The 'Avengers: Infinity War' ending is devastating -- but the comic it's based on provides a glimmer of hope

Marvel Studios

  • The ending to “Avengers: Infinity War” has huge consequences for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and may leave audiences in disbelief.
  • But it’s taken straight from the comic book the movie is loosely based on: 1991’s “The Infinity Gauntlet.”

Spoiler warning: Don’t read if you have not seen “Avengers: Infinity War.”

By the end of “Avengers: Infinity War,” audiences may be taken aback by how devastating the movie is for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film’s ending is shocking in more ways than one, but it’s also taken straight from the comic book the film is loosely based on.

At the end of the film, Thanos has acquired all six Infinity Stones he needs to wipe out half of humanity from existence and bring “balance” to the universe. With the snap of his fingers, people across the universe begin to fade away – including many of the Avengers. It appears that Thanos, for the time being, has won.

It might be rough for the average moviegoer to stomach, as the MCU has generally shied away from such consequential events. Even “Captain America: Civil War,” based on a comic book that leads to the death of Captain America, was afraid of the notion.

AvengersMarvel Comics (‘The Infinity Gauntlet’)

But this moment in “Infinity War” is a familiar one for anyone who has read Marvel’s “The Infinity Gauntlet” comic book.

“The Infinity Gauntlet” is a 1991 six-issue mini-series event that finds Thanos wanting to wipe out half of humanity like he does in the film. Only in the comic, he is doing it at the command of Mistress Death, who he wants to impress.

At the beginning of the mini-series, Thanos already has the six stones, and he wastes no time in submitting to Death’s request (Death sees the fact that “there are more people alive today than have ever died” as a “cosmic imbalance”).

In the comic, Thanos snaps his fingers, and people disappear – including Avengers such as Black Panther and Hawkeye (the guy can’t catch a break).

Something quite similar happens in the movie, and we’ll have to wait until next year for the fourth “Avengers” film to continue the story.

But if comic book history is any indication, we’ll be seeing many of those Avengers who disappeared again, and at least some of the events of “Infinity War” may be reversed in “Avengers 4.” By the end of “The Infinity Gauntlet,” things are restored back to the way they used to be.

Characters rarely stay dead in comics, and the same will probably be true for the Marvel Cinematic Universe – especially when there are already movies planned for them, including “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and a sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Judging by how successful “Black Panther” was at the box office, there will most certainly be a sequel to that, as well.

But for now, “Infinity War” has huge consequences for the MCU – we just could have seen it coming based on the comic books.

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