Officially releasing tonight, Avengers: Infinity War will descend upon theaters across the world to deliver a 2+ hour experience that millions have been waiting for for almost 10 years. From the start with an originally C-grade superhero in Iron Man up to this February’s culturally significant Black Panther, fans have followed the 18 (I guess we’re counting The Incredible Hulk) film journey with delicious cookie crumbs hinting at what we are about to receive: a cinematic event featuring more actors and famous people than one magazine cover can feature with a looming, serious villain teased to superfans’ delights to bring them all together. Before we at GlitchUp all see the movie this weekend, we, of minimal comic book knowledge (except for Smithers from our friends @ The Chumpcast) present our humble opinions on what will go down. Let’s roll.

Let’s start out easy: Give us your top 5 Marvel movies.

Austin: The one thing that Marvel should be lauded for most is consistently putting out quality films. With the lowest registering a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes and an astounding 12 (TWELVE!!!) 80% or above, it’s tough to really separate them all into a distinct ranking. That said, some do falter a bit on rewatch (or first watch…*cough* Guardians Vol. 2) and a few just stand out from pure importance in the universe. That said, here’s my top 5.

  1. Captain America: Civil War
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  5. The Avengers

My reasoning, in short, is as follows: Civil War is just the best Avengers flick despite not having the moniker and presented intriguing real-world implications as well as legitimate and meaningful conflict; Guardians introduced the cosmic realm and did it in a very cool, fun way while bringing Chris Pratt: Movie Star front and center; Spider-Man (the most rewatchable movie for me in recent memory) might be the best if we view each as outside the universe since it has no main intention of tying in to the rest, should be lauded for actually giving a great and believable high school Peter Parker, and had one of the best twists in the last few years; I just rewatched Winter Soldier and it bangs, introducing the Russo Brothers as the key minds behind the future of the universe team ups and delivering the most serious and adult installment yet with a taut political thriller; and finally, it wouldn’t be right to leave out The Avengers, considering it was Infinity War before Infinity War was a thing and was at the time one of the more ambitious moves in film history.

Andy: I really had to think about this one, and I just can’t help but remember the pure joy I felt when watching The Avengers for the first time. I had never seen a team-up film like it, and the fact that they pulled it off so smoothly was extremely refreshing. We’d seen crossover movies before, we’d seen ensemble casts before, but we’d never seen anything like this before. That’s why The Avengers tops my list.

  1. The Avengers
  2. Captain America: Civil War
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy
  4. Iron Man
  5. Thor: Ragnarok

Pat: I’ve always really enjoyed the idea and design behind Iron Man. Even though I didn’t grow up glued to comic book pages, I found myself drawn to the character and often paired him with Mega Man in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. I remember walking into Iron Man with a group of friends who thought it was going to be lame, then walking out with them singing a totally different tune by the time the credits rolled. The one that started it all is still my top Marvel movie because it just did everything SO well (including being the only movie(s) in which I find Gwyneth Paltrow unusually attractive in).

Guardians makes the list for that first trailer alone. It’s also my go to “2 A.M. but I can’t fall asleep” Sci-Fi movie. Avengers takes the third spot for the most hype team up of all time and is the very definition of a great blockbuster as well as the catalyst for Hollywood’s obsession with “shared universes”. While I’m not overly fond of Captain America as a character all that much, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the best movies that Marvel has put out, and the one that likely landed the Russo Brothers the Infinity War gig. The last movie on my list is the one I’ve spent the least amount time with, but maybe had the most amount of fun with. Thor: Ragnarok is a movie that knows how ridiculous its source material is and doesn’t try to pass it off as something it’s not. Instead, it cranks it up to 11 and then turns the dial just a little bit further. I was cracking up the whole way through, as I, unlike what seems like a large (or at least vocal) portion of the Internet, really enjoy my “quips” and “Marvel humor™”. This one is definitely destined to enter the re-watch rotation for the rest of time.

