After a decade of build-up, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally come together in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Joe and Anthony Russo’s film will see the Avengers, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy team up to battle an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos and his children, the Black Order. Between all those heroes and villains, the film could reportedly feature over 60 named characters. Over the course of the film’s extra-long running time, that massive assortment of heroes and villains will sport a variety of new, familiar and surprising looks.
Now, CBR is taking a look at the best and worst of Avengers: Infinity War‘s costumes and character designs. Even though the movie still won’t be out for a few months, we already have a decent idea of what most of the major players will look like. In this list, we’ll be pulling examples of these characters’ looks from trailers, public events, promotional materials and Avengers: Infinity War action figures and collectibles. While additional details about these characters are being released at a rapid pace in the run-up to the movie’s simultaneous global premiere, we’ll be giving our first impressions of these designs based on everything we’ve seen as of this writing.
SPOILER WARNING: This list contains minor spoilers and speculation about Avengers: Infinity War, which is set to be released on April 27, 2018.
15. LAME: THANOS
Thanos should be one of the most terrifying forces in the Marvel Universe. In comics, the Mad Titan has built up his fearsome reputation in classic tales like The Infinity Gauntlet since he was created by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich in 1972’s Iron Man #55. On screen, Thanos has mainly been a behind-the-scenes player up in the pre-Infinity War MCU.
In his previous cinematic cameos, Josh Brolin’s Thanos wore a version of his trademark gold helmet and chest piece. So far, Infinity War previews have only shown Thanos wearing a relatively simple blue-and-gold bodysuit with no helmet. While it could be a subtle nod to the villain’s first comics costume, the helmet-free look didn’t exactly inspire fear when it debuted. Although this design has been heavily used in promotional materials, Thanos will also wear his more traditional armor, so he will have a more complete look at some point.
14. AMAZING: THOR
By the end of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, Thor was in a new place, figuratively and literally. Instead of being Asgard’s favorite son, the God of Thunder was the leader of a rag-tag group of Asgardian refugees and cosmic misfits on a spaceship. Along with his new status and short hair, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor took on a sleek new look for Avengers: Infinity War that he showed off in a Ragnarok post-credits scene.
Heavily influenced by Bryan Hitch’s design for Ultimate Thor, this high-collared costume features around six chest medallions surrounded by panels of black, modern material. In Ragnarok and the promotional material for Infinity War, this Thor costume doesn’t have sleeves or his red cape. However, Hot Toys’ Thor figure shows Thor with a cape and dark armor on his arms, which works as a smart synthesis of Thor’s new look with some refined touches of classic Asgardian design.
13. LAME: BLACK WIDOW
Even though Black Widow is one of the most famous superheroes in the world, she doesn’t really have a traditional superhero costume. After wearing a fishnet-based outfit for a while, Natasha Romanoff donned a simple black bodysuit in Stan Lee and John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man #86. Complimented by her bright red hair, this sleek look has influenced almost all of Widow’s costumes.
While Scarlett Johansson’s Widow has worn some variations of that classic look, she’ll have blond hair and a dark forest green tactical vest over a dark bodysuit in Avengers: Infinity War. Although the second Black Widow, Yelena Belova, was blond and occasionally wore a green outfit, Romanoff hasn’t worn green since her earliest appearances. Since Widow will be on the run in part of Infinity War, it makes sense for her to change her appearance. But out of context, this otherwise fine design just doesn’t look like Black Widow.
12. AMAZING: PROXIMA MIDNIGHT
When he battles Marvel’s heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos will get some help from the Black Order. Since they were created by Jonathan Hickman, Jim Cheung and Jerome Opeña in 2013’s Infinity #1, Thanos’ generals have laid waste to a decent chunk of the Marvel Universe.
While we’ve only seen a fleeting glimpse of her in action, Proxima Midnight, one of the Black Order’s more prominent members, seems set to cast an imposing presence on screen. If her taller-than-average Marvel Legends figure and the life-size model that Disney displayed at a convention are any indications, Proxima will be the spitting image of her comic book counterpart. On top of a textured black-and-white bodysuit, this blue-skinned alien will have golden arm armor and a black mask. Proxima will also wield a three-pronged mechanized spear with blades on both ends, which is already one of the more memorable weapons in the MCU.
