WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Avengers: Infinity War brought the full fury of Thanos to bear Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Although his plans eventually worked out how he envisioned, he still needed the help of a team of villains to scour the Earth looking for the Time Stone and the Mind Stone before he could fully assemble his much-vaunted Infinity Gauntlet. This team, the Black Order, are taken straight from the comics, though the movie depicts them as Thanos’ adopted children rather than simple subservient minions. But whilst they are incredibly powerful on the comic page, their roles within the film were, frankly, extremely disappointing.
There’s only one character out of the four members that has any depth to them at all: Ebony Maw. Tony Stark might refer to Maw as Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants, but the villain is no joke. After all, he actually manages to kidnap Doctor Strange and torture him in an attempt to get the Time Stone. Thanks to that intense "Shhh" scene that was used to introduce him in the trailer, we all expected a terrifying aspect to Maw. His power is his mind, not his strength, and that’s what makes him so frightening. So why did Marvel's heroes dispatch him so easily? He had so much potential for the future; his connection with Doctor Strange could have been played with in future story points, but instead he was killed off, blasted into space for the sake of a throwaway Aliens joke from Spider-Man and Iron Man.
Disappointment in Maw's fate aside, Black Dwarf (or Cull Obsidian as he’s known in Infinity War) is actually the most disposable member of the Black Order. With next to no dialogue aside from the occasional grunt, Black Dwarf is essentially a large, resilient punching bag that occasionally hits back. Yes, his retractable hammer makes for a deadly weapon, but there’s nothing about the character that captures the audience’s imagination. His introduction in New York was more annoying than anything, especially since Ebony Maw was also present, immediately diminishing him to being just another hulking CGI figure for the heroes to eventually overwhelm.
His death isn’t exactly spectacular, either; he’s basically just dragged along the Wakandan force-field until he explodes like so many faceless minions in movies before this. A truly powerful character like Black Dwarf should intimidate audiences through his raw power. Even a semi comic-accurate death would have redeemed him; a massive hammer to the the head. In the comics, it was Ronan the Accuser who killed him. While Ronan isn't to be found in Infinity War, there was certainly another character wielding a massive hammer/axe who could have brought the character's big personal finale to life.