On 4th May 2018 and 3rd May 2019, Marvel and Disney will release Avengers: Infinity War parts I and II. Everything Marvel has set up since the very first Iron Man film, way back in 2008, will come to fruition. Their multiple phase plan will finally see the Avengers come face to face with the Mad Titan Thanos.
So far Marvel has done 99% of things right with the character. They teased him sumptuously at the end of The Avengers with a nefarious smile. Josh Brolin stepped into the CG suit and had some literary fun with the Shakespeare-esque villain in Guardians of the Galaxy. He made a less than stellar appearance at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. And he will no doubt feature, in some capacity, in upcoming Marvel films.
Hey, two out of three isn’t bad. But it isn’t even three aspects they’ve gotten right – it’s four. Under a lesser umbrella Marvel could have abused Brolin and Thanos and had their universal big bad show his head in each and every film, diluting one of their most important characters. The fact that they’ve wrapped him up and used him sparingly is them doing the character right.
But the studio’s biggest test will come with Avengers: Infinity War parts I and II. They have a touch job ahead of them.
With Infinity War they not only have to fully flesh out Thanos but invite characters like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther into the Avengers roster. They have to smoothly transition those important characters into the team whilst providing impetus and worth to Thanos’ actions.
In the comics – and I haven’t read any, this is just second hand information – I understand that Thanos has a fascination with Death, a literal character, female no less, in the Marvel universe. Everything he destroys, every life he takes and every world he conquers is for Death, for her. I sincerely hope that marvel keep this aspect of the character in. It separates him from the Avengers villains we have already seen. Loki fought for power and subjugation whilst Ultron fought for order and personal growth. Let Thanos fight for the sheer force of death.
Now here’s where Marvel can do the character even more justice and make him truly something special. It is understood that Cate Blanchett will appear in Thor: Ragnarok. It is also rumoured that Blanchett will be playing the Asgardian Goddess Hela. And Hela just happens to be the Goddess of Death. I have a sneaky feeling that Marvel will throw Thanos into Ragnarok and have Blanchett back for Infinity War. Come on. You’re not going to cast one of the best actresses ever and have her appear in a single Thor film. Have her be the reason Thanos is doing this. Have her be the reason he is assembling the Infinity Stone to wipe out galaxies, just to appease her.
And then, to further separate Thanos from the likes of Loki and Ultron, have the Mad Titan recruit a whole host of villains to fight for him in the final battle as oppose to a faceless army for the Avengers to battle. We’ve seen Hulk smash Chitauri and Ultron bots. We’ve see Iron Man blast Chitauri and Ultron bots. For Infinity War have Thanos rally the likes of Red Skull (he’s alive, trust me), Loki, The Real Mandarin, Abomination (he’s definitely alive) and whoever else he can get his purple hands of death around. This will allow for unique fights across the no doubt stupendously epic finally rather than one that simply emulates and repeats the finales of the first two Avengers films.
As of now Marvel, on the cinematic side, only has one great villain and that’s Loki. Every other one has been a disappointment in some aspect. They really need to knock it out of the park with Thanos if they want to make the culmination of all their work something truly special.
Avengers: Infinity War – Part I hits theatres on 4th May 2018.
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 hits theatres on 3rd May 2019.