Eitri

I hope that by now you’ve all seen that masterpiece that is Avengers: Infinity War. Some characters we believed would have been there are not, and some who we didn’t know were there are, but apart from the members of the Black Order we already met in the trailers, there’s only one new face to speak about: Eitri, the biggest dwarf you’ll ever see in your life. Portrayed by Peter Dinklage, Eitri is the one responsible for crafting ThanosInfinity Gauntlet (a service he payed dearly for…), and who tries to amend by building Thor‘s new hammer, Stormbreaker. In the comics, Eitri has a more dwarfish size, but is indeed an excellent armorer, the best blacksmith in the Nine Realms. Let’s see together.

Eitri was born thousands of years ago, a Dwarf from the realm of Nidavellir and its rightful king. He guided his people in a series of alliances with other realms, always exchanging peace with work, putting his and his brothers’ unmatched craftsmanship at disposal. He and his siblings Brokk and Buri were the most skilled smiths in the Nine Realms, and the king of Asgard, Odin, made good use of them. For him, the Dwarves built Gungnir, an invincible spear, but the meddling of Odin’s son, Loki, cursed it. To make amend for that, they forged another powerful weapon, Mjolnir, a hammer made of indestructible Uru metal, able to come back to its user when thrown; when disposing the mold, Eitri threw it on Midgard, where the impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Centuries after, it was Thor, heir of Odin and wielder of Mjolnir, who asked for Eitri’s help, as Loki had tricked his girlfriend Sif making her lose her golden hair. Eitri worked on gold to make replacement hair, but Loki intervened once again, and due to his magic the new hair became raven black. When Odin visited Eitri again to ask for another war hammer to be given to a worthy alien named Beta Ray Bill, Eitri asked instead of the usual payment that the Alfather sent a female warrior to Nidavellir to defeat Throgg, a rogue Dwarf who had grown giant due to magic. Sif took care of Throgg, and Eitri created Stormbreaker for Beta Ray Bill. He forged yet another hammer, Thunderstrike, to put an end to the fight between Thor and Eric Masterson over Mjolnir.

When he wasn’t forging mystic weapons for gods, Eitri spent his time with his wife Egvanda and his daughter Kindra, but they became the target of Throff the Terrible, a Rock Troll who didn’t like Dwarves and especially their king. As Throff was about to harm his family, a hero from Midgard was teleported to Nidavellir by Loki’s magic, right in the cave where the evil Troll lived. The mortal was Cannonball, and he rescued Egvanda and Kindra nearly losing his life in the process. Grateful, Eitri had the young man brought to his palace, where he had him nurtured back to health. Cannonball and Eitri became good friends, and the Dwarf King later helped him in defeating and saving his friend Magma, who had been possessed by the Dark Elves. As the Dwarf started helping Cannonball and the New Mutants, Loki in person appeared, threatening the king and the entire Nidavellir. Valuing friendship over safety, Eitri laughed at the god’s threats, and used his magic to locate Cannonball’s and Magma’s friends, who had been scattered through the Nine Realms, giving them means to reach them. He also gave Cannonball an enchanted armor and a sword, as well as a hammer designed specifically to disrupt Loki’s magic. Thanks to his help, his new friend and his allies could come back to Midgard, but they were soon brought back to Nidavellir once again. Captured as spies, the New Mutants were freed by Eitri as soon as he recognized his friend Cannonball, but this time the young heroes were up against a much more dangerous foe: Hela, who was moving war on Odin. Hela kidnapped Kindra, and threatening her, she forced Eitri to forge for her an invincible sword. But the pride of a king is not to be taken lightly, and Hela would have experienced the wrath of the Dwarf King soon enough…

