Avengers: Infinity War will open up a lot of brand new doors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including introducing some brand new characters to fans. One of the most highly-anticipated debuts for the film is none other than The Black Order, Thanos' group of deadly and fearsome lieutenants.
Thanks to some new Avengers: Infinity War promo art, we're getting our best look yet at The Black Order. Take a look at the artwork below, and we'll get into who each of the characters are.
Here is the new Avengers: Infinity War promo art featuring the members of The Black Order (via Twitter). Check out the character names below, starting at the upper-left and moving clockwise:
- Ebony Maw
- Cull Obsidian
- Corvus Glaive
- Proxima Midnight
Scroll below for additional info on each member of The Black Order
The Black Order first appeared on the scene in the 2013 "Infinity" storyline, which is a major basis for this Infinity War movie. In the comics, The Black Order launches a surprise attack on Earth while the Avengers are off planet, in order to conquer the planet and obtain a very special prize that Thanos is searching for: His bastard son, Thane, who was born to an Inhuman woman and has been living in Inhuman society on Earth, totally unaware of his parentage.
By the end of "Infinity" the Avengers rally and confront Thanos and The Black Order - but not before they've done some real damage to Earth and its forces, including the kingdom of Wakanda, the Kingdom of Atlantis, and the mind of Doctor Strange, which is all but broken by Ebony Maw. The group had a fifth member in the comics that we won't see in the MCU: a female psychic named Supergiant, who could manipulate minds and read thoughts.
After their defeat on Earth, a second Black Order surfaced under Corvus Glaive's leadership, at a time when Thanos was out of the picture. Black Order II was basically a galactic crime syndicate that conquered several planets, before Thanos returned and snatched his mantle of leadership back from Corvus - with fatal results. A third iteration of the group (featuring Proxima Midnight and Black Swan) was formed by Thanos and Hela to obtain Thor's Mjolnir form the Ultimate universe. After that team fell, the original Black Order was resurrected by The Challenger to fight a version of the Lethal Legion in a match against the Grandmaster.
In the MCU, The Black Order's goals are much less complicated:
This devilish-looking alien is the most enigmatic of the Black Order, with his powers not specifically defined, though he exhibits the power to travel through shadows, and manipulate and/or enslave thoughts, bending even the most powerful wills and minds (like Doctor Strange) into being agents of his will. Even Thanos is constantly annoyed by Maw's independent way of pursuing the goal, the Mad Titan is usually even more impressed with the results Ebony Maw is able to get. And in Avengers: Infinity War, that mission appears to be securing Doctor Strange's Time Stone.
This Hulk-like figure is named "Black Dwarf" in the comics, but has had his name changed to "Cull Obsidian" in the MCU. Ironically, "Cull Obsidian" is the other name that is traditionally attributed to the Black Order in the comics, making this a fun MCU Easter egg name. Like Hulk, Cull Obsidian is super-strong and has unbreakable skin - like Hulk's buddy Thor, Cull is traditionally armed with a giant mace-hammer weapon. As far as brute enforcers go, Cull Obsidian is one of the most fierce in the universe - he also happens to be the brother Thanos' most feared general, Corvus Glaive. In Infinity War, Obsidian will fight with Ebony Maw in the attack on Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
Thanos' top general is one of the most fearsome figures in the universe, often sent into kingdoms to single-handedly bend them to Thanos' will - often via barbaric tributes, that have included the heads of children. Glaive is armed with a powerful bladed pike that can slice through any substance, and makes Corvus Glaive immortal so long as he's holding it. In Avengers: Infinity War Glaive and his wife Proxima Midnight will be on the trail of Captain America and his team, trying to tear the Mind Stone free of Vision's head.
Corvus Glaive's wife is the most fierce warrior in Thanos' ranks, with all the power of a super-soldier like Captain America - and then some. However, the big threat with Proxima is her lance, whose blades are forged from a star. The light beams of that lance now only slice through just about any known substance, they can also track a target in any direction, with fatal accuracy.
The storyline line of Avengers: Infinity War will be an explosive introduction of The Black Order in the MCU. The first thing that the fearsome foursome will do is ambush the ship of surviving Asgardians and lay waste to them - an act that's expected to culminate with The Black Order slaughtering Tom Hiddleston's Loki, as Thanos forces Chris Hemsworth's Thor to watch the deed.
After that, we expect most of Infinity War to involve the two-pronged attack by the Black Order. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian presumably come to NYC in that big circular spaceship, in order to attack the Sanctum Sanctorum and obtain the Time Stone from its protector, Doctor Strange. After encountering the resistance of Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Wong, the spaceship will retreat with the heroes in tow, with Doctor Strange falling into Ebony Maw's mind-bending clutches. How long the Doctor can hold out before surrendering the Time Stone is the real question.
Meanwhile, Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight will head to Europe, where Captain America's team is hiding out in between their "Secret Avengers" missions. After The Vision is nearly taken out by the first surprise attack by Glaive and Midnight (with Cap saving the day), the Secret Avengers team will take up refuge in Wakanda under Black Panther's protection. However, plot leaks suggest that at least Proxima Midnight will make an initial attack on Wakanda, which will lead to the full-on invasion of The Outriders on Wakanda's lands, and the big "Battle of Wakanda" sequence that will be Infinity War's third act.
The final question is whether or not these members of The Black Order will be bigger figures in the future of the MCU (most of them lasted longer than one storyine of the comics), or if they will continue the tradition of Marvel Comics villains being wasted in one-off MCU appearances.
How excited are you to see The Black Order onscreen? Let us know in the comments!
Black Panther is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Avengers: Infinity War on April 27; Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 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.