If the comics are anything to travel by, there might be plenty more Thanos to travel around within the MCU
With Thanos looming over the overarching plot of the MCU films since his first post-credits appearance within the Avengers, his end was almost as inevitable as he claimed himself to be. But if there’s one thing that comics understand it is the only thing as inevitable as death is resurrection, and if the MCU’s Thanos is anything like himself within the source material, it’s possible we’ve not seen the last of the Mad Titan. Surprisingly little is understood about the MCU’s Thanos despite him being such an important part of the story.
The 616 Marvel Universe and the story
While still an immense threat within the comics, the Thanos of the 616 Marvel Universe features a far longer and more storied history than his movie counterpart. Perhaps as a consequence of that, Thanos’ appearances became much more common once he caught on as a villain, and Marvel’s editorial staff and creators needed to both justify how he could appear such a lot while also providing fuel for yet further appearances within the future. Over time, a number of these clones came to be referred to as the Thanosi and were either inferior counterparts that didn’t carry all the facility and cunningness of the first. This created a kind of getting your cake and eating it too situation for Marvel, whereby they might introduce Thanos as a serious threat, but still, retain the threat he posed after innumerable times getting defeated.
The Story goes on
After all, the last Thanos that was defeated wasn’t the important Thanos — it had been just a few cheap knockoff version. From an outsider’s perspective, though, this might just appear to be an inexpensive trick more befitting lazy soap operas than top-notch summer blockbusters, but really, the thought of Thanos creating clones for himself holds tons of potential. One great example is Terraxia, a female just like himself Thanos made whom he instilled purposefully with weaknesses in order that he could retain power over her. Terraxia helped see Thanos through to at least one of his greatest successes, and she personally murdered Iron Man and Spider-Man.
Thanos was forced to observe as his greatest creation suffocated before his eyes thanks to the weakness he himself created. The trick is to always keep the gravitas of such possibilities right at the forefront of the stories being told, and with it truly great Thanos clone stories can become some of his best. From a storytelling perspective, it makes quite enough sense that Thanos would utilize such methods.
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