They Walk A Lonely Road
From time to time, a movie comes along and gives you more than what you were prepared for. Consequently, this film may send your mind spinning and struggling to put the pieces together. I myself zombied out of a theater and remained in a conspiracy-clogged fog for the rest of a night. These things do happen and are usually followed by a quick set of conclusions. Alas, not this time. Not for the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War.
After several lecture-like conversations with one of my best buds, it has become obvious that Infinity War is a tunneling dark spiral for me. Every time I thought I have a hold of things, it got more complicated and just… sadder. This film leaves a LOT of consequences that will need to be addressed in the next Avengers. I’m going to try and narrow down some of these issues and what that may mean for the future of the MCU.
SPOILERS FOR INFINITY WAR AND MCU AHEAD! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Chaos, Pure Chaos
First and foremost, Thanos has killed half of the civilization in the universe by random. Half of the universe is suddenly gone in a couple of minutes. At first, the audience may be too focused on their heroes to truly understand the consequences of that. Luckily, the after-credits clip helps puts this in perspective. Nick Fury almost runs into an empty car and a helicopter crashed into a building. This instantly shows how people disappearing wherever and whenever is a huge problem.
How many sand people were driving trains, planes, or other large and dangerous vehicles? What about doctors in surgery, teachers, or parents? People have roles in their society and, without them, there is no one to do those things. Thanos may have killed half of the civilizations with the stones. However, he could end up killing another fourth of the population via accidents and neglect.
Furthermore, this gets scarier when you realize that there would be little help in the aftermath. Social workers who would care for parentless children could also be missing. We could have lost some EMTs. Cops could be gone. Government officials may not be available. All emergency services would be scrapped for workers and in the dearth of leadership. Order-wise, the earth should be in a rather bad spot in the next Avengers movie.
Granted, in light of insane misfortune like 9/11 and other acts of terrorism, we have seen people work together and triumph over the odds. Some may say that we still have heroes. Some may claim if there is a will, there is a way. But…
Tell That To My Heart
In addition to the physical damage in the aftermath, many people may find it mentally difficult to fight (or at least they should). People have lost their loved ones. Some have even watched them disappear. Something like that must be traumatic and mind-boggling for those individuals. Therefore, we have some serious emotional consequences due to Thanos’ actions. We could be looking at a population of some mentally and emotionally disturbed citizens. If we wanted to get really dark, we could lose people just because of the bleakness of the situation.
We already have some examples of possible mental/emotional breakdowns in the Avengers. Okoye responded badly to the disappearance of her king (rightfully so since she just got him back). Thor has no one left and, already being on the edge of tears, is probably not taking things well either. The Hulk is having performance issues. Most of all, Peter’s death has been Tony’s worst nightmare since Civil War. Considering his past problems with PTSD, Tony’s slump and slight rocking is not a good sign.
The point is there is a lot of pain to deal with. We cannot be sure that everyone is going to be able to buck it up and pull it together.
A Light At The End Of The Aftermath?
What should we be hoping for? Are things going to go back to normal? Are people going to come back? The directors claim “no” and that we should get over it. Yet, many fans are saying “yes” because we know several key sequels exist. I am taking the middle road and believe that some must come back. This is mostly due to two characters: Doctor Strange and Scarlett Witch. Hear me out.
If we look at the list of fallen soldiers, the MCU can replace a good portion of these characters. Rocket Raccoon can theoretically build a new team for Guardians of the Galaxy. Since his uncle is around in the MCU and Miles Morales can replace Peter as Spiderman. Also, Shuri can become Black Panther like she did in the comics. Yet, we don’t really have a replacement for…well…magic.
So far, the only magic users that the MCU have introduced were Dr. Strange and Scarlett Witch. With them both gone, there is no one to lead the magical end of the MCU. While Wong could fill that gap, he doesn’t feel like a leader type. In less MCU introduces Brother Voodoo somehow, there would be no magic. Hence, with this and whatever Dr.Strange’s time stone-induce seizure was about, I’m sure at least one mage will come back. If that is the case, that mage may bring back other characters with them…
All’s Well That End’s Not Well
However, the return of some or all heroes is not guaranteed to be a happy one. If it is not a complete time reversal, we cannot be sure how the public will feel about all that has happened. The MCU has juggled debates about public safety and heroism since the aftermath of the first Avenger film. If Earth’s citizens remember Thanos’ shenanigans, a lot about how heroes work may have to change.
Either way, in the aftermath of such a depressing ending, we are in for a wild ride.