My husband and I joined the clergymen of God and Comics to discuss the latest MCU movie: Avengers: Infinity War. The full episode is available to stream on the God and Comics site, but I thought I’d type up this teaser for you.
Alexi: So if Killmonger is the shadow self of Black Panther, who is Thanos the shadow of?
Me (Leah): I do see a resemblance between him and another Marvel villain: Iron Man. In that Iron Man and Thanos both present an inhumane solution to what they see as the problem of humanity.
Where Thanos’s answer is simply DEATH—that the only way people can flourish is if there’s fewer of them. Iron Man in Age of Ultron also struggles with “people have difficulty living with each other” so I’ll just build a BIG ROBOT so that people won’t have to be responsible for each other, and I won’t have to be responsible for them anymore. This robot will be able to keep everyone safe and contained.
And I think it’s that idea of containment that’s common both to Iron Man and Thanos. That their ways of dealing with the riotous fecundity that can spill over, that’s human nature/human life, is to in some way slow it down, box it in.
If you want the light side, the opposite to the shadow self of Thanos or Ultron, the opposite of all that is marital sex, which is always, when open to life, a pledge of faith in the goodness of creation.