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Preparing for Infinity War: Saying Goodbye, Part 1} ?> As Infinity War’s release looms just a few days from now, my mind has been racing with questions—which heroes will be squashed under Thanos’ Infinity-gauntleted fist and what impact have they left behind? Each character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had an effect on both their world and mine. If any of them aren’t going to make it through this fight, here’s how I’d want to see their final scenes play out.
1. Iron Man
“We need to be put in check. Whatever form that takes, I’m game.”
The genesis of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe came as a total surprise to everyone. Without Iron Man’s caustic wit, Scrooge McDuck-level wealth, and awakened willingness as a reluctant hero, the world would be a Chitauri-infested disaster. Tony Stark reminds us it’s not the perfect who are called to be heroes, but the willing. It’s never too late to bend that weapon into a ploughshare, to try to build a shield when all you’ve ever known are swords.
The perfect send-off: We’ve seen a strong mentorship connection develop between Tony Stark and Peter Parker. If Iron Man has to die in Infinity War, I want to see Spider-Man do something recklessly heroic only to have it utterly fail, and Iron Man swoop in to take the killing blow.
2. The Hulk
“That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry.”
Two movies couldn’t make audiences care about the best “monster-inside-me” in Marvel until Mark Ruffalo’s soft charm grounded him as a man who fears and resents the power he wields. As an intellectual peer to Tony Stark and a physical match to Thor, Banner justifiably wants to run from his fears. There’s not a braver moment for Banner than when he Vespas back to Manhattan, realizing that hiding from your problems only gives them power over you.
The perfect send-off: The Hulk is a real tough nut to crack and in some Marvel canon, the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets. But if Hulk’s gonna get busted, I’d love to see a heavyweight boxing match with Power Stone-infused Thanos where the Hulk can’t go ten rounds. Imagine the fear a broken Hulk skeleton would send through the other heroes.
“I choose to run towards my problems, and not away from them. Because that—that’s what heroes do.”
Chris Hemsworth’s statuesque features and subtle fish-out-of-water performance led this god of thunder from an initially uneventful hero’s journey to losing his hammer, his eye, and nearly his whole civilization. It took the cataclysm of Ragnarok to humble Thor enough to recognize he can’t solve every problem on his own and that he needs to rely on the strength of others to lead like a king.
The perfect send-off: In terms of pure power level, Thor is one of the closest matches for Thanos. Thanos killing Thor would be an incredible blow to the Avengers, ridding them of a key ally. If Thor has to take a one-way trip on the Rainbow Road, I’d love to see a reference to the original comic run, where Thanos uses the Reality Stone and turns Thor to glass, shattering him into space.
4. Captain America
“When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—”No, YOU move.”
Captain America is a man out of time, who doesn’t know if the world will make room for his beliefs but knows he must stand for them anyway. It took a few fights for Cap to go from soldier to leader of the Avengers, and his unwavering idealism made him stand out among the opportunists around him, showing himself more than willing to give up anything to fight for what he knows is right.
The perfect send-off: Cap has set himself up as the archon of the human spirit, and the thing I want more than anything in Infinity War is an interpretation of this iconic panel. I want to see Cap stand to meet Thanos, while all his allies watch him refuse to yield, before being effortlessly killed by the full-gauntleted villain. This would be one of the most significant deaths in Marvel history and Thanos barely blinking an eye at Cap’s bravery would strike a huge blow to survivors’ morale.
5. Black Widow
“Regimes fall every day. I tend not to weep over that, I’m Russian…or I was.”
Black Widow’s is a spy among soldiers, and brings a different approach to problem solving than her teammates. Widow’s history haunts her throughout the series; she regrets things she’s done and understands better than anyone what the Winter Soldier has gone through. She can’t face cosmic threats head on, but she never counts that as a weakness. She looks at the threat in front of her and asks what her part in the solution can be.
The perfect send-off: Black Widow is no match for Thanos—her powers are described as “peak human,” meaning she’s more physically capable than any Olympic athlete, but still sub-superhuman. She’s crafty enough that I think she’d make a good foil for one of Thanos’ lieutenants to flex against. Watching Corvus Glaive or Proxima Midnight outwit and kill Black Widow would be a great way to teach the audience that Thanos’s minions are also significant threats.