For the most part, Marvel movies tend to stick pretty close with most of the character arcs from the comic books. But since there are sometimes variations and alternate timelines, it can get a little dicey to keep track of everything. Since the first Avengers movie back in 2012, Thanos was hinted at as a potential villain for everyone's favorite team of Marvel superheroes, but what happens to Thanos in the Marvel comics? Avengers: Infinity War is his time to shine as the big bad and it’s all about his quest to find the Infinity Stones and gain all of the power in the universe. So, no big deal, just complete universal domination, right?
In the comic books, Thanos might have turned out differently had he not had the upbringing that he did, though it would seem that he’s always been on a crusade of death and destruction. Artist Jim Starlin created Thanos back in 1973 when he made the character appear in Iron Man #55 and since then, Thanos has had a long string of battles. In the comics, Thanos was born on Titan, Saturn’s moon, to a family of Eternals, who essentially have the appearance of humans. But Thanos was born with physical characteristics of the Deviants, which is the cousin race of the Eternals.
As a result, he felt different from pretty much everyone else growing up and it wasn't long after his adolescence that he began to have a fascination with death. He even eventually fell in love the the Mistress of Death, Marvel’s own embodiment of death. And, it seems, part of his quest to become this all powerful being is for her.
In the comic Avengers Annual #7, Thanos began to form a group of ruthless fighters, known as the Black Order, to destroy his home planet. Shortly after, he began his travels to Earth in order to find all of the Infinity Stones, only in the comics, they’re referred to as Infinity Gems. They’re meant to contain all of the elements of the universe, but in stone form, including the Mind, Reality, Power, Space, Time, and Soul stones. Together, these stones are meant to be placed on the gauntlet to give the wearer all of the power in the universe. And in the comics, this is one of Thanos’ many attempts to woo the Mistress of Death.
In Thanos’ final solo comic, Thanos #18, death finally came in a way that only the most confusing Marvel time traveling paradox could bring. After an older and younger Thanos fought to kill some of the Avengers and plenty of innocents in another effort to win over the Mistress of Death, it came down to a battle between the two of them to fight for her love.
In the comic, Thanos declared that "No one kills Thanos but Thanos," which is why he brought his younger self to the present to kill him and unite him with Death herself once and for all. The younger Thanos saw the almost pitiful man he had become, begging for death in a way he never saw himself doing. He used the Time Infinity Stone to go back in time instead of defeating his older self and use the knowledge to never become such a man again.
It's also hard to say how much of this will play into Avengers: Infinity War, but in the movie, he needs to have a motive and Thanos' driving force throughout the comics was his obsessed with Death. There was even a nod to that, in a way, at the end of the first Avengers movie.
After the Avengers saved Earth, an end credits scene showed Thanos with someone believed to be a Chitauri leader, who tells him of the Avengers, "To challenge them would be to court Death." Knowing what we know about Thanos’ obsession and love for the Mistress of Death in the comics, this could mean that she’s a driving force for his actions in Avengers: Infinity War.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.