Eitri is a proud and brave man, a master in his art and a strong king who values honor and friendship above everything. As the Dwarf King, he is virtually immortal, and much stronger and more durable than a man; he’s the best forger and smith in the Nine Realms, and uses a great amount of ancient magic in his work; he’s also a formidable fighter, a swordsman who shows to be quite proficient in using weapons and not only in making them. One of the most fundamental powers in the Nine Realms, King Eitri is able to turn the tides of a war by providing his work to one side or the other, and all the other kings have learnt in time that his friendship is a privilege to be treasured jealously…

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Corvus Glaive

The last member of the Black Order spotted in the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer is Corvus Glaive, portrayed by a yet unknown actor. He can be seen along with his siblings surrounding Loki, came to renew his alliance to Thanos. From the other trailers we can understand that he’s the one sent to hunt down Vision and to retrieve the Mind Stone from his forehead, apparently succeeding in doing so. If he indeed manages to defeat the android and Scarlet Witch, who’s always with him, he’ll definitely be a force to be reckoned with… just as in the comics. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Corvus Glaive’s past, apart from the fact that he betrayed his own planet and sold his people to Thanos as a tribute, being fascinated by the nihilistic view of the Mad Titan on life and universe. Corvus joined Thanos’ invading forces along with his brother Black Dwarf and with his wife Proxima Midnight, and all three of them became generals in his army, the Cull Obsidian. Corvus, in particular, became Thanos’ favorite for his cruelty and ruthlessness, and his loyalty was rewarded with a unique weapon, a glaive capable of cutting through anything by splitting atoms, a blade that, as long as it remained intact, kept its wielder immortal. Corvus led the Black Order to many successful conquests, winning many planets to his master, gaining the title of Thanos’ right-hand man, entrusted to speak for him. When the turn of Earth came for the Gauntlet, Corvus Glaive was sent along with the other generals to prepare the arrival of Thanos, and he in particular was dispatched along with Supergiant to Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, looking for the Mad Titan’s lost son. While the two were there, they were called back by Ebony Maw to Orollan, as he had located Thane, Thanos’ child. The Black Order gathered in the Inhuman city, just as the Avengers were gathering there as well: as Hulk arrived before the others, Corvus and Proxima proved to be more than a match for him, handling him with relative ease. Then, all the others arrived: during the battle, Captain America deflected some blows from Proxima Midnight’s spear, and some of them hit Corvus instead; this gave Hyperion the opening he needed, and he obliterated Corvus Glaive, apparently killing him. The glaive, however, was still intact, and Proxima Midnight recovered it, just before being frozen in an amber crystal by Thane along with Thanos.

Slowly but steadily, Corvus Glaive started regenerating within the crystal, being visible enough to raise the curiosity of Maximus the Mad who, as part of some secret experiments of his, let some oxygen reach the glaive, thus allowing Corvus to be reformed completely, albeit still prisoner. Freedom came in the form of Namor the Sub-Mariner: after the failure of the Illuminati, Namor wanted to solve the problem of Incursions his own way, by destroying alternate Earths before they collided with his own. For this, he freed Thanos, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, along with Black Swan and Terrax, forming a new Cabal whose sole purpose was to destroy worlds, something each one of them excelled at. After months of slaughter and massacres, Namor tried to betray the Cabal, working with the Illuminati to stop them, but he was betrayed in turn by Black Bolt and Black Panther, and the entire Cabal was left on a dying Earth to die with it. Unable to come back to Earth-616, Corvus and the others escaped through a second Incursion Point, that led them to Earth-1610. Here, the Cabal forged an alliance with the Maker, a deranged alternate version of Reed Richards, and along with him they created a “raft”, that allowed them to survive the final Incursion and thus the end of the Multiverse. Corvus and the Cabal awoke eight years after in Battleworld, a new reality created by Dr. Doom with the remains of the dead dimensions: here, they were soon confronted by the Thor Corps, but they easily defeated them. As Doom was about to spot them, Dr. Strange scattered them through Battleworld, but Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight weren’t lucky, as they found themselves in the dominion of Apocalypse and his Horsemen. Despite their power, they were easily defeated by the ancient mutant, and they were kept in stasis for the rest of the war. As Doom was defeated and the universe reformed, Corvus found himself back on Earth-616, with Thanos apparently dead: the Mad Titan’s dominion was his to conquer, and he came back to the Black Quadrant, where he sat on the Titan’s throne as a new, cruel warlord…

