WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War
The ending of Avengers: Infinity War may feel like a nightmare, but it's a dream come true for Marvel fans to see 'Farmer Thanos' become MCU canon. It's an ending for the Infinity Gauntlet villain that is definitely pulled directly from the comic books, and brings the life of Thanos to a peaceful end. Nevertheless, it's one most comic book fans probably never expected to see adapted to film - along with one of Avengers: Infinity War's best Easter Eggs.
As those who have seen the movie already know, the final act is brought to a close by Thanos snapping his fingers and wiping out half of the universe. It's the mission he set out on as a means to "re-balance the universe," and his determination was too much for even Marvel's heroes to stop. The mass killing is treated as something of a cliffhanger in the film, when it was actually what started the comic book version of Infinity War. A large fight followed, leaving Thanos to disappear and escape his punishment.
In the comics, his exile came after failing his mission. In the movie, he succeeds... but his exile is practically identical to the page, Thanos-armored scarecrow and all.
The term "Farmer Thanos" is one that most comic afficionados will recognize, referring to the last scene in which Thanos appears in Jim Starlin's original Infinity Gauntlet miniseries. Having reversed the half-universe-murder and claimed the gauntlet for himself, the cosmic champion Adam Warlock takes some friends to a distant planet to show them a surprise. The surprise is Thanos - the one-time potential ruler of all Creation - living as a humble farmer, wishing only to be left alone.
As a true sign of how far he has fallen, his ceremonial gold and purple armor now dress a scarecrow, while the 'Mad Titan' wears something close to rags.
It's an admittedly odd note to end on, with dialogue boxes suggesting that Thanos has wound up winning a preferable fate to godhood. Sure, he would eventually return as one of Marvel's greatest supervillains lusting for universal domination. But the closing panels of Thanos the Farmer are hard to forget. Apparently, that goes for the makers of Avengers: Infinity War as well.
The film adapts more comic moments than any one comic plot, but the Russo Brothers still make sure to end their film on the very same image. In this case Thanos has actually succeeded in killing half of all life, leaving it behind victorious, not defeated. Just as he promises earlier in the film, he wishes only to retire to a small farm and observe the sun rising on a new universe.
Taking a seat on his front steps, just like the comic. And with his armor adorning a scarecrow nearby, as well.
The choice to mimic the comic's conclusion so closely is a treat for fans, and likely one of the most satisfying Marvel Comic references in its entire runtime. Although fans might actually call the Infinity War version an improvement, making Thanos's entire emotional arc lead him to that very point - not merely a place to hide from those would would seek vengeance.
Now, fans have to wait and see if he rises from those same steps, and dons his armor once more. After that, the comic books are as blind to the MCU's future as any moviegoer.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018