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'Avengers' explained: Who's that mystery villain?

May 7, 2012 |  5:01 am

The Avengers
Presuming you're among the record-breaking throngs who turned up at the multiplex this weekend to check out "The Avengers" and made sure to stick around for the end credits -- and if you're not, you should stop reading this right now -- you might have a particular question bedeviling you. And, no, it's not "What's shawarma?"

Plenty of moviegoers not schooled in Marvel Comics lore were left wondering -- who exactly is that lizard-looking fellow who turns up in the first bonus scene during the film's credits and why does he seem to be positively gleeful about the idea of winning dominion over Earth?

His name is Thanos, and he's a Marvel villain introduced in the totally cosmic storylines of the 1970s. He desires to win the affections of Death, who in the Marvel Universe is personified as a hooded, skeletal female. He wants to give her every living thing as a token of his affection instead of just going with, you know, a See's Candies variety box. Which is why the "courting death" line makes him chuckle.

In the comics, Thanos coveted objects of power such as the Cosmic Cube (which prominently popped up in "Captain America: The First Avenger") and his appetites set him directly on a collision course with the Avengers.

So, does that mean we'll soon be hearing casting rumors about who will play Thanos in "Avengers Part 2"? