For ten years, eighteen films and three phases have taken place so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it all started with one man: Tony Stark. This character has endured a number of assaults from all parts of the universe (i.e. his own mentor, his own country, his own creations, his own allies, his own world, and extraterrestrial beings from other worlds). Over the span of a decade, he gained allies and enemies alike, but nothing has prepared him for his biggest foe yet: Thanos the Mad Titan. In this review, we discuss the long-anticipated event that has been teased since 2012’s The Avengers–that is, a sequel titled Avengers: Infinity War.
As the title of this article suggests, there will be (heartbreaking) spoilers, so if you have not yet seen the movie, we urge you to do so now and return to this article later.
Following the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, Thanos along with his Black Order are aboard an Asgardian ship, where most of its people are found dead. He had just destroyed the planet Xandar and acquired the Power Stone in the process. The survivors are told, “Even in death, you have become children of Thanos.” With Thor subdued, Thanos interrogates Loki about the Tesseract, which is then presented to him. Thor tells Loki, “You really are the worst brother.” The brothers have the Hulk save them but to no avail. Heimdall uses the Bifröst to send Hulk to Earth before being stabbed and killed by Corvus Glaive’s glaive. Loki tries to redeem himself; he attempts to double-cross Thanos by convincing him that “the universe lies within your grasp.” However, the Titan–steps ahead of him–takes the cube, extracts the Space Stone from it by crushing the cube, then chokes Loki to death. Thanos blows up the ship before leaving with his Order.
On Earth, Hulk crash lands in the Sanctum Sanctorum, only for Doctor Strange and Wong to discover him as his human form, Bruce Banner. In another part of New York City, Tony Stark and his newly-wedded wife Pepper Potts are strolling in the park, where Tony is summoned by Strange. Back in the Sanctorum, Banner warns Stark, Strange, and Wong about Thanos’s arrival. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian arrive shortly after to retrieve the Infinity Stone from Strange’s possession, which is in the Eye of Agamotto. During a bus ride on a bridge, Peter Parker sees this and has his friend Ned create a distraction for their peers as Parker leaves the bus for the battle as Spider-Man. Banner tries to turn into the Hulk, but the beast does not want to come out. Strange is captured, and Spider-Man chases after his body. Both are beamed up into a circular spacecraft. Rising to the outer layers of the atmosphere, Parker begins to have difficulty breathing, so Tony Stark–as Iron Man–sends in a tech upgrade 17A. The upgrade releases a parachute that propels Parker back to Earth, but Parker manages to cling onto the ship. Stark, Strange, and Parker leave the planet, while Banner seeks out the remaining Avengers and Wong looks after the Sanctorum. Stark has a short phone conversation with Pepper before being cut off.
Elsewhere in space, the Guardians of the Galaxy are responding to a distress signal. (Baby Groot is now Teenage Groot, who becomes the “D-Hole” of the group according to Rocket.) They run into a floating body, which turns out to be Thor. An unconscious Thor is woken up by Mantis, and he warns the group of Thanos’s plan to take the Stones. He tells them that Xandar has been decimated and that Thanos plans to go to Knowhere to retrieve a Stone in possession of Taneleer Tivan the Collector (given to him by Thor’s Asgardian allies in the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World). He tells the group about the Avengers then departs to Nidavellir with Rocket and Groot to retrieve a weapon that could take down Thanos. The rest of the group set course for Knowhere.
In Scotland on Earth, Wanda Maximoff and Vision find that New York City has been under attack and Tony Stark has been missing since then. They are then ambushed by Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive. In the ensuing battle, Vision is stabbed in the back and they are saved by Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, and Natasha Romanoff, who have been keeping tabs on them.
Back in space:
- Gamora remembers the moment Thanos took her from her world and her family; twenty years ago, the Chitauri killed her people and the Titan gave her a blade. She tells Quill to do her a favor if worse comes to worst because she has a secret that could take down Thanos; “swear to me on your mother [that you will] kill me.” They share an intimate moment, only to find out that Drax had been standing in the room watching for an hour.
- Upon arrival at the Collector’s place Knowhere, the group fails to follow Quill’s orders to covertly ambush Thanos. Drax–angry for his family’s death–is put to sleep by Mantis, but his body falls and this gets Thanos’s attention. Gamora stabs Thanos in the lower jaw and sticks her blade into his heart, but it turns out that this part was all an illusion as Thanos had already taken the Reality Stone. Now in his possession, he says, “Reality can be whatever I want.” Thanos turns Drax into blocks and Mantis into ribbons. Gamora tells Quill to kill her, but his guns release bubbles. Another illusion, Drax and Mantis reassemble themselves.
Meanwhile, on Earth:
- In the Avengers Headquarters in Upstate New York, James Rhodes has a holographic conversation with General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. With Stark still missing, Ross says, “The world is on fire, and you’re asking for forgiveness?” After ending the conversation, Rogers, Romanoff, Wilson, Maximoff, and Vision arrive, only to find Bruce Banner, who shares a brief awkward moment with Romanoff. The group learns Hawkeye is spending time away from the field. (With still a lot to catch up on since having left Earth for some time, Bruce also learns that there are new bug-based heroes named Ant-Man and Spider-Man.) With Vision in danger from the clutches of Thanos, Vision offers to have Wanda destroy the Stone on his forehead to preclude the Titan from taking it, and in the process, he would sacrifice himself. Instead, Rogers prompts the group into traveling to Wakanda to have his Mind Stone surgically removed from him.
- In Wakanda, Africa, Bucky Barnes–now called the “White Wolf” by locals–is given a new prosthetic arm made from Vibranium.
Back in space:
- Iron Man and Spider-Man save blast a hole in the ship, ejecting Ebony Maw into space, killing him. Stark seals the hole before Strange is sucked out. Strange then says he will risk Tony and Peter’s lives if it means having to prevent his Stone from being taken from him. Peter Parker is then made an official Avenger by Tony Stark.
- In his ship, Thanos takes Gamora to a dismantled Nebula, where a recording reveals the location of the Soul Stone, which turns out to be Gamora’s secret.
- In another part of space, Thor converses with Rocket and Groot about the things he lost in life. Rocket gives him an eyeball he stole from someone before they arrive on Nidavellir, where they meet Eitri the Dwarf King, who tells them that Thanos urged the Dwarves to forge him the Infinity Gauntlet. Every single dwarf except Eitri was then killed, and Eitri’s hands were sealed with metal.
- Back in Thanos’s ship, Nebula manages to get out of her restraints and arranges for Mantis and the two other remaining Guardians to meet her on Titan, Thanos’s homeworld.
- The “flying donut” steers itself into Titan, where Stark, Strange, and Parker are met and attacked by Drax, Mantis, and Quill. They stop fighting when they realize they are all on the same side and Thanos is their common enemy.
- Back on Nidavellir, Eitri tells Thor he must create Stormbreaker with the use of a dying star. This will grant Thor the power of the Bifröst.
- On Titan, Strange uses the Time Stone to view 14,000,605 possible futures, and he tells the group that there is only one timeline in which Thanos loses and they all succeed.
- On the planet Vormir, Thanos and Gamora search for the Mind Stone. Up in a mountain, they encounter the keeper of the stone, Red Skull (brought there after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger), who tells Thanos that the Stone has a “certain wisdom” about it and that it demands a sacrifice: “A soul for a soul … which you love.” Gamora tells him that his hatred for the universe is not love; “you asked for a prize [and] it said, ‘No.'” Thanos replies, “I ignored destiny once … [not again] even for you.” He sheds a tear and reluctantly takes Gamora, drags her to the edge of the abyss, and throws her to her death, implying he truly loved her. For this sacrifice, Thanos is granted the Soul Stone.
Back on Earth, King T’Challa and the head of the Dora Milaje, Okoye, are met by the Avengers on Wakanda. They take Vision for Shuri to perform surgery on. Shuri tells them that he is “polymorphic” and has “two trillion neurons.” Thanos’s army–Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, and a multitude of Outriders–arrives outside the Wakandan force field barrier shortly after. Steve Rogers is given a new shield and Bruce Banner is put in the Hulkbuster as armor. The Avengers and the Wakandans stand their ground as they prepare to fight off enemy forces. T’Challa says, “Thanos will have nothing but dust and blood.” The Outriders try to break down the barriers by penetrating themselves. Proxima, Obsidian, and the Outriders eventually manage to get through, and the war begins. Steve Rogers and T’Challa charge ahead of their armies into the fight.
Back in space:
- On Nidavellir, Thor uses the full force of the star create Stormbreaker, and Groot cuts off his arm as the weapon’s handle.
- Thanos teleports into Titan, where he speaks of prophets and survivors. He tells Stark, Strange, Parker, Drax, Mantis, and Quill that his plans are necessary to ensure the continued survival of the universe. He then proceeds to fight them off. He turns debris into bats and hurls them at Iron Man. He then absorbs a blast into the Gauntlet and unleashes the fire at his opposers. Nebula crashes into him with a ship. The group manages to subdue the Titan, and Mantis uses her powers to put Thanos to a resting state. All is going well until Nebula notices Gamora is not with him. Just as the group is about to pull the Gauntlet off, she deduces that he killed her sister. Enraged by this, Quill hits the Titan with his gun repeatedly until Thanos retains control of the Gauntlet. Thanos then uses it to pull a nearby moon towards them. He breaks it down into meteors and hurls them towards his assailants.
Back on Earth, Thor arrives with Rocket and Groot and save his teammates. Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes acquaint themselves with Rocket and Groot. Scarlet Witch arrives on the battlefield just in time to save Romanoff and Okoye from Proxima. Bruce Banner still tries to unleash Hulk but is unable to do so. He manages to attach Cull Obsidian to a repulsor and launching him up to the top of the Wakandan dome barrier. Obsidian explodes and dies. Meanwhile, Vision fights off Corvus Glaive again and is once more stabbed. The Avengers and Wakandans manage to kill off Proxima and Glaive.
Back on Titan, Thanos and Stark have a one-on-one fight. Stark introduces himself, to which Thanos already knows when he says, “You are not the only one who is cursed with knowledge.” Stark replies, “My only curse is you.” He shoots a beam at Thanos, who deflects it with the Gauntlet. Stark and his armor whip out a blade, but Thanos uses this to impale Stark through the abdominal region. Thanos then takes the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange, who asks that he spare Tony’s life for his Stone. The Titan leaves for Earth with the Time Stone added to his collection, and Stark seals his wound using his armor. When Stark asks why he would do this, Strange said it “was the only way,” which could be interpreted as anything really. (Although, giving Thanos the Stone probably means having him lose in the long run.) He adds, “We’re in the endgame now.”
Thanos arrives in Wakanda for the last Stone. Bruce–still in the Hulkbuster armor–lunges at him, but the Titan has Bruce phase through rock and assumes solid state there. Vision pleads Wanda to destroy his Mind Stone and himself but she refuses. He says, “It shouldn’t be you, but it is.” She decides to do so before Thanos approaches. Steve Rogers is knocked out by Thanos as Vision and his Stone are destroyed, but–to everyone’s dismay–Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse time, undoing Wanda’s actions. He gruesomely picks the Mind Stone out from Vision’s forehead, destroying him once again. Thor lunges at Thanos with the Stormbreaker, severely wounding his chest. Thanos tells Thor he should have gone for his head, and–using all Infinity Stones on the Gauntlet–he snaps his fingers. He sees a vision of a younger Gamora. He leaves the Earth through a portal, and all is now not well in the universe.
Bucky begins to disintegrate into ash, along with T’Challa, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, and Strange (in that order). Peter Parker begins to feel uneasy, and tells Stark, “I don’t feel so good.” The teenager begins to disintegrate while telling him, “I don’t wanna go.”
Nebula and Stark are left stranded on Titan, while Rogers, Banner, Romanoff, Rhodes, Rocket, Thor, Okoye, and M’Baku remain on the Wakandan battlefield. Thanos–now healed–awakens on another planet, which is full of vegetation. He watches with satisfaction as the sun rises, and the screen cuts to black.
- In a post-credits scene, Nick Fury and Maria Hill are among a group of folk who disintegrate. Before completely fading away, Fury sends out a distress signal. His device drops, and it begins to display a red-and-blue star insignia: the emblem of Captain Marvel.
- Tony Stark / Iron Man –
- The leader of the Avengers; last seen recovering from a family feud with his former friend and ally Steve Rogers while tending to the world around him
- Thor –
- An original Avenger, the king of Asgard, and the God of Thunder; last seen fleeing out into space with his Asgardian people in a ship after his diabolical sister Hela brought about destruction to his home
- Bruce Banner / Hulk –
- An original Avenger and genius scientist-turned-lab-experiment-gone-wrong; last seen accompanying Thor, his adoptive brother Loki, and the people of Asgard on a ship away from their home
- Steve Rogers
- Formerly an original Avenger named Captain America; a World War II veteran who was injected with a top-secret experimental serum and was the leader to a faction of Avengers but is now fugitive from the law; last seen running from the law after a falling-out with his former friend and ally, Tony Stark
- Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow –
- A highly-trained spy as well as former original Avenger and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.; now a fugitive of the law; last seen helping Steve Rogers go underground
- Doctor Stephen Strange –
- A former neurosurgeon-turned-Master of the Mystic Arts; last seen assisting Thor and his adoptive brother Loki in finding their father Odin
- Peter Parker / Spider-Man –
- A teenager and Tony Stark’s protege; given spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically-modified spider; last seen going about his daily routine saving the world and attending high school while under the watchful eyes of his mentor
- James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine –
- An Avenger and close friend of Tony Stark; last seen recovering from a terrible injury brought upon by an ally
- T’Challa / Black Panther –
- The King of Wakanda, a supposed secret African nation; last seen putting his home on the globe with his sister Shuri while continuing to rake in the big bucks
- Vision –
- An android and Avenger born from both Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. and the Mind Stone; last seen taking part in a family feud occurring between members of the Avengers
- Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch –
- A member of Steve Rogers’s faction of Avengers who can harness magic; last seen partaking in a family feud occurring between members of the Avengers
- Sam Wilson / Falcon –
- A member of Steve Rogers’s faction of Avengers; last seen partaking in a family feud occurring between members of the Avengers
- Bucky Barnes –
- Formerly the Winter Soldier, an enhanced assassin created by the secret organization Hydra; ally and best friend of Steve Rogers; last seen hanging around in Wakanda with King T’Challa and his genius teenage sister Shuri
- The Guardians of the Galaxy –
- Gamora – Member of the group and adopted daughter of Thanos who was taken from her world
- Nebula – Member of the group and adopted daughter of Thanos
- Rocket – Member of the group and genetically-engineered raccoon-based bounty hunter and mercenary; adept at weapons and battle tactics
- Groot – Member of the group and teenage tree-like humanoid born from the original Groot
- Drax the Destroyer – Member of the group looking to exact revenge on Thanos for the murder of his family
- Mantis – Member of the group with empathic (emotional) powers
- Peter Quill / Star-Lord – Half-human, half-Celestial leader of the group
- All last seen in space having defeated Quill’s Celestial father Ego and mourning his adoptive daddy Yondu
- Loki –
- Thor’s adoptive brother and God of Deception; last seen accompanying Thor, Bruce Banner, and the people of Asgard on a ship away from their home
- Heimdall –
- The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian former sentry of the Bifröst Bridge; last seen accompanying Thor, Loki, Bruce Banner, and the people of Asgard on a ship away from their home
- Thanos –
- The intergalactic tyrant from Titan in search of the Infinity Stones as a means to “rebalance the universe;” last seen being betrayed by Ronan the Accuser and then taking matters in his own hand by acquiring the Infinity Gauntlet
- The Black Order aka “Children of Thanos” (with the exclusion of Supergiant) –
- Cull Obsidian – Super-strength
- Ebony Maw – Genius-level intellect, mind control, and telekinesis
- Proxima Midnight – Superhuman strength, speed, and endurance
- Corvus Glaive – Superhuman strength, speed, and endurance, wields a powerful glaive
The Russo Brothers have made another magnificent film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, this third installment of the Avengers storyline is worth the anticipation that fans have had since the first film in 2012, which teased the wrath and coming of the Mad Titan in its mid-credits scene. Their work on Fox’s Arrested Development and NBC’s Community proves this.
The film’s visual effects are a wondrous sight for the most part, although perhaps one faulty part would have to be Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster armor. The scenes that transpired in Wakanda and in Titan might have had the greatest action sequences in a comic book movie to date. The film does a fantastic job of recreating scenes from the comic book pages, primarily Infinity Gauntlet (1991) and Infinity (2013). Infinity War‘s cinematography is splendid, but it would not be the same without the characters’ togetherness. Not one character made it to the end without the help of others, and yet a great portion of our heroes as well as citizens vanished by the will of Thanos. Thor and the Guardians–whether together on-screen or apart in different scenes–were definitely one of the main highlights of the film, but we should also include the two Peters’ popular culture references on the list of what the film what it is. Fans were also excited to see Red Skull’s return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What is also interesting is that Thor can understand Groot’s language.
Thanos’s motives for this film were understandable, but the way he went about it was morally wrong. During a scene taking place in Titan, he shows Doctor Strange how the planet once thrived and explains that overpopulation drove it to ruin. He had suggested killing half the population to enable them to survive, but he was ignored. After witnessing the destruction of Titan, he made it his life goal to rid the universe of half of all beings in an effort to preserve other planets. The plan was rejected and the planet fell. Thanos as a villain proved to be just as great as Black Panther‘s Erik Killmonger and The Dark Knight‘s The Joker. Marvel proves that a villain can be appraised with their good motives and a badass appearance. Thanos is the fourth villain in a row now to set this example, following Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Vulture, Thor: Ragnarok‘s Hela, and Killmonger.
Our character upgrades are also worth mentioning. The 17A Spider-Man suit, Iron Man’s Bleeding Edge suit, Thor’s Stormbreaker ax, Steve Rogers’s new shield, and Bucky Barnes’s Vibranium prosthetic arm adds to the aesthetic of the film, but they still manage to lose in this war against hope, humanity, and the fate of their universe. The ending leaves itself open for interpretation, although it was teased–or rather Gamora actress Zoe Saldana let it slip–earlier on that the title for the fourth Avengers film would have to do with the Infinity Gauntlet.
