As Black Panther continues to set the box office on fire en route to surpassing a billion internationally, we look at whats next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline where, this morning, Marvel released yet another trailer for the highly-anticipated “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”
This time the Avengers will face Thanos, a mutated member of the long-lived race of people populating Titan known as Eternals.
He has superhuman strength, stamina and durability, can absorb and project vast quantities of cosmic energy and is capable of telekinesis, telepathy and matter manipulation. He can also throw them hands, holding off Odin head up in a fight and even knocking Galactus off his feet, both of which are unheard of.
Since making his first cameo in 2012’s “The Avengers,” Thanos has had fans speculating just how much damage the Mad Titan would bring down upon the Earth with his armies and his inner circle of trusted allies known as the Black Order. Images of distress to our heroes are still fresh in the mind, Tony Starks looks like hes about bite the big one, Captain America is brought to his knees and Dr. Stephen Strange screams out in excruciating pain as the Black Maw mockingly shushes him.
Here is the final Trailer for Avengers Infinity War
As many already know from the recent Black Panther megafilm, the borders of Wakanda have been impenetrable to invaders and usurpers since forever. In the comic books, Wakanda was eventually brought unprecedented death and destruction at the hands of Prince Namor aka the Submariner, who was in possession of a portion of the Phoenix Force when he used a tidal wave to destroy half the country. Another catastrophic assault on native Wakanda happened in during Marvels Secret Invasion storyline from 2008.
Skrull forces attacked Wakandan forces, with the technological advances of both sides causing modern weaponry to be moot, the Wakandan army fights with traditional spears and shields, killing every last Skrull, dumping their corpses on a ship, and sending it back to the mothership with a warning note against such foolishness in the future.
Yeah, pretty gangster.
But in the trailer for Infinity Wars, as the Dora Milaje charge into battle alongside Captain America and Bucky Barnes, I get a sneaky suspicion that things aren’t going to turn out well for Wakanda.
Will the forces of evil succeed? Well, not in the long run. However, theres going to be a bunch of dying in this one. You cannot have Thanos and no apocalypse level mayhem popping off. That’s just not how it works.
Though the trailers have been great at alluding to big bad Thanos coming to Earth for the remaining infinity gems, what theyve been mum on is just exactly how much carnage Deaths perpetual suitor will bring to our little green and blue marble. But waiting for Thanos are Earth’s mightiest heroes and their friends including Captain America, Iron Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and, course, TChalla and the entire nation of Wakanda, all ready to do battle against this intergalactic evil.
But to understand what fans will see on April 27th, we must first return to the comic book pages of yesteryear. What’s about to jump off on the silver screen had its beginnings with writer Jim Starlin in Iron Man #55 way back in 1973. Thats so far back that ol Purple jawls wasnt even considered a bad guy yet.
It wasnt until 1975, when Starlin developed the idea of the infinity gems, were the intentions of Thanos, initially an ally of Adam Warlock, finally revealed to be nefarious through and through. His battles against Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock are considered the First and Second Thanos Wars from a canonical perspective.
The Thanos Quest was a two-issue limited series published in 1990. It is here that he is reintroduced into the contemporary continuum on more or less a full time basis after making only spotty appearances for years in select storylines. It is here that we find clues to his mission to Earth in the MCU. Resurrected by Death herself and tasked with wiping out half the population in the universe to bring balance, Thanos discovers the true power of the six Infinity Gems after looking into Deaths Infinity Well. He convinces Death that he needs the gems to achieve his goal and she agrees to let him find them.
However, after besting the Champion of the Universe, the Gardener, the Collector, the Grandmaster, the Runner and the In-Betweener in ceasing the infinity gems, Thanos achieves near omnipotence. In past issues, Death had only addressed Thanos by way of her minion. However, as hes feeling himself with his new godlike powers, he demands Death address him directly as her mate and equal.
Unfortunately for him, he actually becomes so powerful that when he returns to Deaths embrace expecting to be treated as her equal, she informs him that he has actually become her master. Thus, she shouldnt be allowed to address him directly, leaving Thanos saddened by this unforeseen turn of events.
Written by Starlin, The Infinity Gauntlet storyline was initially published as a six-issue many series from July to December 1991. The title itself served as the center spoke to a wide-ranging crossover event that spanned multiple publications. It also was a top-seller for Marvel, spinning off immediate sequels with The Infinity War in 92 and The Infinity Crusade in 1993.
Now that you’ve been informed, you can understand and watch the drama that the Mad Titan brings to Earth on April 27th.