What do you prefer, the Infinity Gauntlet comic or the Infinity Saga movies?
Infinity Gauntlet comic series is one of the biggest comic book series as it is considered to this date as without a doubt one of the most beloved series to have ever been imprinted under the Marvel name. You can ask a DC or a Marvel fan or really, any comic book reader in general and they will tell you, there is most probably no other comic series under Marvel’s repertoire that can compare to the legendary comic book series by Jim Starlin.
The same can be said about the huge movie crossover that just ended about three months ago. The whole MCU, from the first time we started on this journey after seeing Thanos during the mid-credit sequence, knew we were heading towards the Infinity saga. It was not an easy task to really adapt what really happened in the fan-favorite Infinity Gauntlet, but still, director Joe and Anthony Russo were able to bring the story to life.
Every time a story from a set source is adapted for the screen, there are always obvious comparison as to who really did it best, or whether the story was close to the source material or not, or if the adaptation did the justice to the story or not? These were questions that needed answering, and we got an emphatic answer in the two movies released in 2018 and 2019. The comparisons in a way are unfair as the story in the comics and the movies are rarely ever the same because of the time period that the comics are written and the time when the films see the light of day. The biggest obstacle though for the movie was Marvel Studios, didn’t have control over most of the characters that appear in the comic saga. Still, the director duo of the film did a commendable job, and we got a series of movie that will live in infamy.
Watch: The trailer for the future classic Avengers: Endgame
Even if it is unfair to compare the two movies with the comics we are trying to see, who really did it best between the comic and the movie series. Just a disclaimer we are only going to cover the six issues Infinity Gauntlet comic and only the two movies Infinity War and Endgame. Without further ado, let’s first dive into the Infinity Gauntlet comic book and see how events turned out in the comics.
Infinity Gauntlet Comic (How It Could Have Been)
The story in the comic starts out with Silver Surfer crashing through the skylight and inside the Sanctum Sanctorum as Doctor Strange is settling in for a light night time read. There is a massive crash, and Strange feels as though someone has come for his artifact, but when he reaches the crash site, Doctor Strange sees the Silver Surfer on the ground mumbling to himself.
Silver Surfer is saying that he needs to find Doctor Strange and tell him about the new danger that is coming for everyone. Something so big that it may destroy the whole universe if Doctor Strange didn’t help. When Silver Surfer gains some amount of consciousness, he tells Doctor about the Gauntlet and the Infinity gems that Thanos has which he is going to use to end half the living life in the universe. Then he tells the Doctor to assemble every one of the heroes because they are going to need everyone for the battle that will determine the future of the whole universe.
After that, we see in flashback as to what really happened that led to Thanos assembling the most dangerous weapon in Earth 616 timeline. The flashback shows Thanos being tasked by Mistress Death to kill half the living population of the world because living people have outnumbered the number of dead beings.
The task of killing half of the world’s population would take a millennium, so he assembled the stones to do it with a snap. That is when we get the introduction to Mephisto, and he is a lackey of Thanos, this also goes to show the power Thanos has, as the devil himself is just a servant of Thanos. Mephisto has his own agenda as to why he is there, but he is using his cunning ability to manipulate Thanos. They both transport to meet Death, and that is when he shows her his new powers and confesses his love for her. Death doesn’t even look at him and still talks to him through her servants.
Back on earth, Silver Surfer continues his story of how he and Drax the Destroyer tried to fight Thanos, but he trapped their souls inside the Soul Stone. Inside the stone, Drax and Silver Surfer meet up with Adam Warlock whose power is unknown to the two and they are helped out of the stone by Adam who escapes with the two heroes. Silver Surfer not realizing how long he has been inside the stone makes a full speed move towards earth to warn Doctor Strange.
Thanos was someone who Death brought back from death to do her bidding, but now he had become more powerful than her, and her servant tells Thanos that his love will become a burden, that they are no longer equals and more like she is his slave. Thanos builds her a shrine so that she will be worshipped and builds two chairs where they both will sit side by side, and still, she doesn’t talk to him.
