Today, I'm continuing my Avengers theme with a post that has been percolating in my head for a long time. Warning, there be spoilers ahead!
So far I have covered Iron Man and the Hulk. But today I want to key in on possibly the most powerful character to appear in 'The Avengers' movie. Did I mention there would be spoilers?
I figure just about everyone has seen the Avengers, having grossed more than a billion dollars, so you've had your opportunity.
At the end of the first credits sequence (the animated one, not the traditional scroll) we are introduced to a character who is warned that to take on Earth and the Avengers is to "court death." The character then turns and smiles at the camera. No, it's not Hellboy or the Red Skull as those in the audience less nerdy than me speculated (hey, Marvel, just seeing the reactions online tells me you need to do some work post-processing to make this guy purple, not red!). But is instead the character Thanos.
Comic Book Resources and also his wikipedia page.
Which brings me back to the Infinity Gauntlet and the real subject of this post. (for more on the Gauntlet, check out the wikipedia page) You see, there isn't yet a character in the movies who can stand toe-to-toe with Thanos. The Silver Surfer was instrumental in taking down Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but the rights to that character are still owned by Fox because of his appearance in 'The Fantastic Four'. So that leaves us with the Surfer's partner in that story, Adam Warlock. (The golden person behind Thanos with the red cape above; again, check out his wikipedia page) Will he be somehow introduced into the Marvel movie universe? I sure hope so.
So what does Warlock, the Surfer, and Thanos have to do with the subject matter of this blog ("Public Christianity" in case you forgot)? Well personally, I have always been intrigued by Warlock's character, from his introduction as a man-made "perfect human" called simply "Him" all the way through his first death (more on this in a minute) and up to his adventures following his defeat of Thanos. About that first death... Adam Warlock has a bit of a God-complex. So much so that in order to save the people of "counter earth" he allowed himself to be crucified. By the power of the Soul Gems (one of the baubles on the Infinity Gauntlet- see how this all ties in?) he rose himself from the dead and a cult religion would later rise up to worship him (and try to take over the universe, but that's another story).
In my comic reading peak in the 90's, I loved to read both Warlock and the Silver Surfer. They complemented each other perfectly. Though the silver sentinel was conceived as a Christ-like cosmic figure when he was introduced in the 60's, he is written in more of a philosophical tone. Warlock, on the other hand, because of his background is written as much more theological. So when paired together to take on some cosmic foe, this often led to very deep and worthwhile conversations.
Now I am anxiously anticipating how this may be handled on the silver screen, especially after (in my opinion) the Silver Surfer wasn't given his full due in the Fantastic Four movie. And all the bluster about Loki pontificating about the weakness of humanity and the slavery of freedom, coupled with the writer's open atheism, led some to denounce 'The Avengers' as anti-Christian and secular. So is it possible that the movies would dare take on a character whose main story arc involves being crucified, buried, and risen from the dead? If the Avengers have any hope of defeating Thanos, we better hope so.