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When it comes to success with a comic book property, Robert Kirkman knows a thing or two. The creator of The Walking Dead has seen his comic book series become the most successful comic book adaptation ever on TV, spawning a spinoff series and a zombie-fueled empire that, according to reports, is just getting started. Robert Kirkman has also written for Marvel Comics in the past, and is a huge comic book fan that grew up with these characters. So as you might guess, he loved this year's Avengers: Infinity War as much as the rest of us. The writer also has an interesting take on why he thinks that the film is so great, saying:
There's no recap. There's no explanation as to who anyone is. You sit down in the movie and they're just like 'guess what? You've earned this. We're at like movie 21 now and here we fucking go!' And you're like 'oh my god! Like this is so great!'
In Robert Kirkman's opinion, what makes Avengers: Infinity War so great is that it is very much the culmination of what came before it. There is no time spent introducing the characters or recapping what happened up to this point. The film starts in media res aboard the Asgardian refugee ship, and it doesn't let up from there. Marvel already put in the legwork introducing all of these characters to audiences and it is assumed that if you are seeing this film, you saw the preceding 18 films and know where things stand. Infinity War has a ton of faith in the audience in this regard, trusting them to know their stuff. So Marvel rewards that, giving fans the cosmic clash that unites (almost) all of the universe's heroes against an existential threat.
Robert Kirkman's description is sort of like the audience ate their vegetables with the Phase 1 films, had the main course with Phase 2 and 3, and now with Infinity War and Avengers 4, they are getting rewarded with dessert, and it tastes wonderful. And that is part of the accomplishment of Infinity War; it didn't need to adhere to traditional filmmaking rules because it is part of a cinematic universe that audiences have already invested in. Robert Kirkman also expounded upon this point when speaking to Kevin Smith on the SModcast, saying:
I loved that Infinity War was not even a movie. They were just like here's a series of events that are important to you because you know these characters. It's gonna go from A to B to C to D. There's not a 3-act structure.
Ironically, Robert Kirkman's reasoning for what makes Infinity War so great is actually the same reasoning used by some of the film's detractors to criticize it. Some critics don't like Infinity War because, as Kirkman says, it does not do some things that movies generally do. It doesn't have a traditional structure with resolution and it doesn't have a ton of character development across the board. However, if you view the film as Robert Kirkman does -- and most fans do -- through the lens of how it fits within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is great.
You aren't supposed to watch Infinity War as if the other films don't exist because they do and Infinity War wouldn't if they didn't. Like Robert Kirkman was saying to Kevin Smith, Infinity War's events are important to audiences because they know and care about these characters because of the development that has taken place prior to this film. Avengers: Infinity War is basically like part 1 of a season finale in a long-running cinematic television series and in that regard it delivers in spades.