Thanos uses his power to bring back Nebula and then transforms her into something neither living nor dead to impress death, but that doesn’t work as she is appalled by the showing. Thanos gets angry, and when she still won’t look at him, Mephisto uses his anger to make him use his power. He tells Thanos that maybe Death is angry because he yet hasn’t achieved what she asked him to do. Then he tells her that he will win her affection by killing half the world’s population. That is when one of the most iconic and memorable moment is comic history happens. THE SNAP!
We get our first look of Spider-Man as he is making his way home, which is when his spidey sense goes into overdrive as he feels people disappearing. Fearing the worse he goes in a hurry to see if MJ is okay or not and that is when the story switches over to Captain America as he is making his way through the Avengers headquarter. That is when Hawkeye disappears, and Captain realizes that something so powerful is practically undefeatable.
In an early unrelated story, three people had died in a car crash, but then they were brought back to life, it turns out one of the people was Adam Warlock who has taken a human form and is slowly turning into his former self.
In the Sanctum, Strange gets Hank Pym to help him to nurse Surfer back to health. As Pym is leaving he tells Strange to contact all the old Avengers and tells him he will let the Avengers know what is happening. As Strange closes the door, he freezes in place and gets sucked into a meta-physical world where he meets an entity who tells him to assemble all the heroes, when Strange asks how he can trust the entity he opens his soul and allows their soul to combine. After coming out of the metaphysical world, Strange believes the entity completely.
Doctor Doom is introduced following the incident as he is searching for what caused the people to disappear, and that is when he sees a massive surge of energy from the Sanctum. Doom wants the power for himself, so he is interested in the reason for the people’s disappearance.
The story continues in Titan as we learn Thanos’ brother Eros is alive, but Mentor is dead, and Thanos transfers Eros to the Death Shrine where Thanos tells Eros that this is a family union and Death is his wife. Eros tries to smooth talk Thanos, but he shuts his mouth.
Back on earth Captain America gets the list of all of the heroes that have died, and we only see She-Hulk and Thor, well Thor is replaced by Eric Masterson, but still, he has the hammer of Thor. That is the moment when Doom attacks Strange to ask Silver Surfer about Thanos, and that is when Adam Warlock arrives at the Sanctum and tells them about the power Thanos has and heroes need to come under his command to fight Thanos.
After a massive force of Thanos’ anger hits the earth, Strange makes the call to arms, and all the heroes arrive at the Avengers Headquarters. Iron Man and Spider-Man arrive first then Drax and Wolverine arrive alongside Firelord, Nova, Namor the Sub-Mariner and Cloak also arrive. Cyclops and Wolverine are the only X-Men that arrive in, and finally, Scarlet Witch also arrives at the Avengers HQ. Hulk was exiled from the earth and sent away during the Illuminati storyline, but he returns here to make his way back to the Avengers.
Not only the earth heroes, but we also see Adam Warlock assembling cosmic entities like Kronos, The Living Tribunal, Eternity to call a trial against Thanos. The Living Tribunal likens the fight to that of survival of the fittest, so he doesn’t interfere, and a small band of cosmic entities is left to fight Thanos.
Finally, the time of battle arrives as Doctor Strange transports everyone to the Death Shrine, Thanos sees everyone coming, and he stops time, but Mephisto convinces him that Death will be impressed if he didn’t use the power of the Gauntlet and only fought the earth heroes like himself. This idea, Thanos likes very much, and he starts time again, and the battle begins as the heroes assault Thanos in a coordinated way.
