With the plot of Avengers: Infinity War currently under wraps, we’ve been looking to the comics for clues regarding what might happen. And it looks like The Infinity Gauntlet run has perhaps the most similar storyline to the movie. Providing what might be a guide to defeating villain Thanos…
How The Infinity Gauntlet is Similar to Avengers: Infinity War
The Avengers movies have been playing the long game. Over the course of 10 years and 18 films they’ve shown brief glimpses of super-villain Thanos, while storylines have included strands in which he is collecting the six Infinity Stones. Those being the Space Stone, the Mind Stone, the Reality Stone, the Power Stone, the Time Stone and the Soul Stone.
Once he has placed all six in his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos becomes all-powerful, enabling the ‘Mad Titan’ to bend the very fabric of reality. Which is why The Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and pretty much every other superhero available to bring him down in Infinity War.
The Infinity Gauntlet — written by Jim Starlin and first published in 1991 — also revolves around Thanos first using the titular glove to take over the universe. The superheroes, therefore, have to band together in similar fashion, with MCU stalwarts Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Vision, Black Widow, Spider-Man and more all appearing.
But this being the comics, many more characters become embroiled in the crossover event, including Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Namor, Mephisto, Sersi, She-Hulk, Human Torch, Eros, Thing and Mr. Fantastic.
How Does the Thanos Storyline Play Out in The Infinity Gauntlet?
In The Infinity Gauntlet comic, Thanos uses his new-found power to win the heart of Mistress Death. A plot strand unlikely to make it into Infinity War. But he also uses it to craft destruction on an unfathomable level. And we’re expecting to see lots of that in the movie.
The comic talks of his arrival heralding the end of the universe, and it all kicks off when Thanos makes half the population of Planet Earth disappear in a flash. Which includes a whole heap of heroes, from Daredevil and Wasp to Black Panther and Power Man.
Namor witnesses monumental tidal waves being created. A good chunk of the United States falls into the ocean. Japan simply disappears. And the planet is forced off its orbit, slowly moving away from the sun, thereby heralding a new ice age. It’s pretty intense stuff.
Cosmic warfare follows, with heroes and villains who were previously foes teaming up to try and put a stop to his devastating psychic emanation. But to no avail. Thanos simply transforms Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton into spongey rubber. And turns Thor into glass.
How to Defeat Thanos
Adam Warlock — a character familiar with the secret workings of the Infinity Gems — is the key to defeating Thanos in the comics. Alongside Thanos himself.
Warlock speaks in riddles for much of Infinity Gauntlet, but it’s clear he knows what’s coming, and so remains calm when all hell is breaking loose. He’s also unsurprised when Nebula steals the Gauntlet from Thanos to put a stop to the destruction. And when she is causing chaos with said Gauntlet, he simply takes it from her, saving the day in the process.
Warlock restores order, while Thanos is banished to an unnamed planet where he essentially becomes a farmer, ruminating on the nature of the power he has gained and the power he has lost. But not before Warlock tells him exactly how he was defeated.
“I know you as no other being in the universe does,” he explains. “Better than even you do yourself. Look back onto your life, Thanos of Titan, and what do you see? A man always seeking power and losing it as soon as he attains it. Why? Because deep in his soul he knows he is not worthy of it. Three times you have triumphed over incredible odds to gain the end you desire, and three times you have supplied the means of your own defeat.”
Warlock has only briefly appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, showing up during a post-credit scene at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So it’s unlikely he’ll play much of a role in Infinity War. If any. But those words are what matters; specifically the fact that Thanos doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of the power that he wields.
So if the Avengers manage to win the war by bringing him down, don’t be surprised if it’s with a little help from the Mad Titan himself. Because if history repeats itself — from page-to-screen — Thanos will provide ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ with the tools to thwart his dastardly plan. In the process becoming the architect of his own downfall.
Avengers: Infinity War is released April 27.