Every Marvel fan agrees that Thanos — aka The Mad Titan — is one of the most despised villains in the MCU, outside of some sympathy for his reasoning behind the snap. Part of the allure is also thanks to the MCU not explaining his back story too much, introducing the current version of him when already an older being during Infinity War.
Despite being a seemingly middle-age figure by that time, he’s still an all-powerful being, albeit with enough of a vulnerability to die at the end of Endgame.
While the speculation goes on about whether Thanos will return, it’s been revealed there were plans to show a young Thanos in past MCU movies. Whether this ever happens eventually is up in the air. But we would argue that the success of Baby Yoda should have Marvel execs reconsidering.
The opportunity is certainly there since it’s worth remembering he’s an Eternal. The latter race will be explored in next year’s The Eternals as part of MCU’s Phase Four.
What did a young Thanos look like?
As Screen Rant recently reported, Marvel Studios concept artist Ryan Meinerding recently posted some concept art he’d been working on depicting Thanos as a young boy. When Meinerding posted his artwork on Instagram in late November, it made all Marvel fans take notice of how innocent Thanos looked when young.
Well, that should have been a given since we all looked similar when teenagers. Since he was already about 1,000 years old by the time of the MCU movies, seeing him at age 13 is a little bit amazing. What he was doing at this age, though, is still a mystery in MCU canon.
There were apparently plans to introduce Thanos as early as Thor in 2011, but that was held off for a few years. The Josh Brolin version MCU fans have seen was a compelling character alone, with the argument the mystery of his early years makes him all the more intriguing.
Perhaps there is a chance audiences will see Thanos as younger anyway when Eternals releases next year.
Will there be information about his origins in ‘Eternals’?
Those who remember their Marvel comic book history know that Thanos is only an Eternal based on lineage, which also includes the Deviants. He was born on Titan to two Eternals (A’lars and Sui-San) and happened to have a brother, Eros.
In the comic books, he was a pacifist for a while until becoming obsessed with death, literally. Mistress Death became his physical mistress, persuading him to become a nihilist.
For the MCU, the reasoning for Thanos collecting all six Infinity Stones to bring balance to the universe was because his people on Titan were wiped out from overpopulation. It was a bit of a warning tale about what overpopulation can do, hence bringing a human side to Thanos nobody really expected.
His boyhood, however, would be very interesting to explore if Eternals dares go there. If nothing else, it may just reference his young years, particularly during the time when he wasn’t intent on destroying half of all life to bring universal balance.
Thanos didn’t look much different as a boy
As seen above in those conceptual art pieces from Ryan Meinerding, Thanos looked pretty much the same as a teenager as he did when 1,000 years old. Any difference is in having virtually no creases in his face as a boy.
Eternals could certainly broach Thanos’s story, if maybe a cameo. Being a part of the Eternal heritage likely meant a lot of the family were talking about him at least.
One thing confirmed for sure is Josh Brolin will voice Thanos in the animated Disney+ series What If…? in 2021 for an unknown plot. Since this is all alt-reality territory, anything might be explored in showing Thanos’s early days.
Seeing him as a peace-loving and quiet teenager would be a fascinating turn before the love of a deathly being made him do horrific things. Yes, it almost sounds like the plot of a galactic film noir.
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