Corvus Glaive is a cruel and ruthless warrior and an intelligent and clever general, a man whose loyalty to Thanos and to his death cult is not exactly unshakable, but who has his ambiguity seen as another plus point by the Mad Titan. He’s a formidable tactician, the greatest general ever seen on Earth according to Proxima Midnight; he’s also a superb fighter, unbeatable with his glaive, gifted with superhuman strength, agility, speed and durability; as long as the glaive’s blade is intact, Corvus is immortal, able to regenerate from any damage, even from total annihilation. An extremely dangerous being, pure evil incarnate, Corvus Glaive is rightfully Thanos’ right-hand general, the only man capable of speaking for the most feared being in the universe… aiming to become just as feared, one day.

Black Dwarf

The second member of the Black Order we see in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer is one that literally stands out in the crowd: as we see Loki approaching Thanos to renew the alliance by giving him the Tesseract (thus the Space Stone), the entire Black Order is around him, and the biggest and bulkiest of them is Cull Obsidian, portrayed by Terry Notary. In the comics, his name is actually Black Dwarf, while Cull Obsidian is an alternate name for the Black Order itself. Apart from the fact that he’s one of Thanos’ adoptive sons, we don’t know much of his role in the movie, but the snippets of a huge battle in Wakanda may be a huge clue, considering his role in the comics. Let’s see together.

The creature known as Black Dwarf was an alien born on an unknown planet, who grew up to be a fierce and fearful warrior, along with his brother Corvus Glaive. Somehow, the two siblings entered in contact with Thanos, an extremely powerful being whose sole aim in life was death, the death of the highest number of sentient beings in the universe, to be offered as a tribute to his everlasting love, Lady Death herself. Black Dwarf entered the Cull Obsidian, the cult of warriors following Thanos (even if among each other they called themselves the Black Order), and even among his peers he was one of the most enthusiast about death and oblivion, a true nihilist who happily embraced the destiny that Thanos was preparing for them all. His blind fundamentalism, as well as his impressive physical might, made him climb the ranks and become a Dreadlord (a general), along with Corvus Glaive. Nobody, even among the other generals, could match Black Dwarf’s might, and he became known across the galaxies as the Black Order’s power house, a wrecking ball that announced the coming of the Mad Titan with death and destruction. When Thanos set his sight on Earth as the next planet he would have razed, Black Dwarf was dispatched to Wakanda, where he would have started the invasion. After a first moment of easy victories, however, Black Dwarf experienced something he had never before: the Wakandans, united under their king Black Panther, fought back, and presented an unexpected resistance to the invaders. For the very first time in his life, Black Dwarf was forced to retreat, and he came back to Thanos defeated and humiliated, the only Dreadlord to experience such a failure. Not only Thanos despised him enough to kick him out of the Black Order, but he also denied him the bliss of death, leaving him alive.

