I know what you're all thinking. "I'm not going to read this, it says "non-Spoilery" in the title, but the other shoe's going to drop and WHAMMO, he's going to hit us with an Infinity War spoiler." Nope. We're not going to do that.
We've done our best to avoid anything that has to do with Infinity War since Marvel moved up the movie at the beginning of the year. We watched the trailers, but didn't read any speculation, stayed away from early reviews and pretty much hid from anything that was posted about Infinity War on Facebook. Which is not normal for us. We mostly don't mind all of that, because someone typing something on the internet and experiencing it in real life, at least to us, doesn't have the same emotional impact.
In the last week, as we were watching some videos on YouTube, some asshat decided to post an Infinity War trailer with a MASSIVE SPOILER right in the title. Who does that? Who in their right mind would do such a thing something as stupid as to try and ruin a film before it's even released? Of course, one of us saw that title and, even though it didn't ruin the movie (not by a far shot), it did lessen the impact of the scene.
But, that's not what this article is about. And, yes, NO SPOILERS.
This article is about Thanos, or more to the point Josh Brolin as Thanos. Up until Infinity War, we've only had but a small taste of the character. Nothing more than brief scenes of him interacting with a few characters, but those brief scenes show that Marvel has been listening to the fans. He never monologued, he didn't get all "villain crazy" and go around killing his minions to prove that he's a bad guy. In fact, he was more like Hans Gruber in Die Hard if anything, calm and collected (well, Hans was, until near the end of the movie).
Marvel also made sure to use Brolin's voice as the voice of Thanos. Considering that most of Hollywood believe that bad guys have a deep gravelly voice, like Darkseid from Challenge of the Superheroes, the 80's cartoon about the Justice League. It's been done to death and it's not even a good voice. It's basically giving the villain laryngitis and tonsillitis at the same time. What I'm saying, is that it's awful.
Then you have characters in movies like Steppenwolf, Apocalypse (or Ivan Ooze as we like to call him), basically any of the Sony Spider-Man villains (Homecoming is Marvel, distributed by Sony) and the most recent, Venom. All of these characters seem to share one major thing in common, bad movie tropes. They all are bad characters. Major villains in movies that have stupid motivations, have been scripted badly, and are uninteresting at best.
Hell, Fox screwed up Apocalypse from the getgo. Who is Apocalypse? Well, he's one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe next to Thanos. Yet, Fox (and Bryan Singer), managed to make him nothing more than a worthless henchman. His entrance was weak, his character was awful, the writers knew nothing about how to handle him in the movie, and it was a complete waste.
The same for Steppenwolf in Justice League. He was nothing more than a dumb henchman. He stood for nothing, he accomplished nothing. He was worthless. The whole set up of the movie was that Steppenwolf kicks the entire Justice League's ass, until Superman shows up and the rest of the Justice League kneels before Kal-El and then watches as Superman proceeds to kick all the bad guys asses. Garbage. All these superheroes and not one of them can do anything against this bad guy, but whoa, Supes shows up and then the day is saved. Awful.
The difference between what Marvel has done with their characters and villains, as opposed to the others is this. They set up a big waiting game. They made sure that, even with the films that weren't that good, like Iron Man 3 and a few others, they pushed the story forward. They made sure that their villains weren't mockeries of their comic counterparts and they sure as hell didn't base any of their movies on a complete reboot of their comic universe. Instead, they pulled from their deep history of comics and characters and gave the fans something that they've always wanted. They also did some unexpected things, like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man and still made damn sure that the characters of the films were genuine and good and interesting.
How is it, that Vision, Black Widow, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos, and a few other B list comic characters are household names, yet Batman, Superman, and Aquaman have almost become jokes? Excluding Wonder Woman, because that movie was fantastic and even the character in the BvS and Justice League movies was great.
If you haven't seen Infinity War yet, do yourself a favor and go. This is how you do an "event" movie. This is how you put together different teams in a big "crossover" style comic book movie. Topping it off with a well-written villain.
Just one more thing.
Marvel introduced some new characters in this movie that are just amazing. Enough can't be said about how Marvel "gets it".