  1. Iron Man
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. The Avengers
  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  5. Thor: Ragnarok

Chandler: Before 2008, Sony’s Spider-Man and Warner Brother’s Batman franchises were dominating the superhero movie genre…that is until Iron Man showed up. Robert Downey Jr. has been perfect in the role as the sarcastic, brilliant, and often flawed Tony Stark. But more importantly he’s the reason why Iron Man has been the soul of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since. Without a doubt, this movie set the stage for the next decade when independent superhero movies could be made and also tied together. Would Avengers really have worked so well if we had to spend so much time getting to know each of their backstories?

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Avengers
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. Black Panther
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy

Smithers: There was a time when you could rule out any of the sequels (Iron Man 2 & 3, Thor: The Dark World) but then The Winter Soldier came and kicked my teeth in. Captain America suddenly became more than the goody-two-shoes narc and turned full badass. It also represented the first departure from “superhero meets identical but slightly different villain” in the MCU. It’s an espionage flick with different stakes, and that’s why it earns my top spot.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau deserve a lot of credit for kickstarting the whole universe but also delivered an endlessly re-watchable film from the jump. Spider-Man will forever be my favorite costumed hero, so bias earns him a spot here. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s comic run of Guardians of the Galaxy is among my favorite ever. Those books are the loose inspiration for the film and the soundtrack is still in my regular rotation. Finally, since I have the option to be contrarian, I’ll leave Avengers off in favor of Civil War. The scale was so much bigger and benefitted from a much more developed cast list.

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  2. Iron Man
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Captain America: Civil War

Easy part is over. Full throttle time. Who will die?

Austin: At least one superstar is gone. A lot of people think Iron Man will go, but there is no way he has fully realized his redemption arc and doesn’t have a legitimate replacement setup (Banner isn’t quite right and Spidey isn’t full Marvel domain). I’m going with Cap as the big death. He has done his whole role and he will die heroically, while triggering an emotional response from Tony Stark after the fallout from Civil War. Cap also has Bucky waiting in the wings to take up his mantle, something wholly unsurprising considering Bucky was a main factor in 2 of the 3 Captain America movies.

Smaller deaths will be Vision, War Machine, Loki (although I pray he will not be gone), and Nebula or Gamora. Or, maybe half the entire crew dies when Thanos collects all the stones. 0.7% chance of that happening.

Andy: Captain America does not make it out of this one alive. He’s the emotional heart of this team, and it will take him dying to truly unite everyone against Thanos. Other smaller casualties will be: Vision, Hawkeye or Falcon, and probably Wong biting the dust.

Pat: As far as the “Big Guns” I’m thinking neither Cap nor Iron Man make it out of this alive. Cap dies in some sort of sacrificial way, which enables our heroes to hold onto a glimmer of hope as the movie ends. I also could see Mantis, Loki, Vision, Nebula, and Wong (or some combination of of those) biting the dust.

Chandler: The heavy favorite has to be Captain America. From the moment Steve Rogers dived onto that fake grenade in his first Marvel Cinematic movie, it was clear this guy was willing to sacrifice himself for others. In every movie he’s appeared in, he’s had plenty of those “hero moments” and emotionally it just feels like his story arc is complete following the events of Civil War. He will have a grand exit as he lays his life on the line for the Avengers team one last time.

Also, Marvel isn’t HBO and I don’t think it’s in their style to kill off multiple “major characters” in one story. Many are calling for Iron Man to die as well but he is too popular of a character – especially one that’s been the catalyst for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony will certainly take a beating and I feel in the end it will ultimately force him into retirement, leaving room for Robert Downey Jr. to appear in small cameos.

Side characters are another story. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vision or War Machine got the axe when it’s all said and done.

