Avengers: Infinity War treated movie goers to the biggest superhero epic of all time, and it was packed with references and easter eggs that make all the diehard Marvel Comics fans swoon. But they also made some significant changes in bringing a classic comic book crossover to the big screen.
Regular readers of recent Avengers comics are likely to recognize the movie's villains, referred to as the Black Order. These are the "children of Thanos," who aid the Mad Titan in his quest to obtain the Infinity Stones across the galaxy. But they underwent some major revisions in their journey from page to screens, including being depowered in some instances.
"The Black Order, in particular, we worked hard to adjust them to the Marvel Cinematic Universe," explained co-director Joe Russo. "In the [Jonathan] Hickman run, I thought the characters were too powerful. And nobody wants the sub-villain to outshine the villain. And we adjusted their power sets so that they lined up in a way that was more interesting with our heroes. Which is why Maw's a 'wizard.'"
Russo addressed the change in a commentary track for Avengers: Infinity War, in which he detailed the reasons with co-writer Stephen McFeely.
"I think we decided he's a techno mage," McFeely said. "So he can move and control things at a molecular level."
In the comic books, Ebony Maw is vastly more powerful, possessing an ability that basically allows him to brainwash his victims. But even then, that's almost a last resort of the character, who has a silver tongue and is easily able to manipulate his targets to the point where they practically agree to do his bidding.
Corvus Glaive was also the main lieutenant of Thanos for the Infinity crossover event, of which Avengers: Infinity War is loosely based on. Glaive has less of a prominent role in the movie, and it seems like his relationship with Proxima Midnight is glossed over.
"There were earlier drafts of the script with the Black Order, in a more stylized draft where we did backstories for each of them," said Russo. "Ultimately the movie was getting too crowded, too hard to follow. In the books, there's a backstory between Proxima and Corvus, that they're married. Only hinted at in the slightest way here by the fact that they are paired up to retrieve a Stone and the way that she responds when Corvus gets stabbed by Natasha."
The character Black Dwarf is also renamed to Cull Obsidian in the film, likely due to increased sensitivity around terms that could be perceived as insulting. And while Supergiant plays a role in the comics, she is nowhere to be seen in the film, and it seems unlikely that they'll make her part of the untitled Avengers sequel.
All in all, some of these changes made for a better movie, as Avengers: Infinity War slams its foot on the gas pedal from the opening frame and doesn't let loose until the post-credit scene ends.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital platforms, and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14th.