Warning: contains possible SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War.
Disney’s D23 and San Diego Comic-Con brought good news for Marvel fans: early footage from Avengers: Infinity War. Although the exciting teaser still eludes the masses, enthusiasts have a better idea what to expect from Marvel’s heroes and villains in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe game changer. The studio team also broke down the key elements of the mega-movie, revealing Thanos’ hench-persons, the Children of Thanos (the Black Order).
Aside from the footage and the first juicy details, Marvel also exhibited the first Infinity War poster, which was broken into three segments. The assembled parts form a sweeping whole nearly as vast as the film itself. It also tells an interesting story to those willing to read between the lines.
Where Is Ant-Man?
Set photos and the Russo Brothers acknowledge Scott Lang’s presence in Infinity War. In fact, his sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, is next in line after the third Avengers, so we know he isn’t killed or excluded from the film. Nonetheless, he's conspicuously absent (for a microverse dweller) from the poster, suggesting he’s either tucked away behind a molecule or, more so, Marvel doesn’t want to overload the already busy poster with another, less-prominent player in the film. Perhaps his role is so secretive that showing him would ruin the whole film. Probably not, but Scott’s time in the MCU is only just beginning, so it's surprising he isn't a part of the action.
Baby Groot No More
Alas, Baby Groot, your time in the MCU was far too short. Still, fans can’t entirely blame Marvel for aging everyone's favorite tree-man. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn made it abundantly clear that the most adorable Groot was a one-time thing. He also explained Groot’s miracle growth is the result of his species different maturation rate, at least compared to humans. His “adolescent” self also makes more sense in the grand scheme of things. A wee Groot is adorable and troublesome, but a teen Groot, angst and all, is a much better fit for the relatively solemn adventures in Infinity War. After all, Marvel’s champions need a warrior tree, not a roving excuse for a babysitter.
The Black Order/Children of Thanos
As the doors swung open on D23, Marvel maniacs were treated to several mysteriously veiled displays. Before long, a glorious statue of main baddie Thanos stood before fans, in addition to his gaudy Infinity Gauntlet. But several figures remained under wraps. Aside from some wild speculation that the Fantastic Four dwelled beneath (a theory killed by Fox's announcement of Noah Hawley’s Doctor Doom movie), most theorized the House of Ideas was unveiling the Mad Titan's brutal henchmen, the Black Order.
Those who guessed Black Order (now renamed the Children of Thanos) were right. While the reveal confirmed rumors and mo-cap teasers from the film’s shoot, the poster gave a better idea of their true role in Infinity War. On the placard, they're situated beneath his raised, glove hand. Incongruous to their size on the poster, their role in the movie should be significant, especially if writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely take inspiration from Marvel’s Infinity event book, The comic story, in which Thanos assaults Earth to kill his son Thane but discovers the hidden gems, setting the Order to round up Infinity Stones. Since at least one of the potent artifacts (Vision’s Soul Stone) is still on Earth, so they're probably on their way already.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018