Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

05 May 2018

Joking Our Way Into The Abyss

It's always fun until someone get's snapped out of existence. Thanos with his social engineering tool.
Marvel/Disney Studios' Avengers: Infinity War has been long anticipated by Comics Fans and even Pop-Culture Cinema aficionados of all ages. I'm sad that I was not able to view the film on its opening debut at my local theater. Scheduling difficulties forced me to see it an excruciating two-weeks later than most of my friends and, of course, my social media cohorts. I gave up on trying to avoid spoilers so I went in to see the movie knowing most of the important surprise twists and turns.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the story and the experience of seeing it play out first-hand. I found that the movie is actually a strange mix of cheesy jokes, warmed-over economic theory and philosophical/apocalyptic allusions.

Thanos in the comic version of the Infinity War Story is depicted as a "Mad Titan" who has deranged (nearly fetishistic/romantic) obsession with death. The movie Thanos, however, has a more pedestrian and pedantic motive of wanting to achieve "balance" in the universe: by "mercifully" eliminating half of the population of all people in the cosmos randomly through the use of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet (basically to provide more "elbow room"). He's like an "ivory-tower", know-it-all, bureaucrat who insists on foisting his pet theory or ideology on the public-at-large the moment he gets access to the levers of power.

History is full of such characters. Sure, the movie Thanos is crafted to be "complicated" with glimpses of back story full of loss and expressions of his love and sacrifice to achieve his "lofty" goals. But he IS the bad guy and his badness is actually made worse by his clueless self-righteousness and tinge of self-pity.

I felt somewhat of a serene detachment to the drama as the "worst-case-scenario" events made their fatalistic grinding way through the plot. In the meantime, as a fanboy, I enjoyed each of the super hero characters play out their roles together in a consummate team collaboration.

It also reminded me of the religious End-of-Days, Apocalyptic prophetic scenarios that are explored in the "Left Behind" books and films. Even Bucky (Winter Soldier) alludes to that sentiment when he tells Captain America, "I'm doing all right for the End of The World".

Avengers: Infinity War invites us to stare into the Abyss and consider the end... even though it's just a cliff-hanger at the end of the first installment of the two-movie story arc.

I couldn't resist making art of Trump as Thanos and the powers of the U.S. President as the Infinity Gauntlet.
Oddly, I found the movie Thanos to be a more sympathetic character than Trump.
  Art by © O. Douglas Jennings

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