Smithers: Is there a caveat here that says they have to stay dead? If you’ve read any comic book ever, you know that death is as permanent as a spray tan. Doctor Strange (Humperdink Bumblesnatch) holds the time gem, and that is a world breaker. When Adam Warlock eventually comes to save the day in part II, he’ll reverse whatever calamity has befallen our money generating heroes. That doesn’t mean Chris Evans will stick around as Cap/Nomad, or that Mark Ruffalo can’t be replaced. Time alterations carry heavy consequences and could easily rewrite history. I’m calling my shot here: Shia LaBeouf is our next Captain America and Millie Bobbie Brown comes in to play Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk.

Who will be the most heroic?

Austin: Cap, mainly because I think he’ll be the one to die. I could see Spidey, especially after his eagerness to fight in Homecoming. Hawkeye is going to be my sneaky pick. He’s under the radar, and if he isn’t majorly heroic in this one, Avengers 4 is going to see him kick some ass. Renner isn’t ready to only flip houses just yet.

Andy: I think this is Peter Parker’s time to shine, as the previous movies have been all about him finding himself WITHOUT the suit. Now that he has, it’s time to go full Spidey. Obviously Captain America is going to go out with a bang as well. People will think Black Panther under-delivers since he just had the spotlight, the Russo brothers will give everyone else a chance to shine.

Pat: It’s most likely going to be Cap. However I hope it’s Iron Man. After all, this is the end of the path he started us on.

Chandler: “Get this man a shield.” Maybe Black Panther said it best in the trailer because you know Captain America is going to deliver in what will likely be a heroic death and emotional send-off. I also expect some combination of Spiderman/Iron Man to have a big moment as the torch continues to pass to a new generation.

Smithers: My heart says Peter Parker in his Iron Spider suit. My brain says that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow have been left out of the spotlight for good reason.

Who will have the most quips?

Austin: Lol. This might be the easiest question. The only way Star Lord/Chris Pratt doesn’t win the quipfest is if the Guardians receive much less screen time than the rest of the roster.

Andy: Tony Stark vs. Peter Quill is a quipfest I can’t wait to see. Coming fresh off the best comedy of last year, I think Thor will represent as well and have some great one-line bangers, LOCK IT IN.

Pat: My money is on Star-Lord. He’s new to the group so he’s going to want to outdo Iron Man.

Chandler: No one can upstage Tony Stark when he’s on a roll. While Peter Quill is a popular choice I think you need someone who can match Tony’s intelligence level – enter Rocket Raccoon.

Smithers: Am I the only person here that saw Ragnarok? Keep an eye out for the Thor and Rocket Raccoon rivalry.

Will Ant-Man appear? How about Captain Marvel?

Austin: Ant-Man will make a brief appearance, maybe. If not, he is 100% post-credits. Captain Marvel might be mentioned (sort of how Stephen Strange caught a passing, quick reference in Winter Soldier) but Brie Larson will not make it on screen.

Andy: I think Ant-Man makes a small (no pun intended) cameo, with Captain Marvel saved for the post-credit scene.

Pat: No, I don’t think they will in any major capacity. Ant-Man isn’t big enough to warrant hiding from marketing for a “surprise” appearance. Still, I’m confused as to why he wouldn’t show. So…maybe?

Chandler: This may simply be a case of too many heroes, not enough story to tell. Both Ant-Man and Captain Marvel have their own separate movies coming out so why waste precious screen time on cameos for either of these characters?

Smithers: Ant-Man and the Wasp have a movie coming in two months, so the smart money is on “yes”. Brie Larson’s first appearance as Captain Marvel is supposedly taking place in the 1990s, so I’m going to leave her out.

Will the movie end on a down note? Uplifting? Sour turned with a glimmer of hope?

Austin: I mean, it has to have some hope but it’ll still be very down. I don’t think that hope is because of any action, though. It will be more derived from our knowledge that there will be an Avengers 4 and they have to fight back. Thanos is going to crush, or be preparing to entirely crush them all, as the movie ends. We’ll get the surviving team members either going their separate ways or sadly regrouping.