Thanos is surprised as to the co-ordination of the heroes, and he fights everyone and easily defeats most of the heroes. Thanos kills Vision as he punches a hole in Vision’s chest. Thanos makes a glass cube around Cyclops’ head and suffocates him to death. The creation of Thanos, Teraxxia, rips the helmet off Iron Man’s head and Thanos turns Thor into a glass figure and then crushes him. As all the heroes lay dead or dying on the surface of the Death Shrine, Captain America stands up and walks toward Thanos and tells him “ As long as one man stands against you, Thanos, you’ll never be able to claim victory.”
As Captain approaches Thanos to fight, Thanos breaks Captain’s shield, and he is about to be killed when Silver Surfer is sent by Adam Warlock to get the Gauntlet. Realizing that this was all a ruse by Adam to get the Gauntlet, Thanos uses all his power and then Adam attacks with all the cosmic entities. As he is battling cosmic beings, he is attacked by Death and Mephisto as well. Angered by their betrayal Thanos keeps all the entities in stasis and thinking that he has defeated all his enemies he takes an astral form and leaves his body behind. Nebula is there in the real world, and then she steals the Gauntlet from Thanos and uses it to restore herself to health and banishes Thanos away. Thanos is in space when Doctor Strange rescues him at the request of Adam Warlock.
Adam Warlock tells the Mad Titan that he has seen Thanos’ soul from the soul stone and always knew Thanos would lose the Gauntlet as he never thought of himself as being worthy of the immense power. Thanos is overwhelmed by this knowledge, and he is transported back to the shrine where he fools Nebula into turning back time one day before the event to spite him, but she returns to her husk of a body, Nebula manages to will herself back to health before the Gauntlet is taken from her but then Adam Warlock uses his power to get inside the soul gem and creates disharmony among the gems. This causes Nebula a lot of pain and then she takes off the Gauntlet which Adam Warlock seizes. She is tried for her crimes as a pirate and Thanos dies in a bomb blast. Adam Warlock returns the weapon to earth and then travels 60 days into the future to meet Thanos in an unnamed planet where he is living as a farmer, peacefully and given up on all his quest to power.
The Infinity Saga MCU (How It Happened)
After Thanos has decimated Xandar for the power stone, he makes his way into the Asgardian ship where we see Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive have laid waste to the ship. Thanos is holding Thor by his head, and after Loki unleashes the Hulk onto Thanos, he makes short work of the green beast and beats him unconscious. Thanos kills Loki and Heimdal uses his last power to transport Hulk back to earth.
Watch: Thor's ship gets attacked by Thanos
Hulk crashes into the Sanctum and tells Strange, and Wong that Thanos is coming; both of them are confused as to who Thanos is. Doctor Strange uses his ring to teleport himself to a park where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are jogging. He asks Tony to come with him, but he doesn’t and only agrees after seen a broken Bruce Banner who informs him that Thor is dead. Strange takes Iron Man to the Sanctum where Wong explains the Infinity Stones, and that is when a ‘Donut’ ship arrives in New York. The heroes aided by Spider-Man fight Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian but still, Ebony Maw is able to escape with Doctor Strange. Iron Man follows, and Spider-Man is sent home, or so Tony thinks as he is still in the ship with Tony.
Then we see Scarlet Witch and Vision as they are together and in love, but as Vision is asking Scarlet to be with him, news shows the attack on New York. Vision is about to leave when Corvus Glaive attacks and stabs Vision as the two lieutenants of Thanos surround Vision and Scarlet, Captain America arrives with Falcon and Scarlet Witch. They defeat the two lackeys and take the two heroes with them in a jet and Captain tells Falcon to take them home. Vision tells Captain that he is willing to sacrifice himself, but Captain says to him that they don’t trade lives and maybe there is a way to get the gem out without harming Vision and Captain suggests they all go to Wakanda.