Of all the spectacular actors and actresses in this film, Thanos actor Josh Brolin will probably be the highest-paid this year. With his other two films Deadpool 2 and Sicario: Day of the Soldado due for the summer, there is no doubt that this will happen.
The film deals heavily with loss and death as we see a lot of our favorite (and maybe least favorite) characters go. Here is a list of characters that died during the entirety of Avengers: Infinity War (in order):
- Heimdall (stabbed)
- Loki (choked)
- Ebony Maw (ejected into space)
- Gamora (sacrificed)
- Cull Obsidian (blown up)
- Proxima Midnight
- Corvus Glaive (stabbed)
- Vision (disconnected from Mind Stone)
- Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier / White Wolf (disintegrated)
- King T’Challa / Black Panther (disintegrated)
- Teenage Groot (disintegrated)
- Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (disintegrated)
- Sam Wilson / Falcon (disintegrated)
- Mantis (disintegrated)
- Drax the Destroyer (disintegrated)
- Peter Quill / Star-Lord (disintegrated)
- Doctor Strange (disintegrated)
- Peter Parker (disintegrated)
- Maria Hill (disintegrated)
- Nick Fury (disintegrated)
With that said, we still do not know what happened to other characters such as Korg, Valkyrie, Clint Barton / Hawkeye, and Scott Lang / Ant-Man. The survivors of the film so far (in any order) are as follows:
- Tony Stark / Iron Man
- Bruce Banner / Hulk
- Steve Rogers
- Natasha Romanoff
- James Rhodes / War Machine
What we can learn and take from the theme of death is we have to lean towards hope no matter how dark circumstances may get. There is always a bright solution to every unfortunate situation. It does seem rather peculiar and a somewhat disappointing that the original Avengers members are left alive. It almost seems like the secondary characters were killed off as cannon fodder. Hopefully, we get to see most or all of the characters in this film, both the deceased and survived, return in the future!
Some people in the audience were worried that the action and story did not balance well with the comedy. Nonetheless, the comedy was, for the most part, great from time to time:
- Drax to Quill when talking about an unconscious Thor: “You’re a dude. This…this is a man. A handsome, muscular man… It’s like a pirate had a baby with an angel.”
- Thor referring to Rocket as “Rabbit”
- Thor calling the Guardians “Morons”
- Peter Quill: “WHERE is Gamora?” Tony Stark: “I’ll do you one better. WHO is Gamora?” Drax: “I”ll do YOU one better. WHY is Gamora?”
- “Which master do you serve?” Peter Quill: “What? Am I supposed to say ‘Jesus?'”
- Peter Parker: “What is it exactly that they do?” Mantis: “Kick names, take ass.”
- Okoye when Bruce Banner bows: “We don’t do that.”
- Okoye when Scarlet Witch saves them on the battlefield: “Why was she up there all this time?”
- Rocket to Bucky Barnes: “How much for the gun? For the arm?”
- Groot: “I am Groot.” Steve Rogers: “I am Steve Rogers.”
In addition are some sad moments throughout the movie. Loki’s, Gamora’s, Vision’s, and Peter’s parts had audiences gasping in shock and tears. What may have had fans feel warm the most was Peter Parker’s supposed death when he told his mentor, Tony Stark, “I don’t wanna go.” Watching our teenage hero fade away in Stark’s hands was a tearful moment nobody will ever forget.
Overall, Avengers: Infinity War has a lot of detail, story, and character development to absorb in just one sitting, so perhaps a second and maybe third viewing should be recommended because it truly is a lot to process and take in. The theme music is a masterpiece, although the only track we get is from the Guardians’ introduction, compliment of James Gunn himself. The deaths seen throughout this film are not for the eyes of innocent children, as Thanos says, “Children know nothing but full bellies.” This film deserves a 9.5 out of 10.
Easter Eggs, References, and Trivia Facts:
A lot of what is found throughout the film drew inspiration from Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet (1991) comic and Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity (2013) comic.
- Ten-year milestone
- The opening of the film has the Marvel Studios logo altered as “MARVEL STUD10S,” an indication of ten years since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first film being Iron Man on May 2, 2008. Avengers: Infinity War was supposed to release on May 4th, 2018, but was pushed forward by one week to satisfy fans and moviegoers alike.
- Hulk Smashed
- During the opening scene of the film, Hulk tries to save Thor and Loki by fighting Thanos. However, the Titan gets the upper hand and puts Hulk in the same position Loki was towards the end of The Avengers (2012).
