In Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Thanos intentionally puts the gauntlet where Gamora can see it when he’s torturing Nebula so that she knows he isn’t using the Reality Stone and that her pain is real.
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Apparently there was a watch-along of the first GOTG yesterday and James Gunn and the cast shared some stuff! I missed it all being in the wrong timezone and all, but here’s the highlights! I had a blast reading them, I hope they do Vol 2 next.
(Awww. :( )
I really don’t like that Quill ran out on his grandparents, never have, but it does make for good fanfiction fodder I guess. I doubt they were close.
Gaaah so there was a version of the movie with Nakia in it (even just at the end) and we didn’t get it? >:(
(also fuck yeah Gamora!)
This one’s by Phil Saunders and he said: “It would have been revealed, however, that [Rhodey] was actually piloting it remotely as he was still suffering from PTSD from his crash during the events of Civil War. I liked the character arc of him eventually having to get back in the suit, but we’d already done a similar reveal in Iron Man 3, so it felt like a repeated beat.” Hm I guess, but it wasn’t that similar, I’d have liked a lil more of Rhodey handling his PTSD I guess.
Cool hat, The Ancient One! Something to make all the other girls go “ooh, that’s nice.”
Aw man I can see why they didn’t use Ant Man’s Giant Ants, too much else going on, but a gun being fired off the top of one amuses me.
Alternate Captain Marvel scene. Oh man I gotta buy this book just so I can see those panels properly. (Nakia’s in the background of this one too, when was she cut out of the movie?!)
Aw dang this is a tiny image but that’s meant to be Thanos’s biological family! (I guess they’d have appeared in a flashback or something?)
These weird looking dudes, okay I can see why they were cut out, way too much going on in the final battle without throwing them in as well
ROCKET WEARING A PIECE OF GROOT! Oh man, that’s just too sad. I gotta go lie down.
my primary reaction to infinity war is like…. wow. under hypercapitalism we literally can’t imagine any other fables about resource scarcity, huh?
i’m not even talking about only thanos. every time thanos said his plan to kill half the galaxy (because it’s “finite,” lol ok one-semester-of-econ guy) the other characters were like “no!” or “you can’t!” or “that’s madness!” instead of… counter-arguing, or saying anything like “couldn’t you just… double the resources with a snap of your fingers?” obviously, nobody wants thanos to murder all those people, but it’s also as if everyone tacitly accepts his framing of the problem. “i want to kill half the universe because of resource scarcity,” he says, and everyone says “no, that’s too cruel!!” instead of “wait… wait just a fucking second there, paul ryan.” they don’t even have a line like that even when they’re talking amongst themselves, just musing at how twisted his worldview is, that he can only imagine infinite power as an infinite power to kill. no time is spent imagining an alternative.
and i can’t help but think about how we in the quote-unquote “first world” treat the resource consumption of the so-called “developing world.” we, who have enjoyed the pleasures and benefits of fridges and air conditioning and televisions and cars and convenience food and all that shit for generations: we look at the growing energy & plastics consumption of the developing world and go “uh oh, they’re really running the tab up over there, we can’t let this happen, think of the…. trees!!!” we have the audacity to act like people living in poverty in the tropics wanting window fans is selfish and short-sighted for the environment, and meanwhile we use and waste all the energy and resources we can get ahold of, like a continent full of montgomery burnses.
infinity war could have taken thanos’s approach to scarcity somewhere bigger: somewhere that was useful as a parable for our hypocrisy. the way that ragnarok was brave enough to make a parable of empire; the way that black panther could explore diaspora and identity; the way that the winter soldier actually had something to say about the surveillance-terror state. but for all the moving pieces of infinity war, i don’t think it knew where its central ethic rested. certainly, its characters showed the desire to preserve and protect life. but that’s true of any superhero film.
what it comes down to for me, is that it’s not enough for this movie’s theme to be “let’s protect people, because killing people is bad!” or even, sorry steve, “we don’t trade lives.” it’s not enough. thanos basically says, “there’s one bowl of soup and one spoon and two hungry people, so one of them has to die.” so what i needed was someone to openly reject that whole proposition. not just “no, you shouldn’t kill trillions,” but “no, that is fucking ludicrous, i reject that worldview. i reject human life as a brutal competition. group survival, even in the face of scarcity or hardship, is exactly what the fuck we developed culture for.” like, we could use that message. that message, delivered palatably in a blockbuster action movie, could do some good.
