On Friday, Marvel Studios finally released the final trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. One of the big moments from the trailer that really stuck with fans is Captain America, alone, standing toe-to-toe with Thanos.
But how did this showdown go down in the comics?
Like much of the inspiration for Avengers: Infinity War, this moment comes from the Infinity Gauntlet event series published by Marvel Comics in 1991. In this series, Thanos has finally assembled all six Infinity Stones (then called Infinity Gems) into the Infinity Gauntlet and, in an attempt to impress Mistress Death, wiped out half of all life in the universe with the snap of his fingers.
The remaining Marvel Universe heroes were gathered by the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock to oppose Thanos. The heroes united to attack Thanos as a single force at the shrine Thanos built to Mistress Death in outer space. Thanos easily wiped out the heroes, and Captain America was the last hero left standing Here’s the page from Infinity Gauntlet #4:
In the face of death, Captain America delivers a powerful speech:
“As long as one man stands against you, Thanos, you’ll never be able to claim victory...I’ve lived my life by those sentiments...They’re well worth dying for.”
This moment serves as a powerful thematic moment for Infinity Gauntlet. Captain America represents the singular, irrational, individual’s will to live in the face of what seems like the expansive, unavoidable, existential certainty of death.7comments
The moment is also key to Adam Warlock’s plan. While most of the heroes threw themselves into the initial charge against Thanos, Warlock held the Silver Surfer in reserve. Surfer remains until the perfect moment to snatch the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanos’ hand presents itself. Surfer takes his shot and fails, but that moment marks the turning of the tide for Thanos as even his allies begin to turn against him.
Avengers: Infinity War on April 27th. Black Panther is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.