Who or what is Thanos? (Photo / Internet)
Everyone in the entire world seemed to have flocked to the cinemas to catch ‘The Avengers’, making the epic superhero team up a staggering US$207 million over its opening weekend in just the US alone. Global earnings for the movie are now up to over US$700 million, making it likely for ‘The Avengers’ to cross the US$1 billion mark as well as possibly set a few records, like taking a place on the top three highest grossing movies of all time.
Also read: ‘The Avengers’ movie review
Obviously, a sequel is on the way, and in trademark Marvel Studios' fashion, hints were left in many spots, most obviously in a mid-credits scene where audiences were treated to the sight of a blue/purplish alien face grinning happily at the thought of killing some more humans. Of course, that led some audiences to wonder who this dude is. The answer to that? Thanos.
(And... if you left before seeing this, c'mon. It's a Marvel Studios film, there's always a post credits scene. This isn't your first rodeo!)
Thanos in an issue of 'The Avengers'
Thanos, famously known as “The Mad Titan” to comic book fanboys, is well, ummm... a being born into a race named the ‘Eternals’ on Saturn’s moon, Titan.
However, as he was born with the Deviant gene, he looks different from the rest of the Titanian Eternals, and instead looks like their cousin race, the Deviants.
Although not treated unfairly by his race, he was still mindful of his appearance and mostly kept to himself and his brother, Starfox. So, what makes him suitable to be the big bad villain for a future ‘Avengers’ sequel? Director Joss Whedon explained in an interview to Slashfilm.com:
“To me, he (Thanos) is the most powerful and fascinating Marvel villain. He’s the great granddaddy of the badasses and he’s in love with Death and I just think that’s so cute. The greatest Avengers (comic) was ‘The Avengers annual' that Jim Starlin did followed by ‘The Thing 2 in 1’ that contained the death of Adam Warlock. Those were some of the most important texts one of the most underrated milestones in Marvel history; and Thanos is all over that. (For 'The Avengers') Somebody had to be in control and be behind Loki’s work; I was like ‘It’s got to be Thanos.’ And they said ‘Okay’ and I’m like ‘Oh my God!’”
Blink and you miss it but there’s a line in the mid-credits scene that a Shitari mentioned something about “courting Death.” What does that even mean?
Also read: Assembling ‘The Avengers’
Well, fans of the comics may or may not remember this but Thanos' signature story arc is one named ‘The Infinity Gauntlet’, in which he committed mass genocide in his attempt to woo the female embodiment of death, Mistress Death herself -- that would make an awesome story arc in ‘The Avengers’ sequel.
You can catch a glimpse of The Infinity Gauntlet in 'Thor'
Funnily enough, the Infinity Gauntlet made a brief cameo in ‘Thor’. This ridiculously bling-ed out glove, when paired with six Infinity Gems – Soul (Green), Time (Orange), Space (Purple), Mind (Blue), Reality (Yellow) and Power (Red), not just combines to form a fashion accessory that would put any rapper to shame, but also grants the wielder absolute control over those areas.
Basically, Thanos gains omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and other God-like powers when he puts on that shiny glove-thing, and was smacking around some of the Marvel Universe's best heroes like mere flies. These abilities are in addition to some of his otherworldly powers that the ‘Eternals’ possess.
Who would have known that a blue/purple dude rocking a gold headpiece/codpiece would be so amazingly powerful?
One thing's for sure, if the Avengers are going to face him, they better get more heroes because they have their work cut out for them.
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