but it wasn’t really in there. maybe in little bits, in pieces. maybe. so i’m sure we’re going to have to endure a bunch of “welllll, thanos was a bad guy, but he did have a point about scarcity” metas. because we’re still failing to see how asking other people to die so that the rest can enjoy plenty is itself exactly the fucking problem on this bitch of an earth
i will acknowledge that gamora comes the closest to doing this. gamora comes down on thanos for slaughtering half her planet. but!! but! then thanos gets this horrible line about how the children who grew up after his genocide got to have “full bellies” and the planet’s a “utopia” now. and what does gamora get to say back to that? nothing! she doesn’t get a line after that! she looks angry and grief-stricken, but the writers don’t give her a single fucking thing to say in disagreement!! like, how about: “growing up as a traumatized survivor of genocide isn’t very fucking utopian????” the writers couldn’t imagine that fucking line?
gamora’s like “you don’t know that!” as though the existence of scarcity is a mystery on par with the nature of dark matter or the whereabouts of d.b. cooper
As the soundtrack violins go mournfully OTT and Gamora’s body lies
lifeless in the snow, Thanos displays grief and tears for the first
time. Yep, Gamora’s death wasn’t even about her: it was about Thanos.
Thanos’s triumph, Thanos’s tears, Thanos’s sadness. A classic fridging.
It even involved ice.
My article about my Infinity War anger is up! It comes on the same day the Russos explained some new things about Gamora’s fate. But I still stand by it.
I do think Peter Quill’s trauma tends to be a bit overlooked in fandom. When you realise how long the list of traumatic things is, and how many of those things are discomfortingly realistic I guess, it kind of… jumps out at you. (trigger warnings: child abuse , child murder and some discussion of rape. spoiler warnings: Infinity War.)
Peter was born to Meredith, a human woman, and in GOTG Vol 2 he learns his father was a god called Ego. Ego not only killed millions of Peter’s half-siblings throughout the past millennia, he also killed Meredith when he realised he’d grown to love her too much. (Remind you of anything?) Peter had to watch his mother die of the cancer neither of them knew Ego had given her.
The circumstances of Peter’s conception are… I think it’d be fair to say they’re the sort of thing that would haunt you. Meredith had a consenting romantic relationship with Ego and got pregnant with Peter, but Ego neglected to tell her what he really was (beyond “a spaceman”), what he planned to do with her planet, or what he planned to do with her child. Especially considering how young Meredith was – in the opening scene of GOTG Vol 2 the script gives her age as 18; she might have been even younger when she first encountered Ego – she was utterly taken advantage of by him. I honestly don’t know if you’d call it rape by deception, but it seems to be not a million miles off. Meredith’s trauma feeds into Peter’s, too. Had something terrible not happened to her, his mother, he wouldn’t exist. It’s a horrible thing to think about.
Peter grew up a bullied kid, being picked on by schoolmates even as his mother was dying in hospital. Watching a parent slowly die of cancer is horrible at any age, and Peter was only eight.
Peter’s too scared to hold his mother’s hand as she dies, something that haunts him well into adulthood.
Immediately after Meredith dies, Peter is thrown into a world of cutthroat pirates and mercenaries. He can’t go home again, can’t see his grandparents again, and has to learn to steal to earn his keep. He grew up in a secure, safe place and now all that security has gone.
Yondu loved Peter, true, but up until the last few minutes of his life he was an awful father. He may have thought that “beating the crap out of [Peter] to teach him to fight” was thoughtful parenting, especially considering his own background, but honestly… it’s abuse.
Peter loved Yondu too, despite this, and then had to watch him freeze to death in the depths of space to save him.
Ego not only killed Peter’s mother and millions of half-siblings that he’ll never know, he tortures Peter as well. At the same time he starts using Peter as “a battery”, he’s killing people all over the galaxy. In addition to whatever pain being used as a battery causes, Peter might have seen or even felt all those people die.
After Ego turns to dust in his hands, Peter closes his eyes and accepts his own death, and would have met it if Yondu hadn’t saved him.
The fact that out of millions of Ego kids, Peter was the only one
who displayed the correct powers and was allowed to survive, that’s got
to lead to some unbelievable survivor’s guilt. He’s essentially the last survivor of a horrible sort-of-eugenics program.
Finally, after all that, Peter embarks on a romantic relationship with Gamora. She dies (or, I fucking hope, ‘dies’) at the hands of her own megalomaniacal god-like father, because he decided he loved her so much that she was a worthy sacrifice. Just like Ego had done with Meredith, after he abused and hurt her and Peter couldn’t stop it. He couldn’t stop it this time either.
Y’know after Vol 2, there was a brief wave of people saying “God, Peter’s been through so much, it’s amazing he hasn’t completely snapped.” That one scene in Infinity War which people are calling him a villain or a man-child over? That was him snapping.