Who Will Die in Infinity War? by Tyler Smith
I’ve seen multiple articles speculating about which characters will meet their end in the upcoming Infinity War. Many agree that at least one or two heroes should die as a way of illustrating the power of Thanos. Death always ups the stakes, as it did when Quicksilver sacrifices himself in Age of Ultron. Some have suggested that Thor should die, as his character arc, they argue, was completed in Ragnarok. Others assume that Vision will die, if for no other reason than his possession of one of the Infinity Stones, which Thanos needs in order to become all-powerful. Pretty much everybody seems to agree that Iron Man should die, as his eventual sacrifice would confirm him as the backbone of the franchise and leave the team rudderless.
These are all very real possibilities, but I personally have a suggestion for which characters I think should die.
All of them.
Such has always been the nature of the Infinity Gauntlet. The massive crossover event in the early 90s was so pivotal partially because of the brutal deaths of every hero that came into contact with the godlike Thanos. Captain America’s neck is broken. Iron Man is decapitated. Thor is turned to glass (and summarily shattered). On and on down the line, until every last hero is dead. Even the cosmic beings like Galactus are defeated.
At this point, we’ve spent years tracking the whereabouts of the various Infinity Stones, knowing that Thanos is trying to collect them. The audience is expecting big things to happen. One way to absolutely guarantee that – and to differentiate Thanos from other cosmic villains in the MCU – is to give the audience something they aren’t expecting, and that might even be a little traumatizing.
Infinity War is being split into two films, both of which will be huge blockbusters. So, since the box office numbers are already guaranteed, why not take a risk and end the first film with the entire Avengers team lying dead at the feet of an omnipotent villain? Yes, the audience might assume that the heroes could be resurrected (especially when dealing with the Time stone, as we saw in Doctor Strange), but why not let us squirm for a while?
And, frankly, I think now is the perfect time for something like this to happen. When we go see blockbusters, we always know the hero is going to win; it’s just a given. But, as we’ve seen in the real world over the last couple of years, things don’t always go the way we expect. Sometimes the villains win, and we are devastated. Even the most foregone conclusions are in question now, so why not take this opportunity to turn the Marvel Cinematic Universe into something that doesn’t always give us what we want?
It would remind the audience that movies aren’t merely popcorn entertainment. They can challenge us, and even plunge us into the depths of despair. Movies can force us to endure the most profound defeats, but that just makes the belated-but-inevitable victory all the sweeter.
Marvel has a unique opportunity here. It can choose to elevate its beloved-but-predictable franchise into something more; much more. Whether they take full advantage of that opportunity remains to be seen, but all I will say is that I read The Infinity Gauntlet series when I was nine years old, and it has stayed with me for over twenty-five years. This is due to the writers fully committing to the realization of their concept. Were the films to show this same level of commitment, it might just change the mainstream filmgoing landscape into something different; maybe something that isn’t quite so safe.