The first phase of the MCU came to a climax with 2012's The Avengers, which saw the Chitauri invasion of New York. Now, we're building towards the climax of Phase 3 — and if set photos are anything to go by, we're looking at another invasion! The images show Avengers assembling in a scene of mysterious devastation, presumably set to face off against another Chitauri armada led by Thanos's "children," the Black Order.
But the set photos have also revealed one intriguing detail. Look closely at Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Stephen Strange...
The Chitauri and the Black Order have their work cut out for them. After all, they're going up against Tony Stark, the Hulk and the Masters of the Mystic Arts. What's more, that photo makes it pretty clear that #DoctorStrange is wearing the Eye of Agamotto.
It's a fascinating detail. After all, Doctor Strange ended with Wong giving Strange a caution:
"You'll wear the Eye of Agamotto... once you've mastered its powers. Until then... best not to walk down the streets wearing an Infinity Stone."
Doctor Strange may not yet be the Sorcerer Supreme of the #MCU, but he's a quick study. With Infinity War likely to be set in the year of its release, 2018, that means he's had two years to keep learning. It's worth remembering just how much Strange achieved with the Eye when he was a mere novice to its power.
Has he now mastered the Time Stone? Or is it simply that he already realized the scale of the threat facing our world, and has chosen to don his most powerful weapon?
Doctor Strange Has Become A Target
Here's the thing, though: this changes the game in Infinity War. Thanos, after all, is coming to Earth because he's seeking out the #InfinityStones. Up 'til now, we'd been assuming the Black Order would be trying to break into the Sanctum Sanctorum (as in 2013's Infinity event). Instead, it seems that Doctor Strange is taking the Time Stone to battle — making himself the target of Thanos's wrath.
So far, we have evidence of two major action scenes, with Thanos's agents attacking Vision and Scarlet Witch in the UK, and an army sweeping down upon New York. In both cases, heroes bearing Infinity Stones are targets. Whereas Vision seems to be struggling to understand the Mind Stone, though, Doctor Strange is training to control it. That makes him a far more formidable threat for the Mad Titan's forces.
For months now, the cut scene that plays for the Marvel Future Fight game has shown Doctor Strange about to duel Thanos in the streets of New York — and now that seems like an interesting bit of synergy:
Bringing the Time Stone into play doesn't look to be sensible, though, as the latest set photos suggest that the good Doctor is going to be defeated. How can the Black Order handle the power of the Time Stone? It's going to be fascinating to see how things work out...
One thing's for sure: #AvengersInfinityWar promises to be the biggest-scale superhero movie ever made. Now, these set photos have teased that an Infinity Stone will be used on the streets of New York. Cosmic powers are gathering to threaten our world, and only Earth's Mightiest Heroes stand in our defence!
How do you think Thanos can deal with the Time Gem? Let me know in the comments!