It comes without surprise that the original story penned for Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet differentiates from the one told in Avengers: Infinity War.
While the cinematic adaptation from Marvel Studios takes a few major set pieces along for the same journey, it moves away from how the cosmic event from Marvel Comics actually started out. This path all but guarantees that the untitled sequel, Avengers 4, will conclude differently. Hence, there should be no harm in knowing just how the Mad Titan was finally defeated in the comic books.
Nonetheless, you have been warned that what follows could possibly be major spoilers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In the original version, Thanos was motivated to annihilate half of the universe by his uncanny love for the physical embodiment of death. He does not stop after snapping his fingers, going even further to impress his mistress by doing all sorts of gruesome deeds. This includes subjecting his granddaughter Nebula to torture by transforming her into a burned and barely alive corpse, and presenting her in an immortal but painful state as a showpiece for death.
However, the cosmic genocide ultimately attracts the attention of powerful cosmic entities from the universe. They had chosen to stay on the fence in the beginning but finally come to see Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet as a threat. This is where things take a turn for the Mad Titan.
Thanos does manage to defeat them all; Galactus, Kronos, Epoch, Eternity, the Living Tribunal, and more — all personifications of concepts like chaos and order. He, though, then falls to his own hubris.
Thanos begins seeing his own physical body as a weakness and decides to transform himself into an astral form to become the very universe. This finds him leaving his corporeal form behind without any worries because he had defeated everyone standing against him. However, there was one person beyond his gaze that was still standing — barely.
Nebula had been silently observing the mayhem from the side, potentially as a mindless zombie. Her need for vengeance, and seeing an unguarded Thanos, suddenly brings her senses back. She takes the chance and yanks the Infinity Gauntlet from his abandoned body.
Nebula then uses the Infinity Gauntlet to restore herself, banish Thanos into the depths of space and time, and later undo everything that Thanos had done earlier on. This brings back the Avengers, every other person and entity, entire worlds and homes. The mini-event pretty much hit the reset button right there.
Those who have returned from theaters in the past week will know that this removal of the Infinity Gauntlet was included in Avengers: Infinity War but only as homage to the source materials. Thanos still prevails in the MCU and fans will have to wait until next year to know just how the Mad Titan is going to be defeated at the hands of those who have survived the “snap” in the first part of the two-part cinematic saga.
Those interested in going through the comic books in the meantime should definitely take a look at the Infinity Gauntlet Omnibus from Marvel Comics. The massive hardcover edition (Amazon, InStockTrades) compiles all of the related major and side events in more than a thousand pages.
Avengers: Infinity War is now running in theaters worldwide and will open in China on May 11. The untitled sequel, presently dubbed Avengers 4, is slated to premiere on May 3, 2019.
“Lore Guard” is an exclusive segment that brings attention to the genuine history behind characters, storylines, events, artifacts, and such. They may vary in their adaptations for different mediums but it is important to know how they were originally penned.