- Black Order
- In the Infinity (2013) comic, this group is sent by Thanos to locate the Infinity Gems. In the film, they have been sent to Earth for the same purpose.
- The Warning
- When Bruce Banner crash lands into Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, this is a little nod to the Silver Surfer’s role in the Infinity Gauntlet (1991).
- Morgan Stark
- During his walk in the park with Pepper Potts, Tony Stark tells her of a dream he had where she was pregnant and they named their child Morgan. This is a callback to Tony’s cousin in the comics.
- Cauldron of the Cosmos
- When speaking to Doctor Strange, Wong, and Bruce Banner about Thanos’s arrival, Tony Stark almost knocks over this artifact which Strange uses to peer through time, space, and alternate realities.
- Peter Parker’s introduction in the film starts with his arm hairs raising, and he looks out his school bus window to see the chaos transpiring outside in the distance. This is one of Spider-Man’s iconic abilities in the comics, shows, and movies.
- Stan Lee cameo
- When Peter Parker sees the destruction happening in his city, he has his friend Ned create a distraction for their peers as Parker leaves the bus as Spider-Man. We see the bus driver, played by the legend himself.
- When Tony Stark meets Ebony Maw, he refers to him as “Squidward,” the depressed tentacle-limbed neighbor and co-worker of Spongebob Squarepants from the children’s animated show of the same name. This is not the first time Tony has crossed paths with Nickelodeon character references. In Iron Man 3 (2013), he wears a Dora the Explorer watch.
- Iron Man’s Bleeding Edge suit
- Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor upgrade is “nanotech,” a reference to Model 37 and 38 in the comics.
- Tony sends Peter Parker the Iron Spider upgrade as respiration in increasing altitudes begins to fail. This Spider-Man suit is an exoskeleton includes mechanical spider-arms, can respond to control via mental capacity and can morph in different shapes due to its “‘smart’ liquid metal” form.
- Ever since James Rhodes’s incident at the end of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark has been extra careful with Peter Parker. He has put it upon himself to include parachutes in Peter’s Spider-Man suits, so when Peter put on the Iron Spider upgrade, of course, a parachute had to be included. This also occurred in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Rubberband Man
- The song–as shown in the Discussion section of this article–introduces The Guardians’ side of the story into the film, and it foreshadows Peter Quill’s snapping at Thanos after learning about Gamora’s death.
- Defender Arcade
- Throughout the film, teenage Groot does nothing to assist the Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead, we see his hands glued–although not literally–to a handheld video game. The game he is playing is Defender, which has a strikingly similar plot to Infinity War‘s: Destroy alien invaders and protect people on the ground from abduction.
- When the Guardians find Thor, Quill fears the god’s masculinity overpowers his. He then says he should get on the Bowflex, which is a brand name for a series of fitness training equipment created in 1986. This was probably still big around the time he was taken from Earth shortly after his mother’s death in 1988.
- “I feel your pain.”
- When the Guardians meet Thor, the god, Quill, and Gamora speaks of their family problems: Thor with his dead parents and Loki as well as his villainous sister Hela; Quill with his villainous father Ego; Gamora with her despot adoptive father Thanos.
- Kevin Bacon
- When Thor refers to the Avengers as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” Mantis says, “Oh, like Kevin Bacon.” This is a continuation of Quill’s claim from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) that the actor is a real-life hero.
- This alien race returns in a flashback scene, which establishes how Gamora was taken from her home and people by Thanos.
- Game of ThronesThis is coincidental, but someone on Twitter found a nice comparison between the film’s characters Thanos and Gamora & the HBO show’s Stannis and Shireen Baratheon. Like the Mad Titan and his adopted daughter, Stannis is the father of a young girl, and at one point during a war, he reluctantly sacrifices his daughter in order to gain an advantage to said war.
- It is also neat to point out that both the film and the show graphically shows a roster of characters being killed off one by one on what seems to be a whim.
- Knowhere again
- The Guardians return to Knowhere, where they last saw Taneleer Tivan the Collector. Also last seen here was the Reality Stone, which was given to the Collector in the post-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World by Asgardians Volstagg and Lady Sif.
- Arrested DevelopmentWhen Gamora, Star-Lord, Drax, and Mantis return to the Collector’s place in Knowhere, we see one of his exhibition cases–at least, one that remains–containing a blue man. This is a reference to Arrested Development, a show in which the Russo brothers directed the pilot together and other episodes separately.
