Monday, July 26, 2010

Did a Marvel movie prop just tease The Avengers' villain?

(Hey look, another new format feature: JUMP BREAKS!)

Shorthand auto-headline for pretty much every image coming out of Comic-Con in relation to the Marvel Films slate: "If This Is What It Looks Like... This Is Awesome." See: Yesterday's web-shuddering revelation of a certain Special Object being somehow involved in "Captain America." (Note, since that story is a report on something that was publically shown at SDCC, I don't know that it counts as a SPOILER or not, but just in case call this a light-warning.)

And then there's THIS rather ostentatious-looking piece of handwear, which was apparently out on the floor along with the already widely-seen Captain America shield and Thor/Loki/Odin helmets. And, well, if this is what it sure-as-hell LOOKS like it is...

...Holy shit.

Fans don't need me to tell them what they seem to be looking at. For non-fans: That's almost-certainly a Marvel Universe MacGuffin known as "The Infinity Gauntlet." Short version: Magic Glove inlaid with six Magic Gems representing absolute power over Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power, respectively. If you're wearing it, you're pretty much God. Keeping this from certain bad guys is really, really important. So... it's a more ostentatious "One Ring," would be the idea.

Now, here's why this should give fans something close to an intellectual-erection: While this is supposed to be a prop from "Thor," The Infinity Gauntlet isn't specifically a Thor element in the books. In fact, it doesn't "belong" to any one hero's series or continuity. It's an "everybody" MacGuffin, most-commonly associated with (in fact, created-by) one of Marvel's ultimate "everybody" Big Bads: THANOS.

Created by "cosmic"-specializing artist/writer Jim Starlin, Thanos is a nearly all-powerful alien conqueror who is "the ultimate nihilist" - he is in love with Death (literally - in the Marvel Universe, important esoteric "concepts" like Eternity and Infinity have sentient physical embodiments, and Death is nominally-"female") and typically wants to commit acts of universe-scale genocide in order to impress her. Really.

In other words, EXACTLY the sort of "too big for one guy" threat that Marvel Films' has kept hinting would be the "only" thing that could bring The Avengers together for the movie. He'd certainly be right up there with also-speculated potential enemies like the Skrulls (aliens) H.Y.D.R.A. (Neo-Nazis, James Bond style) The Leader (Tim Blake Nelson at some point after he exits the "Hulk" movie) or A.I.M. (made scientists), but for whatever reason he never seemed to be at the top of anyone's list. Hell, I'd never have even thought to consider him, mostly because he's always been on that list of "Things I'll Never See In a Movie." But, then again, yesterday I never would've believed I'd see a live-action Infinity Gauntlet.

This is really happening.


Ezenwa said...

The Cosmic Cube...and the Infinity Gauntlet. Marvel: you might have just made every comic nerd on the planet collectively wet themselves. It looks amazing.

That said: Hey, Chris Nolan. I saw Inception and loved it, but not as much as the Dark Knight. Still, two very solid movies. So, here goes:

-DC is giving you control over their IPs becoming films

-You've already shown us how to do a great Batman film

-Marvel has a head start on you by, at most, a year

Get off your mountain of money and possible Oscar nods for this year, and get cracking on the Justice League film.

Seriously, Nolan + JL = license to print money, no?

Alexander said...

The thing is a lot of the more obscure comic arcana is at a level so removed from reality that, for the uninitiated, its going to be difficult to suspend my disbelief to that degree. I mean i can kind of see Thor working, but even that seems tied to reality in a way. The problem with ultimate/invincible bad guys is that for them to be bested either you need the bad guy to do something moronic (like explain his entire plot to the good guy) or invoke deus ex machina, neither of which are particularly satisfying. Hopefully they can have these elements in the movie without making a boring or unsatisfying plot, but i have my doubts.

Also, Nolan's batman movies would not thematically work if applied to other DC superheros, and especially not the Justice league as a whole. Most are too innately fantastic or downright silly. I mean can you imagine a Martian Manhunter nolan-esque movie? Or Aquaman? or even superman? That doesn't mean it won't happen but I'd like to thing Christopher Nolan has more sense than that.

Mike Ralls said...

In the Infinity Gauntlet mini-series they stated-up front that Thanos could not be defeated unless he _wanted_ to be defeated on a deeper level. Tough to show that in a film, but would be a hell of thing if they could pull it off.

buzzkillinton said...

way i see this going down is the superheroes all being involved in the protection of each stone by themselves getting their butts kicked at each point leading to the realisation that they are stronger together, quick stop for awesome walking-0out-of-shield-hanger-in-the-sky pose and the big group beat down of thanos....