5 Ways to Prep - Avengers: Infinity War
By George Rose
April 25, 2018
I have nothing funny or clever to say about the release of Avengers: Infinity War. Several attempts at an epic opening line have fallen victim to the pressures that come with speaking about the all-powerful Thanos. We are merely humans, fans of the mighty that have ushered in a decade-long span of surefire blockbusters for Marvel. There is nothing funny to be said about Infinity War. There is nothing clever to be said, either, as the audience has spent ten years salivating over the same superheroes with unwavering devotion. This is the alien invasion the world has waited for and I don’t think a single person would care if it turned out to be real.
Seriously, Thanos could burst out of the screen and we’d all cheer as he crushed the front row with his feet. It would be a great honor to be the first victim of the mad titan. The only question leading up to Infinity War, really, is who gets put up on the chopping block. We know Iron Man’s movie history, we know Captain America is from history, we know Thor’s ancient history and we know Hulk is the only one who can survive history. Because, you know, he’s indestructible.
We know Avengers was the first $200+ million opening weekend. We know even B-level Marvel heroes like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange and Black Panther can also be blockbusters. We know Marvel is so amazing that Sony-owned Spider-Man successfully merged into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe, owned by Disney). And at the very least we know that some of the Guardians, Black Panther and Spider-Man will survive Infinity War because they are the only sequels we’re pretty much guaranteed to get after Avengers 4 next year. But, again, what we don’t know is who will die. Contracts are up on a handful of heroes and the pricetag to make these movies is only getting higher. Thanos is here to help terminate.
Though it would seem redundant to tell someone planning to see Infinity War how to prep for it, I can’t assume everyone seeing it has seen every Marvel movie. That’s a shame and I would argue you aren’t a true Marvel fan, but that’s not the point. Ant-Man was the last MCU movie to earn less than $200 million domestically and Black Panther is currently the third largest movie ever with almost $700 million so, yeah, a few of you have skipped out on some of the MCU movies. It is for that person that this 5 Ways to Prep article exists and I’m pleased to help.
Usually I limit this article to only one of the five Prep movies being from the related franchise. This time, Thanos demands all rules be broken. The MCU has almost twenty films under its belt and I can’t pick just five of those either. Instead, we will focus on the thing that makes Marvel stand out above all other franchises: the Infinity MacGuffins. Most films only have one. Infinity War has SIX! We’ve spent ten years and twenty films looking for the six Infinity Stones that Thanos needs to make his Infinity Gauntlet work. So, rather than focus on five movies we are going to focus on the five stones we’re currently aware of in the MCU. Since we’re destined to see Thanos rock a full glove, here’s what you need to know before Infinity War.
#1) THE PURPLE ONE = POWER STONE
WHAT IT DOES: Can manipulate energy while granting the holder increased strength.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT: Since this is the first stone seen in the commercials on Thanos’ gauntlet, we’ll talk about this one first. The tiny purple gem was the target object in Guardians of the Galaxy, hidden away in an orb on an abandoned planet. Star Lord finds it, Ronan (frenemy of Thanos) tries to take it, the Guardians form and win the battle, and the stone gets locked away on the morally-sound planet of Xandar. We’ve not seen it since.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: As the first stone to be found by Thanos, we can expect him to make a pit stop on Xandar near the opening credits to grab the Purple power before coming to our planet. With under three hours to collect as many stones as possible, we’re sure to kick the movie off with some epic space action before things come crashing down on Earth.
#2) THE BLUE ONE = SPACE STONE
WHAT IT DOES: Allows the holder to teleport between locations or travel through space.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT: The stone is in the Tesseract, the cube first seen in Captain America. It was found by Red Skull, who tried to make weapons with it. Captain put a stop to that and crashed the plane carrying it into the ocean, where they remained frozen for decades. It’s found by SHIELD in the modern day but they lose it to Loki, Thor’s adopted brother, in Avengers. He causes mayhem and then loses it back to the good guys, who give it to Thor to keep safe on his home planet, Asgard. It comes up at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, just before that planet is destroyed. Loki takes it from the vaults before he and Thor escape with their civilization.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: In the Infinity War previews, we see Thanos put the Blue stone into his gauntlet second. We also see Loki offering up the Tesseract to Thanos, who crushes the cube to expose the stone at the center. Will Loki live past this encounter? You’re destined for death after so many betrayals and it’s been a long time coming for Marvel’s best backstabber.
#3) THE RED ONE = REALITY STONE
WHAT IT DOES = Not so much a stone as it is a liquid Aether, this shape-shifting power can merge itself with a host to give them the ability to warp reality and spread universal darkness.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT: Every few thousand years the nine realms align, which creates spontaneous and sporadic portals to emerge during the convergence. In Thor: The Dark World, the Asgardian’s human lover, Jane Foster, goes through a portal and finds the hidden Aether. It merges with her but, shortly after, an evil elf named Malekith takes it from her with the plan to destroy the nine realms at the time of alignment. Thor stops him and the Aether is given to The Collector, an untrustworthy hoarder that safely stores galactic treasure. Though our heroes don’t have much faith in him, they believe it’s safer to keep stones apart than together.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: I have no freaking clue. Purple and Blue are in space. The next two (Yellow and Green) are on Earth. Technically, Red is also in space at the Collector’s museum on a decapitated Celestial head called Knowhere. That’s where it was given to him. However, that museum was blown up in Guardians of the Galaxy while the Purple stone was being abused. Was the Red stone at the Collector’s museum when it blew? Did he relocate it? Thanos has four henchmen to help find these stones so we might be seeing a side-quest.
#4) THE GREEN ONE = TIME STONE
WHAT IT DOES = Allows the controller to speed, slow, change, reverse and jump through time. By doing so there is the chance alternate timelines get created. So some people can die with alternate versions still living, and others can die with time reversal undoing the death. No matter what happens during Infinity War, this is the stone that’s going add surprises to Avengers 4.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT: It is kept in the Eye of Agamotto, an ancient relic used by Doctor Strange and his sorcerer friends. It’s not his sole power but it’s the one Thanos wants.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: We know Doctor Strange wears it around his neck and he‘s usually on Earth. In the Infinity War commercials we see Ebony Maw, a Thanos henchman, sticking spikes into Strange’s face. Like the Red, I imagine Green will be a side-quest in another realm.
#5) THE YELLOW ONE = MIND STONE
WHAT IT DOES = Allows one person to abuse and control the mind of another.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT = In the first Avengers, Thanos gives a scepter to Loki to help him conquer Earth while trying to obtain the Tesseract. Inside the scepter is the Mind Stone. SHIELD takes it after Loki is defeated, then HYDRA (who has infiltrated SHIELD a dozen times) gains control, they use it to make new people with powers (Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver), then Ultron takes it (the evil robot accidentally created by Iron Man), he tries to merge the Yellow stone with human tissue and Vibranium (magic metal harvested where Black Panther lives) to make a new body for himself, then Iron Man upsets Ultron and turns this creation into Vision by inserting the AI that lives in his suit (JARVIS) into the subconscious. So, yeah, Vision has it.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: Vision is floating around on Earth. In the commercials we see an enormous battle occur at Black Panther’s secret African country of Wakanda. This is the most technologically advanced place on Earth and it is here that the Avengers will try to keep Vision safe from Thanos. So we know Thanos gets Purple and Blue first, we know a henchmen has Doctor Strange and the Green one in a headlock, and we know a battle goes down in Wakanda over Vision’s Yellow forehead jewelry. There’s no mention of Red in the trailer. Or Orange.
BONUS) THE ORANGE ONE = SOUL STONE
WHAT IT DOES = Captures and controls souls. It’s the most powerful one of the bunch.
WHERE WE’VE SEEN IT: Not anywhere that we know of, although I imagine once it is finally revealed we will discover it’s been in the MCU this whole time.
WHERE WE’LL SEE IT: One theory is that the stone was in the meteor that landed in Wakanda that makes the magical Vibranium grow. I don’t think this is the case. My favorite theory is that the stone is inside Heimdall, Thor’s friend. His eyes are orange and he has the power to see every soul in the universe, as evident by his appearances in the Thor films. I’m pretty sure a producer or someone debunked this theory in interviews, but it’s my favorite and it holds up. Should this not be the case, we have no idea where it’s hiding. I don’t imagine ten years and twenty films will lead up to any conclusion other than Thanos getting all six stones for one mega cinematic meltdown. The question isn’t IF. It’s who, what, when, where, why and how?
The Soul Stone is coming. Thanos is coming. The first $250+ million opening weekend is coming (fingers crossed). The best weekend of our lives is coming, followed by the longest wait in history until the untitled Avengers 4 is released next year. It will bring the answers we still seek after Infinity War and will shepherd in the next era of the MCU. It’s been one hell of a decade. With the Disney/Fox merger now a definite and X-Men bound to bump into the Avengers, the next ten years are sure to be just as epic.