Why are the producers of Thanos so confident that he will return to the MCU?
Thanos first made an appearance in the MCU in 2012 during the post-credits sequence to The Avengers, where it was revealed that he was the one who sent Loki to attack Earth.
From there, the nefarious Mad Titan made brief appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy. But Thanos was eventually cast as the primary villain of both films in Infinity War and Endgame, effectively making him the “big bad” of Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga.
Of course, with Tony Stark famously giving his life to put an end to Thanos and his forces, it appears that the character has been permanently wiped from the playing field. But will an incredibly popular character like Thanos remain besides the dust in the air? The creator of his comic book counterpart had some ideas.
Jim Starlin hopes for a Thanos Comeback
Comics industry veteran Jim Starlin, known for his work with both Marvel and DC, spoke to Inverse about Marvel Studios’ use of Thanos in its films. Starlin created Thanos in the ’70s and offered the following on the character’s enduring appeal, sharing his belief that fans would see him on screen again:
“Well, I think he probably hits a nerve. He raises questions that many of us have wondered about. He’s also just a badass character. I don’t think anyone thinks we have.” Have seen his last. Disney made a lot of money from him and there’s probably still a lot of money to be made. So my fingers are crossed.”
The writer and artist also discussed how the MCU’s multiverse could pave the way for “the possibility of bringing back Thanos
“I’ve heard that Marvel wants to use some of the other characters I do. I think they’re over. Now that they’ve got this multiverse, there’s a possibility to bring Thanos back. And Thanos’s. Plus, it opens up possibilities for other characters. There are some they haven’t used, like Blood Brothers.”
The Blood Brothers Starlin refer to the Iron Man villain in the comics, which first debuted in 1973.
Jim Starlin also answered a question about Thanos’ dynamics with his brother Eros (played by Harry Styles in Eternal) and whether the Eros character could function without Thanos:
I think they plan to start him without Thanos. Thanos and Warlock also have a lot in common and have a connection, and they’ve got a pretty good star for Adam Warlock. I doubt if he will be in just this one movie.
Will Marvel reintroduce Mad Titan?
The question remains: Will Kevin Feige and team Marvel Studios ever consider using Thanos again in a film or series?
In 2020, the rumor mill went a bit rumblings that the studio had plans to cast Thanos in an upcoming project. But that hasn’t happened yet, except for a glimpse of his lifeless body in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Maybe it’s best that the MCU leave Thanos dead and buried. After all, Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror is already being established as the next major crossover villain and will make several appearances in various Marvel Studios projects over the next few years.
Not to mention that Thanos’ overall influence in the story can still be felt quite a lot. The characters still talk about Blip and his actions result in his disappearance for five years. And villains are still often name-dropped in the MCU.
Regardless of whether or not he reappears, it’s hard to isolate Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War as the moment for Thanos to shine. The movie is available to stream on Disney+ and can be purchased wherever movies are sold.