Avengers: Infinity War officially releases in the US tonight, and for the first time in the ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, those who have never read a comic book will truly experience what makes comics so great. Sure, the MCU has tipped its toes in the big crossover thing before with the previous Avengers movies and Civil War, but Infinity War truly brings the massive universe-changing events that comics are known for to the big screen in the form of a movie, and no compromises are made to make it “grounded” for movie audiences to accept.
Ever since the first X-Men movie, comic book films have been cursed with the idea that the filmmakers had to “ground” the movies in reality or else movie audiences wouldn’t accept the concepts. The X-Men wore black leather costumes, Nolan’s Batman movies tried to not be fantastical at all, and Fox turned Galactus into a cloud. Marvel changed things up by embracing the comics, and while Phase 1 slowly introduced more fantastical elements, Infinity War goes full comic crazy as Marvel now knows that they no longer have to hold back and can unleash the full awesomeness of a classic comic mega-event on the big screen.
I’m not just talking about crossing over the Avengers and Guardians, that’s a big pat of it, but like the comic event that inspired it and those that followed; Infinity War exists in a living comic universe where characters you don’t expect can just pop up without needing a lot of explanation. That’s part of what makes reading comics so fun, the unexpected can happen, and then that will blossom into all sorts of unknown story possibilities. Infinity War introduces that concept to super hero movies, and in the film itself (no spoliers) it’s one just one scene but it represents Marvel realizing that things they do all the time in comics can absolutely be done in their movies.
It’s also why that “Superhero Fatigue” myth is stupid, and something that will never happen despite what critics who hate the genre hope. Infinity War is the type of story that has kept comic book readers coming back for more for decades. You don’t hear people talking about “Comic Book Fatigue”. There are highs and lows in the industry, sure, but people still read comics every week. And if Marvel continues to make movies the way they handled Infinity War, with its respect for the source material and the type of storytelling comics do, there really won’t be an end to this cinematic universe any time soon.