Dishonored and without a purpose, Black Dwarf wandered in solitude and abandonment, until Thanos rewarded him with a second chance: he tasked him with a delicate mission, to protect the newly conquered Peak (an orbital station of S.W.O.R.D.) from being reclaimed by the Avengers. Black Dwarf rushed on site, and met his enemies head-on. He proved to be more than a chance for them, even if the Avengers counted among their ranks powerhouses like Thor and Hyperion, until they were joined by even more powerful allies: the Imperial Guard, led by Oracle, and most of all the Galactic Council, a team that counted extremely powerful beings like Gladiator, the Super Skrull, Annihilus and Ronan the Accuser. Black Dwarf could easily overpower each of them, and for a while he even proved superior to their combined might, but eventually numbers won, and he was slaughtered by Ronan, who executed him on spot. The oblivion of death didn’t last long for Black Dwarf, despite his strong desire to be embraced by it: when a cosmic game involved the Challenger and the Grandmaster, the two chose a number of champions to face each other in their place, and while the Grandmaster chose the Lethal Legion, the Challenger assembled once again the Black Order, resurrecting its deceased members, including Black Dwarf. The two teams were dispatched on Earth, where they would have competed in a Contest to reach and claim two Pyramoids that would have been hid on the battleground planet. The Black Order blew up the Avengers Mansion as soon as they arrived, in a plan by Ebony Maw to grant a distraction to the adversaries during the match. Apparently, the plan worked: as the Lethal Legion was battling the Avengers, Black Dwarf managed to reach the Pyramoid in Rome, Italy. Apparently disintegrated, the behemoth was actually transported into the Grandmaster’s Cosmic Game Room, having won a round. What would have happened next, now, depended entirely on his teammates…

Black Dwarf is a pure nihilist, maybe the only one in the Black Order who truly and completely embraced Thanos’ plan to annihilate sentient life in the universe, himself included. He is the most powerful warrior in the Order, gifted with an immense strength and an impenetrable skin that makes him nearly invulnerable; he’s a master in the use of a variety of weapons, the bigger the better, usually an enormous battle axe. Black Dwarf is a cosmic calamity that brings pain and destruction wherever he goes, and he has on his side an invincible weapon: he doesn’t fear death, quite the opposite, he craves for it…

Ebony Maw

A new, breath-taking trailer for Avengers: Infinity War has been released, and we got our first look at the three remaining members of the Black Order. Let’s start with the one we can see the best: Ebony Maw, who’s also the only one we know the actor of. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor will portray this skinny and malicious servant/adoptive son of Thanos, and judging from the trailer he’ll be the one assigned to recover the Time Stone from Doctor Strange… and it appears he made quite short work of the Sorcerer Supreme. If he’s indeed a sorcerer himself, this will be quite a departure from the comics, where he’s known for being mainly a master planner, albeit his intended target remains the same. Let’s see together.

We don’t know much about Ebony Maw, and also the few things we know about him are most likely lies. Allegedly, he was an alien fascinated by Thanos’ nihilistic view on the universe, who joined him as a humble disciple and proved his loyalty enough to become his first and most trusted lieutenant, but even this was proved to be a lie, as he was the one who eventually orchestrated the Mad Titan‘s fall. Also, he is widely believed to be lacking any super power, having in his limitless and Machiavellian intellect his greatest strength, but even this point has never been truly proven, quite the opposite, his “persuasion through words” skills more often then not seems more akin to mind-control than to sheer rhetoric. Being it one way or the other, it’s true he was one of Thanos’ lieutenant, one of the most feared leaders of the Black Order, much more dangerous than his physically superior teammates. Sent to Earth to investigate the presence of Thanos’ son, an Inhuman, Ebony Maw chose to infiltrate the planet’s secret ruling elite, the Illuminati, and he made so through one of their members. He targeted the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, and talked his way into his psyche until he completely subjected him, enough to force him to summon the lovecraftian old god Shuma-Gorath. As the crisis gathered the Illuminati together, Maw controlled Strange, and gained access to all their secrets. While Thanos gave his ultimatum, Strange started looking for the warlord’s son, and found him in Thane, a young Inhuman who had just underwent Terrigenesis in a forgotten Inhuman village in Greenland. As soon as the boy was found, Maw made the sorcerer forget about all their interactions, and forced him to leave, while he stayed with Thane, witnessing the manifestation of his powers following Black Bolt‘s release of the Terrigen Bomb. Much to Maw’s surprise, Thane possessed the ultimate power: death. As the boy unwillingly annihilated his entire town, Ebony Maw stepped in, presenting himself as a friend.