Watch: Captain America arrives in battle
We then see the Guardians as they are responding to a distress call and find the Asgardian ship. Thor appears in the windshield, and he is taken in by the Guardians, he tells them about Thanos and Gamora tells them the plan of Thanos. Thor takes a ship to Nidavellir to make a new weapon, and the rest of the Guardians got to Knowhere where Thanos takes Gamora hostage and gets away. Thanos uses Nebula to know where the soul stone is, and she tells him it is in Vormir where Thanos and Gamora travel. The Red Skull in Vormir tells Thanos that to get the stone; he needs to sacrifice something that he loves. Gamora laughs at that but realizes that Thanos loves her and she is the only way he can get the stone. He throws her off the cliff and gets the stone.
Nebula escapes captivity and calls the Guardians to Titan where Stark and Spider-Man along with Doctor Strange also arrive, and they have a standoff thinking they are with Thanos. They form a plan to get the Gauntlet off Thanos and Strange looks into the future as to possible futures where they can win. Thanos arrives on Titan and tells Strange the reasoning behind the decision to kill half the universe’s living population so that the other half can live in peace and harmony. He also says to Strange that because the people of his home planet didn’t listen to him, the whole world died. That is when the heroes attack and as they were about to get the Gauntlet off Thanos tells Quill that he killed Gamora and in rage Quill attacks the mad titan and he is able to escape. As the battle rages on Tony is stabbed by Thanos, and as he is about to kill him, Strange gives up the time stone.
Watch: Doctor Strange gives up the Time Stone
Back on earth, the Thanos’ armies attack Wakanda where Vision is receiving treatment. Black Panther assembles his army, and they fight the space dogs of Thanos. But as the heroes were getting overwhelmed Thor, Groot and Rocket arrive with Thor’s new hammer Stormbreaker. Thanos also arrives on earth, and as he is about to retrieve the final gem it gets destroyed by Scarlet Witch, but Thanos uses time stone of reverse time and kills Vision to retrieve the stone. Thor attacks Thanos and as he tells Thanos that he told him he was going to regret that is when Thanos says, “You should’ve gone for the head” and then SNAP!
Watch: Thanos snaps his finger
Black Panther, Bucky, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, most of the Guardians all get turned into dust.
Endgame picks up 23 days after the battle of Wakanda as the heroes now including Captain Marvel who finds Tony in deep space and brings him back to earth. After they see that Thanos is in an uninhabited planet, and the remaining Avengers and Rocket and Captain Marvel get there, where they want to take the stones away from Thanos and reverse his snap. When they attack, they find that Thanos used the stone to destroy the stones after he finished his work. Thor chops his head off after he makes that confession and the screen shows five years later.
Watch: Avengers attack Thanos
A rat in a storage facility steps on the control panel inside Scott Lang’s van and then Scott appears from the Quantum realm. He goes to his daughter who is all grown up now and then he makes his way to the Avengers headquarter where he explains how the Quantum realm works to Steve and Natasha. They go to Tony Stark to ask for his help, but Tony is living a happy life with his wife Pepper and his daughter Morgan, so he doesn’t want to mess it up. Still, after seeing his photo with Peter, he figures out how to make time travel work.
Steve, Scott, and Natasha then go to visit Hulk who has now entirely merged with Bruce Banner and now they are one. He helps them build the time machine, but it doesn’t work as he had intended it to work. Then Tony comes in with his bracelet that allows it all to work and also gives Steve back his shield.
Watch: Tony gives back the shield to Captain
Tony tells them he is only there if all the former members come back, he agrees, and Hulk and Rocket visit Norway to get Thor from the village where Thor and the Asgardian refugees are living. They find Thor, but he is obese now, and he refuses to come back until they tell him that the ship has Beer. Natasha visits Japan to get Hawkeye as he had become a vigilante who went around killing bad guys to justify the loss of his daughter, sons, and wife.
They are all brought back, and Natasha figures out that at one time there were three infinity stones in New York, so Lang, Stark, Banner, and Steve visit 2012 during the battle of New York. Banner is able to get the time stone from the Sanctum, and Steve is able to get the mind stone, but Lang and Stark are unable to get the space stone. Stark realizes something as he and Steve travel back to 1970 where they get another Space Stone and Tony meets his father in the SHIELD facility.
