Marvel’s Infinity War is gearing up for a massive release in late April, with fans dying to see how the ten-year project will bring a close to the most ambitious undertaking in cinematic history. As the movie draws near, we here at The Marvel Report consider it our privilege to bring you up to speed on what’s coming. Last time around, I brought you up to speed on the Mad Titan, Thanos. This time around, we’ll be exploring the most deadly couple in the galaxy as we look at Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight. Two of the most prominent members of Thanos’ Black Order.
Before we begin a deep dive, allow me to provide a bit of a background on Infinity War. At this point, most people grasp the concept of the Infinity Stones and why Thanos wants them, but I’ll drop it down here for those that don’t know. In the Marvel Universe, there were six singularities that exploded the entire known universe into existence. These singularities became known as Infinity Stones and each one controls a different aspect of our known reality; they’re the Reality, Power, Time, Mind, Soul, and Space gems. With just one gem, an individual could wreak great havoc, but Thanos is coming for all six and they would make him a God.
Coming to Earth with Thanos are members of the Black Order. Known in the comics as the Cull Obsidian, these warriors are Thanos’ fiercest generals and more deadly than his daughters Gamora and Nebula, known around the galaxy for their abilities. For the purposes of the movie, Marvel introduced Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, and Cull Obsidian, the new name for the Black Dwarf. The rename is likely to avoid confusion with Eitri, the Dwarf King who helps Thor forge a new hammer in the comics. But who are Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive? Let’s dive in and find out.
*** Potential Spoilers Ahead ***
Unlike Thanos, the Black Order has newer beginnings in the comics. In fact, The Black Order first hit the pages of Marvel in the pages of New Avengers Vol. 3 #8 back in 2013. The Infinity storyline introduced a new threat to Earth as many of its heroes were dealing with a massive galactic threat. This allowed each of Thanos’ generals to focus on a specific member of the Illuminati, Avengers entrusted with the Infinity Stones, and invade Earth with mixed success. Proxima Midnight is tasked with taking Namor’s Infinity Gem, but finds herself having to regroup after Luke Cage and Spectrum hung with her in battle.
So, who is Proxima Midnight? What makes her so worthy of being in the Black Order? Well, we start with the fact that she is a badass of the highest order. Proxima was originally chosen due to her ability to fight in hand-to-hand combat. Aside from being a lethal fighter, Proxima Midnight also has a spear created from a star trapped inside a singularity. This spear emits deadly beams of light, which never miss. These beams of light are meant to kill within minutes, but much like Thor, Proxima can turn her spear into a mass of energy capable of weighing down — and even changing — the Hulk. When the spear is reverted to star form, it is nigh impossible for anyone to lift it.
As bad as Proxima Midnight is for our intrepid heroes, it’s her husband that may be an even greater threat. Corvus Glaive, husband to Proxima Midnight, has all the standard stuff that villains and heroes possess as traits; superhuman strength, speed, recovery, etc…, but he also possess a glaive that makes him immortal as long as the glaive remains intact. Whereas Proxima is more of a warrior, Glaive can be thought of as more of a general. Still, this is likely the deadliest couple in the galaxy.
In Infinity, Thanos and the black order come to Earth under the guise of seeking out the last remaining Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, as the others have all been lost. The members of the Black Order are sent to various locations around Earth to locate the stone. Proxima Midnight is sent to Atlantis. When she arrives in Atlantis, she finds it decimated by a recent war with Wakanda. A broken Namor surrenders to her without hesitation and makes her a deal for the stone’s location in return for the mercy of his people. She returns to Thanos triumphant.
Meanwhile Corvus Glaive makes two stops. The first is to the Jean Gray School for Higher Learning with the same mission as Proxima, find the last Infinity Stone. The X-Men were given a run for their money, but in the end Glaive left empty handed. His second stop is Attilan to demand a tribute to Thanos from the Inhuman kingdom. This tribute is to be the sacrifice of all inhumans between the ages of 16 and 22. This tribute demand is a precursor to learning Thanos’ true motive for his visit to Earth. He means to find and kill Thane, his half inhuman son that falls within this age group.
As far as Infinity goes, these two members of the Black Order aren’t among the most successful. While Proxima believes Namor has surrendered, he is working for the Illuminati the whole time. She and Corvus Glaive end up at the battle in the Inhuman village where Thane lived and both end up falling. Midnight is imprisoned by Thane in the ember. Glaive, on the other hand, is seemingly destroyed by Hyperion, who slits his throat. But his glaive is also trapped in the ember with Thanos and Proxima Midnight, signifying that Glaive is likely to return because he cannot be killed as long as said glaive is intact.
Infinity is just one storyline to feature Thanos’ Black Order. There are other iterations of these same villains and their fates are varied throughout the comics. In another storyline, Glaive becomes the leader of the Black Order after Thanos dies, but Thanos returns and breaks his glaive with a single strike. Rather than be killed by Thanos, Corvus takes his glaive and commits seppuku much to the delight of Thanos. Midnight is slaughtered by Hela as she offers Thanos the death he so often seeks. We see these characters multiple times throughout the comics and now we get our chance to see them in the MCU.
We really don’t know a lot about Corvus Glaive or Proxima Midnight as it pertains to the MCU. The Russo brothers have done a fine job of keeping a lid on a lot of the information, even if we have a good idea of how things will play out. To that end, we have no idea what liberties they may take with Proxima’s spear or Corvus’ glaive. It would seem prudent to just use the source material here. The spear and glaive will provide Thanos’ army with weapons capable of battling Thor’s hammer or an invincible Hulk. When the Black Order comes to earth, they aren’t coming to play practice. They’re coming to maim and kill.
Just because we don’t know their story doesn’t mean we don’t know their goals. The stage has been set for a battle of the ages. Much like Infinity, it would seem likely that Thanos will divide his generals among the territories to maximize their usefulness and abilities. We can already glean from the trailers that Wakanda will be a focal point of the movie. While Namor isn’t going to feature in this storyline, that doesn’t mean the Necropolis in Wakanda won’t. Will Midnight be given the unenviable task of raiding the most battle-ready nation in the MCU? God, I sure as hell hope so. After all, she did crush Queen Shuri and her forces, breaking the barrier to the Golden City in Infinity.
Infinity Gauntlet is without a doubt one of the best Marvel stories ever written, but Infinity War feels more like Infinity than Infinity Gauntlet largely due to the inclusion of the Black Order. They do not appear in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but are a significant part of Thanos’ plan to kill his son in Infinity. By combining the stories, the Russo brothers have given themselves a larger sandbox filled with exciting toys. If one of the biggest complaints about the MCU has been the development of villains, Infinity War appears set on crushing that issue to death with its deadliest soldiers.