Avengers: Infinity War is upon us. Some lucky fans have already attended special screenings of the film, many will attend Thursday night previews, and most of the world will head out this weekend to see what kind of havoc the Mad Titan Thanos will unleash on our merry band of superheroes.
Most Marvel fans are well-educated on members of the Avengers as they have watched their stories develop on screen for the last 10 years. Little is known, however, about Thanos himself. Sure, everyone knows he’s one of the biggest superhero villains of all time with a wealth of power and determination, but in order to fully understand the Mad Titan this weekend, it’s best to delve into his past and learn more about the power-hungry villain.
He’s not trying to destroy the universe, he’s trying to save it.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Thanos when it comes to his goals and purpose. Long-time comic book readers will know this, but MCU fans who weren’t comic fans until now might have gotten this wrong.
Thanos is trying to bring sustainability to the universe to prevent it from being destroyed. He watched his home planet of Titan be demolished and most of his race become extinct.
“He thinks he sees life expanding outward unchecked. That will bring ruin, he believes, to the universe and to that life,” MCU head Kevin Feige explained (via MCU Exchange).
Love drove him a little mad
It’s rumored this storyline will not appear in Avengers: Infinity War, but it’s worth noting. Thanos fell in love with Death itself, which in the comics was in human female form. Thanos did everything in his power to satisfy and impress Mistress Death, making his desire for the gauntlet and Infinity Stones all the more powerful. Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, he never fully gained Death’s love and she abandoned him.
The Black Order
Every villain needs an entourage, right? Most loyal MCU fans have done their research on the Black Order after the first Infinity War trailer debuted, but here’s a simple breakdown of his followers that will appear in the movie.
- Corvus Glaive – Thanos’ right hand, husband of Proxima Midnight. His pike is virtually indestructible and can cut through anything.
- Proxima Midnight – Corvus Glaive’s wife, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, much like Black Widow.
- Ebony Maw – Insanely smart, shown in trailer torturing Dr. Strange.
- Black Dwarf – Corvus Glaive’s brother, dangerously strong. Known as Cull Obsidian in Infinity War film.
He is the leader of two armies
MCU fans are all aware of the Chitauri, the alien army led by Loki in the original Avengers film. Thanos is their true leader, and they can also be seen briefly in the second Infinity War trailer during a flashback scene of Thanos with a young Gamora.
The second army, which we will see invade Wakanda, are the Outriders. Outriders are a genetically engineered alien race whose sole purpose is to follow orders. Thanos used the Outriders to wipe out weak races on various planets, and they would also be used to scout potential planets to take over.
He can lift Mjolnir
Though technically unworthy to rule Asgard, Thanos could still pick up Thor’s hammer with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet. Unfortunately, that plot point from the comics can’t possibly happen in Infinity War since poor Mjolnir was destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.
He was born with a powerful deformity
Thanos is not like others of his race. He can be paralleled to the mutants we know from the X-Men franchise, just with a completely different agenda.
According to the Marvel Encyclopedia by Alastair Dougall, Thanos is also an Eternal, who was born with Deviant Syndrome. This caused him to look more like a Deviant, the enemies of the Eternals. This syndrome would also make him more powerful than other Eternals, which caused his mother to attempt to murder him.