- Community cameos
- Before their Arrested Development Easter Egg in this film, the Russo Brothers have included in their films cameos from actors from another show they are popular for, Community. This is a show run by Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon. DC Pierson and Danny Pudi have appeared shortly in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Jim Rash cameoed in Captain America: Civil War, and Donald Glover had a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Aaron Davis / Prowler (although Glover was approached by Marvel for the role). Despite no actor being spotted in this film–perhaps the directors wanted to focus more on the story–it is important to note that we will have Brie Larson in her solo film Captain Marvel as well as the untitled fourth Avengers sequel. Larson portrayed the girlfriend, Rachel, to Danny Pudi’s character Abed Nadir in Community.
- Party Tricks
- When the Guardians arrive to fight off Thanos, he turns Drax into blocks and Mantis into ribbons. This mirrors a similar scene in Infinity Gauntlet Issue #2 where the Mad Titan deals with his brother Eros and his daughter Nebula in a similar fashion.
- On Knowhere, Quill refers to Thanos as Grimace, who is a large, purple anthropomorphic being known his slow-witted demeanor. He is a character featured in McDonaldland commercials.
- The Accords
- When we first see James Rhodes, he is speaking to Thaddeus Ross, who reminds him of his responsibilities after Tony Stark had gone “missing.” Ross tells Rhodes that his name is on that “paper.” This could be a reference to the Sokovia Accords, signed during the events of Civil War after the tragic events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Bug-based heroes
- With still a lot to catch up on since having left Earth for some time, Bruce also learns that there are new bug-based heroes named Ant-Man and Spider-Man.
- The Beatles split-up
- When Bruce Banner catches up to speed with what has been happening on Earth, he learns about new members of the Avengers and the divide of the group after the events of Civil War. He asks if this is like the split-up of the classic band, The Beatles.
- White Wolf
- In the comics, this is the name of a classic Black Panther villain. This name is given to Bucky Barnes, formerly the Winter Soldier.
- “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”
- Up in space, Peter Parker asks Tony Stark, “How can I be your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man without a neighborhood?” This is reference is quite self-explanatory for comic book fans.
- AlienUp in space, Peter Parker makes a direct reference to a “really old movie.” This is an allusion to the popular Ridley Scott film that dealt with evil extraterrestrial entities.
- Similarly, Ebony is sucked out of the ship similar to how Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley kills the Xenomorphs in some films.
- Peter Parker tells Stark that he would not be impressed if aliens appear and lay eggs in his chest. Later, he sees Mantis and worries she will impregnate him with her eggs.
- Wilhelm Scream
- When Ebony Maw is ejected from the “flying donut,” we can hear the overused Wilhelm Scream. If you have heard it in films and television before, there need not be any demonstration for this.
- Stranger things than Strange
- In the Infinity comic, Ebony Maw hacks into Doctor Strange’s head to betray the Avengers and locate one of the Infinity Gems. In the film, Maw uses similar strategies to get what he needs.
- “The adults are talking.”
- After Iron Man and Spider-Man rescue Doctor Strange, Stark and Strange try to have a conversation. Peter Parker interrupts, to which Stark says that “the adults are talking.” This is a continuation of a scene from Spider-Man: Homecoming where Peter Parker does something dangerous that almost kills him.
- Avenger membership
- Spider-Man is finally made an official Avenger, something he has been trying to achieve in the comics.
- “Loki’s been dead before.”
- On their way to Nidavellir, Thor tells Rocket and Groot that his brother has died many times before the events of this film. This references Loki’s mischievous abilities throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having “died” in Thor and Thor: The Dark World.
- Mom killed by Dark Elf
- On their way to Nidavellir, Thor tells Rocket and Groot about his deceased mother, Frigga, who was killed by Malekith and Algrim in Thor: The Dark World.
- Rocket’s body part fetish
- Rocket has had an affinity for body parts throughout the films he has been in. In this film, he says he stole and eyeball from someone that angered him. He gives it to Thor, who puts it on just as Rocket is about to say that he smuggled it in a dirty place.
- Rocket later meets Bucky Barnes and asks about his arm.
- Infinity (2013) mirroring
- It is at this point that one must realize that the film bears some resemblance to the comics, and with that, there are some parallels between the film and 2013 comic. In the comic, we see Captain Marvel, Captain America, Hawkeye, and some other Avengers go up into space to fight off alien forces, meanwhile, Tony Stark stays on Earth to protect the planet. In the film, however, we see the Avengers staying on Earth, and Iron Man goes into space to do his duty.
- This is the realm of the dwarves in both the comics and Norse mythology.
- Peter Dinklage’s role
- When it was said that Peter Dinklage would be in this film, some fans suspected him to be playing Pip the Troll from the Infinity Gauntlet comics. However, this is not the case. Instead, Dinklage portrays Eitri the Dwarf King. He helped forge the Infinity Gauntlet.
