In a movie filled with awesome moments, it can be easy to overlook the characters who made Infinity War great. Despite their power, these characters and relevance to the plot, made them incredibly fun and engaging to watch. So here’s our list of the MVP’s of Avengers: Infinity War:
From his first scene, the Ebony Maw became a terrifying and fun villain. Starting with his character design, Ebony Maw looked like a monster straight from a horror film. His infatuation with Thanos made him compelling and gave him a needed layer of complexity. In Ebony Maw’s first scene we see him groveling at Thanos’ feet, borrowing a line from the comics saying, “My humble personage bows before your grandeur.” This meek attitude is then absent when facing off against Iron Man, Strange, Wong, and Spider-man. After learning of his infatuation with Thanos, we see just how powerful Ebony Maw is, which makes Thanos even more intimidating.
The way that Ebony Maw fights is also terrifying. The casual manipulation of his surroundings had a sense of intensity that was very unsettling. But in a good way. This insidious power combined with his eerie voice made Ebony Maw a really great villain. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor did an incredible job bringing this character to life, both with his voice and in the mo-cap suit. The CG artists also deserve a lot of credit because Ebony Maw looked extremely photorealistic. So in such a packed film, Ebony Maw left a huge impact on the audience even though he didn’t have much screen time.
As a master of the mystic arts, Doctor Stephen Strange is one of the most powerful characters in the MCU. Doctor Strange functions as an introduction to Strange’s magic, but in Infinity War we saw just how capable he’s become. Strange went toe to toe with Thanos in one of the coolest and most memorable action scenes. He’s clearly been training since he defeated Kaecilius because he was performing advanced types of magic we’ve never seen before. His magical whips have also gotten stronger because, when wrapped around Thanos’ gauntlet, they’re a lot thicker and burned hotter. He also used them to great effect during his one-on-one fight with Thanos, when he multiplied himself and attempted to restrain The Mad Titan. Even though Strange has become so much more powerful, he still wasn’t much of a match for Thanos. This is beautifully visualized when Strange attempts to put Thanos in the mirror dimension. But Thanos easily punches through Strange’s attack, turns the energy into a mini-blackhole, and throws it back at Strange who blocks using a magic shield.
Not only is Strange a powerhouse, that anybody would be happy to have on their team, but his knowledge of time also makes him invaluable. If Strange didn’t look into the future, it’s possible the Avengers would truly be defeated. He must have seen there wasn’t a way to stop Thanos from getting all the stones. And because of this, he’s able to manipulate events in their favor, even though they just appeared to have lost. This knowledge makes him both formidable and intriguing.
Even though she isn’t the most powerful character, Mantis’ importance to the story can’t be overlooked. We’ve already seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol . 2 that Mantis is capable of holding off a celestial through her empathetic powers. Because she was able to subdue his consciousness, Mantis was incredibly useful on Titan during the fight with Thanos. Without her, there would have been no way they could have subdued Thanos for long. She also shows that Thanos isn’t invulnerable. While he has near infinite power, he still has to communicate what he wants that power to accomplish. His brain and his mind are still susceptible to influence, despite his immense power. Pom Klementieff also does a great job of making Mantis an endearing character. Her lack of social understanding could be annoying, but Klementieff pulls it off in a really fun way.
Coming off the heels of Thor: Ragnarok, which reinvented the character, everyone was excited to see more Thor. His tragedy continues right at the beginning of Infinity War when he loses his brother Loki, and Heimdall, his closest friend. But despite this, Thor never loses his drive to keep fighting. His epic quest to forge a new hammer demonstrates his perseverance and builds up to one of the most epic scenes in the film. Thor’s entrance into Wakanda drew cheering from theaters around the globe. Seeing his triumphant return after all the tragedy he’s has been through, and then to see Thor annihilating Thanos’ army, made for an incredibly memorable moment.
Thor also maintains his comedic attitude, especially with the Guardians. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat more tragic considering what he just went through, but he can still be really funny. The conversation between Thor and Rocket was really entertaining. It’s also the first time Thor’s reflected on all the tragedy he’s faced in the past several years. The character has come a long way and it’s nice to see him reflect on his past.
While Avengers: Infinity War is without a doubt Thanos’ movie, the real MVP is Josh Brolin who brought the character to life. He infused Thanos with a layer of humanity and understanding on top of his aggressive warlord persona. Right from the beginning we see just how powerful Thanos is when he starts fist fighting the Hulk. His physical presence dominates every scene he’s in. And just like Ebony Maw, the CG artists did fantastic work in translating Brolin’s performance. But what makes Thanos great is his motivation and the way in which he pursues his goal. You understand why he believes in what he’s doing even if you disagree with him. Thanos’ relationship with his children was also a huge part of his character. Brolin has previously acknowledged the emotional aspects of playing a villain, which is a refreshing surprise for such a big blockbuster film.
Looking at Brolin’s performance, you also have to keep in mind the pressure that accompanied bringing this character to life. Thanos has been teased since the mid-credits scene in The Avengers and fans have been building their expectations ever since. These climatic two Avengers films are the culmination of 10 years of storytelling. So there’s a lot riding on Brolin’s performance. If Thanos isn’t a compelling character then those 10 years will have seemed like a waste. But he pulled it off in spades.