4 Lingering Questions About 'Avengers: Infinity War'

What happened? What now? Let's discuss

April 27, 2018


WARNING: This post contains massive spoilers about Avengers: Infinity War. Do not read before seeing the movie.

Avengers: Infinity War leaves viewers with a lot of questions, most notably, what now? Thanos has won, some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most popular characters are presumed dead, and the universe seems like it will never recover. (Until it does, when next year's untitled Avengers 4, the sequel to Infinity War, arrives in theaters.) Between now and then, much ink will be spilled about the future of Marvel -- but let's start with these four lingering questions about Infinity War.

-Where was Valkyrie? Infinity War opens where Thor Ragnarok left off, with Thanos confronting Thor, Loki, and the Asgardian refugees as he searches for the Space Stone (which was grabbed by Loki before Asgard exploded at the end of that last film). It doesn't end well for those merry Asgardians we came to love over three Thor movies (R.I.P. Heimdall and Loki himself), but one member of the tribe is unseen: Valkyrie. Tessa Thompson's beloved warrior was a breakout character in Thor Ragnarok, but isn't shown in Infinity War -- either dead or alive. (The same uncertainty of fate follows Thor scene-stealer Korg.) Did she escape before Thanos attacked? Will she be part of Avengers 4? (Probably and probably.)

-Why didn't the Avengers kill Vision? A philosophical question. The Mind Stone is lodged in Vision's head and he rightly suggests the Avengers should destroy it, lest Thanos gets it first. (Fortunately, Scarlet Witch is powerful enough to destroy Infinity Stones.) Everyone says that's a non-starter — that sacrificing one life is not in the Avengers' DNA. Which is great until it's too late and Scarlet Witch is forced to kill Vision anyway because Thanos, now on Earth in Wakanda, has all the other Stones. It's a sad moment of sacrifice ... until Thanos uses the Time Stone he took from Doctor Strange to Funny Games Vision back to life and brutally kill him again (Vision is the Teddy Flood from Westworld of Infinity War). Wouldn't this have all been better if the Avengers had just killed Vision earlier? Did they make a mistake or will their moral code help the team in the long run?

-Where is everyone? Infinity War is the biggest Marvel movie ever, arguably the biggest movie ever too. Yet why does it feel so small? All the superheroes are in this movie, but not a whole lot of normals. We see Pepper Potts, we see Spider-Man's bud Ned and a bus full of high schoolers, we see Thunderbolt Ross as a hologram, and a television anchorwoman... and that's kind of it. An opening scene set in New York's Greenwich Village outside the Sanctum Sanctorum includes a few scattering extras and then no one else --  no collateral damage, no bystanders in need of saving. When the action spills into a nearby park, it's similarly empty -- as are the streets in Scotland and the train station where the Avengers fight Thanos' minions while saving a wounded Vision. Infinity War builds to a conclusion where half the population of Earth -- and the universe-at-large -- disappears. But throughout the film, it feels like everyone is already gone. Previous Marvel films felt bursting with life (think about the South Korea scenes in Black Panther as but one recent example), but Infinity War feels closed off, separated from the "real world" as presented by Marvel over the last 10 years. It's part of the reason the film's ultimate stakes are not as present as they should be: Where is the world the Avengers are trying to save?

-What happened in the post-credits scene? The last time Marvel Cinematic Universe fans saw Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in a movie was during Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. But he returns for Infinity War, albeit in the film's lone post-credits scene. There, we see Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) driving through a city street while civilians begin to disappear into dust -- the work of Thanos' genocidal finger-snap. Before Fury fades away himself, he reaches for a pager and sends a distress call out to ... Captain Marvel. The Brie Larson-led film, set in the 1990s and featuring Jackson's Fury, will open in March 2019, two months before the end of Infinity War. She'll be a key part of whatever happens in Avengers 4.

Avengers: Infinity War is out now.