Can you believe it’s been ten years since the first film in the unprecedented Marvel Cinematic Universe?
No one – absolutely no one – thought the MCU would be as successful as it has proven to be. But when Samuel L. Jackson stepped out of the shadows as the mysterious Nick Fury in the first Iron Man film back in 2008, we all knew this whole idea of an orchestrated, connected universe of films and television programming had a good shot, a decent shot…at being something absolutely great. Something monumental! Something transformational! And we all began to stay in our theatre seats to watch the credits roll just so we could catch a glimpse, a brief taste, a fleeting moment of a comic book character cameo, a pop culture “Easter Egg”, a fan-centric wish-list-love-letter from the film studio to fans everywhere.
“Stay with us,” those bonus scenes said. “We’re telling a long-form story here, unlike any other in cinematic history!”
With the beginning of the end of “Phase Three” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Biff Bam Pop’s stable of writers eagerly assembled on the eve of the most anticipated pop culture superhero film to ever be produced and excitedly listed their top Avengers: Infinity War wish list items.
What do they want to see teased in the movie? Without further ado, here they are!
Follow Eric Henson and his “infinite” pop culture musings at @eahenson
Having been tasked with coming up with ONLY three things I want from Avengers: Infinity War, I’ve decided to go full on irresponsible speculation and throw out the most insane things I want out of this movie.
Be honest, we’re all expecting them to wink and nod when Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch share the scene together. Both men have played Sherlock Holmes over the last decade and both are also Marvel superheroes. It’s literally the lowest hanging of fruit ripe to be plucked with a sarcastic “No shit, Sherlock.” This will make the audience sit up and go, “I understood that reference!”
The Kitchen Sink
Acknowledge the Marvel TV properties! Nothing fancy, Coulson on the toilet, a reaction shot of Luke Cage yelling “Sweet Christmas!”, Thanos completely wiping the Inhumans from the face of the moon (bonus points if they replace the sound of Attilan exploding with a tiny, but tasteful, fart noise).
Mergers & Acquisitions
The only clips Marvel has shown us so far has Thanos with the Space (blue) and Power (purple) stones. Clocking in somewhere around two and a half hours, Avengers: Infinity War leaves a lot of time for the mad Titan to get ahold of the rest of the rainbow.
With the red Reality stone having the power to alter reality, this is the PERFECT time to introduce “new” characters into the MCU. Let me set the scene for you, Captain America is leading yet another assault on Thanos and company (assuming Cap isn’t dead by this point), and reality itself starts to change. Portals to other times and dimensions open, the Avengers are in danger of getting overrun, Cap is on the ropes about to be taken down by a wave of faceless bad guys. Then… THEN, three adamantium claws burst through the chest of one of Cap’s assailants!
It’s Hugh Jackman as Wolverine! “Steve?” “Logan?!?” Then everyone in the movie theater loses their collective shit.
Disney/Marvel is currently in the process of acquiring the long lost Marvel IP that was sold to Fox ages ago. The Fantastic Four are coming back to the comics page and next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix is rumored to be the end of the Fox X-Men universe. All that, plus Jackman has previously gone on the record as saying he would love to have been in an Avengers movie. All I’m saying is that it could happen.
It could happen and if it doesn’t the movie will be a complete and total failure for me.
Follow Richard Kirwin and his “assembled” reveries at @richiswherenow
Don’t Kill Anybody
It seems like everyone is gearing up for a death of one of the originals as their contract… I mean story arcs, are coming to a close. I say: let them live… even the bad guys. I would rather know Cap was out there in hiding, or Thanos was locked in some kinda magic prison, then see them killed if they need to be written out for a spell.
Let Someone, Preferably Cap, Say “Avengers Assemble!”
10 years…not even once. The pop from the audience will shake the foundations of the multi-verse.
Even if it’s just a quick fly by shot of Luke Cage shielding a kid from falling debris, a little something connecting the cinematic and Netflix brands would be really cool.
A shot of the Xavier school for gifted youngsters. Hey…a guy can dream can’t he?
