By Jana Julian | Staff Writer

After 18 installments, Marvel brings its cinematic universes together to showcase one of the best crossover movies ever seen, with 25+ recognizable heroes and supporting characters. “Infinity War” is one of the most anticipated films of the year with a fan-base that goes back to the original Stan Lee comic books and newer fans who were drawn in through action-packed trailers. “Infinity War” kept the audience on edge with intense battle scenes happening all over the universe, emotional reunions and a villain with a noble but destructive cause.

Fans stopped to take selfies in front of this poster cutout at Ward theater. (Photo by Jana Julian)

From the first “Ironman” in 2008 to the most recent “Black Panther” there is a rich history that leads up to “Infinity War,” and it is imperative to know that history to fully experience the amazingness that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Having been a Marvel fan since childhood, I’d have to say that those moments in the MCU films when a scene connects back to an event from an earlier movie or the comic books makes you feel more connected to the characters and the storyline.

As the Avengers work with the Guardians of the Galaxy and other MCU heroes such as Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) to keep the Infinity Stones from Thanos, the issue of morality arises, blurring the lines between good and evil.  Marvel films are known for bringing up questions of morality because nothing in the Marvel Universe is black and white which is a favorite aspect of mine because, in this universe aliens, deities and supernatural being co-exist. There have also been many times when a conflict has risen between heroes due to differing beliefs on what is right.

While watching “Infinity War,” I began to empathize with Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) and his reason for pursuing the Infinity Stones. He seems to live by an absolute moral compass which allows him to only see “right” with no variations and it becomes apparent that he will pursue his vision at any cost. As the film goes more in-depth into his storyline, it showed that despite what it seemed, everything Thanos is doing is not self-serving but, from his view, for the survival of the universe.

A significant theme throughout “Infinity War” is the idea of self-sacrifice. A number of the characters found themselves in situations where sacrificing themselves could mean saving the universe, and most were willing to do so but, the MCU had other plans. Finding relief in some moments that’ll have you clenching to your seat,  the film still managed to shock the audience with unexpected deaths of some fan favorites.

“Infinity War” is action-packed, thought-provoking definitely and occasionally comedic, a trend in recent MCU films. It is a must-see, having lived up to the hype and will have fans excited about upcoming movies. Make sure to stay for the one extra credit scene at the end of the movie. Next, we can expect “Ant-Man and the Wasp” starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, respectively, July 6, 2018.