The comic world is filled with resurrections. Characters die and come back all the time. No one is truly gone, especially when billion dollar franchises are staked to their characters. In a way it's silly. Marvel Studios has already greenlighted the sequels to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. There isn't a chance in hell that the Black Panther is dead. That movie's already made $1.3 billion at the box office and hasn't even hit the home video market. Breathe easy folks, the staggering body count at the end of Infinity War surely will not stand.
Before we discuss the possibilities of life after death, let's rundown how the body count got so high. From the very start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos has been searching for the Infinity Stones. They are Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Soul, and Time; six elemental objects created at the birth of the universe that wield immeasurable powers. Thanos forces Eitri (Peter Dinklage), the leader of Nidavellir and creator of Mjolnir, to forge the Infinity Gauntlet. This is the weapon that gives Thanos control of the stones.
Heimdall and Loki
Infinity War opens with Thanos and his Black Order having decimated Thor's ship. As the God of Thunder watches helplessly, Heimdall (Idris Elba) is stabbed in the chest by the ruthless Titan. The brave Asgardian saves Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) by sending him to Earth using the Bifrost. As Thanos tortures Thor, his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gives up the Tesseract to save him. Then in a final act of bravery for the once villainous Loki, he attempts to stab Thanos in the throat after getting within striking distance. Thanos grabs Loki by the neck and squeezes the life out of him. The evil Titan savagely states, "No resurrections this time". He crushes the Tesseract to reveal the Space Stone. At this point, Thanos already has the Power Stone after destroying Xandar.
Gamora (Zoe Saldana) has the most tragic and personal demise of any character in Infinity War. Gamora begs Peter, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), to kill her before being captured by Thanos. When the Guardians face Thanos on Knowhere, Peter cannot summon the courage to murder his beloved. Thus Gamora ends up in the clutches of her adopted father. The Mad Titan takes the Reality Stone, the Aether in Thor: The Dark World, from the Collector (Benicio Del Toro). On his ship, the Sanctuary II, Thanos tortures Nebula (Karen Gillan) to force Gamora's biggest secret. She discovered the location of the Soul Stone. Gamora takes her father to Vormir, where he is tested by the cursed keeper of the Soul Stone, the Red Skull. Thanos sacrifices his beloved daughter. He throws Gamora over a cliff, the deadly toll needed to capture the Soul Stone.
Apart from the ass-kicking Thanos, my favorite baddie in Infinity War is Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor). This Black Order member is the spectacularly powerful telepath that captures Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in New York City. He escapes with the Sorcerer Supreme on a Q-ship to Titan, gleefully torturing him to give up the Eye of Agamotto, also known as the Time Stone. Maw is outwitted by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). They blow a hole in the ship that sucks him into space, just like the finale of Aliens.
Deaths on Titan
Tony Stark crashes Ebony Maw's Q-ship on Titan. He and Spider-Man are joined by half the Guardians, Star-Lord, Drax (Dave Bautista), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). They engage Thanos in a hardcore, vicious battle to tear the Infinity Gauntlet off his hand. But as Mantis immobilizes Thanos, he reveals his murder of Gamora. This causes Peter to strike out in anger, allowing Thanos to get loose. The Titan then beats them all to a pulp, severely injuring Tony Stark. Perhaps the most pivotal moment of Infinity War happens when Dr. Strange gives Thanos the Time Stone to save Tony's life. This is something he swore never to do, but changed his mind after using the Eye to see every possible outcome of the war. Thanos wins in fourteen million permutations, except for one. Thanos leaves Titan with the stone and heads to Wakanda. After snapping his fingers there, Drax, Mantis, Star-Lord, Dr. Strange, and Spider-Man are killed on Titan.
The Battle of Wakanda
Infinity War's climactic battle is a free for all massacre in Wakanda. The Black Order attacks to recover the Mind Stone from Vision (Paul Bettany). The Avengers work feverishly to remove it from his android noggin. They run out of time, but not before defeating the Black Order. Bruce Banner kills Cull Obsidian (Terry Notary) using the Hulk Buster armor. Okoye (Danai Gurira), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) shred Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon). The Vision, who gets his ass kicked mercilessly throughout, spears Corvus Glaive (Michael James Shaw).
The Scarlett Witch kills her beloved Vision (Paul Bettany) before destroying the Mind Stone. Her victory is short lived. Thanos appears in Wakanda. He uses the Time Stone to bring Vision back, then rips the Mind Stone out of his head. Even though Thor lands a crippling blow with Stormbreaker. Thanos has already won. In a snap, half the universe dies. Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Scarlet Witch, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) crumble into dust. Captain America (Chris Evans) cries "Oh God" as his colleagues die before him.
Maria Hill and Nick Fury
Infinity War ends solemnly with Thanos at last able to enjoy the sunset on Titan. As the credits roll, fandom is stunned by the carnage he's inflicted. But it's not over, one post credits scene has more death and the last hope for the future. Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) get into a car accident. They investigate to see the driver has vanished. A helicopter smashes in a building as the pilot also disappears. Fury watches in astonishment as Maria Hill fades before him. Just as he's about to die, he takes out a dated beeper and sends a message. It falls to the street. Message received, followed by the insignia of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
Captain Marvel to the Rescue
The death toll is staggering, but presumably short lived. The first key to the comeback is Dr. Strange's willingness to give up the Time Stone. Strange saw a future where the Avengers defeat Thanos. We've seen on numerous occasions its power to reverse time and bring people back. Case in point, Vision dies twice in this film. In the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War comics, Adam Warlock and the Silver Surfer are pivotal to defeating Thanos. They use the powers of the Soul Stone. The writers of Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have clearly stated the importance of the Soul Stone to their plot. Even though Adam Warlock is hinted at in the end of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the writers acknowledge it is too late to introduce him or the Silver Surfer to this story. Fox still owns the rights to the Silver Surfer, and the screenwriters admit it would be impossible to have those two characters in an already loaded film. I believe that their contributions will be folded into the Captain Marvel storyline.
There are two films being released before Avengers 4; Ant-Man and the Wasp in July, followed by Captain Marvel next March. Their plots are unknown, but it is believed that Ant-Man and the Wasp will enter the Quantum Realm to rescue Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). This is a place where time presumably stands still. Captain Marvel takes place in the 90s. In the comics, Carol Danvers is an Air Force officer who befriends Dr. Walter Larson, the human alias of Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell (Jude Law). An explosion fuses his DNA to hers, transforming her into Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has stated that Captain Marvel is "more powerful than any hero we've introduced". Who better to lay a beatdown on Thanos and recover the Infinity Gauntlet?
Time is a fickle mistress in the MCU. Captain Marvel takes place in the 90s, yet Nick Fury can signal her in the present. In the comics, Gamora and Drax are trapped in the Soul World, a dimension hidden in the Soul Stone. This purgatory is the perfect place to send everyone who was killed by Thanos. I'd guess that's how Avengers 4 resurrects our dearly departed heroes. Captain Marvel with the help of the remaining Avengers uses the Soul Stone and Time Stone to reverse Thanos heinous act. Dr. Strange is theoretically there and should be able to communicate with Wong (Benedict Wong) on Earth. It's pure conjecture, but seems a logical supposition to bring back the dead. We'll have to wait another agonizing year to find out. But it's a guaranteed bet that billion dollar franchises did not come to an end in Infinity War.