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Final Warning: Possible MAJOR SPOILERS For Avengers 4 Ahead

Nebula Undoes Everything

I’m including this as a bonus section because the fact of the matter is there’s another Avengers movie scheduled for May 3, 2019, and the story will continue. Even if you don’t count the Captain Marvel tease in Infinity War‘s post-credits scene, there are still a few plot threads left dangling at the end of the movie. One of those is the subplot with Hulk hiding inside Banner; another is the question of what happened to characters like Black Panther’s sister, Shuri, who dropped out of sight before the disappearance of half the universe. Moreover, there’s the implication that Doctor Strange’s sacrifice of the Time Stone means it was necessary for Iron Man to stay alive and reunite with the core group of original Avengers in order for this to be the one reality in which the heroes prevail against Thanos.

In Infinity War, after Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy disintegrate, the only character left alive with Tony Stark on Titan is Nebula, the second adopted daughter of Thanos. In The Infinity Gauntlet mini-series, Nebula is forced to live in a state of “walking death” as her corpse-like form serves as a plaything for Thanos. The torture she undergoes at his hands is echoed a couple different ways in the movie.

First, there’s the actual torture scene where Thanos pulls her cybernetic body apart as a means of mining answers from Gamora about the location of the Soul Stone. The anguished screams of actress Karen Gillan lend this scene a real horror-movie vibe. Some of the torture she undergoes in the comics is transposed onto other characters in the movie, however. The scene where Thanos causes the bodies of Drax and Mantis to break up into blocks and ribbons has a direct corollary in one panel of The Infinity Gauntlet #2 where Thanos is shown doing the same thing to Eros and Nebula. (In the comics, Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, is the brother of Thanos and Nebula is his granddaughter. It’s a family feud.)

The point is, Nebula has a very bitter, personal grudge against Thanos, and when she gets ahold of the gauntlet, she decrees, “With the exception that I retain possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, let everything be as it was twenty-four hours ago!” Among other things, this brings back to life all the heroes who have died. Resurrections and retcons: that’s comics for you.

Fans need not be too worried about some of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 heroes who disintegrated at the end of Infinity War (especially not those with already-announced sequels like Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy). It’s probably best to take the movie’s ending in the spirit of Black Panther’s rallying cry: “Wakanda forever!” Since it’s a story that does involve time travel, maybe the title of the next movie will be Avengers: Forever.

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