Watch: Tony meets his father
Thor and Rocket travel to Asgard where they get the Reality Stone, and Thor summons Mjolnir which comes to him and reinforces his thinking that he is still worthy. Rhodes and Nebula visit Morag where they wait for Quill to arrive to steal the power stone. Rhodes and Nebula get the stone and as they are about to leave Nebula gets stuck, and Rhodes leaves. Thanos finds out about the Avengers and about his future. Nebula is captured and tortured as Natasha and Barton go to Vormir to get the soul stone when they reach there they realize about the requirement of getting the stone which leads Barton wanting to sacrifice, he gets incapacitated by Natasha, and she jumps off the cliff to get the stone. Thanos captures and starts torturing the 2023 Nebula, and then he sends 2014 Nebula to earth with Rhodes.
As they all arrive in Avengers Headquarter, they learn about the death of Natasha and then combined all the stones in a Stark tech Gauntlet which Hulk uses to bring everyone back. Barton’s phone rings and he sees his wife calling they know it worked, but as they were doing that, Nebula was using the time-traveling device to bring the 2014 Thanos and his armies. As the heroes see that their effort worked, missiles rain down on the Avengers Headquarters, and Captain America, Iron Man and Thor go to fight the 2014 Thanos. The heroes are no match for the mad titan as he is about to kill Thor with his own ax. In the meantime, Captain America summons Mjolnir and then starts fighting Thanos. It is still not enough as Thanos thrashes at Captain America and shatters his shield into half.
Watch: Captain America vs Thanos
Thanos’ army arrives on earth, and then Captain America stands alone against the whole army then the dusted Avengers start coming through the magic portals. The fight rages on, and Thanos destroys the Quantum device inside the van and as Iron Man and Thanos are fighting he tells him, “I am Inevitable” then snaps his finger. But there are no stones there as Iron Man had already stolen them all and before he uses them, he tells Thanos, “I am Iron-Man” and then snaps all the Thanos’ army out of existence.
This snapping causes mortal damage to Tony, and he dies on the battlefield, surrounded by his friends and family. At the end they give Tony a funeral where all the heroes arrive and then Steve goes back in time to restore all the stones in their rightful places. But he doesn’t return back to that time, as he stays in 1970 with Peggy and comes back to the time-traveling site as an older man to give Falcon the shield of Captain America.
What If The Movie Followed The Comics Exactly?
That is a complicated question to answer because as you can see from above as both the storylines are drastically different from each other. The only similarity you can find between the comics and the movies is the fact that someone crashed into Doctor Strange’s house, that there is Thanos in both of the films and the color of Natasha’s hair in both comic and Endgame are the same. That is where the similarities between the two entities end.
The first difficulty that would arise for making the exact version of the comics is the fact that Marvel doesn’t have right to all the characters that appear in the comics. Just take Silver Surfer for an example, he is a Fantastic Four character, and Fantastic Four belongs to Fox. Yes, Disneyrecently acquired fox but incorporating those characters into an Avengers movie without any back story would have been a jarring experience for the audience.
There is one storyline that the movies could have followed; Hela in the movie Thor Ragnarok is portrayed as almost similar to Death, and maybe Thanos could have fallen in love with her, and he assembled all those stones to impress Hela. Well, that can’t work now as Hela met her end in Asgard.
Watch: Hela meets her end in Thor Ragnarok
If the movie had followed the comics exactly then Civil War would have never happened, there would be She-Hulk, Nick Fury would have been a white guy, and Iron Man would have been a side character who doesn’t get a single line of dialogue.
The timeline of the comics and the movies are so drastic that with the way MCU laid out its movies and storylines it would have been impossible to incorporate all the variables that made up the legendary comic series. Also if they had used the comic version of the story, then we would’ve gotten to see some bizarre side of the Marvel comics on-screen. The Living Tribunal has been mentioned in the MCU movie Doctor Strange so it would’ve been nice to see the god-like being in his full form.