Follow Ilan Muskat and his “next wave” of thoughts at @IlanMuskat
Our First Step Into a Larger World
With apologies to Patton Oswalt, I too believe in maximalist Marvel. Not just getting the X-Men in there, but also starting to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe as full of possibility and joy as the comics at their most fun.
When Captain America: Civil War brought us Spider-Man, he lit up the movie (with apologies to Grant and Naylor) like a pinball machine when you win a bonus game. We’ve all heard rumours of Captain Marvel showing up during the fray – but the power of the Infinity Stones let the movies rewrite the rules. Could the door be open to include heroes we’ve loved across the ages of Marvel? Could we see young X-Men? Could we get Namor? The Fantastic Four? Doom? Surfer; even (for real this time) Galactus?! I say YES.
Taking the Risks the Comics (Currently) Won’t
One of the worst things about this cursed timeline (so far) is the way self-appointed gatekeepers in video games and comics have shouted down any attempts to evolve stories. This, despite Marvel’s legacy of letting its characters grow, change and even see their stories come to an end. Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men and the New Mutants in the 1980s, and Grant Morrison’s New X-Men magnum opus, have each had the authorial confidence to reinvent their worlds and their heroes without “breaking the toys”, so to speak. Lately, of course, we’ve seen the frustrating tendency of “Fresh Starts” to erase any of the changes and growth that recent stories have invited. With movies however, actors get older. Audiences don’t just want the same story again and again. So maybe it’s a chance for us to get a new Captain America who, let’s say, has wings, or a metal arm. Maybe it’s time for a second Spider-Man. I mean, if Thor could get a haircut, and Tony could get his heart fixed, maybe Avengers: Infinity War will affirm what the more awful kind of nerds will never accept: that any story worth telling leaves things different at the end than at the beginning.
Going Full Quirky
The best thing about Thor: Ragnarok was… well, let’s face it. That movie was nothing *but* best things. But still, for a movie so idiosyncratically Taika Waititi, it was also *deeply* appreciative and inclusive of the sillier ephemera of Marvel’s sensibilities. Even while Ragnarok was Ragnarockin’, it had time for statues of Beta-Ray Bill, an Eternal bartender, and allusions to Thor the Frog. So I want Avengers: Infinity War, amidst the sturm und drang, the carnage and pathos, to have big, stupid laughs. To have Wonder Man movie posters; to have Doreen Green and Jennifer Walters in the fight. I want the X-Statix. (Yes, I know there’s going to be an X-Force in Deadpool, where Josh Brolin is Cable instead of Thanos, to complicate things further.) I want Nextwave.
You know what? I just want Nextwave.
Follow Jim Knipp and his “inhuman” prognostications at @KnippKnopp
Avengers: Infinity War is right around the corner and the internet is abuzz with what we’ll see, who will die, and exactly where is that Soul Stone? The movie has decades worth of plots and backgrounds to work with, and the multitude are already commenting on the things they’ll be most likely to see.
Not me, I deal in the impossible, the “hell no is that going to happen,” the “Jim’s drunk, get him away from the keyboard” sort of dreams, such as:
Inhumans (Done Right)
Thanos’ “children” in this movie (the most excellently named Ebon Maw, Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, and Supergiant) don’t actually appear in the original 1991 Infinity Gauntlet (comic book) series. Rather, they are introduced much later as Cull Obsidian in the 2013 Infinity crossover. A big part of that was a storyline involved the Inhumans. Their story arc, which included blowing up their homeland Attilan and spreading clouds of inhuman-creating, mutant-killing Terrigan gas around the world – shook the Marvel comic universe, with some serious undertones that Mutants (which Marvel didn’t own the movie rights for) were going to be replaced by Inhumans (which they did). It really doesn’t make sense to add more supes in a movie that already features two-dozen characters, but bringing in Black Bolt and crew would be a nice homage back to a compelling story in the comics. Plus it would be nice to remove the fail taste of the horrible Inhumans television series they tried to pawn off on us in 2017. PLUS, bringing in the Inhumans would allow us to introduce…
How do you defeat a nearly invulnerable villain with the power to end all life with a snap of his finger? Why, you bring in his kid! Thane is half-inhuman, half eternal and 100% kick-ass, and is the impetus behind many of the events in the Infinity storyline, and has been a first rate anti-hero and a thorn in Daddy’s side since he was introduced. Cursed with the power of life and death itself, Thane could go head to head with even a gauntlet-powered Thanos, and the potential for a cruel plot twist – as junior jets off with his fathers favorite Lieutenant – is just too sweet to pass up.
