Avengers: Infinity War is only a few months away, and as we are all aware that Thanos will be the main antagonist of the film. There’s never been a better time to catch up with the mad titans history, and to explain about each of the Infinity Stones, if you are not aware of their capabilities.
Thanos made a first surprise appearance at the end of the first Avengers film. While longtime comic book fans of the Marvel universe were aware of who Thanos was, newer fans had taken it upon themselves to find out more about who this mystery villain was.
Thanos was created by Jim Starlin. Starlin created Thanos and Drax in a Psychology class. He was inspired by ideas of repressed anger and obsession. First appearing in Iron Man #55 in February of 1973, many people have dismissed Thanos as being similar to DC‘s popular villain Darkseid, and Starlin has admitted Thanos’ design was inspired by Darkseid. Starlin though, admitted he originally patterned Thanos after New God: Metron. Seeing Starlin’s sketches, Editor In Chief of Marvel at the time Roy Thomas, told Starlin to “beef him up” and to “make him more similar to Darkseid”.
Thanos’ name is inspired by the Greek idea of Thanatos, the personification of death and oblivian. Eventually, Thanos most definitely lives up to his name.
Page From Iron Man #55 Of Thanos’ First Appearance
Thanos was born on Saturn’s moon Titan, and is the child of Eternals “Mentor” and “Sui-San”. Thanos also shares the physical appearance of the Eternals cousin race, the Deviants. At birth, his mother was shocked by his appearance and attempted to kill him. Thanos, during his childhood years, was a pacifist. But when he reached his adulthood, Thanos started to become fascinated with death. Eventually, he would fall in love with the physical embodiment of death, Mistress Death.
Always seeking to please Mistress Death and because of experimentation on himself, Thanos was exiled from his home world of Titan. He would eventually return and turn Titans nuclear arsenal on his home world and eradicate the people of Titan. Including his own mother.
When Thanos was introduced in Iron Man #55, he was introduced as cunning, and a threat whose plans are very complex. Thanos revealed at one point his plan to possess the cosmic cube. He’s perceived as a master manipulator and cosmic nihilist. He was obsessed with Death and the idea of Oblivian. Marvel writers and artists always rendered him being deep in thought with Mistress Death standing by his side. He would always leave the heroes an opening to defeat, so Thanos always lead to his own defeat. Thanos’ ego was so big that he enjoyed toying with his enemies, and drawing out their torment to the greatest degree. During his first major arc Thanos had many opportunities to destroy Captain Marvel or Rick Jones, but chose to toy with them. in which Captain Marvel was able to destroy the cosmic cube.
After his defeat, Thanos’ attention was drawn by Adam Warlock and the Magus (Warlocks evil doppleganger). Thanos saw him as a threat and working with Adam Warlock, Pip the Troll, and Gamora, destroyed the Magus. Thanos eventually concocted a new plan to show his devotion to Mistress Death, using the Infinity Gems to power a cannon that would destroy all of reality. Warlock must turn to the Avengers and Captain Marvel for help since Warlock was trapped in the soul gem. Eventually, Spider Man would free him and turn Thanos into stone.
Fans didn’t see Thanos again. Not until “The Infinity Gauntlet” which was one of Marvel’s most iconic story-arcs that defined him for many readers. In this storyline, he used the Infinity Gems to wipe out half the universe with the snap of his fingers. Eventually every Marvel hero who was not wiped out goes to face him and in an unforgettable fashion, kills every hero that fought against him. And Captain America being the last, stands up against him and fights him to his death. Eventually though, all the heroes are resurrected by the Infinity Gems, thanks to Adam Warlock. But, Infinity Gauntlet was a defining moment for Thanos in which the villain stood victorious.
Now before we continue let’s take a look at the Infinity Gems. If you are not aware there are six gems and whoever holds all six gems can bend and control all of reality. First, we have the soul gem which is capable of allowing a user to steal, control and manipulate souls, living or dead. The time gem, as seen in Doctor Strange, allows the user to control and travel through time. The space stone allows the user to exist in any location and move any object through reality. The mind stone allows the user to access thoughts and dreams of other beings. There was a tie-in to the Infinity Gauntlet storyline where Thanos would enter and attempt to manipulate Spider Man’s mind. The reality stone allows a user to bend reality and fullfill all of their wishes. The power stone allows the user to enchance their physical strength and durability, and at it’s potential grants the user omnipotence.
Multiple people throughout the Marvel universe have held and used the infinity gems. The Illuminati (consisting of Iron Man, Black Panther, Professor X, Mr Fantastic, and Namor) at one point each separated the Infinity Gems and held onto to each.
Eventually Thanos would return as a more heroic figure in the Infinity War where he must fight the Magus against all the Marvel heroes. This storyline was a hit among the fans and stands as what potential storytelling can be told with Thanos. His next big story was Annihilation when Drax and Gamora return and the most shocking moment came when Drax succeeds in ripping out the heart of Thanos.
Thanos would eventually return for the Thanos Imperative, which would be his last appearance before the first Avengers film.
Eventually Thanos’ next major event was Infinity which had Thanos in a major role, where he comes to Earth looking for his Inhuman son. Thanos has been in many different storylines such as Civil War II and even has his own title.
Fans are eagerly waiting for his appearance in May as the big bad of Avengers: Infinity War and next year’s Avengers 4. But it may be dark for some, if the mad titan had his way.
What do you think of Thanos’ extensive background? Let us know in the comments below!