Thanos has, thus far, been a mere observer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, ever since his first appearance in the mid-credits scene of The Avengers back in 2012, it’s been made very clear that the Mad Titan will be making his presence felt in spectacular fashion in due course.
After that mid-credits cameo, he went on to make appearances in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the mid-credits scene of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it will be 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War when he will truly start to shake things up (whether or not he makes any cameos in any 2017 MCU offerings remains to be seen).
The mighty villain’s potential is huge. Not only does he have an abundance of powers and abilities at his base level, his powers will increase exponentially with the Infinity Gauntlet at his disposal. There are also thirty-four years of comic book appearances for Marvel Studios to take influence from when it comes to his actions in the MCU — and it’s undoubtedly going to be extremely interesting finding out which famous scenes will be adapted into live-action.
There are, however, some unforgettable Thanos scenes that will never be reenacted on the big screen for a variety of reasons. This article will run through just a few examples of that. Here are 15 Amazing Thanos Moments We’ll Never See In The MCU.
15. Fighting Galactus
Thanos versus Galactus is a gargantuan battle of epic proportions that has actually happened on several occasions in the comic books (too many to mention individually). Sadly, given that the rights to Galactus lie with Fox and not Marvel Studios (remember that horrible cloud version of the character in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer?), it won’t happen in the MCU anytime soon.
Galactus is the Devourer of Worlds and is undoubtedly more powerful than Thanos — but that hasn’t stopped the Mad Titan from attacking him a number of times, even without the aid of power-ups like the Infinity Gauntlet. He has attacked both Galactus’ body and mind, and has in fact troubled him in one-on-one combat, but he always ends up coming out second best.
It would be fantastic to see Thanos being bold enough to go up against Galactus in live action — it would make for an epic movie battle — but fans will have to make do with him fighting the combined forces of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy for the time being.
14. Turning Wolverine To Mush
In spite of its name, Avengers: Infinity War is expected to take the majority of its plot from 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc, where Thanos gathers the six Infinity Gems (or Infinity Stones, as they’re known in the MCU), and causes havoc on a universal scale.
In the comic arc, there were a number of characters involved who simply can’t be used by Marvel Studios at present — the likes of the Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Galactus, and Wolverine and his fellow X-Men, to name a few. Unfortunately, that means movie audiences will be denied some classic moments from the comics. There’ll be no confrontation between Thanos and the aforementioned Doom or Galan, and there’ll be no casual defeating of the aforementioned Wolverine. Thanos used his godly powers to turn Wolverine’s adamantium-coated skeleton to a spongy mush, rendering him completely immobile and humiliated. But thanks to Fox’s ownership of Logan’s movie rights, that won’t be seen on screen. There will, however, be an opportunity to include moments like Thor being turned to glass, Iron Man being beheaded, and Nova being turned into a child’s toy building blocks. It remains to be seen which such horrific actions will be selected for inclusion.
13. As A Member Of The Infinity Watch
Believe it or not, in spite of his… let’s say… less than stellar history with the Infinity Gems in the comic books, Thanos has actually been entrusted as a member of the group known as the Infinity Watch. The Infinity Watch are six individuals whose responsibility it is to each look after one of the Infinity Gems, so that they aren’t all gathered by a single individual whose intentions with them collectively are nefarious. The group first appeared in 1992’s Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1.
The group has also included the likes of Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Maxam, Moondragon, Pip the Troll, and Adam Warlock — some of whom already exist in the MCU, but all of whom potentially could going forward — so there’s a good chance it could come into existence after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, once the heroes of the franchise realize what the Infinity Stones are truly capable of. However, given that Thanos has been hyped up as the franchise’s big-bad for five years so far (six by the time the Infinity War movie comes around), he’ll never intentionally be given one of the powerful items to look after — even if he survives the backlash of the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and their allies.
12. Having His Heart Ripped Out By Drax
In all likelihood, Thanos is going to be defeated in the MCU. While it would be refreshing to see the villain come out as the victor in the Avengers: Infinity War event, Marvel Studios seem to enjoy sticking to the tried and tested “good guys always come out on top” formula. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how exactly the Mad Titan’s plight comes to an end. One thing’s for sure, however: he’s not going to have his heart ripped out by Drax the Destroyer.
It happened in 2006’s Annihilation #4 (and actually resulted in Drax almost dooming the entire universe, but whatever). It’s actually kind of been teased on the big screen, as Drax is indeed on a mission to kill Thanos, but that particular scenario is far too violent and gory for the MCU.
You have to remember that Marvel Studios is owned by Walt Disney Studios, so MCU movies are essentially Disney movies. While we don’t expect the sweetness and light of A Goofy Movie or Ratatouille, we can’t can’t expect the violence and gore of Friday the 13th, either. Thanos’ demise will be spectacular, but it won’t be like this.
11. Becoming A Humble Farmer
In the same way that Thanos’ MCU story won’t likely come to a climax with an overly bloody death, it certainly won’t end with him becoming a humble farmer. If you aren’t already familiar with the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet arc, you may be surprised to learn that that’s how it ended. Yep, after becoming a god and failing to take over the universe, Thanos decide to take up residence on a quiet planet, reflect on his mistakes, and earn a living from the land.
