Longtime fans of Marvel Comics would have found the climax of Avengers: Infinity War very familiar. In Jim Starlin’s 1991 Infinity Gauntlet storyline, we see Thanos in full command of the Infinity Stones and eager to impress the personification of Death. He does so by snapping his fingers and… well, if you’ve seen the film you know where this one is going. But despite the Russo brothers heavily cribbing from Starlin, there’s one aspect that’s curiously absent: Adam Warlock.
Warlock is a cosmic superhero generally in command of the Soul Gem, which gives him your typical superhero powers of super-strength, flight and energy projection. He’s also immortal, as death cannot claim his soul. His relationship with the Soul Gem proves key to the defeat of Thanos in the comics, too, and given that his entrance to the MCU was trailed in one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s post-credit scenes, you might think he’s going to save the day in Avengers 4.
Well, according to co-director Joe Russo, he ain’t. The filmmaker was speaking at a Q&A at his old high school where he was asked the following:
Q: So at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 there’s a cutscene where the gold people were making that like super being- they call him “Adam” what’s the deal with that?
Russo: That’s a James Gunn thing- we never intended to put Adam Warlock in Infinity War. We have so many heroes we have to service that you guys love and give them screentime- because you want to see the hero and villain have an emotional connection. You wouldn’t have a connection to them- doesn’t have a connection with Thanos and built up story-
Leaving aside the question of what the hell kind of awesome high school gets former student blockbuster movie directors doing Q&As – the coolest guy we got was a recovering drug addict! – this indicates that the solution to the situation Thanos leaves us in at the end of Infinity War is going to be solved by the heroes we’re familiar with.
That makes sense, and while there’s been no clear answer just yet on how exactly the Avengers are going to figure this one out, there’s certainly more than enough fan theories out there to tide you over until the follow-up arrives on May 3rd, 2019.