Over the past several weeks, Marvel has been releasing teaser images of past storylines it will be revisiting in summer 2015, from Civil War to Planet Hulk to House of M. The comic book company hasn’t said why they’re doing this, although it may have to do with the universe-shattering events of their Secret Wars story. At this point, it’s probably simpler for fans to ask which Marvel story won’t be revisited next year.
The latest event to be drawn into the fold is The Infinity Gauntlet, the 1991 miniseries that featured Thanos fighting the Marvel heroes with all six Infinity Gems attached to the Gauntlet. Like the other updated covers, this Infinity Gauntlet teaser, revealed by Comicbook.com, features some anachronisms that weren’t present in the original story, most notably with the addition of Star-Lord and different members of the Nova Corps. These days, movies tend to influence the comic books more often rather than vice-versa, but with the Marvel Cinematic Universe slowly building towards a battle with the Mad Titan, it’s possible that the movies may be inspired by future storylines. Here are several ways that The Infinity Gauntlet, both old and new, can tell us about the direction the MCU might be taking.
Thanos And The StonesSince Thanos cameoed at the end of The Avengers, fans have been anticipating a gigantic showdown between him and the MCU heroes. Three of the Infinity Stones (as they’re known in the movies) have already been shown, and the rest will be introduced in the coming years. Thanos is already powerful by himself, but once he gets those stones, he’ll be invincible. It was only because he was overconfident that the heroes were able to defeat him in the miniseries. See, even powerful alien overlords can fall prey to hubris.
The common assumption is that Thanos will collect all the Stones in the MCU, but maybe he won’t seize them all at once. In the teaser image, he only has the Reality Gem and Mind Gem attached to the Gauntlet. Perhaps in the Phase 3 movies (and even Phase 4), after-credits scenes will show Thanos collecting the Infinity Stone directly connected with each movie. By the time he tussles with the MCU heroes, whether that’s in Avengers 3 or a separate movie, he’ll have all but one of the Stones, and when he retrieves the last one early on in the story, that’s when the mayhem really kicks off.
An Increase In The Use Of The Nova CorpsGuardians of the Galaxy introduced the Nova Corps to the MCU, a law enforcement agency that protects the planet Xandar. In the comics, the Corps has expanded to become an intergalactic peacekeeping force, with members from all across the universe. Think of them as being like the Green Lanterns of the Marvel universe, but with helmets as the source of their power instead of rings.
In the movie, the Corps priority was to protect Xandar from any threat, and although their ships were shaped like the Nova logo, their technology was much more traditional than the helmets. Now that they’re safeguarding one of the Stones, perhaps the Corps will expand their reach past Xandar. They’ll start taking recruits from other planets and begin patrolling the universe to keep all lifeforms safe. We’ll see the expansion in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and then, when Thanos shows up on Earth, the Corps can give the heroes some backup. On the other hand, if Thanos steals the Power Stone from the Nova Corps, that calls into question how effective they’ll be when he has all the Stones.
Nova Being Introduced As A HeroAlthough the Nova Corps are a gigantic organization, obviously the most well-known Novas are the ones from Earth. So far there have been two primary human Novas. First is Richard Rider, who has been one of Marvel’s greatest cosmic heroes since 1976. Although he originally only protected Earth with his Nova powers, he has since been a main player in many of the cosmic-goings on in the Marvel universe. More recently introduced is Sam Alexander, a high school student from Arizona. Sam’s father (who is not Rider) used to be a Nova, and for years he would drunkenly talk about his time as an intergalactic adventurer. Then one day, Sam’s father disappears and Sam finds the helmet. Putting it on, Sam is now Earth’s newest Nova, and while he tries to figure out where his father is, he is also spending his time learning the ropes of being a superhero.
Nova is an excellent character to bring into the MCU, but there’s a slight snag. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has stated that he has no interest in introducing Richard Rider. However, he hasn’t said anything about Sam Alexander, and take a look at that Infinity Gauntlet image. At the bottom is a group of Novas who look like Sam and his family. Obviously the movie wouldn’t have all of them as superheroes, but does Marvel have plans of introducing a younger superhero into their movies? If Sam is introduced, it might be worth keeping him contained to Earth in the Avengers films before he goes galavanting off into the rest of the universe.
Star-Lord's On That Cover For A ReasonYou have to hand it to Marvel. With Guardians of the Galaxy, they took a group of D-list characters and transformed them into the biggest comic book characters of 2014. Combined with their expanded presence in the Marvel books, the Guardians are sure to maintain their status as one of Marvel’s hottest properties. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is set for release in 2017, and while we anticipate their next solo adventure, there’s also their role for the MCU as a whole to consider. What if Marvel is teasing a crucial role for the Guardians in the fight against Thanos, especially for their leader Star-Lord?
In the original story, Nebula is responsible for stealing the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, and while she tried to abuse the power for herself, the heroes were eventually able to steal the Gauntlet back from her. In this revised tale, perhaps Star-Lord is the one who is instrumental in defeating Thanos. Could this also be the case for the movies? Many fans want to see the Guardians team up with the Avengers, and considering how much of a threat Thanos is, it’d be weird if the alien band of misfits didn’t head to Earth to lend a hand. Then, during the battle, Peter Quill somehow distracts Thanos (if we’re lucky, the same way he distracted Ronan) or manages to nab one of the Stones. Okay, this might just be desperately wishing for the smart-ass Quill to pull one over on the Mad Titan, but in all seriousness, don’t be surprised if Quill plays an important part in the climactic battle. Then again, Thanos did have a minor role in Guardians of the Galaxy, so maybe they’ll expand his role slightly in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Star-Lord and his teammates can screw with him then.
It’s Time For Adam Warlock To Show UpThere are a lot of cosmic oddities in the Marvel universe, and Adam Warlock is high on that list. Created by a group of scientists called the Enclave, Warlock (then simply called "Him") was the perfect artificial human, and after escaping his creators, he traveled the cosmos and eventually encountered the High Evolutionary, who gave him the Soul Gem after he helped save a parallel world called Counter-Earth. During The Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock rallied the Marvel heroes to stand up to Thanos, and once the alien overlord was defeated, Warlock took custody of the Gems and Gauntlet, although when the cosmic entity known as the Living Tribunal decided Warlock couldn’t be trusted to keep that power, Warlock relinquished everything but the Soul Gem.
Warlock’s cocoon (yes, he came from a cocoon) was seen in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, so he exists in the MCU. Maybe when the Power Stone blew up the Collector’s home, Warlock was freed from his cocoon, and the Guardians will run into him in the sequel or beyond. The weird thing is why Warlock isn’t on this Infinity Gauntlet cover. After all, he was instrumental in defeating Thanos, although given the nature of these revisits, it’s possible Warlock’s role was eliminated by some time travel nonsense. Regardless, Marvel would be wise to start showing more of Adam Warlock, both in the comics and using him in the movies. If The Infinity Gauntlet is going to be adapted for the big screen, he needs to be a part of it.