11. LAME: VISION
Since he was created by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1968’s Avengers #57, Vision has been the heart of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With one intentional exception, the android Avenger’s ever-evolving costume designs have been united by a strong palate of red, green and yellow.
The look of Paul Bettany’s cinematic Vision has always been much more subdued than the bright colors of his comic book counterpart. His face has a magenta hue instead of his classic ruby-red skin, and most of his body is a murky shade somewhere between green and gray. Although he’ll also take on a more human appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, Vision will keep the same robotic appearance that he’s had for two films. While the looks of the MCU’s Iron Man and Marvel’s comic book Vision have been tweaked consistently, the look of the MCU’s Vision hasn’t evolved along with the character.
10. LAME: THE HULKBUSTER ARMOR
Thanks to its striking name and imposing design, Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor is one of Tony Stark’s most distinctive inventions. In 2015’s robot-filled Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor stood out from the crowd thanks to its massive, imposing design and bold red-and-gold color scheme.
While the Age of Ultron Hulkbuster armor looks like the kind of creation Stark would be proud of, the Hulkbuster armor from the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War could use some more time in the workshop. Where the first Hulkbuster armor had a minimal amount of gears exposed, the Infinity War armor has an almost-unfinished quality with a significant amount of exposed machinery. These gears break up the classic red-and-gold color scheme and add needless lines to the design. It’s rounder, too, especially in the arms, which gives it an overall less distinctive profile than its bulkier predecessor.
9. AMAZING: BLACK PANTHER
Thanks to the jaw-dropping success of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, T’Challa has had a very good 2018. Since the King of Wakanda has been the center of a legitimate cultural phenomenon, his sleek, silver-trimmed black bodysuit has become an instant icon. With its purple energy-storing mode, it even reflects T’Challa’s royal status while he’s completely covered by the costume.
Just a few months after his cinematic breakout, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther will make his third film appearance in Avengers: Infinity War. Fortunately, Black Panther’s costume doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon. Black Panther’s presence in Infinity War will only help cement his status as a cultural juggernaut, and the Avengers movie will help reinforce this costume as his signature look. Outside of his uniform, T’Challa will continue to wear the slightly less iconic black-and-purple regal attire that suits the King of Wakanda.
8. LAME: CORVUS GLAIVE
In comics, Corvus Glaive is Thanos’ second-in-command in the Black Order. Created by Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung in 2013’s Infinity Free Comic Book Day special, his long black cloak and fearsome visage made him look like the Grim Reaper of some alien world. Instead of the Reaper’s scythe, Corvus carries a high-tech glaive — a pole with a blade on the end — to complete the image.
While that look might work well on the page, Corvus’ design in Avengers: Infinity War looks suspiciously close to another MCU character on screen. Without his weapon, the MCU’s Corvus could be mistaken for the Other, another hooded alien who served Thanos. After being introduced in 2012’s The Avengers, Alexis Denisof’s alien general was unceremoniously killed off in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. While this could be an intentional visual callback, it’s still surprising to see a new character with such a familiar appearance.
7. AMAZING: EBONY MAW
While the rest of the Black Order’s members have earned their wicked reputations for their fighting prowess, Ebony Maw is considered the group’s most dangerous member for his devious mind. Since he was created by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña in 2013’s New Avengers #8, Maw has used his vast intellect and talents as a master manipulator to twist events around the Marvel Universe to his liking.
Even though he’s one of the Black Order’s more alien members, Ebony Maw seems set to be the spitting image of his comic book counterpart in Avengers: Infinity War. While his slender frame and spindly fingers give him an eerie, inhuman quality, Maw’s face is the highlight of his design. Around his dark, insect-like eyes, every crevice of his noseless face shows the ravages of a lifetime of dark contemplation, which should cast a haunting impression in audiences’ minds.
6. LAME: SPIDER-MAN’S IRON SPIDER COSTUME
In Avengers: Infinity War, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will sport at least two looks. In addition to the updated version of his classic red-and-blue costume from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker will also wear the Iron Spider costume that was glimpsed at the end of that movie. While both costumes were designed by Tony Stark, the Iron Spider armor incorporated golden trim inspired by Iron Man’s classic design.