Stop looking at me like that…I know the Disney/Fox deal hasn’t been completely finalized and Marvel doesn’t own the rights…and I know I just said we can’t really add more heroes to this spandex-fest…and I know the last thing this movie needs is to be infected by the irremovable taint of a big-screen FF…but hear me out, I have a plan.
What if there’s a scene in the beginning where we see an earth tethered space vehicle (maybe the International Space Station) getting blasted by energy as Thanos’ giant big wheel in the sky approaches. It flames out, crashing through the atmosphere, disappearing beneath the clouds. The Big Bad has arrived and his first victims are the already forgotten crew of the ISS…now fast forward to end-credits and we find ourselves at the wreckage of said space station, something is moving inside, a giant stone hand pushes aside debris, a man glowing with heat steps out from the shadows, a woman fades into existence, and a lanky man, flexible as silly putty, wends into view…they all stare grimly at the camera, the music fares, and then it all goes black…I’m getting tingly just thinking about it!
I guess we’ll find out on April 27th!
Follow Justin Mohareb and his “eternal” optimism at @thebitterguy
So we’ve been watching these Marvel flicks for a decade. Ten years. Ten years since Tony Stark walked into his Living Room and met Nick Fury there. Will Avengers: Infinity War be an upping of the ante, or a closing of a chapter? Who can say? The Russo Brothers, probably.
Look, Black Panther was incredible and Shuri was one of the best parts of it. I want her being smart and kicking ass. I want her to upgrade Iron Man suits and build gadgets and maybe build a vibranium hammer for Thor to hit things with. I want her judging people’s footwear.
Pepper Potts, Rescue
She wore a suit for maybe a minute in IMIII, but Pepper has her own heroic legacy to live up to. If Tony has put together a suit for Spider-Man, surely he’s put something together for his wife?
Eternals & Deviants
Look, I don’t want to see Ikaris swoop out of the sky and punch Thanos in the face, but it would be nice to see a hint that Thanos is part of a race of creatures manipulated by Celestials (such as Star Lord’s dad?). It could even let some stuff set up for Phase IV and beyond. And it could make up for the mess they made of the Inhumans.
BONUS: Ms. Marvel
Just a hint. I’d like to see something before the movie comes out next year.
Follow JP Fallavollita and his “deathly illuminations” at @JPFallavollita
The Fantastic Four
Look, I know full well that the financial deal between Disney and some of Fox’s more lucrative film-going assets isn’t a done deal. Yet. But it will be. And make no mistake, Disney, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will use those lucrative assets in a heartbeat quicker than Quicksilver’s. The most prize-worthy of the bunch, is, of course, the characters that make up the Fantastic Four. No, you might think that three failed films (one of them absolutely abysmal) might mean a studio shouldn’t take another chance on the FF, but I say, there’s no place to go but up! An elusive, but well-made Fantastic Four film will easily spin the MCU into an anticipated fourth phase.
This is going to happen. It may not happen in Avengers: Infinity War, perhaps it’ll happen in the next year’s as-yet-untitled Avengers film, but it’s going to happen.
So, what do I want to see in this weekend’ major release? A nod. A name drop. A visual placement to whet the appetites of fans, casual and hardcore. How about the tall, shimming, science-laden Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four’s headquarters, somewhere in the New York skyline?
That’ll suffice until we actually see the characters in Avengers 4, ushering in the next decade of the MCU. The pop culture future is built on a solid foundation! See? That’s the kind of nod I’m talking about!
