GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ‘Snapture vs. Rapture: Where Avengers: Infinity War Sticks With Biblical Lore, And Where It Departs’ by Leah Schnelbach

“Why the obsession with the end? Christianity began life as an apocalyptic cult, and people believed that the world was going to end any moment. A lot (like a lot) of early Christian writing is about living a pure life in order to be ready for the end. There were also (probably) at least a few waves of persecution, which led to writings like The Revelation of John, which was (probably) a coded account of the Emperor Domitian and/or Nero, and many of the earliest Church writings and oral culture in general revolving around public torture and executions. (I’m adding all of these ‘probablies’ because it’s extremely hard to confirm what really went on in those centuries, as the intervening histories have all been written by the winner, Christianity.) As the decades rolled on, though, the young religion had to find ways to fold itself into ordinary life, which necessarily meant losing some of its initial urgency. This in turn meant that every few years a reform movement would rise with the intention of taking Christianity back to its roots. Over the centuries this has happened on giant scales and tiny—the one you’ve probably heard of is the Protestant Reformation. But even that Reformation has since inspired wave after wave of groups who have decided that Protestantism needs to be reformed all over again—which is why if you look Protestantism up online you’ll find roughly 12 billion different denominations.

The emotional core of the Snapture is the same as its religious counterpart: people we love vanish because of the actions of an almighty being. Morally, however, things get far knottier. Where The Rapture is based solidly in a predetermined system of judgment, the Snapture is random. Thanos has no personal grudge or favor toward any of them, and they didn’t break any rules he set—that would be his minion Ronan’s bag. The Mad Titan just wants to dust 50% of the population, and in his mind it’s a benevolent act. Where the people of The Leftovers have no idea why the mass disappearance has happened (at least at first) we spend the entirety of the MCU’s arc watching the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and assorted other heroes work to hide the Infinity Stones from Thanos, knowing all the while exactly what will happen if they fail. Infinity War is a Rapture movie where we watch humanity fight against the god rather than accepting its will. And where in a Rapture film (and even in The Leftovers) there is some solace in the thought that those who have been Raptured are, or might be, better off, in Infinity War we have no idea what’s happened to them.”

[Via]

See also:

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT POST-APOCALYPTIC STORIES; WHEN THE APOCALYPSE IS SOLVED THROUGH NATALIST TROPES 

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange, the best Marvel movie of the year (hell, the best superhero movie of the year), was a pleasant surprise. The worst part about it was the final end credits scene (the second one, not the first), where one of the “good guys” reveals the setup of his Leeland-like rampage to destroy all of his “kind”…without proper motivation or reasoning. Makes me want to see if the comic books gave him better motivation (I’ve never read them).  Otherwise, it seems like it was out of character. He goes from  walking away from it all ambivalently to I’m actively going to stop this overall ambivalence. However, this is forgivable, as such set up can be smoothed over in a full-scale movie. It’s only supposed to be a tease.

But the film itself explores major themes like “Making a deal with the devil” and “Choosing the lesser of two evils” and “There is no such thing as pure good.” Hell yes, please!

As I mentioned before, one of the “good guys” in the final final scene, in his quest for purity, does some evil things. This is in contrast to Dr. Strange refusing to kill to maintain said purity, yet making his “deals with the devil” just like his master (it’s so hard for me not to want to capitalize the M right now, you guys).  Thus, no character is “without sin” despite their fight for good. Paradox upon paradox.

And the best character? The cloak.

Hilarious without being cheesy, it’s the best comic relief. Sorry, Wong.

You’re still funny.

Excellent pacing, imagery, and plot.

Suck it, Doctor Who.