Who Did It Better?
As we have said before, comparing the two separate entities is unfair, it is like comparing 2Pac and Kendrick Lamar. Those are two different entities from two different time periods, both talk about the same things and topics, but both have their own way of expressing their stories. But as time passes there starts to set a certain amount of ‘recency bias,’ you can like both the comics and the movies but if you prefer one or the other better than you won’t hear us complaining.
Watch: The trailer for Avengers Infinity War
When something is created with a set basis of past material, there will always be a preference as to which one is better, whether right or wrong. We, like both the comic and the movie version of the story but if someone tied us to a chair and put a gun to our head and asked us to choose which one we would prefer better, with a heavy heart, we have to say we prefer the movies better.
We have lived with Robert Downey Jr’s Iron man, Chris Evan’s Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, that there is bound to be a certain amount of bias for the characters as we see them in the movies. In the comics, Iron Man is just a “he is also here” character, and it is unacceptable reading the comics now, thinking Iron Man as anything but a leading figure.
Watch: The moment everything started in MCU
Another reason we would prefer the movie version of the Infinity Gauntlet story is because of the repercussions of the snap on the heroes. In the comic the whole Infinity saga is finished within sixty minutes, everyone assembles the snap happens, and the time-reversal happens in sixty minutes. The only time we see the consequences of the snap is at the start as people in New York disappear, and Hawkeye disappears, that is the extent of the snap’s effect as shown in the comics.
In the movies, even though we only see overhead shots of ghost towns, the aftermath of the snap. They are at least shown and the whole five years jump also puts an amount of foreboding and even an amount of loss when we see Scott Lang for the first time as he reads the names of the disappeared near the Golden Gate bridge.
The loss and the regret you can hear when Captain is talking with Natasha is so heartbreaking, when he says, “Some people move on, but not us,” you cannot see the anger, but you can feel it, you can hear it in his voice. Steve is holding a support group for people, but he is one who hasn’t let go, who will not let go. When Captain tells Natasha that he saw a whale in the river and the air is clear, you can see that they know some good has come of the people disappearing but still if they get even half a chance they will take it to bring everyone back. Everyone will combine their knowledge to save the world but killing people to save the universe is not acceptable. In the movie, there was a certain amount of visceral quality to it that just makes us gravitate towards the film more.
Watch: "Some people move on, but not us"
And the final reason why we would choose the movie over the comic is the villain. Don’t kill us! Thanos is a great villain in both comics and the film, but the motive for why he is doing what he is doing is why we love the movie Thanos more.
The reason for Thanos wanting to end half the life in the universe is understandable from the movie’s perspective. Thanos saw his planet devour itself after population grew high and there weren’t enough resources to feed everyone. He saw the same problem everywhere, and he considered killing people, mercy towards them. The killing of people is something that is very hard to relate to, but you can understand there are too many people that a planet’s ecosystem just cannot support them anymore. It was like a commentary by the movie on our own world, we are running through our resources so fast, and the population is growing so fast, we are on a collision course with nature. If history is any indication, nature always wins.
Watch: Thanos explains his reason for killing half the population of the universe
Thanos in the movie has a clear goal; he is not doing any of this to get more power or get rich or to dominate. He is doing it because he feels like he needs to do it. A great villain appears when the villain thinks that what he/she is doing is right, not convincing themselves that they are correct, to know that what he/she is going is the only way to move forward. When a villain likens himself to a hero, now, that is when the audience is conflicted as to which side to choose.
That was not the case with the Thanos in the comics; he assembled and killed half the world population to impress a girl. Thanos wanted to make little evil babies with death, and that was his whole reason to kill half the universes population. We understand, and frankly, we all have had a “Death” in our lives, a girl we wanted to impress so bad that we would’ve done anything stupid to win their affection. But, killing half the population in the universe for a girl? Guess that is why they call him the mad titan.