*** Spoilers for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Follow. Proceed at Your Own Risk. ***
As the global box office gross for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR approaches $1.9 billion, the long-awaited blockbuster team-up of Marvel Cinematic franchises currently stands as the fourth-highest grossing film of all time. Critics and moviegoers alike have praised the film, referring to it both as enjoyable, yet daring in the inclusion of an emotionally-impactful cliffhanger.
Having offered the obligatory ‘spoiler warning’ (above) online decorum dictates that we can now proceed with some discussion of the aforementioned cliffhanger, as well as key plot points. That said…
Okay, perhaps “dies” is a subjective term, but the film’s antagonist, the “mad (space) titan” Thanos, is an otherworldly despotic warlord hell-bent on eliminating 50% of the universe’s population. Sound absurd? Of course it does; after all, it’s a Hollywood blockbuster bastardization of an early-90’s comic. Needless to say, partial cosmic genocide comes easy to no man and, and to achieve his ambiguous motivations, Thanos must first obtain the Infinity Gauntlet..aka “the most bejeweled unmatched glove this side of Michael Jackson’s Asian-touring casket.” And then, having acquired the Gauntlet (after 17 films, featuring individually iconic Marvel characters) Thanos lays waste to most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leaving countless children under the age of eight vaguely suicidal with the realization that everything they knew was a damned, dirty lie.
So, where does Marvel go from here?
First off, some of the impact of these heroes’ deaths is diminished with the realization that most of the actors still have one or more film commitments left on their contract with Marvel Films. This, combined with the knowledge that a yet-unnamed sequel is forthcoming, has left critics, pundits and audiences alike rife with speculation as to how the events of INFINITY WAR will be rectified. Theories have been scattered across the internet, some are plausible examples of textbook writing, while others are wildly outlandish. But perhaps the most startling rests in a Used Cars Cincinnati message board, that has gained some unexpected credibility.
Twitter followers were the first to diligently notice that Tony Stark / Ironman himself, Robert Downey Jr. had recently began following @UsedCarsCincinatti. Of course, this seems like questionable behavior for a major west coast-based Hollywood A-Lister. But in the eyes of social media sleuths, the plot thickened when the automotive Twitter gained Thanos actor, Josh Brolin, as another high-profile follower.
And while the Message Board itself is usually populated by used vehicle listings posted by local dealerships, private sale notices, and ISO (in search of) posts from prospective buyers, a suspicious (and potentially misplaced) post from early June has set the internet ablaze. Titled “Confidential: Infinity War Sequel,” it reads as follows:
“In 2018, Iron Man, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers united to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. They failed. With most of the Avengers, along with half the universe’s population wiped from existence, Marvel’s next team-up film will tell the continuing story of Thanos’ misguided machinations to inflict his twisted will on reality. Can the world’s greatest heroes save the oversaturated Cincinnati used car market? But even more importantly, should they?”
Normally, such a post would be written off as satirical in nature, but when viewed in conjunction with the high-profile Twitter follows, speculation ran rampant. Shared repeatedly across social media and fans forums, this potentially leaked synopsis suddenly found itself everywhere, facing down the wrathful commentary of internet trolls across the globe.
Under further investigation, it was learned that Robert Downey Jr’s Twitter follow was accidental, and could be chalked up to a case of “sausage fingers.” Josh Brolin’s supportive follow was simply misguided. As for the post itself, well, let’s just say I got a little drunk, and…well you know.
And around the globe, 50% of the wit and derogatory insight of millions of comic book nerds flittered away into cosmic dust.