While Spider-Man’s classic costume is timeless, his red-and-gold Iron Spider armor from comics stands as one of his most memorable modern redesigns. The MCU’s Iron Spider costume tries to combine these two looks but ends up being less than the sum of its parts. The Iron Spider armor does have some interesting visual ideas, like its enlarged Spider-Man logo and four retractable spider arms on the back. However, those ideas are overwhelmed by the armor’s gleaming mishmash of red, blue and gold.
5. AMAZING: DOCTOR STRANGE
Other than a brief visit with Thor and Loki in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange hasn’t really encountered any of the MCU’s non-mystical characters yet. Since so much about the world of the MCU is driven by science-fiction concepts or espionage, this sets him apart from the rest of Marvel’s cinematic heroes.
While Strange’s Infinity War costume isn’t too different from the one he wore in 2016’s Doctor Strange, the outfit visualizes his separation from the MCU’s other heroes. While the others have leather costumes inspired by tactical wear or cutting edge technology, Strange keeps the flowing open tunic and simple belts he donned during his training in Kamar-Taj. While his signature Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto still identify him as a powerful hero, Strange’s costume emphasizes the idea that he operates on a different, more mystical plane than most of the other Avengers.
4. LAME: CULL OBSIDIAN
Black Dwarf, who’s called Cull Obsidian in the MCU, might be the most physically imposing member of the Black Order. Like most of these Thanos allies, he was created by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña in 2013’s New Avengers #8. Despite his monstrous stature, he was fired by Thanos for failing to take over the unconquerable Wakanda.
In the comics, the Black Order also went by another, slightly more awesome name, the Cull Obsidian. In the MCU, Black Dwarf has taken that name for himself. Although Cull Obsidian might have an impressive name in Avengers: Infinity War, he doesn’t have the most memorable look. With his mix of battle gear and bony outgrowths, the monstrous creature looks like the kind of generic alien enemy that’s been in hundreds of movies and video games.
3. AMAZING: BUCKY/WHITE WOLF
From his early days as Bucky to his dark decades as the mind-controlled Winter Solider, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes has gone through one of the MCU’s most radical transformations. As hinted at in Black Panther‘s post-credits scene, the rehabilitated Bucky will be called White Wolf in Avengers: Infinity War.
In Infinity War, Bucky’s White Wolf costume successfully combines his World War II-era costume and his Winter Solider look. The White Wolf costume is built around a navy asymmetrical top with straps along the right side of his torso, which nods to Bucky’s WWII costume in comics and film. While he keeps the Winter Soldier’s messy mop of hair and tactical gear, his Hydra-produced bionic arm has been replaced with a new arm, presumably made out of vibranium. By embracing and updating his disparate past looks, this costume gives the White Wolf a costume that reflects his evolution as a character.
2. LAME: IRON MAN’S BLEEDING EDGE ARMOR
In Avengers: Infinity War, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark will wear his most technologically-advanced Iron Man armor ever, the “Bleeding Edge” armor. Unfortunately, it’s not his best looking cinematic armor. Created by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca in 2010’s Invincible Iron Man #25, this armor is made out of nano-technology that sits inside of Stark’s body. Accordingly, this armor gives Iron Man one of his slimmest looks to date.
Combined with the occasional booster rocket wings on his back, the armor looks a little more cartoony than Iron Man’s previous cinematic designs. While they’ve constantly evolved, Iron Man’s armors have always had some bulk to them. Those relatively realistic proportions helped ground those fantastic designs and made them a believable part of a live-action world. Without that added weight, this new armor is just a step too far out of reality, even in a live-action universe filled with aliens and superheroes.
1. AMAZING: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Chris Evans’ Captain America will be a man without a country in Avengers: Infinity War. Since the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War kept him on the run, Captain America’s look has evolved to reflect his new status as a nomad. While he might be at a personal low, Steve Rogers’ new look works perfectly in the film’s context and still looks outstanding in its own right.
By modifying his Civil War costume, Rogers’ Infinity War costume essentially inverts his usual look. Where the suit once featured white stars on the chest and shoulders, it now holds empty impressions, and its red, white and blue colors have been stained by grime. In place of Rogers’ traditional clean-cut look, he has a full beard with long hair that flows freely. Paired with Wakandan vibranium shields, Captain America’s unleashed new look makes him the best-dressed combatant in the Infinity War.
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