- Chyron font style
- Whenever the name of a location is displayed on-screen, the font resembles that of the Infinity Gauntlet comic.
- “Dance-off to save the universe,” Footloose, and Flash Gordon
- When Stark, Strange, and Parker meet the Guardians, Drax tells Quill to tell their new friends about their “dance-off to save the universe,” which is a reference to the distraction used to destroy Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Peter Parker asks if this is like Footloose, the film which features Kevin Bacon. In the same scene, Tony Stark calls Peter Quill “Flash Gordon” at one point. This is a direct reference to the iconic science fiction character from the film and comic of the same name.
- Red Skull
- This Nazi for the first time in seven years since his appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger, where he was portrayed by Lord of the Rings and Matrix actor Hugo Weaving. The last time we have seen him, he was beamed into space by the Tesseract during the movie’s climactic scene. Fans have speculated where he may have gone off to. This time around, Johann Schmidt is played by The Walking Dead actor Ross Marquand.
- Abraham and Isaac
- Thanos’s reluctance to sacrifice Gamora mirrors the Biblical story in the Old Testament where God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.
- Spider-Man versus Thanos
- Some panels from the comics are remade for the film in scenes that feature Spider-Man fighting the Mad Titan.
- Wakanda is open
- When the Avengers arrive in Wakanda, Okoye tells T’Challa that she thought the Olympics or Starbucks would come to their country instead. Due to recent events and bad appeal to kairos, the latter would be less likely happen.
- “On your left”
- At the beginning of The Winter Soldier, we see Steve Rogers jogging in Washington, D.C. alongside Sam Wilson, although Rogers turns out to have a faster pace. Every time he passes by Wilson, he says, “On your left.” During the beginning of the fight scene in Wakanda, we see Rogers and T’Challa supposedly leading the charge of their armies, or perhaps they are just really fast runners. This is not a confirmed reference to The Winter Soldier, but it does look like a good nod to that.
- “I am Steve Rogers.”
- During the battle in Wakanda, Groot tells Steve Rogers, our fugitive hero replies, “I am Steve Rogers.” I guess no one told him about Groot.
- Captain America knocked out
- During Steve Rogers’s one-on-one fight with Thanos, he is knocked out by the Mad Titan. This is a little nod to the end of Infinity Gauntlet Issue #4.
- Vision’s death
- When Thanos kills Vision, we can see bits of his insides.
- Black-and-white Vision
- When Thanos removes the Mind Stone from his forehead, all the color flushes out of Vision until only shades of gray remain. This is a good nod to a story on a West Coast Avengers issue.
- The full power of the Gauntlet
- When Thanos puts the final Infinity Stone on the Infinity Gauntlet, the power of all six Stones course through his body and he feels reinvigorated. Sharp-eyed fans can catch this reference from Infinity Gauntlet Issues #4 and 5.
- Oh, snap!
- Now wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has the unlimited power. With this, he is able to make a large fraction of the universe disappear into thin air. This happens at the end of the film and at the beginning of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. What does this mean for Avengers 4? Perhaps it will have our remaining heroes going into deep space for revenge.
- Harry Potter allusions
- During the fight against Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw at the start of the film, Bruce Banner tries to turn into Hulk. His frustration causes problems for both him and Tony Stark. Standing beside Doctor Strange and Wong, Stark tells Bruce, “Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of wizards.”
- Vision struggles with pain when his forehead Stone “senses” something ominous, much like Harry Potter’s scar.
- Red Skull’s initial appearance during his introduction into the film resembles that of Dementors.
- The way the characters disintegrate is akin to that of Voldemort’s death.
- The final scene of Avengers: Infinity War shows Thanos sitting peacefully on another planet as he watches the sunrise. This is a good nod to when Thanos becomes a farmer throughout the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War comics.
- Captain MarvelCarol Danvers is called upon by Nick Fury just as he and Maria Hill disintegrate into the nothingness, leaving a huge albeit exciting cliffhanger for fans worldwide.
Shocked by that cliffhanger? So are we! Not to fret, though. Thanos and the survivors will return in the untitled fourth Avengers film next year on May 3rd, 2019. For now, we have yet to wait for Ant-Man & the Wasp this summer on July 6th, 2018 as well as Captain Marvel next spring on March 8th, 2019.
Which moment was your favorite? Which one was most saddening for you? Which Easter Egg did you love the most? Are there any you found that we have not included on the list? What did you think of the film? Let us know! For more Avengers: Infinity War and Marvel Cinematic Universe-related news and reviews, follow Geek Motivation on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).
Written by: John Tangalin