Was Thanos a One-Time Blessing?


Artistic rendering of Thanos by Amelia Barnum.

Amelia Barnum, Reporter

Thanos, the Mad Titan, is highly regarded as the best MCU antagonist. This genocidal warlord made his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Once this purple brute took the spotlight, audiences fell in love with him from his appearance, his voice, and his undying mission to eliminate half of the population. However, Marvel fans have asked: Has Marvel reached the magnum opus of villains? Will no other Marvel villain surpass the standard Thanos created?

Firstly, with Thanos’s big debut in Avengers: Infinity War, directors Anthony and Joe Russo knew that Thanos needed to stand out against Marvel’s previous villain; they humanized Thanos.

“I ignored my destiny once, I can not do that again. Even for you. I’m sorry, Little one.”

“Little one” refers to Gamora, Thanos’s adopted daughter. During this scene, Thanos decides to sacrifice his daughter for the soul stone. A harrowing scene that left audiences shocked, not just by the death of Gamora, but by the tears Thanos shed when throwing her off the cliff. Writing Thanos as an antagonist with humanity creates an empathic connection between him and the audience. Thanos is not just a crazy maniac but a man deluded by his quest and ego.

“The hardest choices require the strongest wills.”

Thanos gives himself a choice to decide the universe’s fate. Thanos highlights himself as the one person who can carry out his mission. In doing this, he becomes a formidable opponent for the Avengers. Thanos’s undying will is powerful enough to take on an entire team of superheroes. Although labeled as the antagonist, was Thanos’s vision theoretically true?

“When I’m done, half of humanity will still be alive.”

Even though an insane job, Thanos stands by his plan to eradicate half the universe’s population to conserve resources. His ideas are remarkably different from previous villains whose evil intentions were all for personal gain. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos extinguishes populations as means to preserve life. Strangely, Thanos appears noble as he has humanity’s survival in his heart. However, he deludes himself into seeing no other solution besides the massacre of planets.

Overall, Thanos is the pinnacle of MCU villains. He is a homicidal madman and a worthy opponent for the universe’s most incredible superhero team. As the MCU expands, audiences only hope for more complex antagonists to come.