It's hard to believe, but it's been nearly a year since Avengers: Infinity War arrived in theaters. The Russo Brothers did the impossible with the massive blockbuster, juggling its myriad characters and telling a story that had equal parts action and heart.The handling of Josh Brolin's Thanos was particularly impressive, as the Mad Titan was the true protagonist of the movie, after being rendered through stunning motion capture work and visual affects.
Nailing down Thanos' appearance was obviously a challenge for Infinity War, as his face and body needed to be rendered digitally. He was a hulking physical presence with a terrifying resolve, although the big purple guy's costume could have looked a bit different. Check out the image below.
This getup looks far more comfortable for Thanos, as his massive purple body would have had more room to breathe. But he was ultimately given a more colorful costume, which also allowed the character's physical size to be all the more apparent. After all, he did knock out The Hulk pretty easily.
This new image comes to us from artist Jerad S.Marant, who worked on concept art for Avengers: Infinity War. These type of creators help craft the visual language of the film, before more detailed visual affects are done with footage. He offered an almost chain mail sweater for Josh Brolin's MCU villain, covering up more of the character. This is admittedly less flashy than the final look for Infinity War, and you can see why Marvel Studios ultimately landed on a more comic book accurate version of Thanos' appearance.
What's perhaps the most fascinating about this concept art for Thanos is that even the Infinity Gauntlet was a different color. While the powerful device was shown briefly in the post-credits scene for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the above image shows one that is silver, rather than gold. This vibes well with the colorless palette used for Thanos' casual gear, but would have required some revisionist history or clunky exposition to explain why the Gauntlet looked so different this time around.
Thanos' armor was shown during his invasion of Gamora's planet, while the final battles in Titan and Wakanda saw the Mad Titan a bit more exposed in casual gear. But they matched perfectly, with some casual moviegoers perhaps not noticing the separate looks for Thanos. Now the question is: what will his appearance be like for Avengers: Endgame?
The events of Endgame are being kept largely a mystery from the public, with the title and first footage only recently being revealed. Thanos' big purple hand can be seen walking in some field, while the Mad Titan's armor has become a scarecrow of sorts. It would appear that Josh Brolin's character may have hung up the suit for a job well done, having completed his task of assembling the Infinity Stones and wiping out half of life in the galaxy. Of course, the surviving heroes likely won't let him rest too much without their unknown plans for facing Thanos again.
It should be fascinating to see how Thanos functions within the story of Avengers: Endgame. While he was the primary protagonist of Avengers: Infinity War, there’s no guarantee The Russo Brothers will spend as much time with the Mad Titan this time around. The first trailers of Endgame seem completely focused on the survivors of Thanos’ snap, so perhaps they’ll be the main focus of Endgame once it finally arrives in April.
But Thanos will indeed be a presence in Endgame, and Marvel fans and casual moviegoers alike are going to want to spend ample time with the big purple villain. Thanos may have succeeded in using the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life, but does he feel fulfilled? What does life after this quest for genocide look like?
Particularly, it should be fascinating to see how Gamora’s death is affecting her adopted father. In order for Thanos to get the Soul Stone from Red Skull, he was forced to sacrifice someone he loves. It turns out there was a heart under his armor, and audiences watched as he killed his daughter. Mantis later explained that he was in agony from grief, so it’ll be interesting to see how time has healed that wound, or caused it to fester.
Thanos might have claimed victory, but the first Endgame trailers revealed that the surviving Avengers and Guardians haven’t given up the fight just yet. While the film’s plot is being kept under wraps, Captain America and Black Widow were shown formulating some type of plan. Add in the wild cards of Ant-Man and Captain Marvel, and it seems like just about anything is possible in the final installment of Phase There.
The most common theory about how the Avengers will try and reverse the effects of Thanos’ snap is time travel. Reports from the set revealed the
Battle of New York from The Avengerswould be revisited in the upcoming blockbuster, although just how time travel will be accomplished is unclear. One possibility is that Ant-Man will use the powers of the Quantum Realm, while Samuel L. Jackson also revealed that Captain Marvel has the ability to travel through time.
Personally, I’m hoping we get to see Thanos interact with new heroes, allowing for more interesting character pairings in Avengers: Endgame. Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel has been teased as the most powerful hero in the MCU, so she seems like the right person to lay the smack down back on the villain.
And given the mass losses as a result of Thanos’ snap, the surviving Avengers are going to have some choice words for the Mad Titan. Bradley Cooper’s Rocket lost all of his loved ones in Infinity War, while the events of The Snap seemingly caused Hawkeye to turn into the decidedly darker entity Ronin.