When Thanos is momentarily subdued during the Titan battle, Starlord boasts, “My Plan”!
Which makes sense because Dr. Strange is used to distract Thanos from Iron Man’s ship-wreckage-attack, the same way that Starlord was used to distract Ronin from Drax & Rocket’s missile-attack in GOTG.
So can we assume that the “dance-off” discussion suggested by Drax took place off camera after all? (Man I hope that makes the extended bluray cut)
The Herald of Thanos
In the early scenes of the film, The Hulk crashes through the iconic window of Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum on Bleeker Street, to warn Earth’s heroes of the coming of Thanos.
In the Infinity Gauntlet comic book by Jim Starlin, this role was filled by The Silver Surfer. Who Disney only just acquired from Fox.
Dr. Strange, who is without his iconic yellow gloves in this movie, has visibly trembling hands when he casts spells. If you recall in the movie Dr. Strange, when discussing the man who used magic to make himself walk again, the Ancient One tells Steven Strange that he cannot focus his magic on maintaining his physical body, and be a great magician at the same time.
Crimson Bands of Cyttorak
During the Titan battle with Thanos, we see the 1st cinematic use of Dr. Strange’s “Crimson Bands of Cyttorak”. Which are the red glowing tendrils used to almost rip the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanoss purple hand.
The Thanos Nod of Respect
Throughout the film, Thanos seems to let certain people live, if he is impressed by their will to survive (Starlord, Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch). Which is kind of in line with his “Thin the heard” philosophy.
Each time there is a quick little shot of Thanos, where he gives the faintest little nod of respect for his adversary before leaving them to be randomly selected by the culling.
…Or Moments of Doubt?
Call me crazy, but before Thanos opts not to kill a few choice Avengers (who are the only people who may prove to be the Mad God’s undoing) I see a look of self doubt.
In the Infinity Gauntlet comics Thanos becomes an unstoppable God through the power of the Gauntlet, but is only defeated in the end by his subconscious self-hatred and sowing the seeds of his own destruction. I hope to see more of that character depth play out in the sequel.
The Culling Was Random
Thanos tells Dr. Strange that the killing of half the universe would be completely random. Which appears to be true because although he chooses to let Scarlett Witch live, after empathizing with her loss of a loved one, she is chosen to fade into nothingness during the culling.
The running gag throughout IW is that Hulk does not want to come out and fight. Most likely because he got his green butt whooped by Thanos in the opening scene. But there may be more to this than a running erectile dysfunction joke.
Although Hulk did loose the fist-fight with Thanos, it is probably because the mad Titan already possessed the Power Stone. Perhaps Hulk isn’t scared, but smarter than we give him credit for? Waiting for the glove to come off before making his “Last minute” appearance to kick the purple out of Thanos in IW2?
Speaking of Hulk. In the trailer we see the Hulk running into battle on Wakanda, but in the movie it was actually Bruce inside of the Hulk Buster Armor. One of several shots altered or deleted from the film.
Soul Stone Vs. Dr Strange
The only time the Soul Stone is used in IW is during the Battle on Titan when Dr. Strange duplicates himself to attack Thanos.
When Thanos lashes back, you can see the Power & Soul Stones light up and Dr. Strange’s soul is briefly blasted out of his body, and into the Astral Plane (Since only the real strange would have a soul).
Strange is out of his body just long enough to lose control of his duplicates and they vanish. It happens quick so you have to watch closely. I think if Thanos pulled this move on any other person it would have killed them, but Dr. Strange has experience rejoining his body from the Astral plane.
Reality Bounces Back
We see Thanos use the Reality Stone a few times in the film, often to disturbing effect. However, each time Thanos unclenches his fist, whatever alternate reality he had manifested disappears.
After departing Knowhere, Drax and Mantis’ bodies return to normal. On Titan he briefly reverts his home world back to its former glory for the purposes of exposition.
This may explain why Thanos doesn’t just create a reality with double the resources, rather than killing half the people. Or Simply restore his home world to what it once was….or bring Gamora back to life. The limitations may also be setting up an achilles heel for IW2 as well.
Rubber Band Man
Another possibility of the Reality Stone is, that it manifests an individual’s desired reality.
When used on Drax, who had previously been obsessed with standing perfectly still, he is turned to stone. When used on Mantis, she turns into a horrifying human rubber-spring-monster-thingy. And she had been previously singing along to a song called “The Rubber Band Man” by The Spinners while on board the Quill’s ship The Milano.
In the film, Thanos graphically rips the Mind Stone out of Vision’s forehead, pulling out android gooey bits in the process. A scene very reminiscent of a panel in Infinity Gauntlet comic by Jim Starlin.
We also see all color drain out Vision and his eyes turn a ghostly white, a look the character took in later comic runs. My guess is that we will see Vision patched up in Wakanda in IW2 and return with slightly less personality.
Burnt Out on Godhood
In the end, after Thanos gives Thor some friendly advice about head-shots, the “Mad Titan” snaps his fingers and turns ½ the universe into ash.
When Thanos comes to, the Infinity Gauntlet is toast, and gems are not quite as shiny. We can also see his entire arm is burnt up to his neck, and his massive axe-wound is gone.
I’m not quite sure how we are meant to interpret this. In the comics the Stones were a source of infinite, Godhood powers (Hence “Infinity” Gauntlet).
Do we take this to mean that the task exerted such a toll, that the gauntlet needs time to recharge? Or is the infinite power of the glove spent once and for all? But if that’s the case, then how did he use the Space Stone to teleport away to Purple Acres?
Odds are, one way or another these new rules for the gauntlet will factor into IW2.
Captain America’s Last Stand
This scene in Infinity War is very reminiscent of iconic panels from Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet.
Where, with the entire team defeated, Captain America squares off against an undefeatable God knowing full well he can’t win. Kinda makes up for Cap being fairly monotone and “meh” in the rest of the film.
Typically, the ending credits of Marvel movies are upbeat, loaded with special effects CGI, exciting teaser scenes, and a rousing Avengers score.
The end credits of Infinity War however, had simple black and white text, somber music, and played like the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars. A fitting way to remember all the heroes we lost I suppose.
The final words of the film come from a defeated Captain America as he simply utters, “Oh God”. A weird and somber note to go out on for one of the biggest movies in history, but possibly a reference to the first panel of Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet.