Caveat: you have to read a book
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is following in Star Wars’ footsteps with a novelized expansion of its on-screen universe. Barry Lyga’s new novel, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War: Thanos—Titan Consumed, will give Avengers villain Thanos his own origin story when it hits shelves November 20th.
Thanos has long been teased as the be-all-end-all threat for the MCU’s Avengers; he’ll take center stage during the upcoming film Avengers: Infinity War. But as noted in Lyga’s novel, Thanos’ ability to wield the incredible power of Infinity Stones is hard-earned, and the big-chinned, purple villain walked a long road to get here. “Born on a doomed world and cast out by his people for his genius, physical deviancy, and pragmatic but monstrous ideas, Thanos is determined to save the galaxy from the same fate as his homeworld,” the summary reads. ”No matter how many billions have to die.”
In an interview with Gizmodo, Lyga says that he doesn’t necessarily want to paint Thanos as a sympathetic character. Rather, the idea is to help readers understand how his path inevitably lead him to his current standing as the Avengers’ greatest foe. “It’s less about making him likable and more about making him understandable,” Lyga says. “A small distinction, perhaps, but an important one… I wanted those logical leaps to fall into place. For his path to be so rational and so sensible that you would read the book and say, ‘Well, I personally don’t want to kill half the universe, but I completely understand why Thanos does, and it makes perfect sense, and I don’t see how he could turn out any other way.’”
Lyga adds that the book will lend additional context to some of Thanos’ appearances in the MCU so far. It’s also worth noting that the book’s summary describes Thanos as “the most formidable foe the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther have ever faced — a foe whom even a group of remarkable people, pulled together to fight the battles nobody else could, will fail to stop.” Well, that last bit doesn’t bode well for anybody, now does it?