Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos succeed in accomplishing his mission. He destroyed half the population of the universe with a snap of his fingers.
But it came at a cost. Not only did he have to sacrifice his daughter (the one person he loved) to get the Soul Stone, but the snap itself left the Infinity Gauntlet warped and damaged. And Thanos’ left arm was also badly scarred.
With the digital release of Avengers: Infinity War came a detailed account of the consequences of “the snap” in the director’s commentary.
Director Joe Russo said of the damage, “See there, with his Gauntlet and the arm, the power that it takes to use all six stones is significant, and clearly damaged the Gauntlet and damaged Thanos permanently.”
He goes on to say, “In the comics, the Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Gems and its user are all-powerful, but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe things are a bit different.”
Avengers: Infinity War saw Eitri the dwarf (in the star-powered forge at Nidavellir) create the Gauntlet to house the stones for Thanos. It was also revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy that ordinary people can’t touch a single Infinity Stone without being vaporised, let alone all six of them. Yet, not even the Infinity Gauntlet could withstand the power of all six stones being unleashed at once without sustaining some damage.
This detail is significant, because using the Infinity Gauntlet is one of few ways that the results of the snap can be undone.
Here’s why… The Gauntlet contains the Time Stone, which can be used to turn back time and the Reality Stone, which can be used to transform reality in the universe. But if the Gauntlet was severely damaged by the snap, it’s possible that it can no longer be effectively used to channel the power of the stones.
In the comics (minor spoiler coming up)…
Nebula uses the Infinity Gauntlet to restore the universe to the way things were 24 hours ago, undoing the snap and brining back all the people who turned to dust.
In Avengers 4, things probably won’t be so easy. Set photos have shown the actors recreating the Battle of New York from The Avengers, indicating that the remaining heroes will need to go considerably further back in time in order to set things right.
As for Thanos himself – he was last seen looking rather content in a countryside home. Hopefully the Avengers can undo all the damage he caused in the next movie.
Avengers: Infinity War is available now on Digital HD. The movie will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14 with a host of special features, including behind-the-scenes details and clarifications.