The Mad Titan will be sporting a different look when he begins gathering the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos will be shedding the armor in favor of a more casual appearance. The change is said to be reflective of the character’s journey in the film.
The change was noted when the San Diego Comic Con 2017 poster for Avengers: Infinity War had Thanos front and center, but without his helmet and armor. It’s an iconic look that’s been associated with the character since his debut in Iron Man #55 in 1973. Though the character’s design has indeed gone through changes since that issue, the armor itself has been a constant for the character.
Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo spoke to IGN about the character’s new look. Russo revealed that the change in appearance has very much to do with what Thanos is trying to accomplish with the Infinity Stones:
[Thanos] has a more casual approach in this film, and it’s very philosophical for him. It’s part of his character definition. It’s a spiritual journey for him to collect the Stones, and one with which he doesn’t need armor. Once he starts acquiring the Stones, he doesn’t need armor in the same way he did when he was a war lord. It’s a very symbolic costume.
It was finally brought to the big screen when Thanos made his live-action debut in the post-credits scene for The Avengers in 2012. Thanos was shown wearing it again in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Thanos is rarely seen without his armor, but it does happen on certain occasions. One instance of this came at the end of Infinity Gauntlet when Thanos embarked on a much different spiritual journey. It was a journey of self-discovery in which Thanos decided to live a humble life after failing to destroy the universe. Though seeing Thanos without his iconic armor is like seeing Captain America without his shield (which may also happen in the film), the reasoning for the decision does make sense, considering what we know of the character and what his plans are.
Since the Infinity Stones give the user omnipotence, Thanos honestly wouldn’t need armor. Why wear armor when nothing can hurt you? It could be that this mindset is what will lead to Thanos’ downfall in the film. In the comic books, arrogance was always Thanos’ biggest character flaw. It was said in a 1990s comic that in each of Thanos’s three defeats, his arrogance was the cause of his failure. Adam Warlock stated that Thanos always loses because deep down, Thanos knows he isn’t worthy of the Infinity Gauntlet and its power.
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