We're getting close to a very exciting time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After nearly a decade of blockbusters, the first three phases of the MCU are about to come to a head with Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4. The Russo Brothers will be helming those two extremely ambitious projects, which will unite all of the various Marvel heroes in an epic battle to save the galaxy from Josh Brolin's Thanos. And it looks like the directing duo may be getting info for their villain from the best source possible: Thanos creator Jim Starlin. Check out the photo evidence.

Hanging with THE MAN.

A post shared by The Russo Brothers (@therussobrothers) on

How cool is that photo? It looks like The Russo Brothers are really taking the portrayal of Thanos seriously, and have taken time to meet the man who created The Mad Titan in comic book form.

This photo is also sure to spark rumors of Jim Starlin possibly making a cameo in either Infinity War or Avengers 4. This theory's inception came back in February, when The Russo Brothers posted a photo on Facebook, telling Starlin they're ready for his close up. This seemed to tease that Starlin would be having a Stan Lee-esque cameo of his own when Thanos finally becomes a major player in the MCU. So we'll just have to wait for the next two Avengers movies to find out if he shows up.

Thanos' full fledged arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been anticipated by the fandom for years. He was first teased way back in 2012's The Avengers. In a post credits scene we saw as he was monitoring Earth, specifically how the titular Avengers were able to unite and fend off the alien attack. From there, he briefly showed up in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and had another cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where he managed to accrue his Infinity Gauntlet. Its this accessory of destruction that will bring Thanos to Earth, as he's attempting to reclaim all of the Infinity Stones- one of which is in Vision's forehead.

It's been a long five years of waiting at this point, so the fandom is ready for Thanos and his forces to bring some pain on the various MCU heroes like Iron Man and Captain America. Early footage of Infinity War from San Diego Comic-Con showed how destructive the villain truly will be, and it seems like the MCU's superheroes are not going to have an easy time attempting to thwart his plans.

Alas, we still have a while more to wait before we see Josh Brolin's Thanos in his full glory. He'll be appearing in Avengers: Infinity War, which will arrive on May 4, 2018. And Avengers 4 will end the MCU as we known it on May 3, 2019. In the meantime, check out 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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