Watching the boy’s powers up close, Ebony Maw realized that Thane could grow up to be more powerful than Thanos himself, and started conceiving a long-termed plan to be in his future. He offered Thane a containment suit that would have allowed him to control the overflowing energies of a power he couldn’t control, and earned his trust… but in the meanwhile trapped him and alerted Thanos and the rest of the Black Order of his presence. Thanos’ forces gathered in Orollan, and so did the Avengers’ ones, as they clashed in the ultimate battle. While all the others were busy fighting each other, Ebony Maw released Thane from his imprisonment, and presented him two choices: he could escape, hiding as he had always done, or he could become what he had always feared and face his father. Thane chose the latter, and in the following battle, much to Maw’s pleasure, the boy used his right hand’s power to encase Thanos and Proxima Midnight in an amber coffin, in a perpetual state of “living death”. Pleased with the young man’s accomplishments, Ebony Maw hid Thane from the others, and left Earth along with him, offering himself as a mentor for the son of the titan. Thane trusted him, and believed his promises… but then the duo reached the Black Quadrant, a former dominion of Thanos’ that had been conquered by Corvus Glaive, another one of the Mad Titan’s former lieutenants. Glaive had seen through Maw’s machinations, and had enlisted the Covenant to strip Thane of his powers, thus being able to capture him and his “mentor”. During his imprisonment, both Maw and Thane were tortured for the sadistic pleasure of Corvus, but then Ebony Maw did the one thing he did best: he talked his way out of it, managing to barter his own freedom… for Thane. As the young man remained captive, hoping that his “friend” would come up with a plan to save him, Maw was far already, looking for some other way to reach his unfathomable goals…

Ebony Maw is a living enigma: intelligent and cunning beyond measure, he’s always planning something, always devising back-up plans to his back-up plans, in a web of lies, deceits and machinations that sees even the most powerful beings in the universe used as mere pawns. He apparently has no superhuman powers, albeit he disposes of technology that grants him an impenetrable personal force-field and teleportation abilities, but his intellect would be dangerous enough by itself; Maw has a way to talk himself into people’s minds that borders mind-control, and his persuasion skills are enough to bend even the most disciplined minds to his will. The spider at the center of a web of intricate plans, Ebony Maw is the ultimate tactician, who has the entire universe as his personal chessboard.

Hunter (White Wolf)

Black Panther is out in theaters, and there’s one new character… sort of. In the post-credit scene, Bucky Barnes finally wakes up, having been freed by Shuri of Hydra‘s conditioning, and apparently free from his Winter Soldier persona. The kids in the hut call him a name comics reader are quite familiar with: White Wolf, the name of another adopted child of Wakanda, the first and only white man who ever received that privilege. It remains to be seen if in Avengers: Infinity War Bucky will stick to the White Wolf persona or come back to the old one, but in the meanwhile we can take a look at the original guy donning the title, a man known as Hunter (as usual, if I didn’t see someone tell me in the comments!).

The true birthplace and the name of the man called Hunter are lost beyond any possibility of discovery: as a child, he was traveling by plane over Africa, until a sudden storm damaged the aircraft, that crashed. Both the kid’s parents died in the accident, but he miraculously survived. The plane had crash-landed in Wakanda, the most hidden and reclusive country in the world besides Atlantis, and the baby was pretty much the only white human being present on the territory. Moved by pity, King T’Chaka and Queen N’Yami chose to adopt him, being unable to send him back to his world but also needing to protect him from the Wakandan population, strongly xenophobic. Raised in the royal palace as T’Chaka’s son, Hunter grew to love Wakanda, committing himself to its service in any way he possibly could, hoping deep down within himself to inherit the throne despite being an outsider… but then T’Chaka had a natural son, T’Challa, who was clearly the destined heir. Feeling he had been wronged in his succession rights, Hunter developed a deep grudge against his adoptive brother, and the jealousy for him spurred him to prove to the king and to the entire country that he was the most fervent patriot ever, as well as the best Wakandan possible. He harshly trained and studied, becoming expert in all fields of knowledge accessible in the country and also forging himself to be an accomplished warrior and athlete. Doing so, Hunter surely managed to impress King T’Chaka… but the result wasn’t exactly the one he had expected: instead of recognizing his succession rights, T’Chaka appointed his adopted son leader of the Hatut Zeraze.

