohawk. And yet, I had been deceived. My guess is that IMDB just put everyone in the cast list so that no one would be able to guess what would happen. And I’m betting that the list for Avengers 4 is doing the same thing.

If Hawkeye wasn’t in this movie, what’s going to happen to him in Avengers 4? The directors have confirmed that characters who got less screen time in IW will get more in Avengers 4, and the characters that got more screen time will be in the background. This means, in my estimation, that characters like Gamora, Banner, and Thor will fade a little while other characters like Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Captain America will get more attention. Right now, the “Untitled Avengers Movie” cast list on IMDB includes characters that are supposed to be dead but I’m less inclined to believe them this time around.

 

I’ve got a couple of theories (and worrying premonitions) about Hawkeye, but because they’re theories, they’ll have to wait until the next post. But suffice it to say, my favorite Avenger had better get some good action in the next movie because I totally thought he was going to be in Infinity War.

 

Looking Ahead to Avengers 4

There was a bunch more I was going to say on this movie, but I’ve already procrastinated enough on getting this out. So let’s take a final look at what happened in this movie that will probably affect A4. I will also be including information from Ant-Man and the Wasp since you should have had enough time to see that movie, too, by now. (If you haven’t yet, go watch it, then come back and read this part). I’ll also mention some theories at what will happen in Captain Marvel, which comes out next March, that also might affect the fourth Avengers movie.

1. The Avengers Who Survived

I think one of the most obvious things about which characters survived is that almost all of them are very important, established characters with strong backgrounds. And I think it’s rather suspicious that the Russos, in choosing who Thanos should *randomly* kill with the Snap, decided to keep all six original Avengers alive. Sure, half of all the named characters died, but it’s a very uneven half. We do have characters with important backstories that are now dead (Loki, Gamora, Strange, and Peter Parker specifically), but on the whole, I don’t think this setup is as “perfectly balanced” as we were led to believe. Which leads me to my next point:

2. Coming Full Circle

One of the best ways to finish a story is by bringing it back to where it all started. Where did it all start? The Avengers. That’s what Infinity War has been teasing, even from the first trailer: “There was an idea….”. Having all six original Avengers left is very telling, especially given Strange’s sudden willingness to save Tony’s life at the cost of the time stone. Remember, this is the guy who just saw 4 million different futures. Something he saw told him that Tony was too important to die then on Titan. I totally expected Tony and/or Steve to die in this movie, but there is obviously a reason they are both still alive. Their character arcs are finished – all they have left to do is complete their story. That means that the Russos have a conscious plan for their characters and whatever it is they will do in the next movie will complete their stories once and for all.

Conclusion

Well, that’s the end of this exorbitantly long blog post that said a ton and not much at the same time. I hope to write a future post detailing some of the theories regarding Infinity War, Avengers 4, and Captain Marvel, which could be a whole series in itself. I might even write separate posts for each one. I mean, with the “Hulk Was Actually Loki in Disguise” theory, the time travel theory for A4, and the introduction of the Skrulls, it could be a really long discussion. But it’s one I’m excited to have in the future, and I hope you’ll enjoy it with me!

If you missed the first part of my post, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (NO SPOILERS), go ahead and read that now.