Frankly, that’s far too boring and anticlimactic for the big screen, and it just won’t happen. Thanos has been built up since 2012 — can you really see Marvel Studios bringing his story to an end on a farm? As interesting as it was to see such an iconic, powerful and evil character living out his days doing honest work, it’s hard to imagine the MCU opting for such an ending for the Mad Titan.
10. Acquiring The Heart Of The Universe
There are few things in the Marvel universe more powerful than the Infinity Gauntlet. Even factoring in both living beings and objects of power, there are only a handful of entities that top it. The likes of the One-Above-All and the Living Tribunal are amongst the only living beings who can cancel out the power of six Infinity Gems, and, in terms of objects, only the Heart of the Universe can be considered more powerful than them.
Very little is actually known about the Heart of the Universe, other than the fact that it’s an energy source that, when possessed by an individual, makes them the supreme being of the Marvel universe. Thanos got his hands on it in 2003’s Marvel: The End arc, and he specifically said that he had never wielded power like it — and that was after he had gotten his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet.
We won’t see the Mad Titan wielding it in the MCU, though, as giving him godlike power on two occasions via two separate MacGuffins would be boring, quite frankly. It would, however, be interesting to see it used as a countermeasure to his rampage with the Infinity Stones, but even that is very unlikely to happen.
9. His Mother Trying To Kill Him As A Baby
In 2013, the Thanos Rising comic book arc focused on the origins of Thanos. It began with the Mad Titan visiting the grave of his mother, Sui-San, at his destroyed home on the Saturn moon Titan, before looking back at his childhood, from the moment he was born, through his school days, into his adulthood, and onto his transformation into a powerful supervillain.
Arguably the most memorable scene from the arc was his mother trying to kill him as soon as he was born. Thanos was born with the Deviant gene — a gene that made him more powerful than other Eternals and rendered him grossly unappealing aesthetically. Sui-San said “Look at its eyes! Don’t you see the death in its eyes?! If we don’t kill it now, we’re all going to… We’re all going to die.” It was actually quite heartbreaking — as was Thanos’ shy and lonely childhood — in spite of what he grew up to become, but we won’t see any of that in the MCU. There’ll be far too much going on in Avengers: Infinity War to bother looking at Thanos’ origins (and it will actually make him all the more frightening to casual movie audiences if they don’t know how his childhood shaped him).
8. Clicking His Fingers To Wipe Out Half Of The Life In The Universe
This entry is quite upsetting to write, because this particular moment not being a part of the MCU will disappoint Marvel fans around the world, but the fact is that it almost certainly won’t be included. The moment we’re referring to is from the Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc again, and it’s when Thanos tried to impress Mistress Death by using the incredible power of the Infinity Gems to wipe out half of the life in the universe with a mere snap of his fingers.
Simply put, the Infinity Stones of the MCU just aren’t as powerful as the Infinity Gems in the comic books — and can you really imagine Marvel Studios having 50% of their leading actors disappear with such nonchalance? Not a chance! Thanos may somewhat recreate this moment by doing something with a mere flick of his thumb and middle finger in the MCU, but it won’t be something on the scale of this horrendous action.
7. Riding In The Thanos Copter (Then Being Arrested)
We now come to a few of Thanos’ most embarrassing moments from the comic books — all of which are extremely memorable, but none of which will ever be depicted in live-action in the MCU. The first comes in the form of a double-whammy from 1979’s Spidey Super Stories #39 – Who will get the Cosmic Cube?
The issue saw Spider-Man and Hellcat trying to stop Thanos from getting his hands on the Cosmic Cube (as well as a kid using said object to conjure an ice cream; behold his mighty power!). Not only was the Mad Titan embarrassing himself by flying around in a crappy little helicopter — with “THANOS” emblazoned on the side of it, no less! — he also went on to be arrested by normal human cops and got sent to jail! This was certainly a low point in the villain’s history, but it may have even been surpassed in that regard by this next entry…
6. Being Defeated By Squirrel Girl
Flying a little helicopter was embarrassing, being arrested by normal human cops was humiliating, but being defeated by a teenage girl whose powers resemble the abilities of your standard squirrel was utterly shameful for Thanos. And yet it happened in 2005’s GLX-MAS #1 .
Squirrel Girl might be known for her ability to regularly fight (and indeed defeat) characters well above her pay grade (Doctor Doom, Deadpool, Terrax, M.O.D.O.K., etc), but defeating Thanos should have been well beyond her. However, it definitely happened. GLX-MAS #1 might not be deemed canon by some Marvel fans, given that it was a holiday special issue, but Uatu the Watcher used his impeccable cosmic awareness to reveal that it was indeed the real Mad Titan that the character otherwise known as Doreen Green defeated in the issue.
But we’ll never see it happen in the MCU. Marvel Studios have put Thanos on a pedestal that suggests he’s the most powerful being in existence, even without the Infinity Gauntlet. Once he gets his hands on it, they’re absolutely not going to have him being thwarted by a rodent-esque joke character. That being said, she hasn’t earned nicknames like “The Anti-Life” and “The Slayer of All That Breathes” for nothing!
