***SPOILER WARNING: SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS INFINITY WAR FOLLOW. SPOILERS***
Before I saw Infinity War this weekend — unspoiled until I sat in the theater, a family came into the row behind mine, and a kid immediately listed off a character who died — I’d seen tons of thinly-veiled headlines and comments about how traumatizing the movie was. Of course, there’d been rumors of major character deaths almost from the moment the film was announced, so a part of me was prepared to say goodbye to one of my beloveds … and what do you know, turns out a whole lot of beloveds. But, that didn’t bother me much …
After the first two in a trail of what became rapidly disappearing friends (because one had just been named by the aforementioned kid, it wasn’t as affecting as it might otherwise have been) the second happened so quickly, there was barely time to acknowledge him. Most upsetting was, of course, the life that Thanos callously cast off a cliff to gain another stone for his gauntlet. I still thought we might be losing the one that would have really crushed me, and prepared myself for the worst to come.
When at first the threat of Thanos wiping out half the universe’s life began disintegrating multiple Avengers, Wakandans, Guardians, and Creatures (Surly Groot! Rocket!) one by one, it was certainly shocking to an extent. Heck, I got completely, unexpectedly choked up by Peter Parker’s Tenth-Doctor-ish “I don’t wanna go”, but even as all these characters near and dear to our hearts were breaking apart before my eyes, a certain moment in my head wouldn’t entirely let me experience true sadness, or a feeling of Oh, We’re Never Ever Going to See Them Again.
Exactly! Because right before Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange (now, one of my absolute favorites) ostensibly handed over the Time Stone to Thanos, he’d spent a little quality time with time, playing out the kazillionty possibilities of the future. Strange tells RDJ’s Tony Stark that of all of them, there was only one where Thanos wouldn’t succeed with his destructive plan. And then, as I mentioned, he makes the decision to hand over the Time Stone to save Tony’s life.
Thanos gets all the stones, yada yada yada, half the universe disappears; I’m not even worried.
Seriously though, why is anyone? Strange is smart enough a dude (Doctor!) to have set up the one way for Thanos to fail, and whatever that is, it’s going to happen in Infinity War, Part the Second (the real name of which we’re not allowed to know, because spoilers). Sure, he’s disintegrated, too, but still … either he gave Thanos a magic, or temporary duplicate Time Stone, or he manipulated time in a way we haven’t yet seen, or someone else knows how to bring him back so he can fix time (and the events we saw happen), or Wong (Benedict Wong) will open a portal and Strange will pop through, or … well, you get my drift. There’s no way all those folks are really gone (Peter Parker and T’Challa basically just got to the MCU, for crying out loud). And sure, there may be a price to pay — some superheroes and friends may end up permanently dead (I volunteer Potts as tribute!) — but I feel certain that a good many of our pals will be resurrected, so to speak.
As for the rest of Infinity War, it was a rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud, grand Marvel Cinematic experience, replete with adorable bus drivers and one-liners galore. So, congrats to the Russo Brothers and writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and all the wonderful actors, because I can’t wait to see the Infinity Gauntlet (?) next year. Oh, and thanks for that beard, Cap.