AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR gave audiences their first introduction to the Children of Thanos, servants of the Mad Titan. Lieutenants to his forces, the Children of Thanos are some of the most fearsome cosmic foes in Marvel Comics. However, let’s look at each one’s performance in INFINITY WAR, and you’ll see why they are somewhat underwhelming.

Why AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is Absolutely Insane — A No-Spoiler Review

Corvus Glaive

In the comics, Corvus Glaive serves as the leader of the Black Order, the Children’s name from the comics. He leads their forces during times of Thanos’ absence, and serves as Thanos’ speaker to the countless worlds, announcing their impending doom for his glory. His glaive has the ability to cut atoms, and he is also the husband of Proxima Midnight.

Children of Thanos
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In INFINITY WAR, Corvus, played by Michael James Shaw, certainly does not get much of a spotlight. I’m pretty confident he gets the least amount of screen time of any of Thanos’ Children. We first see him with the rest of the Children in the film’s first act, when Thanos tasks them with obtaining the Infinity Stones on Earth.

Then, we see him with Proxima attempting to pry the Stone out of Vision’s head. However, Steve Rogers and his underground Avengers prevent them from doing so. Corvus and Proxima flee, and Corvus isn’t seen until the final act of the film, where he attempts to take the Stone from Vision again. Vision then stabs Corvus with his own glaive.

Throughout all of this, the most vocal of the Children in the comics only gets a few minor lines. He tells Vision to give up the Stone and he’ll let Wanda live. When Proxima tells him to get up, he replies that he can’t. When he gets his rematch with Vision, he says he thought he was a formidable machine, but instead he’s dying like any man.

That’s it. That’s all we get.

Proxima Midnight

In the comics, Proxima Midnight has super strength, speed, and endurance. She also wields an impressive spear that was made from a star. In the INFINITY comics event, Proxima goes to Atlantis and later Wakanda to obtain the Infinity Gems located there. She succeeds where others don’t.

Children of Thanos
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As previously stated, Proxima Midnight is the wife of Corvus Glaive in the comics. However, it is unclear if they are married in the MCU, as there isn’t really any evidence to support their relationship. Played by Carrie Coon, Proxima joins Glaive in their pursuit of the Mind Stone.

After they retreat, we later see Proxima leading Thanos’ forces against the Avengers in Wakanda, a call back to her attack in the comics. During the battle, she finds herself facing Black Widow, Okoye, and the Scarlet Witch. At the fight’s end, Proxima is about to land the killing blow on Black Widow but is thrown into one of the wheel-death machines that her army unleashes, killing her.

Again, Proxima Midnight did not see much screen time. Not much is known about her, other than she’s an alien and she that serves Thanos like the other Children of Thanos.

Cull Obsidian

In the comics, Cull Obsidian’s name is not Cull Obsidian. Cull Obsidian was another name that the Black Order went by. His comic book name is Black Dwarf, but it seems as though Marvel Studios must have thought that Cull Obsidian is a better and more intimidating name. Which it is, so I will refer to him as such.

In the comics, Cull Obsidian has super strength and unbreakable skin. He is a powerhouse and the strongest member of the Black Order. In the INFINITY storyline, he was the first sent to Wakanda to begin the assault for the Infinity Gem. However, he and his forces were repelled by the Wakandan defenses. For his failure, Thanos banishes him from the Black Order.

Children of Thanos
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In the film, Obsidian joins Ebony Maw to get the Time Stone from Dr. Strange. As they fight Dr. Strange, Wong, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, Wong sends Obsidian through a portal far away to an icy wasteland. When he tries to jump back through, Wong closes the portal, severing Obsidian’s hand.

Later on in the film’s final act, Obsidian returns to join Proxima Midnight and her assault on Wakanda. He decimates Avengers and Wakandans alike. Due to their equal size, he goes toe to toe with Bruce Banner, who is wearing the Hulkbuster armor. Just as Obsidian is about to crush him, Bruce puts one of the Hulkbuster’s arms on him, propelling Obsidian up, and dragging him across the Wakandan defense shield until he explodes.

The film shares nothing about Cull Obsidian, aside from the fact that he serves Thanos. Furthermore, he speaks in an alien language, unlike his counterparts.

Ebony Maw

Ebony Maw is probably the most intriguing member. In the comics, Thanos chooses him for the Order not as a fighter. He is chosen for his ability to get information and manipulate. His words have high influence, such as when he manipulates Dr. Strange into giving up an Infinity Gem in the comics. Also, while seemingly loyal, Maw has his own agenda with plans to gain his own power.

In INFINITY WAR, Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughn-Lawlor) gets the most characterization, even though he is the first to die. We see him bow before Thanos, presenting the Tesseract. He says that his humble personage kneels before Thanos’ grandeur, a line straight from the INFINITY GAUNTLET comic.

He also attempts to torture Dr. Strange into giving up the Time Stone. During his torture, he tells Dr. Strange that in all of his time serving Thanos, he’s never failed him. To not have the Stone in his hand would mean judgment. However, he is sucked out into space due to Iron Man and Spider-Man’s rescue efforts.

Children of Thanos
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Maw’s film character is quite different. He has telekinesis, a power he doesn’t have in the comics. Also, he is lacking in his powers of persuasion, torturing Strange physically. If he does have them, we don’t see them. Furthermore, acts as a priest among Thanos’ ranks. At the beginning of the film, and in a flashback on Gamora’s homeworld, Maw is speaking of Thanos’ righteous mission.

Those who live and die by his hand should rejoice and consider it a privilege. The film version of Maw seems to have no plans for personal gain. He fears Thanos’ wrath, honestly wishing to please him. This is unfortunate, as this makes Maw less dynamic and just a lackey worshipping his evil master.

Thanos’ Motives: From The Page To INFINITY WAR

The Children of Thanos as a Whole

I understand that INFINITY WAR is almost 3 hours long. I understand that this film focuses more on Thanos and the heroes we already know and love, as I think it should. I’m just saying that to introduce the Black Order, giving them no depth or dimension, and then quickly killing them all off is disappointing.

I see that as wasted potential. The Children of Thanos are so formidable and have such dimension in the comics. I could easily see any of them as primary antagonists in later films. Even more so with consideration to Ebony Maw and his comic characterization. Now, there is a possibility that the Children of Thanos could return.

Children of Thanos
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Studios could be playing the long game, where they might reintroduce them with the rumors of time travel within the Avengers 4 plot. I kind of doubt it. As awesome as these characters are, they didn’t even get their names spoken in the entirety of the film. The only exception is with Ebony Maw when Thanos once says “The Maw.”

When I spoke to my friends and family who saw INFINITY WAR if they knew the names of the Black Order, this was the response I got most often:

“What’s the Black Order? Oh, you mean Squidward?”

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is still an amazing film, with or without this problem. While the representation of the Children of Thanos is underwhelming, I see it as a small blemish on an otherwise incredible movie. I would like to thank ComicsVerse for giving me a whole post to complain about this.

If you’d like to know more about the awesome Black Order in the comics, read the linked article!

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