The Avengers Callbacks
To complete the feeling that Infinity War is the beginning of the end, the pic brings things full circle by featuring several callbacks to the first time Earth’s Mightiest Heroes teamed up in 2012’s The Avengers.
In particular, the opening scene sees Thanos attack the Asgardian refugee ship, which reunites him with his former stooge Loki. Thanos references the fact that the God of Mischief failed him by losing both the Space and Mind Stones. As Bruce reminds us later on when speaking with Iron Man, Loki was in cahoots with the Mad Titan at that point. Speaking of Tony, Stark mentions the Battle of New York several times, too, referencing the PTSD he suffered in Iron Man 3.
The most notable callback to The Avengers, though, comes from Loki himself. When Thanos is threatening him, the Jade Giant comes in to attack the villain, leading Loki to say the line: “We have a Hulk.” Last time we heard this in the MCU, Tony Stark was saying it to the God of Mischief. Apart from being a fun nod, it also lampshades just how far Loki has come over the years.
The Chitauri And The Outriders
Continuing with the callbacks to The Avengers, the half-skeletal, half-cyborg alien race that served as Loki’s foot soldiers in the 2012 team-up movie make a surprise return in Infinity War. In a flashback to how Thanos first adopted Gamora, we see how the Mad Titan uses his army to lay waste to half of the green-skinned Guardian’s homeworld.
Obviously, the Chitauri are wiped out in the present as the Avengers managed to destroy their mothership back in 2012, thereby rendering the entire race lifeless. When the Black Order sent an army to attack Wakanda, then, it’s revealed that Thanos has got a new race of henchman. These six-armed savages are known as the Outriders and come from the Infinity comic book arc in which they serve the same function.