Can Flash Thanos kill
The Avengers' greatest villain, Thanos, declared
Avengers: Infinity War marks the first major film appearance by Thanos, a major Marvel supervillain with decades of comic history. But after ten years of construction and six years of the character having little cameos, the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't really tell us anything about Thanos the Mad Titan, the greatest villain the Avengers ever had to fight.
Here's everything we know about the Thanos from the comics and the movies. And don't worry - There are no spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War in this post!
Who is Thanos?
Little is known about Thanos' history prior to the events of The Avengers 2012. He appears to be a powerful leader of armies, elite warriors and assassins who conquered and destroyed numerous worlds in a distant region of space. Damion Poitier played the character in The Midgers, while Josh Brolin played him in all subsequent appearances. Ultimately, Thanos tries to collect and use the power of all six Infinity Stones, but he hasn't been very good at that so far.
Black Panther explains
What are Marvel's Infinity Stones - and where are they?
OK, recap Thanos' story for me.
We were introduced to Thanos in The Avengers when he found out that humans had located the space stone on Earth (in the shape of the Tesseract). He allied himself with the nefarious Asgardian Loki and provided him with an army of Chitauri and a scepter with the Spirit Stone so that he could bow to others in his campaign to save the Space Stone. Ironically, that plan was just the formation of the Avengers, who defeated Loki and took possession of both the Space and Mind Stones.
Then, in 2014 on Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos tried again to team up with Ronan, the prosecutor, to regain the Power Stone - only to be able to put it down from Peter Quill, a relatively inexperienced scavenger. Thanos sent Ronan to Quill with the help of his best assassin, Gamora. Gamora took this opportunity to betray Thanos, sell the stone to the collector, and flee. Thanos sent Ronan again with the help of one of his assassins "daughters" - Nebel - but instead of returning the stone, Ronan decided to exercise his power himself and take revenge on the planet Xandar for suppressing his people, the Kree. The fog flew next to him.
Ironically, this time around Thanos' plan was to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, who recovered the Power Stone and gave it to the Nova Corps, the Xandarian Peacekeeping Force, for safekeeping. Thanos lost the stone and two of his best killers whom he had trained from childhood and treated as "daughters".
After all of this, Thanos has apparently realized that the acquisition of the Infinity Stones cannot be achieved through delegation. His last screen appearance in a Marvel movie was the mid-credits scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), in which he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Since then, Thanos has said goodbye to his sweet time. His last implied appearance was in the 2017 closing credits: Thor: Ragnarok, in which, it appears, its flagship, the Sanctuary II, catches up with Thor's Asgardian refugees. What happens next seems to be a question for Avengers: Infinity War.
Is Thanos also about the infinity stones in the comics?
100 percent, yes.
Thanos's first major arcs as a villain revolved around wanting to become omnipotent, mostly by collecting the Infinity Stones (known as Infinity Gems in the comics). When he first collected the stones, he tried to wipe out all the stars in the universe. The second time he brought them together in the Infinity Gauntlet and granted him omnipotence. He used this power to instantly kill half the population of the universe (don't worry, it was OK in the end).
What else do we know about him from comics?
Thanos' first appearance was Iron Man # 55 in 1973, co-written by Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin and drawn by Starlin. Starlin has said he met Thanos while on a college course in psychology: a character motivated by nihilism and a fascination with death.
Thanos was born on Saturn's moon Titan and has always been a space-based opponent of Earth's superheroes. He belonged to a powerful, genetically engineered offshoot of the human race known as the Eternals.
Wait, isn't that the same origin story as the Inhumans?
Yes basically. Jack Kirby really liked shaggy God stories. He created the Eternals at Marvel Comics after he created the New Gods (a new pantheon of gods born after the death of the old pantheon) at DC Comics - and after he and Stan Lee created the Inhumans (genetically advanced people with divine powers) had created.
The Eternals and their enemies, the Deviants, are two different races that were genetically made from proto-humans 5 million years ago by the beings known as Celestial Figures (Ego is a celestial body in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). At one point, many of the Eternals traveled to Titan to begin a new life outside of Earth. Known as the Titans, these Eternals give Thanos his most famous obituary, the Mad Titan.
And although it was created by Starlin, Thanos bears a strong resemblance to one of Kirby's Shaggy Gods: Darkseid.
But is Thanos a real rip off from Darkseid?
Jim Starlin is happy to admit that he was inspired by Jack Kirby's work on the New Gods and the Fourth World, which was very popular in the development of Thanos at the time.
"You might think that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, the villain of the New Gods," he told the comic magazine Artist in 1998, "but that wasn't the case when I showed up. If he was in my first drawings by Thanos looked like someone it was the time-traveling New God Metron. I had all these different gods and things I wanted to do that became Thanos and the titans. [Editor Roy Thomas] glanced at the man on the metron- like chair and said, "Beef Be-up! If you steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one! "
Thanos and his fellow human beings did not start out as Eternals, however - because the Eternals did not yet exist. Jack Kirby put them in Marvel canon after his Fourth World Stories were canceled in DC, three years after Starlin's first Thanos story. Thanos and the Titans eventually became an offshoot of the Eternals.
To recap, Jack Kirby wrote the Fourth World Saga at DC Comics after Marvel Comics refused to let him there. Jim Starlin was inspired by the Fourth World to create Marvel's Thanos, based in part on DC's Darkseid. Kirby left DC to return to Marvel and wrote another world-like pantheon of gods, the Eternals. And Thanos, inspired by Kirby's original Fourth World work at DC, was merged into an Eternal.
If you understand all of this correctly, you may have a future in comic journalism. However, if you take away one thing from this explanation, it should be this: Thanos is a rip off from Darkseid, not the other way around.
Wait, why does Thanos want the Infinity Stones so badly in the first place?
Where Thanos in the comics can deviate from his cinematic counterpart lies in his motivation. Just as Darkseid was obsessed with the anti-life equation, Starlin's Thanos is obsessed with death. That is, the sentient cosmic entity that represents the concept of death in the Marvel Universe: Capital-D Death.
The death of the wonder universe can manifest itself physically in a number of ways, but often appears as a humanoid woman, even if she is skeletal. Death appeared to Thanos in his youth, presumably due to his obsession with death and nihilism, and the two formed a relationship - a relationship that apparently hit the rocky coast when Thanos was first defeated by the Avengers. Since then, Thanos has been characterized by his need to pay tribute to death on a cosmic level, that is, to cause a truly staggering number of deaths in order to regain their affection.
Thanos 'It's Complicated' relationship with death was never directly mentioned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, in an ending credits scene from The Avengers in which the Others claim that an attack on Earth would mean the death of the court, it seems outrageous.
So we can't say for sure whether Thanos' talents will make up a large part of his cinematic incarnation with death - at least not before Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4th.
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