Warning: This piece is about recently released Avengers: Infinity War and if you have not seen it, please stop reading right here if you don’t want SPOILERS.
We all knew Avengers: Infinity War will have a few deaths of important characters. But we certainly did not know that half of all Avengers will meet their maker after Thanos purged the universe of half its population. The loss was great, but also came as a blow to the stomach since most fans had expected that probably one or two members of the old guard like Iron Man and Captain America will perish in the conflagration. But shockingly, it was the newer characters who got eliminated instead.
Marvel Cinematic Universe has not overly depended on comic-books for the plot of their movies. Yes, a few large events like Civil War have been taken as is, but smaller details are pretty different. A good idea, since not all that works in comic-books works in movies. Both are vastly different mediums.
So here is what happened in comics. In the Infinity Gauntlet storyline of 1993, Thanos already has all the Infinity Stones (called Infinity gems) when the story begins. He is seduced by Mistress Death and it’s her who wants a balance to the universe by killing half the population. Thanos does exactly that with the infamous snap of fingers. It is the aftermath this storyline is about. The destruction of half the universe invites the attention of cosmic entities like Galactus. Several superheroes appear. The cosmic entities together attack Thanos, who is too powerful for them and they are trapped in stasis. Then he leaves his physical body to fight Eternity. It is then Nebula, granddaughter of the Mad Titan (unlike in MCU, in which she is his adoptive daughter) removes the Infinity Gauntlet and becomes the most powerful force in the universe. In the storyline too, she is continually tortured.
Later, Thanos agrees to help the remaining superheroes after he is proven unworthy of the Gauntlet by Warlock. He manipulates Nebula into turning back the time, which resurrects everybody who died by the finger-snap. Adam Warlock, who was teased in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and will likely appear in Vol 3, then uses his connection to the Soul World (the world inside the Soul Stone) and acquires the Infinity Gauntlet for himself as Nebula battles and defeats the Cosmic Entities. In the end, Warlock finds out that Thanos is living as a farmer on an unknown planet. Warlock, too, has to give up the Infinity Stones after The Living Tribunal, the entity that maintains the balance in all realities in Marvel universe, deems him unfit. The five Stones then are distributed to five individuals.
The biggest thing we can glean from this is that the superheroes (and half of universe’s life-forms) who died in Avengers: Infinity War will be resurrected. Of course, one can tell this without reading Infinity Gauntlet, since Black Panther, Spider-man and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of them are extremely successful properties that Marvel will not just give up like that. The fate of Gamora, Loki and Heimdall, however, is less certain.
Doctor Strange may play Adam Warlock’s role in Avengers 4 since he is the closest MCU equivalent and even in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, he played a big role in bringing down the Mad Titan. But then he died at the end of the movie. Or did he? He did have a plan, and that plan probably required Iron Man to be alive and Thanos victorious… for now.
Avengers 4 will release on May 3, 2018.