The Russo brothers deliver one of the most heartfelt, character-defining, and one of the strongest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Avengers: Infinity War is not the end of anything. Not the end of a phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not the end of Iron Man or Spider-Man or humans. Not the end of the Thanos saga that began 13 films earlier, nor the end of the Infinity Gauntlet–abetted chokehold that Marvel has wrapped around the throats of the moviegoing public for more than 10 years.
Throughout Marvel Studios’ 10-year cinematic history, we’ve seen the world saved multiple times, from threats ranging from a chunk of Earth poised to crash down and wipe us out like the dinosaurs in Avengers: Age of Ultron to the unkillable goddess of death in Thor: Ragnarok. Now Thanos is here, and death is coming with him.
Infinity War was asked to juggle the massive expectations of its audience as well as the need for each of its franchise leading characters to be served appropriately. And, though some of the Russo Brothers’ now trademarked story-centered action, a premise that demanded attention and stakes, and a strong effort to invest in the arc of the villain, this full stop on the first 10 years of the MCU has managed to do just that. Infinity War is more than a superhero movie, it was a defining moment in modern cinema.
Every character gets time to shine in Avengers: Infinity War, from Black Panther to Spider-Man, and from Scarlet Witch to Doctor Strange. But no hero comes close to the god of thunder. With a new eye, courtesy of Rocket Raccoon’s never-ending need to part others from their artificial prosthetics, a new battle-ax that can summon lightning and the Bifrost itself, and new allies, Thor makes an epic entrance on the battlefield of Wakanda.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — accompanied by Groot and Rocket — travels to Nidavellir, where a new weapon is forged for him: an ax called Stormbreaker. The weapon comes courtesy of Eitri (Peter Dinklage), and it allows him to return to Earth just in time to help his friends in a battle in Wakanda.
Although the name lacks the Nordic ring of Thor’s previous hammer, “Stormbreaker” nonetheless is likely to have a familiar ring for comic book fans, because it’s the alternate hammer forged on Odin’s orders in 1984’s Thor No. 339, the third issue of the beloved run of issues by writer/artist Walter Simonson.
The hammer Stormbreaker is very similar to Mjolnir, made of mystic Uru metal, and is nearly indestructible. In the comics, Stormbreaker was made to Beta Ray Bill. It came into creation following the fight between Thor and Beta Ray Bill at Skartheim. After the battle, Bill began to feel guilt over his victory, now feeling that Mjolnir was Thor’s by right. In a compromise, as Bill fairly won the battle, Odin had the Dwarves of Nidavellir create a new hammer made for the cyborg Korbonite warrior, crafted from the same Uru metal as Mjolnir.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the film features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt.