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The Infinity Saga in the MCU has ended but there has not been any sign of Death, and if you've read the comics then you know Death played a integral part in the Infinity Saga.

So is there any particular reason why Kevin Fiege or the Russo Brothers decided to not include Lady Death in the Infinity Saga?

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    I do think it’s a bit more interesting in the MCU. Thanos isn’t just trying to impress a potential romantic partner; he, like the Avengers, thinks he’s doing what’s necessary to save the universe. Jul 31, 2022 at 13:41
  • Adding to what @PaulD.Waite said, it made Thanos a more complex villain, with a more compelling story that almost makes us root for him rather than the Avengers in Infinity War. Jul 31, 2022 at 17:19
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    @PaulD.Waite They didn't make that up for the movies, Thanos had all the Death stuff going on, plus he also had the ecological motivations in the comics. I think he explains it all in Silver Surfer #35
    – Nacht
    Aug 1, 2022 at 9:31
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    I can't prove this as I'm not in their heads, but keep in mind that a good story is susceptible to the time period in which it is told. Currently, there is a strong tendency to display nuanced characters which are not black or white. Thanos having seemingly good intentions (but with very questionable means) creates narrative value and piques the interest of the viewer. This is the kind of social discussion that wouldn't have resonated as well with readers in the time period where the comics were released.
    – Flater
    Aug 3, 2022 at 10:05

4 Answers 4

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It would appear to be mostly down to not really having enough time to introduce the character and trying to reconcile Thanos with what had already been set up.

"It’s our responsibility to carry forward the story as it’s been set out," said Anthony Russo. "You’re spending two-and-a-half hours with this many characters, so then adding in some character that the audience has no relationship to, having to explain the backstory of that character, making you care about that character, making Thanos care about that character, making that character interesting to the other characters … " He trailed off, shaking his head.

"That would also be creating another level, another plane of existence, that the MCU possibly hasn’t gotten to yet," said Stephen McFeely, who co-wrote the film with Christopher Markus. "Do we even have metaphysical characters yet?"

"We talked about his motivation, and much of the motivation connected to Lady Death is about balance," said Feige. "It’s the balance between life and death, the belief that life was getting unchecked and out of hand and there needed to be a correction. We wanted to make that the driving force of Thanos and his backstory. That’s where Chris and Steve and Joe and Anthony found a more natural, grounded way … well, as grounded as a giant Mad Titan can be."

Insider, 'Avengers: Infinity War' changes up the bizarre reason Thanos wants the Infinity stones in the comics — here's why

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    Also I have to wonder if they realized how even more silly the whole story sounds that Thanos is doing all of this just to impress somebody. The idea that he wants to kill half of everyone one time is already a little silly, adding in that tidbit takes the story down another peg. Aug 2, 2022 at 14:14
  • @MarkRogers, in another answer it was pointed out that they wanted to make thanos more humane and wanted the audience to root for him as he thought he was doing the right thing by eliminating half life, but according to me adding a love interest to him and giving him a clear motive that he was doing all this for someone would make him even more interesting, quite similar to davy jones in pirates of the carribbean
    – shanu
    Aug 3, 2022 at 2:47
  • And about time, they literally had 11 years to set up lady death and instead of one movie they could have set her up gradually along many movies, unless ofcourse if they already planned to remove her from thanos' arc
    – shanu
    Aug 3, 2022 at 2:52
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    @MarkRogers Killing all life to honour Death is insane, but it goes well with a murderous psycho nicknamed "the Mad Titan". Killing half of the life in the universe for ecological reasons is a plan that only sounds right to people who doesn't grasp exponential growth - which, admitelly, it includes most of the audience.
    – Rekesoft
    Aug 3, 2022 at 7:58
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    @Rekesoft A major break in my suspension of disbelief was wondering why one of Thanos's super-intelligent lackeys, or heck one of his super-intelligent enemies, didn't send him a quick e-mail with the significant problems with his plan or a study on the planets that his forces have previously pruned and whether their situation would seem to prove or disprove Thanos's theory. Aug 3, 2022 at 16:59
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Marvel Studios leaves out plenty of comics characters.

In movie after movie, show after show, we've seen a noticeable lack of certain comics characters in the MCU (and non-canon Marvel properties) that some fans believe could make the movies/shows better, but ultimately, Marvel Studios makes the decisions on how to write each film or show and along with that, which characters to include. Examples of this (as of 07/22) include:

  • "Captain Britain", who was the UK's version of Captain America in the comics and wielded Excalibur
  • Hyperion was not included in any of the Doctor Strange-related titles
  • Mephisto played an integral part in many storylines involving magic and the Scarlet Witch, and though often wished for and rumored of by fans, he has yet to make an appearance
  • Beta Ray Bill, a supporting character of Thor who was worthy of Mjölnir
  • And, as you pointed out, Death did not make an appearance in the MCU's Infinity Saga.

So, Marvel Studios just made the executive decision to cut Death in favor of what they believed would be a better story. (We may never know which one would have truly been better, of course, since the story WITH Death was never brought to film.)

