With The Avengers, Marvel is playing walking on a very high tight rope. While the movie is immensely entertaining and exciting, it also has the duty to expand the Marvel cinematic universe so that people can get ready for movies like Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and even The Avengers 2. But in doing so, the studio also runs the risk of alienating casual moviegoers who either don’t care about or just don’t know anything about comics. Hence why the end of the film may be a bit confusing for some.

WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers for the very, very end of The Avengers. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t wish to know any details, you probably shouldn’t have clicked on a link titled “What’s Going On In The End Credits Of The Avengers?”

I am, of course, referring to the mid-credits stinger that plays after the end of the movie and the reveal of the alien known as Thanos. And while on Monday I published a full guide explaining everything you need to know about the Marvel universe prior to seeing the new Joss Whedon movie, I figured that because the movie is now out in theaters here in America that it might be time to do some explaining.

In basic terms, Thanos is a character that you very much don’t want to mess with. Born on the Saturn moon known as Titan, Thanos has spent his life as one of the most evil beings in the Marvel universe, earning names like The Mad Titan and the Avatar of Death. In addition to being completely insane, which allows him to act as he pleases, he is also incredibly powerful, featuring superhuman strengths and intelligence while also possessing the ability to teleport, read minds and manipulate energy. He is also known for being in love with the embodiment of Death in the comics, which explains “The Other’s” line about anyone challenging the humans “courting death.” The most famous storyline in the comics involving Thanos had the character questing after The Infinity Gauntlet, a glove that when embedded with the legendary Infinity Gems, gives the wearer god-like control over the universe. In fact, that particular item can briefly be seen in Odin’s treasure room at the beginning of Thor. It has been assumed by many that the next Avengers film will feature the superhero team fighting against Thanos as he attempts to harness the power of the Infinity Gauntlet.

So now that you know the history of Thanos, how would you like to see him used? Do you think the character should show up in the solo movies as well, or should he just simply be the villain of The Avengers 2? Do you like the idea of Marvel using the Infinity Gauntlet storyline or do you think they can do better? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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