Jack Forman – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- “Avengers Endgame,” the final installment of phase two to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is coming on April 26 and will wrap up the story of Thanos and the “Infinity Gauntlet.” The anticipation is at its peak as the preorder sales have already outdone the top three box office films combined.
Thanos is the main villain to the MCU and is widely known for being the mad titan with a god complex. The complexity of this character was uncertain coming into the last Avengers installment, “Infinity War (2018),” with his only previous scenes featuring the arrogant bad-guy attitude that audiences are used to.
“Infinity War” blew these perceptions out of the water, as Thanos has arguably some of the best villain development since Darth Vader. This is especially surprising for a franchise that has been known to produce such basic villains.
Thanos conveys his dominance as his disciples help defeat the hero Thor and his companions. This was predictable until he begins with his monologue and you begin to piece together why he has these ideals. Another point is the odd amount of honesty he portrays.
Thanos is an honorable individual, and his fight with the Hulk, a typically loud and sporadic beast, he overcomes him with technique and vigilance. This shows how much control Thanos has.
He instantly gives off a sense of physical leadership and calamity under pressure, which is promising for the type of villain Marvel fans are used to, but he’s worth much more.
Something characters like Darth Vader lack is relatability to the audience, specifically emotional. Although Vader turns against his evil instinct at the end of the “Star Wars” saga, he doesn’t quite reveal the emotional depth someone like Thanos does.
Thanos is given an emotional description throughout the MCU which sets him up as an individual without love or care. Even his daughter, Gamora, doubts his ability to love. It wasn’t until we saw the mad Titan begin welling that he’s recognized as an emotional individual.
Thanos would proceed to sacrifice Gamora after the love he feels for his daughter is revealed, which is a point of his motivation, and that brings me to my final point.
Every villain is set with a goal in mind that sets him apart from a hero(es). This goal is evil and features a negative trait that the heroes must defend against. Thanos’s goal, however, is something more believable and real. His villainous goal is something he perceives as good. His oddly compassionate moral compass tells him what he must do for the greater good of the universe.
This goal is to cut the population of the universe in half, saving it from starvation. This is oddly defensible, which is rare in a villain’s motivation. Having a relatable potential outcome, no matter how mad, is ideal for a good villain.
Heath Ledger’s Joker’s (in “The Dark Knight Returns”) ideals are based on Chaos and Darth Vader’s on order. Both have logical reasoning if you dig deeper into the depths of their arcs.
Thanos has an almost parental feel, and his reasoning can be easily supported, no matter how evil it may be. He chases this goal with precision and will power which also doesn’t make him some prop villain for the heroes.
Thanos’ character arc hasn’t ended yet in the MCU. He’s the embodiment of a complex villain, a villain you could find a reason to applaud.