The Hatut Zeraze, aka the Dogs of War, were the Wakandan secret police, actually a group of spies and assassins that carried out the most delicate and unorthodox missions for Wakanda. Their leader was traditionally known as the White Wolf, and needed to be a patriot whose loyalty was unshakable, and whose determination allowed him to accomplish monstrosities most people would shiver away from… a portrait that pretty much fitted Hunter to perfection. As White Wolf, Hunter led the Hatut Zeraze in killing off the enemies of his country, in quelling rebellions and spying on other states, accomplishing anything his king ordered him to, with all the swiftness, the efficiency and the brutality he was capable of. Things went on pretty much the same way as they had always had, with the White Wolf being the light shadow of the Black Panther, working away from the eyes of a population who would have not understood the necessity of certain questionable actions… until T’Chaka died, and his son T’Challa raised to the throne. Upon learning of all the secrets the Wakandan throne had kept from the public view, T’Challa was made aware of all the atrocities that the White Wolf and his men had committed in the name of Wakanda, and he was ashamed of them. He disbanded the Hatut Zeraze, relieving Hunter from his duties… but his step-brother simply wouldn’t accept it, so he defied his king, along with some fateful subordinates. Forced to take measures, T’Challa exiled the White Wolf and the Hatut Zeraze, and they became mercenaries to make a living, putting their incredible skills to the service of this or that country. Hunter, however, was still loyal to his country, and used the missions he was assigned with to keep protecting it from threats the king would have never even known of. He was the White Wolf, and he would have always been.

Hunter is an intelligent and determined man, a devoted patriot who’d do anything for his country, even serving a king he personally despises like his step-brother. As the White Wolf, he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability, reflexes and senses, enhanced longevity and accelerated healing factor, due to a process similar to the one that creates the Black Panther; his uniform is virtually indestructible, protecting him from bullets and blades, and it also possesses a cloaking device that makes him invisible if he wants to; his boots are equipped with an energy-dampening field that allows him to land on his feet like a cat even after a normally lethal fall, or even to run on water or vertical surfaces given enough momentum. A formidable force for Wakanda, White Wolf believes that ends justify the means, and is ready to commit true atrocities to ensure that no harm comes to his country, annihilating any possible threats before even the royal intelligence knows anything about it.

Proxima Midnight

The second character appearing in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer is barely spotted, but this is the first clear look we get at her since her announcement. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gamora and Nebula mentioned that Thanos had other children, and one is her: Proxima Midnight. In the trailer she’s seen fighting with Black Widow and Captain America, nearly killing the first one but being stopped by the latter. She’ll help her “father” retrieve the Infinity Stones, and she won’t do it pleasantly. In the comics, she surely is a loyal follower of Thanos, but their relationship isn’t exactly a “father and daughter” one, rather the one of a cultist with her leader. Let’s see together.

Proxima Midnight, real name unknown, was born on an unspecified alien world, where she was raised to be one of the universe’s best warriors. She surely became an unbeatable combatant, but she also became quite a nihilist, wanting nothing more than to see the universe burnt to ashes. With this philosophy, she was unavoidably attracted by the figure of Thanos, the Mad Titan who wanted to offer everything in existence as a tribute to his beloved, Lady Death, and she joined his army. Distinguishing herself even among the most lethal aliens in the galaxies, Proxima Midnight was personally chosen by Thanos to join his Black Order, the elite groups of lieutenants he dispatched all around the universe to find worlds to raze. After imposing heavy tributes on planets in exchange of sparing them, the Black Order finally arrived to Earth…a small planet that hid however a great treasure, as a group living on it, the Illuminati, possessed the omnipotent Infinity Gems. The planet was attacked by Proxima’s husband, Corvus Glaive, Thanos’ right-hand man and a prominent member of the Black Order himself, and Proxima was dispatched there soon after. Albeit tasked with attacking Atlantis, Proxima first arrived in New York City, where she made her presence known by spreading destruction upon her wake. She was immediately confronted by the Mighty Avengers, but she made immediately clear that she wasn’t an adversary to be taken lightly. She immediately gave proof of her worth by crippling one of the enemy leaders, Spectrum, and she even pummeled to the ground the other one, Luke Cage…until the hero, encouraged by the gathering crowd, recovered and fought her to a stand still. That was the moment Thanos arrived.

