Back in July 2017, it was officially announced that the Black Order would be joining Thanos (Josh Brolin) in his quest to retrieve the Infinity Stones in Marvel epic Avengers: Infinity War. The film arrives in Cineworld on 26th April, and in the latest trailer, we finally got our first proper look at this sinister group of villains.
But who exactly are the Black Order and what could their appearance mean? At the time of writing, we don't know much about what the Black Order's role will be in Infinity War. We do know that co-director Joe Russo has highlighted certain creative liberties have been taken with these characters that are "in better service of [the] storytelling".
That could mean everything we already know about these characters from the comics might be completely re-worked. Nevertheless, the addition of the Black Order is certainly something to be excited about, and here is everything you need to know about them.
Overview and history
While all other key players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have a long and storied history in the comics, the Black Order are relatively recent additions. They first appeared in 2013 as part of the New Avengers' Infinity storyline, where they helped Thanos track down the Infinity Stones on Earth.
Also going by the name Cull Obsidian, the group is comprised of Thanos' loyal lieutenants: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, Black Dwarf (who's been renamed as Cull Obsidian in Infinity War), and Supergiant (who won't be appearing in the film).
According to the comics, each member was taken as a tribute after Thanos conquered a planet, something we might have glimpsed in the latest trailer when Thanos is seen taking the hand of a young Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
We know Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan) were raised by Thanos, but were they intended to join the Order? Should these two interact with the Black Order antagonists, it could result in some of the movie's most emotionally charged and complex scenes.
Meet the team
The leader of the Order, Glaive is a master military tactician and the right-hand of Thanos. With his enhanced strength and combat mastery, Glaive's going to be posing a huge threat for the Avengers, but his biggest strength lies in the huge spear-like weapon (his glaive) he carries; as long as it remains intact, he's essentially immortal.
Moreover, it's sharp enough to cut the Hulk, and, in an earlier trailer, we saw Glaive use it to attempt to pry the Mind Stone from Vision's (Paul Bettany) forehead.
The wife of Corvus Glaive, Midnight is a skilled fighter known best for her snazzy spear, which we see Captain America (Chris Evans) catch in a previous trailer. Although it's unknown at the moment what powers she'll have in Infinity War, her spear was originally forged by Thanos from a star, and had shapeshifting capabilities.
Midnight's main role within the comic series was to infiltrate Atlantis to steal the Infinity Stone that was kept there. However, as Atlantis hasn't been part of this film series, it's very likely that Midnight will be given something else to do. As we saw her hurl her spear at Cap, it's more probable that she'll be involved in the battle in Wakanda.
Black Dwarf/Cull Obsidian
Brother of Glaive, Obsidian is the brute of the group. In the comics, Obsidian was tasked with infiltrating Wakanda, but was exiled by Thanos after failing his mission. Things didn't get better for Obsidian either as he was later killed by Ronan (the antagonist from Guardians of the Galaxy).
Again, given the events of the film series so far, it looks like Obsidian will be given a new story arc in Infinity War. Maybe we could see this monster take on someone his own size like the Hulk, for instance.
More of a schemer than a fighter, Ebony Maw is a sadistic manipulator capable of persuading anyone to bend to his will. In the Infinity comic series, he was able to break Doctor Strange, and given Strange's film counterpart (Benedict Cumberbatch) is being used as a pin cushion in the trailer, it's likely that we'll see something similar happening in Infinity War.
What could the Black Order mean for Infinity War?
Having four supervillains in one film is bound to cause the Avengers some extra problems, especially when said villains are as deadly as the Black Order. In an interview, director Joe Russo explains that "Thanos needs to be teased out" and "the Black Order is the perfect cast of characters to do that".
This little nugget of information could mean that the Order will be the main antagonists of Infinity War, and we potentially won't see Thanos make an appearance until much later in the film. However, we're sure he'll make one heck of an entrance when he does.
Who's playing the Black Order?
We just don't know. The cast is being kept under wraps for the time being. Marvel President Kevin Feige has commented, "There's interesting people doing the voices. You'll probably know when you see the movie". So far we know that Terry Nolan and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor have announced they're doing motion capture for Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw, but the latest poster has also revealed that Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage will appear in the film too. Could he be one of the elusive voice actors?
Click here to book your tickets for Avengers: Infinity War, and become acquainted with the Black Order when they arrive on 26th April.
Andy Murray is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.