Thanos is A Killer From The Start
In the Avengers: Infinity War teaser trailer, which earned a milestone-setting 230 million views in its first day, we see Thanos (Josh Brolin) with the Infinity Gauntlet having its first stone already in it. The first stone he collects is the purple-colored Power Stone which we last saw in storage at Nova Corps HQ on the planet Xandar featured heavily in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. That means he goes there, likely wipes them out, and then heads to Earth.
The second stone he gets is the blue Space Stone, which resides within the Tesseract. We see Loki handling the Tesseract to a taller figure in the trailer, in the midst of destruction, essentially confirming that Loki does indeed nab this cosmic cube at the end of Thor: Ragnarok before Asgard is destroyed.
Thanos is coming to collect and Loki is in debt. If you recall the first Avengers movie, it was Thanos who provided the scepter and Mind Stone to Loki, along with a weak sauce Chitauri army to "invade" Earth, and collect the Tesseract. Loki of course failed, lost the scepter, and Thor took Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard (but inexplicably left the scepter). That meant Thanos had zero stones instead of two. That meant Thanos failed as a strategist making his first introduction in the MCU a rather weak one.
Not to be outdone, Thanos couldn't get the job done two years later either when it came to the purple Power Stone when he mistakenly hired Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) to collect it in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Notice the theme here of Thanos failing. Over and over. Big bad master strategist Thanos seems like an idiot, and one who was talked down to by Ronan. Ronan even killed Thanos' servant and Thanos did nothing. Not impressive as the deadliest Avengers villain, right?
So how does Marvel make up for that and re-position Thanos as a legitimate foe?
Have him quickly and effectively do what he does best: kill everything. Have him wipe out Xandar (kickstarting the reason the Guardians get involved) and provide a future need for a new Nova Corps like the comics (insert need for Nova spinoff in Phase 4!) and then when Thanos confronts the surviving Asgardians from Thor: Ragnarok, he can take them out too, get the Tesseract from Loki, and kill him.
Thanos does not forgive. He should kill Loki. And if this can happen in the first act of Avengers: Infinity War, audiences will know Thanos means business and can take him seriously.
New Marvel Cinematic Universe Needs New Villains
By the end of the untitled Avengers 4 in 2019, Phase 3 will conclude and along with it, the entire 22-set of films forming the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are many films with many heroes coming after it (and now, potentially the X-Men and Fantastic Four!) of course, but these three phases will end the franchise in its current form.
That means, for story and contractual reasons, it's possible none of the original six Avengers will star in their own films as leads after Avengers 4. It means that along with sequels for the newer characters (Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, etc.) and all-new properties (including cosmic spinoffs of Guardians of the Galaxy), new and more meaningful villains will need to take the spotlight. Some of them have already been introduced or will be soon. But just like we suspect a few Avengers will be gone in 2019, so to should Loki.
His arc is complete. Loki was a villain, sometimes a hero. He faked his death once already, got the throne, and even helped Asgard as it fell. There's little more he can do as a cinematic villain. Bye bye, God of Mischief.
Share your thoughts and theories, hopes and desires for Avengers 3 and 4, and let us know what you want to see in Phase 4 in the comments!
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