The Mad Titan didn’t hide his disappointment for Proxima’s unauthorized attack, and she was reminded her original mission. Humiliated, she hit Cage one last time before heading to Atlantis. Here, however, she found her supposed enemy, Namor the Sub-Mariner, broken already, defeated in a war with his rival Black Panther. Proxima immediately realized that Namor didn’t own the Infinity Gem anymore, and she questioned him on its whereabouts; not only Namor told her that she could find the Gem in Wakanda, but she also offered her the full support of Atlantis, if she could burn down his hated enemy’s kingdom. Wakanda had been already attacked by another member of the Black Order, Black Dwarf, but he had been soundly defeated. When Proxima brought her intel to Thanos, the Mad Titan himself led her and Corvus Glaive to the African country, locating the Gem in the Necropolis, the sacred Wakandan sanctuary that was also the Illuminati’s secret base. While the Black Order was there, however, the Machiavellian Ebony Maw informed them that he had finally accomplished his mission: he had located Thane, Thanos’ son, in Greenland. Just before leaving Wakanda to retrieve Thane, Proxima learnt of the existence of a new Nova on Earth, and she sent one of her personal minions, Kaldera, to kill him. When she failed, she had her tortured for days in the Midnight Sphere. Finally, Proxima, Corvus and Thanos reached the long-lost Thane…who didn’t want anything to do with his father. As the trio tried to force him to cooperate, the Inhuman used his newfound powers to encase all of them in an unbreakable amber crystal, in a state of living death. Even this, however, wasn’t enough to keep the galaxy’s fiercest warrior at bay…

Proxima Midnight is a fierce and relentless fighter, a woman who lives to serve Thanos and his vision, and who has no restraint whatsoever in killing anyone in her way. She possesses superhuman strength, durability, speed and stamina, and she’s a superb combatant, but her main strength lies in her spear, forged for her by Thanos himself from a sun trapped in a space-time singularity: the spear never misses its target, and changes velocity according to Proxima’s will when thrown; Proxima can also change its density, making it reach the mass of a black hole, a massive weight that can immobilize even the greatest powers in the universe (she even bested Hulk‘s limitless strength with it); the spear is also imbued with a lethal toxin that can kill anyone (even living energy) upon contact. One of the most lethal beings in the universe, Proxima Midnight is a worshiper of Death, who serves her master Thanos with absolute and unflinching loyalty, her faith a force as lethal as the star that gave birth to her weapon…

Peter Benjamin Parker (Iron Spider)

As you may have noticed, a couple of trailers have been released these days, and there’s much to speak about… At the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker declined Tony Stark‘s offer to join the Avengers, as well as a brand new suit of armor the billionaire had built for him…but in Avengers: Infinity War Peter will finally wear it, apparently making the Iron Spider the first line of defense against Thanos and his Black Order (he’s the only one seen fighting the villain directly, in the trailer…and he wasn’t squaring too good, poor thing). In the comics, the Iron Spider is just a temporary identity for Peter, as he soon turns back to his old ways, and it’s later resumed by others. Here, however, we’ll only see the original version.

