Does Thanos Already Have The Power To Defeat The Avengers?
From the moment a smiling Thanos was seen in The Avengers' mid-credits scene, it was clear that the Mad Titan would become the team's ultimate enemy. Finally, that's going to come to a head, with the foreboding Infinity War trailers making the scale of the threat Thanos poses to the world abundantly clear. Of course, he's made all the more imposing by the fact The Avengers are "ill-prepared" after the in-fighting that took place in Captain America: Civil War.
And that's where things get interesting. While Thanos is collecting the full set of Infinity Stones for a purpose, he doesn't need them all to defeat the Avengers. Most of the released footage has shown him to be in the possession of two Infinity Stones - the Power Stone and the Space Stone - with a recent TV spot suggesting he'll add the Reality and Soul Gems to his collection. Considering how previous Marvel movies have already shown us what those Stones are capable of, victory feels like it could be within Thanos' grasp before he even finds the last two; were the Stones utilized correctly, Thanos would be unstoppable.
If this is true, the Avengers shouldn't stand a chance... unless Thanos shares the flaws of his comic book counterpart.
Could Thanos' Self-Doubt Defeat Him In The MCU?
Infinity Gauntlet is - in part - the inspiration for Avengers: Infinity War, although it's not clear how much of the comics will translate to the movie. After all, while we have Infinity Gems and the Gauntlet, there's not much to line up the comic to what we've seen of the movie. What we do know is that the film will delve deep into Thanos. He is the film's lead character, with John Brolin providing an "empathetic" performance that delves deep into Thanos' origin. Revealing that the all-powerful Mad Titan doubts his worthiness could be an smart twist that fits a lot of what's been said by the filmmakers yet most fans won't see coming.
As with the comics, could the Soul Stone hold the key to Thanos' defeat? Adam Warlock won't be around to uncover the truth hidden within Thanos' heart, but if another character were to get their hands on the Stone, some version of the events in Infinity Gauntlet could unfold on the big screen. The Soul Stone is the only Infinity Gem whose whereabouts have yet to be revealed, which only amps up the mystery; it's been teased as "the biggest threat of them all", so it's definitely feeling like it'll be key.
What This Means For The Avengers Going Forward
Thanos' defeat in Infinity Gauntlet had long-term consequences for the character that played out in subsequent storylines such as Infinity War and Infinity Crusade; Thanos went through a period of self-reflection and became a farmer. His ambitions of destroying the universe began to fade away - at least temporarily. Though Thanos never went as far as becoming a good guy, he did join forces with Adam Warlock against the Magus. That's all unlikely to form part of the MCU, but should the loss happen there would still be a big impact.
The implications of such a defeat really hinge on when it happens. While Infinity War is the culmination of the MCU thus far, it's not the end; next May is Avengers 4, originally announced as Infinity War Part 2, indicating that, whatever goes down in Avengers 3, it's not the end of Thanos. If he's going to be the root of his own problems, then that leads to one of two outcomes: Avengers 4's time travel is a direct result of his self-defeating ethos; or it's the 0.05% chance leads to him eventually conceding.
Much of the hype for Avengers: Infinity War has centered on which Avengers will die, but the question of how its villain is defeated - and by whom - is just as potent. And while someone like Gamora or Nebula certainly make sense, perhaps Thanos' own doubts are the best potential weakness
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019