5. Celebrating Christmas
Now, in spite of the fact that Thanos is a villainous tyrant who basically steals children (after killing their parents) in order to raise them as his personal assassins, there is evidence that the Mad Titan has a heart (not least because we’ve already discussed it being ripped out). In fact, he did actually provide Gamora with as “normal” a childhood as he could muster.
“Normal” in Thanos’ world is by no means what we consider to be “normal” in ours, but it still involves some traditional customs that you might be surprised to learn the villain stuck to. One of which, would you believe, included the annual celebration of Christmas! During the festive period, Thanos erected a Christmas tree, built up the excitement for Gamora, gave her presents, and even called a truce with his surviving family members and sent them gifts. The purpose of this was to ensure Gamora wasn’t just a soulless, psychotic killing machine, and that she was actually capable of reason.
We saw Thanos celebrating Christmas with his adopted daughter in a flashback scene in the “Yule Memory” chapter of 1992’s Marvel Holiday Special Vol. 1, but we’ll never see it in the MCU because, quite frankly, it’s far too ridiculous a notion!
4. Cursing Deadpool With Eternal Life
Thanos and Deadpool couldn’t be any more different. One is a monstrous, purple, almost purely evil alien warlord and the other is… well… Deadpool. The Mad Titan and the Merc with a Mouth do have something in common, however, in that they both seek the affection of the cosmic entity know in the Marvel universe as Mistress Death.
Of course, this has led to them clashing in the comic books on more than one occasion. On one of those occasions, Thanos actually cursed Deadpool using a “spell of darkest necromancy“, telling him “consider yourself cursed… with life!” Thanos did so out of jealousy, as Deadpool was Lady Death’s love interest at the time, and cursing him with an inability to die meant he would never get to spend eternity with her. But we’ll never see that rivalry, or indeed the curse being executed, in the MCU, because Deadpool is now an established character in Fox’s X-Men movie universe.
3. Taking On The Cosmic Pantheon
It’s going to take something big to defeat Thanos when he gets his hands on the Infinity Stones in the MCU and, if the Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc is anything to go by, his actions with them may cause some powerful cosmic entities to step up and take action. However, it certainly won’t be a huge pantheon of them, like it was in the aforementioned comic.
Galactus, the Stranger, the Living Tribunal, the Titan Kronos, Epoch, the entities Love and Hate, two Celestials, Master Order and Lord Chaos, Eternity, and Uatu the Watcher all joined the fight against the Mad Titan, but it would simply be too much to have them all appear in the MCU. (The likes of Uatu and Galactus, as we’ve already mentioned in the latter’s case, are owned by Fox anyway.) In the MCU, Death, Entropy, Infinity, and Eternity were revealed to have created the Infinity Stones, so, at most, we might see those beings intervene, but it just wouldn’t look right to have a huge pantheon of abstract individuals fighting alongside the likes of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in live-action.
2. Killing War Machine
Civil War II was the 2016 “sequel” to the iconic 2006 Marvel story arc Civil War. Whereas the original story saw Iron Man and Captain America go to war over the Superhuman Registration Act, the sequel saw Iron Man and Captain Marvel going to war over their use of the Inhuman Ulysses’ precognitive power. In Civil War II #1, when Captain Marvel ordered an ambush on Thanos thanks to information that was revealed by said power, it resulted in the death of James “Rhodey” Rhodes AKA War Machine, resulting in a very upset and pissed-off Tony Stark.
As memorable a moment as it was in the comic, as far as the movies go, Rhodey has already been a “casualty” in Captain America: Civil War, so it’s unlikely he’ll be one again. When Thanos arrives on Earth and fills the Infinity Gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones, there WILL be casualties, but War Machine won’t be one of them. Audiences can probably expect an even more significant death to kick things off — perhaps in the form of one of the original Avengers — but Rhodey can probably consider himself safe for the foreseeable future, having been paralyzed following a blast by Vision and a subsequently lengthy fall to the ground in 2016.
1. Dying Of Natural Causes
Thanos is generally depicted as being effectively immortal. He was born an Eternal, and has augmented his natural longevity with power amps, and is centuries (if not thousands of years) old. On the few occasions that he has been killed in the comic books, it is generally due to something incredibly powerful or a convenient plot device, but as of November 2016’s Thanos #1, Thanos was revealed to be dying of natural causes.
We won’t go into further details, as it happened in an ongoing comic that you might not want to read spoilers about, but the issue in question ended with the Mad Titan seemingly coughing and snorting up purple blood — and you can absolutely guarantee that that won’t happen in the MCU. After such a huge build-up to his character’s big splash in the Avengers: Infinity War event, Thanos’ death will undoubtedly be epic, if indeed he dies at all. He definitely isn’t going to fizzle out gradually over the coming years. It will more than likely be a death at the hands of someone like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, or the Hulk — probably with the heroic character in question sacrificing their own life in the process of killing the villain.
Do you think any of these great Thanos moments actually could make their way into live-action? What other memorable scenes featuring the Mad Titan will be excluded from the MCU? Let us know in the comments.
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