Avengers: Infinity War

 

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Thanos and his lieutenants – Cull Obsidian (Notary, playing a character known as “Black Dwarf” in the Comics), Ebony Maw (Vaughan-Lawlor), Proxima Midnight (Coon) and Corvus Glaive (Shaw) – begin Infinity War by intercepting the Spaceship carrying refugees from the destruction of Asgard at the end of Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Thanos subdues Thor and hurls Hulk (Ruffalo) across space before murdering a sneakily recalcitrant Loki, thereby successfully making off with the Space Stone that was the Power Source for the Tesseract that fuelled the Invasion plot at the heart of The Avengers (2012). This forms one of the six infinity stones that Thanos requires for full mastery over the governing principles of the Marvel Multiverse. Ebony Maw captures Strange (who is using the Time Stone as a focus for his own Superpowers) during a confrontation at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York (see Doctor Strange (2016) for more on the sanctums and the Cities to which they are connected) and is pursued by Iron Man (Downey Jr) and Spider-Man (Holland), who stow away aboard Maw’s vessel at it leaves earth. A bout of fisticuffs in Edinburgh sees Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive ambush amorous runaways Scarlet Witch (Olsen) and Vision (Bettany) in pursuit of the Mind Stone inserted into Vision’s forehead during Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): World War Two veteran Captain America (Evans), along with loyal members of his faction of Avengers (see Captain America: Civil War (2016) for more on the cause of this schism) rescues Scarlet Witch and Vision and suggests they all travel to Wakanda (for which see Black Panther (2018)) in hope that Wakandan Scientist Shuri (Wright) has the Technology to remove the stone from Vision without destroying him in the process:-

Avengers: Infinity War entry

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Black Panther

The best Villains make sense of the paradigms they oppose; that the major antagonist of Black Panther, now grown up to become US military intelligence operative Erik “Killmonger” Stevens after being abandoned by the custodians of his Wakandan heritage as a boy, expresses everything that has gone wrong with the world and, simultaneously, everything that might go right with it in the Near Future, gives him a moral force far beyond that of any of the AliensAIs or Gods and Demons that have previously served as signifiers of large-scale Disaster in the Shared Worlds of the MCU. That he is also the agency of the Conceptual Breakthrough that persuades the Pocket Universe of Wakanda to re-territorialize as a member of the United Nations recasts the Lost World trope as one of cultural elision and false consciousness. N’Jadaka speaks the truth about Race in SF that large parts of the SF Megatext has had trouble accepting:-

 

Black Panther entry

 

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The Last Jedi

“Your parents threw you away like garbage and you can’t stop needing them,” Kylo Ren tells Rey, a prodigal son resenting his own oedipal impulses and able, as such, to perceive a similar Psychology at work in his counterpart. “I thought I’d find answers here,” Rey says of the cave she has entered on the remote island of Ahch-To, recalling the shamanic journey of her teacher Luke Skywalker on the swamp planet of Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. She has activated her most heartfelt desire to ask the smoking mirror therein for a vision of her parents – as, indeed, did Harry Potter of the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) – but instead of a buried family Memory or message of loving reassurance Rey receives a vision of herself, recurring without end in the darkness. “I was wrong,” she tells Ren: “I’ve never felt so alone.” “You’re not alone,” he replies. “Neither are you,” she says:-

 

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi entry