WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War. Do NOT read this if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
I’m an emotional wreck right now.
I walked into the theater over the weekend so hyped and excited. I left feeling traumatized. It’s like going to your birthday party, but when you walk through the door, the guests start beating you up, and they keep at it for two hours and forty minutes, pausing only to tell jokes and have brief character moments.
And we have to wait how long for the sequel? (Yes, I’m going back for the sequel, because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.) If you look at all those long months before the next release date and feel the same crushing despair you felt at the end of the movie, I have two things for you.
The first is a virtual hug. The second is a list of books to fill the void in your heart.
Huge spoilers from here on out.
Journey into Mystery
I had a bad feeling when that spaceship showed up at the end of Thor: Ragnorak, but dang, I didn’t anticipate how brutal the fallout would be. I was looking forward to Thor and the Asgardian refugees setting up a new Asgard on Earth (It’s one of my favorite storylines in the comics. I’ll have to review it someday.), but everyone’s dead now, I guess.
And Loki. Poor Loki. Just when he was starting to reconnect with Thor and be less of a jerk.
Though I anticipate the characters who got wiped out when Thanos killed half the universe will get brought back to life, Loki’s death seems pretty final. I’m happy he died a hero, and it felt like a good finale for his character arc, but still. He’d finally reached a good place in his life.
So if you’re mourning him (or still in the denial stage), pick up Journey into Mystery. It takes place after Loki dies in the comics, only he’s reborn as a cheerful and mischievous kid with a new chance at life. There’s all kind of epic fantasy adventure and brotherly bonding, and Kid Loki is just such a likable little scamp. It’s funny and will cheer you up. Give it a try.
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man
“I don’t want to go.”
I know Marvel isn’t going to permanently kill off Spider-Man. That would be like throwing millions of dollars into a dumpster, but knowing that didn’t stop this scene from seriously messing me up.
I just… He’s too pure to die. Somebody go help that poor baby. He’s not even supposed to be there. Thanos, you monster.
But it’s going to be okay (I tell myself over and over). Spider-Man is coming back, but if you need to see Peter Parker alive and happy now, you should read Marvel Adventures Spider-Man.
The Marvel Adventures line is separate from the main Marvel comic universe. It’s an all-ages comic, but that doesn’t mean it’s dumbed down. It’s packed with tight plotlines, clever jokes, and meaningful character beats. It’s also refreshingly free of the angst that plagues regular-universe Peter Parker.
Basically, the Marvel Adventures line is pure joy distilled into comic book form. It’s the perfect book to read while eating a pint of ice cream as you try to recover from the emotion wounds Infinity War inflicted on you.
The Infinity Gauntlet
I wrote a whole review of this one, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing it. It’s a classic storyline and worth a read if you want to see where the movie took inspiration from. It also might console you if you freaked out when Bucky, Peter, T’Challa and everyone disintegrated. Thanos wipes out half the universe in the comic, too, and reading about how the remaining heroes save everyone he made disappear will give you some hope about how the next movie may go.
Plus, you get to see Thanos lose. I don’t know about you, but it’s been a while since I encountered a villain I wanted to see get punched in the face so much.
I’m really worried about Gamora, you guys. Spider-Man, Black Panther, and everybody who disintegrated is probably going to be fine, but Gamora was killed the old-fashioned way. What are the Guardians going to do if she doesn’t come back to life? She’s the only one on that team with any sense. They’re doomed without her.
Plus, she’s jut an awesome character, and I love her, and please, please, please don’t let her be dead forever.
I did like how much screen time and characterization she got in this movie. I’ve been waiting for flashbacks of her childhood with Thanos since the first Guardians of the Galaxy. If you liked that too, you might enjoy Gamora by Nicole Perlman—the original screenwriter of the first Guardians of the Galaxy script, so you know she’s got a good handle on the character.
A character who totally has a good chance of coming back to life…right?
This goes on sale this week, and judging by the cover, the roster of the team takes a lot of influence from the cinematic universe. I can’t offer an analysis since I haven’t read it yet, but it could be nice to get new Avengers stories where half the characters don’t die at the end (probably) and the story doesn’t destroy your emotions (I hope). Plus, the art looks great.
It’s a small consolation to know that whatever happens in the movies, the comic universe marches on.
Have you been burned too badly and want to reject Marvel cannon entirely? That’s fine, because there are literally thousands of stories out there written by fans who watched the movies and said, “Yeah, that’s cool, but what if things happened this way instead?”
Ever wanted to read a few thousand words of the Avengers just chilling out and pranking each other? Or maybe you need some sweet romance after all that cinematic tragedy, possibly between two characters who aren’t explicitly a couple in the movies. Fanfic has got you covered. Head over to Fanfiction.net or AO3, though don’t click that last link unless you’re 18+, because sometimes the answer to “What if things happened this way instead?” is “It would be really kinky.”
Though none of the sex stuff is as traumatizing as watching a sixteen-year-old Peter Parker painfully crumble into flesh-colored dust in Tony Stark’s arms.
Take care of yourselves, Marvel fans. Read something happy, treat yourself to something sweet, and remember it’s going to be okay. It may be the end of a fictional world, but it’s not the end of the real one.
We can get through this together.
What do you think about Infinity War? What are some of your favorite Marvel comics? Share your thoughts in the comments.