How Does The Shocking Finale Of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Compare To The Comics?

avengers infinity war ending

The end of Avengers: Infinity War caught many audiences, and even comic book fans completely flat-footed. The shocker of an ending, along with the post-credits follow-up, is going to spark argument and debate. But just how faithful was it to the comics? Let’s talk about it below.

Before we go any further, though, there are heavy spoilers for the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, by necessity. So if you haven’t yet seen the movie and want to go in completely cold, now’s the time to take your lovely parting GIF and go:


No, really, we’re about to ruin the ending. Shoo.

Yeah, so anyway, the word “war” in the title was a rather large hint things were about to get bad, and we quickly find out Thanos (Josh Brolin) wants to wipe out exactly fifty percent of the universe. And, at the end, he pulls it off. While, miraculously, all the core Avengers manage to avoid the chopping block (at least until Avengers 4), almost everybody else who wasn’t already bumped off gets the axe.

That is, Winter Soldier, Falcon, every Guardian except Rocket, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Nick Fury all die. Sure, they’re not dead dead, especially since at least two of the fatalities have a sequel to their respective solo franchises coming up in 2020, unless Marvel is making some far bolder moves. But still, until somebody figures out how to change the timestream, which is what Avengers 4 will likely be all about, they’re in the ground.

Believe it or not, though, the comics were a lot bloodier, and the deaths a lot more unceremonious. Captain America had his neck broken with a backhand, Iron Man was beheaded off-screen, Thor was turned to glass and smashed to bits, the Vision was disemboweled (and meets a somewhat similar fate in the movie), Scarlet Witch is murdered with her own powers, Hawkeye and Black Panther just vanish at the beginning of the story, and the Hulk survives, but he gets shrunken down to pocket size. A lot of this is undone, of course, and it’s undone by Nebula, who is upset with Thanos for, uh, keeping her frozen in time on the verge of burning to death because Thanos thought it was art.

By necessity, that’s changed. Brolin’s Thanos is a much more nuanced villain than the Mad Titan of the comics, although there are some subtle shoutouts to the original crossover. Poor Nebula fares no better here than she did on the page. And Thanos does not escape the finale completely unscathed, either. The main question now is what happens in Avengers 4. Like we said, it’s clear that half the universe isn’t going to stay dead. But will the main Avengers have to give up their lives to make it happen? We’ll find out May 3rd of next year.