Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, but the worst ones are really good at delegating. That's the philosophy behind Corvus Glaive, the general leading Thanos’ armies in their latest world-conquering endeavor. In Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, Corvus and his Black Order set their sights on Earth in search of the Infinity Stones, all-power gems capable of warping the very fabric of space and time. The Black Order are a nasty bunch, made all the more dangerous by the masochistic master strategist at the helm. So, who is Corvus Glaive?
Little is known about the big-screen interpretation of Corvus Glaive other than the character appears to be voiced by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. However, there is plenty of information about Thanos’ second-in-command to be found in the source material. Corvus Glaive was introduced in 2013 in Marvel Comics' Infinity crossover. Despite the name, the arc has little to do with the Infinity Gems (the comic book version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Stones). In Infinity, Thanos heads to Earth in search of the last surviving gem, but instead finds the world holds something much more precious to him -- his bastard son, Thane. Thanos being Thanos, he wants nothing more than to murder his son.
The Mad Titan dispatches his Black Order in search of Thane and the gem, ordering each member to investigate key points of interest on Earth. This is one of Corvus Glaive’s primary purposes, to act as Thanos’ herald and collect a twisted “tribute” from worlds razed by the Mad Titan. That so-called tribute is the head of any person between the ages 16 and 22, which is actually a gruesome ruse to smoke Thane out from hiding. Corvus delivers this ultimatum to Black Bolt, the Inhuman king of Attilan, which does not end well for anyone.
Created by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Jim Cheung, Corvus Glaive is most effective when he is not on the battlefield, preferring to maintain command from a safe distance and study his prey (he researched the entire history of human warfare before attacking Earth). There are some notable exceptions, and Corvus should not be underestimated on the battlefield. Early in the Infinity arc, Corvus and another member of the Black Order, Supergiant, attack the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in search of Thane. Much later, when Thane is discovered among a lost Inhuman tribe, Corvus again goes toe to toe with the heroes of Earth. Corvus and Proxima Midnight's fight with the Avengers is a scene that we know is partially recreated in Infinity War.
The Avengers kill Corvus, but, in typical supervillain fashion, he is down but not out. Corvus Glaive might not have any truly notable superpowers beyond durability and super-strength, but his weapon, an enormous glaive, certainly does. Corvus is nigh-invincible when he is holding his glaive. He can even be resurrected if his glaive remains intact, as he did after the conclusion of the Infinity arc. But that is not where the power of Corvus’ glaive ends. The weapon can cut through just about anything -- the skin of the Hulk, for example.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 27.