Countdown to Avengers: Infinity War – Iron Man 3/Thor: The Dark World by ironmima

*Note from the Editor: This contribution is from “ironmima,” a member of the FoCC forum.

10 days until Avengers: Infinity War

Okay, so Phase 2 doesn’t really start off that well. The fact that the critical and box office success of The Avengers increased expectations for the following movies didn’t help Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. It also didn’t help that neither of the movies were as good as their predecessors (well, the first Thor wasn’t even really that good). But I guess the point of both movies was not exactly to follow The Avengers, but to serve their own franchises—Iron Man 3 was the last hurrah for Tony Stark’s solitary story, and Thor: The Dark World was, at its core, introducing the concept of the Infinity Stone to the MCU. However, both are, in my opinion, important in the build-up towards Avengers: Infinity War.

The significance of Iron Man 3 in the context of Avengers: Infinity War is, of course, Tony Stark himself. A majority of the marketing for the April bloodbath has Tony front and center, with some of the material even indicating his connection to the elusive Soul Stone. Robert Downey Jr. has indicated his exit from the MCU for quite some time now, and he is only contracted until the untitled Avengers 4. So it’s highly likely that Avengers: Infinity War will be Tony Stark’s final performance, with the Avengers 4 being his encore.

Photo courtesy of Film School Rejects.

What Iron Man 3 shows us in a clear manner is Tony Stark’s “futurist” instinct. At this point in the MCU, he is the only earth-dweller to have seen a glimpse of just a fraction of Thanos’ army, and this film shows us how he responds to that experience emotionally: his trauma and anxiety are explicit, which he channels (unhealthily, I might add) through the creation of more than forty armors. Avengers: Age of Ultron explores more of this (and we’ll discuss this later on), but whether Drew Pearce and Shane Black meant to foreshadow how Tony Stark has prepared for and will respond to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t matter much now—we know that Iron Man has been preparing for this fight since the Battle of New York. How that manifests will be a sight to see on April 27.

By the time Thor: The Dark World rolls around, we’d unwittingly seen two of the six Infinity Stones: the Space Stone (Tesseract), and the Mind Stone (Loki’s Scepter). Now we have the Reality Stone (the Aether) in our sights, and this movie finally utters the words “infinity stone,” making millions of comic fans’ dreams a reality. Again, the second film in the Thor franchise is not a particularly good film, but it does the job of establishing the MCU’s root narrative for the next five years.

Photo courtesy of Collider.

This film also puts Thor at the front and center of the search for the Infinity Stones, which is fitting given his status as the rightful king of the now destroyed Asgard. We’ve only ever seen him with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the trailers and TV spots, so I’m excited to see what his path will be. On a related note, I’m also interested to know how Benicio del Toro’s incarnation of The Collector fits into all of this, since the character is seemingly confirmed to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. Is he one of the good guys? Will he be serving Thanos, or will he be serving himself? I’m sure more clues will pop up as we complete this journey through the MCU towards April 27. But until then, the wait will be half the thrill.

Our movie schedule for tomorrow: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Check back then for the next feature on our countdown to Avengers: Infinity War!

Top 5 MCU movies ranking so far:

  1. Iron Man
  2. The Avengers