black order

By the time Avengers: Infinity War rolls into theaters, Thanos, the Big Bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will have been sitting around on his space throne and getting nothing accomplished for six whole years. And from the sound of things, he may not have too much to do in the next movie. Mainly because he has a group of henchmen who will be doing the dirty work for him.

We’ve been hearing for some time that Thanos will be backed up by a group known as the Black Order in Infinity War. However, a new rumor suggests that this team has been given a cinematic makeover that will differentiate them from their comic book counterparts. They may be Thanos’ children.

This news comes to us via MCU Exchange and they cite their own personal sources, so take this with a grain of salt or two. However, this is an interesting adjustment. If true, it would help tie together certain aspects of the MCU, building off concepts introduced in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies before throwing the Avengers into the mix.

As you may recall, Gamora and Nebula are both the adopted children of Thanos and suffered at his hands as he attempted to mold them into the perfect killing machines. They’ve both broken free of his grip, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 lingered on their emotional and physical scars in a big way. Remember that scene where Nebula describes having pieces of her body replaced with machine parts every time she lost a fight to her sister? Well, these would be the adopted kids who are perfectly fine with that kind of treatment and have stuck with dear ‘ol dad. As a bonus, this would make the fight a big family affair and give the Guardians another excuse (beyond saving the galaxy again) to get involved.

This is a big change from the Black Order of the Marvel comics. Created by writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Jerome Opeña and Jim Cheung during Hickman’s lengthy Avengers and New Avengers runs, they were originally a group of aliens hand-picked by Thanos to act as his personal strike team, invading (and destroying) planets to track down Infinity Gems (or Infinity Stones in the movies). Naturally, they arrive on Earth and mix it up with all of your favorite superheroes. They even invade Wakanda, a plot point that feels like it could be making the jump to the big screen following certain casting news.

Earlier this year, motion capture specialist Terry Notary was cast in Infinity War and he described himself as Thanos’ “right hand bad guy.” This certainly suggests that he’s playing Corvus Glaive, the default leader of the Mad Titan’s crew. It’s not clear which other members of the group will appear in the movie, but their line-up includes Proxima Midnight, Black Dwarf, Ebony Maw, and Supergiant.

Earlier this year, actors were spotted wearing motion capture suits on the Infinity War set, armed with weaponry that looked an awful lot like what the comic book members of the Black Order wield. Unlike Gamora and Nebula, their bigger and badder siblings will be brought to life through CGI. And note the stick on top of the actor’s helmet – these guys are going to be big.

If you’d like to know more, you can check out Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers runs, which are complex and dense and maddening but also smart and rich and rewarding. It’s not clear what else this movie is borrowing from his work, but if the sibling rumors are true, they’re playing fast and loose with it. After all, the MCU is a completely separate universe with its own canon.

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