Like a planet hurtling to our surface, slowly blotting out all else in the sky, "Avengers: Infinity War" is almost here.
Marvel's mega crossover arrives April 27, pitting the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and like 47 other heroes against Thanos. Marvel bumped the release date ahead one week in an act of haste that would have been nice to see from the Mad Titan, whose quest to wipe out half the universe with the six infinity stones climaxes six whole damn years after his cameo in the first "Avengers."
With the cataclysmic movie less than a month away, here are some things I hope to see in "Avengers: Infinity War":
5. Thanos's motive is revealed. Readers of "Infinity Gauntlet," the Marvel comic storyline on which "Infinity War" is based, know that there's more to Thanos than cosmic genocide. The Mad Titan only wants to wipe out half the universe to win the affection of Mistress Death. That's right: Thanos just wants to be loved. Now, I don't expect "Infinity War" to introduce Mistress Death. We just got a god of death in "Thor: Ragnarok," and as much as I'd welcome the return of Cate Blanchett's Hela as Thanos' unrequited, I don't see it happening. But "Infinity War" should do something to motivate or even humanize Thanos, something to make him more than just another computer-generated angry murder guy. Because he is.
4. Captain Marvel debuts. We know we're going to see Brie Larson's Carol Danvers in March 2019, and again in the untitled fourth "Avengers" movie months after that. But some tease of her superpowered presence in "Infinity War" would be nice, if only to explain why the hell she has yet to pop up on the radar of the Avengers, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, etc. We know Nick Fury and SHIELD are aware of her, so you'd think they would at least mention such a powerful ally when Thanos makes his move.
3. Scarlet Witch and the daughters of Thanos get their due. Compared to their comic counterpart, Scarlet Witch might be the most underpowered character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'd like to see Elizabeth Olsen's mage showcase what she can really do in "Infinity War," and the Black Order and Thanos' army will provide as good a stage as any. Meanwhile, with their dad as the bad guy, Gamora and Nebula are due to play outsized roles in the movie, and deservingly so. Trailers suggest that'll be the case for Gamora, whose adoption by Thanos looks to be the subject of a flashback. And if the "Infinity Gauntlet" comic is any indication, Nebula will be a major factor in Thanos' downfall. It'd be great to see Karen Gillan's icy rage focused in that dramatic direction.
2. More cosmic entities debut. Overstuffed as "Infinity War" appears to be, the "Infinity Gauntlet" comic was way, way more so. And one major segment of the cast was Marvel's cosmic entities, such as Eternity, The Stranger and The Living Tribunal. We've glimpsed the Watchers in "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," and we know the world-devouring Galactus is owned by Fox. But I would expect Thanos trying to wipe out half the universe to warrant the attention of at least some of its most powerful beings.
1. Iron Man is the major casualty. Of course, the question that has Marvel fans freaking out and sharing every dramatic .gif they can find is who dies in "Infinity War." Footage from the trailer showing Captain America struggling against Thanos' gauntleted fist, and talk of Chris Evans leaving the franchise, suggest he'll be the one to fall. I hope not — I hope it's Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. Where Captain America still feels like he has stories to tell and Evans still finds charm in the do-gooder, Downey's Iron Man has run his course. Star-Lord out-quips him, Black Panther out-techs him, and Shuri out-quips and out-techs him. Downey deserves credit for launching the Marvel Cinematic Universe 10 years ago with his fantastic turn as Tony Stark. But that's all the more poetry in him being the one to die as that universe expands.
Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.