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Thanos is coming! And he’s bringing friends! Things are looking grim for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Thanos making Earth his next stop on his quest to acquire the Infinity Stones, the premise of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters April 27. But he’s not alone. Like any conqueror worth his weight in laser canons, Thanos must delegate. Enter the Black Order.
Each member of his honor guard is one of his “children.” And by that I mean sole survivors of planets vanquished by Thanos. He then raises and trains them to be enforcers in his elite, world-subjugating force. Think of them like less rebellious versions of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora and Nebula; instead these guys have chosen to serve their “father” rather than plot his death.
While they appear very briefly (and darkly shadowed) in the Infinity War trailer, Creative Executive Ryan Penagos gave us a first, clear look at the Black Order on his Twitter.
— Ryan Penagos (@AgentM) July 16, 2017
So who are the Black Order exactly? Here’s a rundown based on what I’ve seen and read about the upcoming Infinity War and what I know about the characters’ comic book origins.
Thanos’s second in command is the blade-wielding Corvus Glaive. His weapon is capable of cutting things on the molecular level, and he is effectively unkillable as long as he is in contact with his weapon. In the trailer we see him using his glaive to painfully remove the Mind Gem from the Vision’s forehead.
Proxima Midnight is Thanos’s spear-wielding master combatant. In the comics her spear was created from a star trapped in a quantum singularity by Thanos and is capable of drastic harm based on how it is thrown and who it is used against, becoming a multi-pronged lance of poisonous energy that follows its target, never missing. In the Infinity War trailer we see her throwing her weapon at a shadowy figure (my money is on Steve Rogers, Captain America), who catches it mid-air.
Easily the creepiest of the Black Order is master manipulator the Ebony Maw. Unlike his “siblings,” he relies on subterfuge, a devious intellectual mind and the power of persuasion to serve Thanos. Think of him as Thanos’ “Little Finger” (from Game of Thrones, obvi). In the trailer we only see him briefly, giving the creepiest “shushy-face” you’ve ever seen while torturing Doctor Strange. Of all the members of the Black Order, he looks the closest to his comic book counterpart.
The most physically imposing of the Black Order is the towering Cull Obsidian. With his incredible strength and unbreakable skin, you can think of him as Ser Gregor Clegane, Cersei Lannister’s freakishly large thug (GOT again). In the comics he is called Black Dwarf and carries a giant axe, but in the promotional images, it appears that he has “brass knuckle” type weapons.