Entering Avengers: Infinity War, the titular heroes had grown and developed into leaders, heroes, saved the world or the galaxy multiple times, and generally grown to be the protectors of the planet. Sure, there was some bickering and fighting over whether or not there was any oversight and repercussions for their actions, but the Avengers who were left were generally ready to go for battle.
On the other side of the lineup were Thanos and his children, the Black Order. These creatures sought to take control of the Infinity Stones and wipe out half the universe’s population to restore balance and protect the resources. A genocide, but random.
Here’s what happened.
Power and Space Stones
Remember that time the Columbus Blue Jackets entered a game leading 1-0 because of a medical emergency and subsequent postponement? Imagine that, but like a million times worse. Thanos opened the game with a 1-0 lead on the first Avengers he encountered, Thor and Hulk, and he made them pay for it. By wiping out Xandar, Thanos entered battle with the Power Stone and somehow didn’t even need it to beat Thor and Hulk each within an inch of their lives.
Thanos followed that gratuitous beat down by forcing Loki (a skilled negotiator, but out of his league here) to give up the Space Stone. Loki, ever a clever fighter that Brad Marchand probably takes his notes from, attempted to trick the Titan but Thanos (again, now with two of the most powerful objects in the universe), caught Loki and choked him out.
Tough look for my guy Loki.
Time Stone, Round One
After Hulk was sent to earth (thanks to a last minute miracle by Heimdall), Bruce Banner was able to warn Doctor Strang, Wong, and Tony Stark about Thanos’ impending arrival in search of the Infinity Stones.
Game plan? Who needs a game plan? But, more importantly, there is no time for one as Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian (not very good Canadian names there) arrive and try to take the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Pretty poor line chemistry from the Avenger here, who manage to take a 4 on 2 advantage and nearly lose. Thankfully, the Avengers managed to call in reinforcements from recent draft pick Spider-Man that helps to save Doctor Strange’s life.
Despite the 5 on 2, though, the Black Order manage to capture Strange and fly off to Titan with Spider-Man and Iron Man in tow. Avengers, my guys, down at the first intermission here.
Mind Stone, Round One
Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, the second line of Thanos’ children, arrive in Scotland and ambush Vision and Scarlet Witch searching for the Mind Stone, currently in Vision’s head. After a tough battle that sees Scarlet Witch hold her own and Vision show as much promise in a fight as Zach Werenski, Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon arrive from the dressing room to reinforce the bench and protect Vision. They drive the Black Order away for now. Score one for the Avengers, finally.
Seems like changing reality to trick people is against the rules of the game, but hey, YOU tell him otherwise.
DOPS issues a $5000 fine, the maximum allowable under the CBA, and moves on to ignoring the latest Tom Wilson transgression.
Well, that sucked. Thanos is probably looking at a suspension for that.
Anyway, it’s now 4-2 Thanos and the odds are growing dim for our heroes. Lotta game left, though.
Mind Stone, Round Two
The Black Order has regrouped in the locker room and signed some free agents. Now they have the Outriders on the bench, and are willing to throw them at the home team in an effort to overwhelm them. Thankfully, the Avengers brought the series back home and are facing them in Wakanda, a technologically advanced town with a force field and an army. Help is good when the opponent has all of the talent.
After a spirited fight, things appear bleak until Thor (freshly outfitted with a new blade) arrives with his friends Rabbit and Tree to drive out the Black Order. While Vision is getting some attention in the locker room, the battle on the field turns in favor of the home team.
Time Stone, Round Two
Letting your emotions get in the way has cost many teams championships over the years, and it does here. The Avengers execute their Flying V moment and plan to perfection, only for it all to fall apart once Peter Quill (selfish, not a good locker room guy, bottom six at best) lets his emotions run wild and wakes up Thanos. Bad move, Quill.
Thanos stops hurling punches and starts hurling moons before single-handedly winning the battle on his own. He also takes, uh, some extreme liberties in how he puts Tony Stark out of commission before Doctor Strange intentionally surrenders his stone to keep Stark alive. Strange hints at a bigger plan, but fans, it’s hard to see what he’s getting at from here.
Spooky magic mumbo jumbo.
Mind Stone, Round Three
Thanos arrives and uses his new Time Stone (seriously Strange, that’s the worst own goal in history) to restore the Mind Stone and then rip Vision’s head open to take the stone.
6-0 Thanos. Tough look for the Avengers here.
Well, we all saw this coming. Thanos told you what he was going to do and then went and did it.
Can’t blame the guy, he had a gameplan and he executed (ha). The Avengers, man. The 2004 Olympic basketball of world saving heroes - all the talent and power on paper, and just got outplayed. Except instead of a bronze, they brought home only 50% of the universe. Not great.
Thanos 6 Avengers 0
Dude gets to rest in his great full universe. Not sure there will be a championship parade, though. Seems like most of his signees are gone.
There’s another one? Throw in the damn towel, Avengers, this is like the Blue Jackets taking on the Lightning - just a total mismatch.