Life had never been easy for Peter Parker: always on the verge of bankruptcy, barely balancing his private life with his ones as Spider-Man, usually a loner as a superhero, he definitely had his life changed altogether the moment he joined the New Avengers. With a team to support him, he even started to appreciate a never-before-experienced public support, and the advantages of having teammates watching his back. Most of all, Peter found something he had always craved for: his father Richard had died when he was still a boy, and his beloved Uncle Ben soon followed him when he was barely fifteen, and Peter had always been in need for a father figure of sort. He found it in Tony Stark, who became his mentor, and who welcomed him, his wife Mary Jane and his aunt May in the Avengers Tower. Thanks to Stark, Peter’s life underwent the best change ever, and this obviously made the two heroes close. The heroes community was soon split in two by the Superhuman Registration Act, that following Nitro‘s destruction of the town of Stamford and the resulting death of hundreds of civilians, ordered every superhero to become a government-sanctioned agent and had his/her secret identity registered. Peter had obviously some doubts: as Spider-Man, he had always kept his identity a secret, as he thought this protected the people he loved from his enemies’ retaliation. Stark, however, was the public face of the Act, and Peter trusted him; moreover, he truly believed that superheroes needed people’s support to operate at their best, and this could only be achieved if the population was able to trust its heroes. As a sign for all the other street-level superheroes who opposed the Act, Spider-Man appeared in a press conference, and with the support of his family he unmasked himself in front of the entire world, first introducing himself as Peter Parker.

Spider-Man received some unexpected advantages from being one of the main supporters of the Superhuman Registration Act: first of all, he was free to operate everywhere as a federal agent, without cops shooting at him; then, he received a brand new costume from Stark, who had been building it in secret after Peter was killed by Morlun (and later resurrected by the Great Weaver, a spider-god). Being on Stark’s side, however, meant to fight the many heroes who had chosen to oppose the Act and to follow Captain America as outlaws. Among them there were many of Peter’s greatest friends, including the Human Torch. Dubbed the Iron Spider due to his new armor (and to his not too subtle bond with Iron Man), Peter fought against his former allies, and even tried to convince some of them to change sides…until he realized he may have been the one making a mistake. There were many things Stark didn’t tell him: the fact that he had built with Reed Richards a prison for anti-registration heroes in the Negative Zone, for example, or that he had created an uncontrollable clone of Thor, Ragnarok, who eventually killed Bill Foster in battle. All these things left a bad taste in the hero’s mouth, but the final straw came when he realized that Stark had been tracking and controlling him through the new armor. Feeling betrayed, and realizing how wrong he had been, Peter escaped the Avengers Tower with May and MJ, but was soon confronted by Stark, who tried to override his armor. A great student for a great mentor, Peter overrode Stark’s command, and flew. Maria Hill, however, sent the Thunderbolts after him, and even with the Iron Spider armor on Peter wasn’t a match for all those villains. Followed in the sewers by Jester and Jack O’Lantern, he was nearly killed by the villains, but suddenly The Punisher intervened, killing both assailants. The vigilante took a badly beaten Peter to the secret base of the anti-registration heroes, where he was nurtured back to health. It was time Spider-Man came back to his old self, joined the right side, and exposed to the world the horrors he had contributed to create.

Peter Parker is always the old selfless, heroic, maybe naive man who’s always ready to be on the first line to defend the right cause and to protect the people he loves…unfortunately, this time the “right cause” is something nobody’s so sure about. As the Iron Spider, he possesses his usual Spider-Man powers (superhuman strength, durability, agility and reflexes, Spider-Sense, the ability to stick to any surface, regenerative healing factor), the ones granted to to him by the Great Weaver (retractable razor-sharp stingers, night vision, organic webbing), and the ones granted by Stark’s armor, such as three retractable “spider-arms” that can be used as offensive tools or for scouting, as they have cameras implanted in them, a glider, a mask filter that can protect him from any poison or gas, lenses that improve his vision specter, a radar and a sonar, a camouflage device and much more. More powerful than he has ever been, Peter surely has a lot to be grateful for, but he still has to make clarity within himself on what he truly believes to be the right thing to do…