The full-length Avengers: Infinity War trailer has finally arrived, and it suggests that one of Thanos’ most iconic moments from the comics just might happen on the big screen. The upcoming superhero team-up movie is arguably the most-anticipated comic book movie ever to release – and for good reason. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a script by writing duo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Avengers: Infinity War culminates the past 10 years of storytelling within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The third Avengers film unites the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (along with the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy) for an ultimate showdown with the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his loyal Black Order, who’ve come to Earth in search of the final Infinity Stones. As shown in the first Avengers 3 trailer, Thanos obtains at least two of the Stones in this film – the Space Stone (The Avengers) hidden within the Tesseract that Loki takes from Asgard’s vault and the Power Stone (Guardians of the Galaxy) from the Nova Corps – and he uses those Stones to combat the Avengers and their band of superheroes, who are attempting to prevent Thanos from getting the other four Infinity Stones, because, if he does, it’s game over.
In the comics, Thanos obtains all six Infinity Stones in the first issue of Jim Starlin’s iconic 1991 comic book limited series, The Infinity Gauntlet. And in that issue, the Mad Titan wipes out half of all life in the universe with just the snap of his fingers. It’s a momentous moment not only in the series but in comics in general, and it’s one that Gamora (Zoe Saldana) says might just happen on the big screen. In the new Infinity War trailer, she says, “The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal: to wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with the snap of his fingers.”
While Gamora’s warning may sound a bit far-fetched to non-comic book readers, especially those who haven’t read The Infinity Gauntlet… it’s not. As previously mentioned, Thanos did manage to wipe out half the universe – including half of the Avengers, Guardians, X-Men, etc. – with the snap of his fingers. The thing is, it didn’t happen in issue #3 or #4, it happened in issue #1, and it occurred about midway through that issue. It wasn’t a cliffhanger to keep readers going, it was the hook to grab their attention. Needless to say, it worked. It’s an iconic and sobering moment for comic book fans, who saw a villain actually capable of winning. The snap is what forced all the remaining heroes to unite to defeat Thanos, but in the movie it seems that it’s what the Avengers are trying to prevent. While it may or may not happen in the movie is yet to be determined, but at least it’s something that’s on the table. The question is, why does he want to do that?
Thanos’ exact motivations in the movies are still somewhat murky but it appears that they are decidedly different from his motivations in the comics. Throughout his life, Thanos tried to impress Mistress Death, and his grand scheme to finally win her affection was to collect all six Infinity Stones, embed them onto the Infinity Gauntlet, and wipe out half the universe. In the MCU, however, it seems that Thanos might be motivated by a form of population control. According to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Thanos might be trying to make sure that all species in the universe don’t reach extinction due to something preventable, which is what happened to his homeworld, Titan. So, is Thanos the good guy? Not really, he still wants to slaughter billions of souls… by snapping his fingers.
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