Did you stay in your chair, like a good Marvel fan, and enjoy the mid-credits sequence for The Avengers: Age of Ultron? If you did, then you were treated to a small tease for the NEXT time we’re likely to see the entire team together, on screen, in a few years. What did they show? And what does it mean?
Obviously, this article will contain spoilers for The Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Mad Titan himself, Thanos, showed up once again in the mid-credits sequence of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, slipping on his Infinity Gauntlet and stating – in the recognizable voice of Josh Brolin -- "Fine. I’ll do it myself." The glove is behind several doors, which we hear unlocking before we see Thanos’ hand. We eventually get a good look at the villain, in costume. His appearance continues a trend started by Joss Whedon in the initial Avengers movie. That time, we only saw a side-view glance of the villain’s smirk. OK, OK – watch it again:
Since that point, Thanos has been busy pulling strings behind the scenes to acquire the Infinity Stones, which he intends to plug into his Infinity Gauntlet, and – we assume – attack Earth. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was an indirect pawn of Thanos in The Avengers. He even manipulated Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. But so far, he hasn’t acquired a single Stone. Heck, there’s even a Twitter feed dedicated to the fact that Thanos has no Stones, after 11 Marvel movies.
What does this scene mean for Thanos, and for the Avengers? Well, it's another chess-piece move that builds to the two-part Infinity War that's in the team's future. It means that whatever schemes that Mad Titan had planned have failed, and he’s finally going to go after the Stones, himself.
The last thing we hear Thor (Chris Hemsworth) say as he exits the film is that he is going to look into the emergence of these mysterious Stones, which means there’s a chance Thanos could surface in Thor: Ragnarok. Various Phase Three movies have to tease Thanos leading up to the first The Avengers: Infinity War, which opens on May 4, 2018. I highly doubt that a mid-credits sequence in Ultron is the last sight we get of Thanos before his War. He also could appear in Doctor Strange, or Guardians of the Galaxy 2. For now, we continue to know that Thanos is coming. And he has a Gauntlet. More than one, even.