Marvel really set the cat (girl) among the pigeons (geeks) this year, when with a single smile from his purple face, it was revealed that Thanos was the big bad behind everything in The Avengers. (Cueing all the non-comic geeks to ask “Is that Hulk? Why is he purple?”)
While it definitely implied that the Mad Titan would be soon be facing off against’s Marvel’s cinematic best, the specifics were kept tightly under wraps. But now we’ve got our first few clues as to how Thanos fits into Marvel’s Phase Two landscape.
Cosmic Book News caught up the character’s creator, Jim Starlin, at the Montreal Comic Con, where he revealed that not only was Thanos definitely going to be the villain in Avengers 2, but that he would also be in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now this is not the most groundbreaking news, as the first part was already almost confirmed a while back by Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige, and the second part was assumed by most based on how much history the Guardians had with Thanos – it would be the perfect launching vehicle similar to how Thor setup Loki for The Avengers.
What is interesting though, is that Starlin indicates that Thanos may not be the only one of his creations that will be wearing the black hat in Guardians: It looks like Adam Warlock and Magus may both also be showing up.
Now for the benefit of those of you who haven’t had your nose buried in a comic for the last 20 years, here’s the reader’s digest version: Adam Warlock is an artificially created human with the basic flight, invulnerability and super strength power set as well as the ability to manipulate cosmic energies. At one point he comes into possession of the Soul Gem – one of the reality altering gems that Thanos eventually uses to create his Infinity Gauntlet – which greatly increase his powers and which he uses to battle evil throughout the galaxy.
Soon though he runs into the Universal Church of Truth – a galaxy spanning religious group bent on converting all in their path (or killing them, whichever comes first) – and their immensely powerful leader, Magus. Warlock teams up with a group of other cosmic characters, among them future Guardians member Gamora, and her once upon a time mentor Thanos, and together they do battle with the Church’s forces.
But Warlock soon makes the startling discovery that Magus is actually his alternate future self, corrupted by overuse of the Soul Gem, who has travelled back in time to subtly guide the present Warlock through a series of actions that will ensure he eventually becomes Magus. It’s Thanos that eventually provides Warlock with the means to defeat Magus by sending him slightly further into the future where he alters his timeline so that Magus never gets created.
This is a bit of a simplification of the story, yes, but as you can see there certainly is major precedent for having Thanos, Warlock and Magus along with the Guardians in a single film. It would be a pretty cool spin on things to have Thanos start out helping the Guardians only to have his true intentions and supervillain aspirations revealed at the end. It’s been hinted that Guardians of the Galaxy would take place in the future, so it could be that at the end of the film that Thanos escapes to the past with the Soul Gem, prompting him facing off against the Avengers as they try to prevent his creation of the Infinity Gauntlet.
That last bit is all speculation on my part, of course, but it sure as hell would leave the comic geeks slack-jawed if it did play out like that.
Guardians of the Galaxy is due in theaters Aug. 1, 2014, while The Avengers 2 will arrive May 1, 2015.
Last Updated: September 20, 2012