None of them actually knew about it, but the various heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have spent the last 10 years on a collision course. The blockbuster franchise has essentially set them up as a van full of crash test dummies, and they are about to ram into the massive brick wall that is the biggest comic book villain the world has ever seen in Josh Brolin's Thanos. This epic showdown will all be featured this spring in Joe and Anthony Russo's The Avengers: Infinity War - but it's worth noting that there are some fans out there still asking a very important question: who exactly is Thanos?

It is for those movie-goers - and those needing a nice refresher course on the Marvel Cinematic Universe - that we have put together this feature for you. Below and across the next few pages we've collected absolutely everything that we have learned so far about Marvel's tyrannical, purple big bad, and by the time you're finished you'll realize why the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to be in serious trouble come April 27th. Let's dive in!

He Spends A Lot Of His Time On Sanctuary

Let's start at the start, shall we? Thanos first made his big screen debut all the way back in 2012 when Joss Whedon used the post-credits scene in The Avengers to reveal the Mad Titan as the mastermind behind the movie's entire plot. It turns out that he has a real itch to take over Earth, and is willing to utilize some extreme resources to get the job done. That being said, one of the primary things we have learned about him is that he's definitely not afraid to delegate responsibilities, as he seems to prefer just sitting in his throne on his home world known as Sanctuary.

Thanos not only remained on Sanctuary the entire time Loki was on Earth during The Avengers, but also pulled a similar move in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. In that film he is on the hunt for the mysterious McGuffin known as the Power Stone (more on that in a bit), but chooses to let Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) acquire it for him instead of going out to get it himself. Some might consider this lazy, but the truth is that he's just flexing. Why do a hard job yourself when you can use legitimate fear and intimidation to get others to do the work for you? Right out the gate it tells you a lot about who this guy is.

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