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    Yes, but this brings us back to why, which is the entire point of the question that you've failed to answer
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2022 at 17:44
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    "they believed would be a better story" Jul 31, 2022 at 20:36
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    @Valorum This answer is a frame challenge. The OP is assuming the Marvel movies follow the comic books closely and in the natural course Death would have been included. OP wants to know the specific reason she was singled out for removal. Of course, she wasn't singled out and there is nothing that got her pulled -- she just didn't make the cut. Aug 1, 2022 at 2:47
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    @OwenReynolds - There's a bunch of assertions here about what "the studio" want, without any evidence to back it up. Compare and contrast with the other answer that explicitly tells us why the removed Lady Death from the equation.
    – Valorum
    Aug 1, 2022 at 6:57
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    Hollywood sometimes shows a strong aversion to portraying death personified. An anecdote I heard from Terry Pratchett in person: when Mort was published, a film option was purchased, and development started. After doing audience research and marketing, they came back to Terry and said "This has real film potential, but we need to change the story a bit. We need to leave out the whole Death angle." Aug 1, 2022 at 15:37
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In the MCU, Hela describes herself as, among other impressive titles, “the Goddess of Death.” The writers might have felt a second Goddess of Death would have been too similar.

This is speculation rather than something I have a quote by the creators to back up, but: I think Thanos’ original motivation simply would not have worked in these movies. Death kept her dignity in her first comic story by sitting there quietly the whole time and ignoring her abusive narcissistic stalker, no matter how powerful he was or what he did. It wouldn’t have played nearly as well on the screen. Even if the director could have made it work with great cinematography, what worked for an over-the-top comic-book supervillain created fifty years ago and a minor female character who was really less of a character than a passive object of desire, reflecting in large part the adolescent male intended audience’s fear that girls would reject them, wouldn’t be acceptable to a movie audience thirty years later. They especially could not have kept any degree of sympathy for Thanos and had him act the same way.

The plot of the movie would have made no sense with his original goal and how he pursued it, either. Thanos from the comics kept obsessively thinking of more and more ludicrous ways to try to get her to pay any attention to him. One—not even the craziest—was to murder half the population of the universe, but that was only in the hope that, finally, Death would reward him for such a gift, and when she did not, he only got angrier. He surely would never have destroyed the Gauntlet without having what he wanted.

In the movie, though, he could not have kept trying to top the last thing he did for five years straight, starting with the Blip. Even if the writers had plenty of ideas and the special effects to show them, the Blip was supposed to be the great loss that the heroes were mourning as they tried to go on with their lives. The story could not have had Thanos do a hundred other things, or even one more thing, worse than the Blip. Thanos from the comics would not even have been motivated to try to stop them from undoing the Blip. He never really cared about it and it hadn’t accomplished the one thing he did want. And Death could not have been changed without creating an entirely new character from scratch, since in the original, she is not much more than a beautiful statue, never saying or doing anything that we see.

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  • This assumes that klling half the population of the universe is not a brain dead approach that achieves nothing. Expanding races will fill up the population gap in how many years? 100? Thanos never actually develops anything close to a real solution for the problem he SUPPOSEDLY tries to solve in the movies.
    – TomTom
    Aug 3, 2022 at 16:47
  • @TomTom There are some fan theories out there based on the climax of Eternals. I don’t think they work completely. Thanos still believes a reductio ad absurdum of the environmentalism of half a century ago, when he was created. There are still people who believe something like Thanos-ism, but it doesn’t feel as relevant today.
    – Davislor
    Aug 3, 2022 at 17:14
  • @TomTom However, that isn’t my main point there. What Thanos in the movie really cares about is the Blip. What the heroes of the movie really care about is undoing the Blip. Regardless of how right or how wrong Thanos is, that works for telling a story. It would not have worked for the heroes and the audience to care most about the Blip, but to have Thanos never care about it at all, only some character who’s a cipher.
    – Davislor
    Aug 3, 2022 at 17:37
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He mentions Death at the end of the 2012 Avengers Film, the end cutscene. "They are unruly therefore they cannot be ruled, to challenge them, is to court Death." I believe it is a Chitauri General speaking to him or something.

He then turns around and smiles at the Camera, this is before Brolin played Thanos and his coloring was more blue.

In the Avengers Assemble Comic line released alongside this movie, the 6 Avengers are the same 6 from the MCU and instead of the Black Order/Children of Thanos they engage a version of the Zodiac. I di not hit every issue but in this particular storyline they did not tap into Death much at all either, at least at first.

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    The question was asking about Marvel's reasons for not including the Death character in the MCU Infinity Saga. This answer skirts around that question without ever directly addressing it. Please only post an answer if you intend to directly answer a question. If you just want to comment on a question, you need to earn a minimum of 50 reputation to unlock the comment everywhere privilege. Take the tour and visit the help center to learn more. Aug 2, 2022 at 2:08
  • also, it's the minion that says that iirc, not Thanos
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 2, 2022 at 18:21
  • I am not sure that one line reference means Lady Death or a death impersonated or is just a reference to "death" (small, not as a name).
    – TomTom
    Aug 3, 2022 at 16:48

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