The Founding of the Illuminati
We already have Iron Man. We now have Doctor Strange. And Black Panther. That’s three on the silver screen. Once the Disney purchase of Fox finalizes, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four isn’t far behind. Nor is Professor X of the X-Men. Nor Namor, the Sub-Marine, the King of Atlantis. The groundwork for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Illuminati is being built out right now before our very eyes!
In Marvel Comics, the Illuminati, are a group of the most-powerful, the most-wise, and generally the most ego-centric Marvel Universe heroes you could possibly stomach in one sitting. You see, only their collective abilities can keep peace. They’re the know-it-all group that ensures the Earth stays safe. Well, as safe as they want it to be, molded in the fashion they desire. Basically, they run the world. And they see to it that everyone on this planet – hero, villain, civilian, government institution, law enforcement agency and scientific academy, follows their agenda.
They’re the good guys, but in a bad, bad way. And they don’t get along. And boy, would they be great to see on the big screen, setting the table for the MCU’s Phase Four threats – one of which can only be themselves!
The Death of Captain America
Where does the Captain America/Iron Man story go after the events of Captain America: Civil War? It’s got to go somewhere. That story arc – with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark at fundamental political loggerheads, with Tony basically having his super powered friends incarcerated, with Rogers, the literal figurehead of all good American values in shameful banishment – where to now?
How about a dead Captain America?
Look, I don’t want the death of my heroes in the films I adore. Really, nobody does. And certainly, no fan of comic books, or film, or storytelling for that matter, wants a death for the simple sake of a cheap shock. In stories, just like in real life, death needs to mean something. And the death of Captain America, at this point in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, can mean something.It can show the world how bereft of thoughtfulness and kindness and bravery it can become without an avatar of those traits to lead the way. It can complete Captain America’s journey – the man out of time, unable to fit into the twenty-first century. His death, at the hands of Thanos, can showcase how strong a villain, how capable a threat, the Mad Titan truly is. And it can bring to a close the fractured relationship between Rogers and a hollowed Stark.
While pushing to the spotlight a new one.
Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, killed Stark’s parents. He is at the center of the animosity between the two dueling Avengers. We want Captain America’s death to have meaning. It couldn’t possibly have more meaning than to his old friend Bucky, who should take up the mantle and shield and conscience of the Avengers in an attempt to cleanse his old sins. A new character arc for Bucky – and Stark – who must deal with the repercussions of the man who murdered his beloved mother becoming the world’s best hero.
That’s a death that matters. And one I want to see.
Follow Andy Burns and his “hawk-eyed” writing and editorial proclivities at @BiffBamPop
What’s the deal with Hawkeye? That’s what fans have been asking, and I’m one of them. I’ve enjoyed watching the character of Clint Barton develop over the two Avengers films and Captain America: Civil War. Nobody questions the acting chops of Jeremy Renner, and I think/hope his absence could mean big things for Hawkeye in this film and next year’s untitled Avengers extravaganza. There’s a complex character waiting for his moment.
Thanos Done Right
No wise cracks. No mercy. That’s what I want out of Thanos. I want to see the biggest, baddest villain in any comic book film we’ve ever encountered. We know Josh Brolin look the part, and I’m hoping the Russo Brothers have ensured that the character is the real deal. Any villain can destroy a city. I want to see Thanos take the Avengers to the brink…and push them over it. Anything less will be a let down.
More than anything else, I’m looking forward to consequences and repercussions in Infinity War. Our heroes have been pretty lucky for so many films, at some point that luck has to run out. And the time is now. Tony Stark has made more than a few heroic plays, and as many have observed, his ultimate arc is going to be one of sacrifice. I think we’re going to see Tony physically die in Infinity War, though I also wouldn’t be surprised to see an A.I. version allow for Robert Downey to return in some fashion. I also think we’ll see the end of the Vision, which is a shame, as there’s so much that could be explored in his burgeoning relationship with Wanda Maximoff.
Avengers: Infinity War, the nineteenth cinematic release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe premiers with all the fanfare on Thursday, April 26. What’s on your wish list?