Marvel Cinematic Universe has consistently expanded its boundaries after the franchise entered the realm of cosmic and mystic elements of their vast canon. It no longer enthuses to knock out an ex-business partner who went rogue or to become selfless during a period of exile from the planet. The recent Marvel films have carved the space for personal stories in this expansionist journey, but, there is so much at stake now that even the personal victories are conceding defeat for planet Earth.
The much-hyped Avengers: Infinity War appears to be the culmination of the journey where all such lost grounds will conclude. The movie witnesses Thanos arrive on Earth, and right away start executing his master plan, which took ten years to prepare. If things had been different for the Avengers or should we say, left-over Avengers, there might have been some backup at their disposal. As of now, they are on their own, and only the Guardians of the Galaxy might jump to aid them.
What is the reason that there is only a motley group of disconnected superheroes who come together to fight the mighty Thanos and his Black Order, even though they had ten years to get themselves ready for the battle? The reason can be attributed to their individual wins which eclipsed catastrophic setbacks, making Earth vulnerable.
Spy in the Sky
It wasn’t wrong of Captain America to be concerned about the airborne helicarrier fleet of S.H.I.E.L.D. seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If the project had been given a go ahead, the fleet would have gone on to serve as their spy in the sky. It would have caused tremendous geopolitical repercussions, making S.H.I.E.L.D. uncontrollably powerful and free to deliver its own biased justice on anything it considered to be a potent threat – that was a power which was nearly manipulated by HYDRA. But, at the same time, the helicarrier fleet could have been able to shoot Thanos out of the sky, or offered resistance.
You might think that we are giving the massive armored battle equipment excessive importance. Most likely, that fleet would have been flicked out of the sky by the might of the invading Mad Titan, but, at least there would have been something. The Earth has only a single helicarrier up there now, which is a great deal less than what was planned. Captain saved the day, but, maybe it came with a huge cost.
Dr. Ultron’s Monster
Let’s not fool ourselves: the Ultron Project was a terrible thought, to begin with. It was Tony Stark’s Dr. Frankenstein experiment in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when he endangered the entire planet because his scientific brain couldn’t differentiate between what could be done and what should be done. It eventually unleashed a cybernetic devil that caused mayhem across the world and had it succeeded in its plan to drop a full city from the sky; it would have been the end of the road for humanity.
As a concept though, Ultron was supposed to be an extremely intelligent, interlinked fleet of mighty warrior robots tasked with protecting the planet from extra-terrestrial threats. The kind of trouble they caused to Avengers, indicates that they would have been quite a nuisance for Thanos as well. Yes, he could have reprogrammed Ultron to self-destruct or something, but, had Tony achieved his goal then his AI troops would have done well to serve their planned purpose.
The premise of Captain America: Civil War was built around Winter Soldier’s framing (effectively but indirectly implicating Captain America too), in what was a long-term HYDRA plot aimed to make Nazi super soldiers. The underproduction soldiers were destroyed before Captain could lay his hands on them, but, that was irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.
To track those soldiers down, and to find the guy who endeavored to use them to carry out his own sinister plan, led to an unresolved divide among the Avengers and it split the superhero group. As if that wasn’t enough, the former Avengers leader Captain America was publicized as a criminal who didn’t want governmental supervision. Therefore, when Thanos lands on Earth, the Avengers will not be at full strength and without their leader. While the trailer shows Captain coming back, but, will he manage to return in time?
The Fallen Sanctums
The three Sanctums seen in Doctor Strange formed a mystical fence that protected Earth from alien magic attacks. The film showed Kaecillius attack those three Sanctums: New York, London, and Hong Kong. He destroys the London Sanctum and for a short while, even the Hong Kong Sanctum, which left Earth open for Dormammu to attack. Doctor Strange takes out Kaecillius and restores Hong Kong Sanctorum by setting time back, but, the Sanctum in London is gone for now.
It can’t be said as to how this will pan out during Thanos’ invasion. Thanos is not that much mystical, but, he is a mighty intergalactic danger, and to see the Earth’s magical protection system down by one third is not much encouraging. As is the truth, a chain or a global network of magical defensive fences is as good as its weakest link.
Asgard, A Place, A People.
A significant portion of Thor: Ragnarok was devoted to the colonial past of Asgard, a past that Hela was delighted to redeem. Although her plans were foiled by Thor and team, the Asgard also went down. Odin did give some verbal solace by saying “Asgard isn’t a place, it’s a people,” however, that can’t revive one of the mightiest armies in the history and its incredibly capable war machines, the several magic relics, and the almost instant intergalactic travel modes.
Thor and Loki did succeed to beat their destructive sister, but, they lost Asgard and Odin. That’s one loss which will terribly impact the Avengers in Infinity War. Asgard used to protect the Nine Realms, with the mighty Odin ruling it. Now one of those nine realms is endangered, and the protector is gone. As a people, it is merely a bunch of civilians who are themselves at the mercy of Thanos.
Danger Ahead For Wakanda?
Black Panther will release in a month’s time, and we don’t yet know what the film will bring forward. However, the past MCU movies do provide some details. Although King T’Challa will take on Killmonger in a battle for the crown of Wakanda, it is going to distract us from the bigger thing at stake, and that’s Wakanda itself.
The most developed civilization on this planet, Wakanda is bound to attract Thanos’ attention, as shown in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer. It might be possible that Black Panther left Wakanda unguarded, whether the attack is caused by political troubles or a real, destructive invasion of the country.
Avengers: Infinity War is a movie directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. The film will release on May 4. The film’s star cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Olsen. And others.