(Note: This post contains spoilers for the end of “Avengers: Infinity War.”)
The people of the U.S. had quite a few reactions to Donald Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, but none was quite as good as the “Avengers: Infinity War” meme shared by “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn.
Gunn was was one of the many people on and off the Internet who were critical of Trump’s meeting with Putin, during which the American president blamed bad relations between the U.S. and Russia on previous administrations and institutions such as the FBI. Trump’s soft-touch treatment of Putin and Russia drew fierce criticism from Democrats, Republicans and regular folks on social media.
Gunn shared this meme that perfectly summed up many people’s feelings about the situation — one that compared Putin to “Infinity War” villain Thanos (Josh Brolin).
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 17, 2018
When asked about Russia’s involvement in meddling in the 2016 presidential election — something the U.S. intelligence community says happened, and blames on Russia — Trump said Putin had strongly denied the allegations.
“They said, ‘I think it is Russia.’ I have President Putin. He just said it is not Russia,” Trump said at the summit, after meeting with Putin privately for two hours. “I will say this: I do not see any reason why it would be.”
Again, the entire U.S. intelligence community would be why.
Even Trump’s own party was shocked at his buddy-buddy approach to Putin. Arizona Sen. John McCain released a lengthy statement condemning Trump’s actions, and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan were critical of Trump’s words.
The meme finds Captain America (Chris Evans) in the role of Trump, taking a known villain at his word. In “Infinity War,” Thanos’ goal is to use the all-powerful Infinity Stones to instantly wipe out half the life in the universe — and at the end of the movie, he manages to get all the stones and execute his plan. Almost instantly half the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe turn to dust.
The joke in the meme being, of course, that Thanos did that in the movie, and Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential elections, and neither of those facts is really in dispute.
Unless you’re Donald Trump.