RUMOR MILL: Thanos to Threaten Earth's Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers (Spoilers)
05.27.11 by BJSprecher
As far as rumors go, this one doesn't get any more obvious...or juicy. If you've seen Marvel Studios' latest comic book adaptation, Academy Award-winning director Kenneth Branagh's (Hamlet) Thor, and you stuck around after the credits to see the short segment directed by Joss Whedon, then you know that Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) adoptive brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), isn't quite done mucking about in the affairs of Thor, leading to his appearance as the main villain—or, at least, the master manipulator behind the main villain—in Marvel's super-team movie, The Avengers, due out next summer.
If you were really paying attention during the movie, then you might have also realized that one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, the Infinity Gauntlet, was spotted in Odin's (Academy Award-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins) vault. Fans who were able to play connect-the-dots immediately began to speculate that the appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor could portend the appearance of the owner of the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos, in The Avengers or in a future Marvel movie. Now, LatinoReview claims to have insider information that Thanos will, in fact, be tag-teaming with Loki to threaten Earth's Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers. Beyond simply stating that obvious assumption based on the facts, however, the site had no further details.
So, who is Thanos and what is the Infinity Gauntlet? Thanos is one of the most powerful creatures in all of the Marvel Universe and the Infinity Guantlet is the single most powerful object in the Marvel Universe. Born on Saturn's moon Titan to a race of super-powered, extremely long-lived beings known as Eternals, the deformed Thanos grew up an outsider. Consumed with the desire for power, Thanos had his body enhanced with cybernetic implants, but that still wasn't enough for him. He traveled the universe in search of even greater power, eventually encountering Mistress Death, a physical manifestation of death itself. Thanos decided that there was an imbalance in the life-death equation of the universe, an imbalance that he would rectify by killing trillions of souls, which he would then offer to Mistress Death. He first sought out the Cosmic Cube, an item of indescribable power that allows the user to alter reality, a power that Thanos used to make himself into a god. It is the Cosmic Cube that the Red Skull quests for in Captain America: The First Avenger and the same item that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) reveals to Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and, unwittingly, to Loki in the end-of-credits scene in Thor.
Thanos was eventually defeated and the Cosmic Cube taken from him, which caused Death to reject him. Hoping to redeem himself and appease Death, Thanos once again began searching the universe for power, this time focusing on finding the six Soul Gems or Infinity Gems, each of which allows its bearer complete control over one aspect of the universe: time, space, reality, mind, power, and soul. Thanos managed to gather all six gems, which he combined together to create the Infinity Guantlet, thus becoming the supreme master of all reality. Thanos wiped out half of the population of life in the universe with a simple thought and it took the might of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, in combination with powerful beings from throughout the universe, to stop Thanos and separate him from the Infinity Guantlet and the Infinity Gems. The presence of either Thanos or the Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers would definitely be a justification for bringing all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's heroes together because none of them would stand a chance against such threats on their own.
In addition to directing The Avengers, Whedon also wrote the screenplay for the movie. The all-star cast includes Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.