Avengers: Infinity War - Who The Hell Is Thanos?

  "Am I not Thanos?! Did I not butcher the woman who gave me birth, who forced me into this hell called life? Is not the wake of my passing crimson with the blood of my enemies and allies alike?! Death is with me every second of the day!" 
-- Thanos

Yesterday we were treated to the very first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. We finally got to see the biggest big-bad in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe: Thanos (Josh Brolin), in action, and a very unfortunate episode in Iron Man's career.


Thanos. Is. Powerful. What he did to Iron Man here, he did without the power of all the Infinity Stones he's been searching for. That's assuming that that's Iron Man in that clip. The body language seems weird, but that's another story. We've seen Thanos from time to time in various movies throughout the 10-year existence of the MCU. We first saw him in Avengers:


He was decidedly more purple in that iteration of the character and had a far less "human" visage. In those early days, before Josh Brolin was granted the coveted role, the actor who portrayed the CGI heavy character was Damion Poitier. Thereafter we saw him several times throughout the history of the MCU, always in a post-credits scene or, as in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, a powerful figure pulling strings behind the scenes.

Just who is the character? Who the hell is Thanos? Let's talk about a little backstory for the character in the comic books. Thanos is an Eternal. Eternals are basically very powerful immortals with a huge and convoluted back story. Even amongst the Eternals, Thanos was considered a "mutant" because of the Deviant Syndrome. It's basically a mutation that causes him to look more like the Deviants. It's not really relevant, except for the fact that he was ostracized because of the way he looked. As a child, he developed a bleak personality and an obsession with Death itself. Through his genius intellect and substantial power, he was able to augment his abilities to a level far beyond any other Eternal on his planet.

As is wont to happen when someone becomes too powerful, especially with a childhood like his, he is corrupted by his power and seeks to rule, control and conquer. He leaves his home planet and recruits an armada. Why do these guys always want an armada? Anyway, what does he do with this armada? He drops nukes on his home-world, kills mad heads and then takes over. This is when the shit hits the fan. He meets the physical embodiment of Death and falls in love. It sounds freaky, I know, but in the comics things like "Death" and "Eternity" are actual beings. That's why everyone got so hyped up when Star-Lord said the word "Eternity" in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 while his eyes turned into a vision of space, which is often how the character is portrayed in the comics.

So back to The Young & The Restless. Thanos is in love with Death and in order to impress "her", he decides to kill everything he can. Cause, you know....Death. Time after time he seeks out the power to do just that, until he stumbles upon information about the Infinity Gems (Stones in the MCU). He realizes that with the artifacts, he can literally do anything. In the MCU timeline, that's kind of where we meet him. He's on a path to conquer and collect these stones in order to impress Death. Remember this?

As we already know, he's formidable. Strength, speed, genius level intellect, stamina, psychic abilities, teleportation (with his tech) etc. With the gems, he's not only "a" god, he's omnipotent. He's "the" god. With the gems/stones attached to the golden gauntlet you've seen in the films, he can bend and shape matter, energy and even reality to his will. Traveling through time is nothing to him. With that kind of power he literally destroys half the universe without much thought. I won't go any further into what happens because there will be several parallels in the upcoming film and I like my movies unspoiled and will treat you as if you do too.

Obviously the MCU is vastly different from the comics, especially in power scaling. Thor is nowhere near as strong as he is in the comics, for example. It's safe to say that things will be toned down for the movie but who knows by how much. Whatever happens, the next 20 movies (no joke, there are 20 movies planned after this phase is over) will be drastically different if only in so much as what characters we'll see gracing our screens. Check out the trailer one more time, if you haven't had your fill along with the record breaking amount of viewers it had in it's first 24 hours online.