Hello! With Avengers: Infinity War putting the Black Order onscreen, I thought I could help with a bit of an introduction on these characters. They’re very recent additions in the comics, introduced in Jonathan Hickman’s 2013 Infinity crossover event. They are the generals of Thanos, in the film seemingly fellow “children” of Thanos (like Gamora and Nebula). They’re quite powerful, and quite as mad as their Titan leader.
Corvus Glaive, the leader and Herald of Thanos. Proxima Midnight, his wife. Black Dwarf, the bruiser. Ebony Maw, the talker. And Supergiant, the omnipath. So here’s some info about them from Infinity.
On the one hand, I’m sad that they’re only adapting 4 of the characters – but the 5th, Supergiant, has incredible mental powers and the MCU is simply not prepared for that. In the comics, most of the telepaths are mutants. Just look at how devastating Kilgrave was. Also, they changed Black Dwarf’s name to Cull Obsidian (in the comics, another name for the Black Order). They’re named for stars, but it’s fine.
When the Black Order first arrive on Earth, they split up. Most of the Avengers are off in space fighting a war on a second front (sounds familiar…), so the Black Order hits where there are heroes left – the X-Men, attacked by Corvus Glaive and Supergiant, Atlantis & Namor attacked by Proxima Midnight, Wakanda attacked by Black Dwarf, and Doctor Strange taken over by Ebony Maw.
We see, in the trailers, two of these four playing out: Black Dwarf (Cull Obsidian) is easily visible attacking in Wakanda (he’s huge), and Ebony Maw definitely brings Doctor Strange low. Let’s take another look at both.
Here’s from a later fight… it takes a lot to bring Black Dwarf down. Granted, Black Panther and Shuri are able to beat him, but he’s a tough one. But he’s also just a simple bruiser. He is the one hardest pressed to get Thanos’ respect. This may all play out pretty similarly.
This is not from the core Infinity comics, but from New Avengers… Ebony Maw is the most frightening of them. Unlike Black Dwarf, who is all punches, Ebony Maw doesn’t throw a single punch. He’s ideas. Words. Lies. Secrets. Thanos puts up with him – because he gets results. Looks like this will play out similarly as well!
Corvus Glaive meanwhile we have seen very little of – but in the comics, he’s the one we see the most of. Thanos’ right-hand man. His Herald.
He has supreme confidence, and speaks from a place of supreme power – not his own, but his master’s. There’s more to it than that, though. So let’s look at he and Proxima Midnight together – both with their super-powerful weapons. Very comic book. We’ll see to what extent either of these weapons get translated into the film – might be a good idea for them to be downplayed.
Okay… Glaive that cuts atoms, check. Spear that holds within it the power and density of a star, check. The latter in particular sounds quite a bit like Mjolnir. However, we also see it thrown in a trailer – and Captain America catches it. So maybe it’s just a spear in the movie.
Oh, and reverting Hulk to Banner… huh. Who knows!
But there’s one more power in Corvus’… glaive… and that is that, as long as it is still whole, he regrows from it. So later in the comics, he’s back, because Proxima grabbed it up and brought it along here. Will we see anything like that in the film? There’s not a whole lot of time for him to die and come back. Maybe between this film and the next?
Alright, that has been a bit of an introduction to these characters. Powerful, effective, but all still fairly new and only so much to them – Infinity War is going to add quite a bit to their characterization. But it looks like it will also be borrowing from some of their establishing elements from early on here. I’ll be interested to see their similarities and differences!
Oh, and one more image, just for fun. Hope you enjoy Infinity War! And remember, #ThanosDemandsYourSilence!