What exactly am I looking at here in the “Avengers: Infinity War” poster?

(Photo credit: Marvel Studios)

So today is Avengers: Infinity War day, and by now, I’m sure we’ve all seen the trailer and the poster. I’ll get to the trailer later–right now, what I’m focusing on is the poster, and what a busy poster it is.

Avengers: Infinity War poster featuring Thanos and almost every Marvel character from the past 10 years.

I mean, who is the focus? Is there a focus? Are we supposed to be focusing on all of the characters at once?

Call me a Debbie Downer, but this poster illustrates the exact reason why I’m not as jazzed about Infinity War as Marvel and the hype machine want me to be. There’s just too many doggone people in this movie for me to actually care about what’s happening. 

Posters for Marvel films have shown just how Marvel Studios have been increasingly jamming their films with more than a reasonable number of characters to concentrate on. Just look at these posters to see the trend.

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster featuring Hulk, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widwo, Captian America, Nick Fury, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision.

Black Panther poster featuring T'Challa, Killmonger, Nakia, Okoye, Shuri, Ramonda, Klaue, W'Kabi, Zuri, and Ross

Poster for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 featuring Gamora, Star Lord, Drax, Rocket Racoon, Baby Groot, Yondu, and Nebula.

Thor: Ragnarok poster featuring the Hulk, Hela, Thor, Heimdall, Odin, Loki Valkyrie, and the Grandmaster.

(Posters: Marvel Studios)

Speaking honestly, the Thor: Ragnarok poster is my favorite one out of the bunch listed as examples of overcrowding because there’s a balance between positive and negative space (and there just aren’t that many characters in the poster as it is). But on the whole, the amount of overcrowding in Marvel posters has become a bit of an artistic epidemic. Maybe some of the blame falls on the art department; there’s no need to show every character in the poster. To me the goal is to make the poster actually tell a story rather than just jam every character in existence on its front. Maybe some of it is Marvel forcing the art department to adhere to the higher-ups’ notes; perhaps it’s Kevin Feige et al. who want everyone under the sun in their posters. But whatever the reason, it’s a trend that’s reached its zenith with this Infinity War poster.

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To be clear, Marvel doesn’t always release crowded posters; the character posters for Black Panther are awesome, and the poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming, featuring Peter lying on a wall near the water, is clever and ingenious. Doctor Strange has a poster that’s mind-bending and trippy. These posters set the tones for their films and give the viewers a sneak peek at what the films will be about. But when Marvel decides to overcrowd, the narrative gets lost, and it’s just about CHARACTERS! PRODUCT PLACEMENT! COLORS! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LIKE THIS!

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You might like this poster, and that’s okay. We’re all entitled to our opinions. But as for me, the poster is so busy that any importance I’m supposed to feel about this momentous occasion falls flat. I get why everyone who’s anyone is on the poster; this is a film that’s been a decade in the making, and the poster is probably more of a celebration of how far the MCU has come in that amount of time. But from an artistic standpoint, nothing about this poster makes sense.

What did you think about the poster? Give your comments below!

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