Do we really have to wait until 2015 for The Avengers 2? Yes I know we have Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World, and Captain America 2: Winter Soldier to pass the years. But I really do not want to wait until 2015 to resolve Thanos and his plans for earth. I want to know what is going on now. So, I created my own shortcut and I read Infinity Gauntlet, collecting the Marvel mini-series from 1991. Though this series is not the introduction of the villain Thanos, it does tie into another potential plot element, the Infinity Gauntlet. The stone in Loki’s spear in The Avengers is the Soul Gem, which allows the user to control others. And in Thor the Infinity Gauntlet is seen in Odin’s vault. I have a hard time believing that they would not have left us a trail to this story without looking to adapt it in the future within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In 1991's Infinity Gauntlet, written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by George Perez and Ron Lim, Thanos acquires the Infinity Gauntlet formed of the entire set of Infinity Gems in order to fulfill his beloved’s desires. The full gauntlet makes Thanos more powerful than a Marvel universe God. He hopes to impress Death by killing half of the universe, in the blink of an eye! Earth’s heroes unite under the leadership of hero Adam Warlock, who is very familiar with the Soul Gem (he lived in it), to battle Thanos and attempt to save the universe from chaos and death. The following are speculative thoughts from the story that could have impact on a future Avengers 2, if it was actually adapted for the next movie:
- The Stones: We have already been introduced to the Soul Gem, but there are actually six infinity gems. The full set is The Soul, The Mind, Power, Time, Reality and Space. When combined together in the Infinity Gauntlet, they give the holder unlimited Godlike power. Basically, the Gauntlet makes Thanos the badest baddy that the Avengers would fight yet.
- Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars: This is a cosmic tale. Seriously, it’s out of this world. Yes, there is a fair amount of action that occurs on little old earth. But the final battle occurs in space. So take Tony Stark flying into space at the end of The Avengers and add Thor and other heroes zooming through space with him. And then add in that part of the confrontation with Thanos includes a delegation of cosmic entities like Entirety, Love and Hate, the Watcher, Galactus, Kronos, and others. If they follow this cosmic setting, the budget for the film would have to be huge. Cleveland was able to sit in for New York in The Avengers, but it would require a lot of special effects to frame this story on the big screen in the same way as the comic. Or some things like the cosmic entities may not be able to be seen on screen. I do see the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving this direction with concept art from Iron Man 3, spoiler, showing Tony within a deep space version of the armor.
- Where’s Waldo: The good news about the Infinity Gauntlet storyline is that Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk all have fairly big roles with Black Widow also in action. Now this Thor is not the Marvel Cinematic Universe Thor with a storyline that if he is separated from his hammer for a set timeframe he transforms into a regular human who is not Donald Blake. This plot point is small enough I am guessing that Joss Whedon would simply ignore it. But Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye is problematic. For almost the entire story Hawkeye is gone, and somewhere where he should never return from. I am fairly certain regardless of the number of heroes they add that the Disney executives would like to keep Renner with a significant role in a future Avengers film. I think it’s the law that Renner has to have a role in every action franchise, or at least it feels that way!
- Missing in Action: This is a big big Marvel story. It is literally cosmic and the role of heroes featured is massive. However, there are a ton of heroes who cannot be part of the story due to obligations to other studios. These missing heroes included Spider-Man, Wolverine, Professor X, and the Fantastic Four. And some characters I wonder if they have viable as they served as supporting characters on the non-Disney films. These include the Silver Surfer and Doctor Doom who have a pretty big role in this epic. I am guessing that currently these two are wrapped up with other studios and will be written out unless Disney pays a fee to access their characters.
- Introducing: There are several characters that could be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a very “magical” story, where it is made equal to science. Therefore Doctor Strange plays a large role in the original story, so Avengers 2 if following this story at all could be an introduction to this character. I think this is likely since Kevin Fiege has announced that Doctor Strange will be part of Wave Three after Avengers 2. Another character who could have a role is Ant Man, who’s film is also considered part of Wave Three. Though I have to admit this original Avenger is not really one of my favorite characters.
- Leader of the Pack: What to do with Adam Warlock. He serves as the strategic leader in the conformation against Thanos. But to be honest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe he could only ever be a supporting character. And would they allow someone other than Nick Fury serve as the core leader? I do not think so. I expect that Fury might take over some of Warlock’s role if this storyline was made into Avengers 2.
- Stan’s Soapbox: No entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be complete without the Stan Lee cameo. And this story is ready for Stan’s arrival. One frame shows that the Hulk is visiting “Smilin’ Stan’s Bar & Grill. On this alone, I would green light this story for the core of Avengers 2.
Again, this is all nothing more than speculation and none of these guesses could come to fruition. But with two years to go, Infinity Gauntlet is an enjoyable book to visit and start building assumptions on a future movie. Let's be honest, this story could not become a feature film without major rewrites. Even if none of these guesses come true, the story itself is an enjoyable superhero adventure sure to entertain fans of the Avenger Initiative.