Andy: With Captain America dying at the beginning of the third act, the entire ensemble will band together to kill, or at least severely incapacitate Thanos. It’ll be an emotional ending but still end with “Hope”. Remember how you felt during the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back? That feeling.

empire-strikes-back-ending

Pat: I think it’s going to end on a sour note but with a glimmer of hope due to some big sacrifice by one of the “big guns”. The glimmer of hope will be there, but they’ll all still end up in a pretty dark place I’d guess.

Chandler: If there is one complaint about the Marvel movies it’s that they really haven’t set an emotionally darker tone with any of the villains they’ve introduced. Thanos has to be different. There’s been too much build up and too much foreshadowing for his grand appearance to fall flat. He has to come on the scene and utterly dominate some of our favorite heroes. Therefore I expect this to be the first Marvel movie to really end on a sour note but not all hope will be lost. While some characters will probably die, the new generation will get ready to rally for another fight with Thanos.

Smithers: Is that Sylvester Stallone I see hanging off a mountain? The only thing that makes sense here is a cliffhanger. Likely a depressing and year-long one, at that.

Any guess on the post-credits scene?

Austin: I really want to wager that there won’t be one, because that would signal a goddamn badass and devastating ending, but it wouldn’t be Marvel if there wasn’t one. I’d say we get an Ant-Man and the Wasp tease. Potentially on where the hell Ant-Man was during the movie, following my assumption that movie’s crew will be mostly absent.

Andy: The first, two minutes in, post credits scene will be Ant-Man, but the final post credits scene will be Captain Marvel OR something even crazier that hasn’t been announced yet, like Squirrel Girl or something.

Pat: While I don’t see Ant-Man or Captain Marvel showing up in the movie proper, I definitely see them showing up in the post-credits stinger. I’m assuming it’ll either explain Ant-Man’s absence and/or introduce or hint at Captain Marvel’s arrival.

Chandler: Most likely there will be some tie-in for Ant-Man and Captain Marvel to join the remaining heroes in the continuing war against Thanos. But what if Disney secretly pulled off a cinematic-rights deal with Universal so we could finally see Namor The Sub-Mariner in a post-credits scene!? Ok..fine. I’ll take off my tin foil hat.

Smithers: See aforementioned Adam Warlock reference. If Disney/Marvel wants my undying affection forever, they’ll introduce Richard Ryder or Sam Alexander as Nova.

Rotten Tomatoes guess? How about opening weekend box office?

Austin: Rotten Tomatoes = 93%; Opening Weekend BO = $242M, narrowly missing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

Andy:  RT I’m banking on 92%, as stated on our latest Podcast, and I think Star Wars: The Force Awakens gets dethroned with $260M.

Pat: I’m going to guess 88%. Maybe 90%. I’m under the assumption that some critics are going to dock it for feeling “bloated” with too many characters and not enough time to connect with them. To be fair, they have a lot to fit into a relatively short runtime, including introducing this major villain who general audiences don’t know anything about. As for weekend gross? I’d say it’ll fall in the $215M range.

Chandler: Rotten Tomatoes will have this somewhere in the 90-91% range. Marvel has been the only franchise to successfully pull off a favorable movie with this many super heroes and they will certainly do it again. The hype is real and Marvel’s cinematic success has shown just how appealing this entire genre is across multiple demographics. Infinity War will be raking it in during the opening weekend, finding its sweet spot somewhere close to $250M.

Smithers: This is the biggest movie event ever. This universe has more appeal to younger generations than Star Wars. Think of all the people that have grown up watching these characters for the last ten years. I’m going to call $275M. The only reason it won’t go higher is because there won’t be enough theater seats for asses to fill. Rotten Tomatoes critics won’t give this overwhelming love because that doesn’t generate clicks. If you don’t believe me, click through RT and find Armond White’s review of your favorite movie.

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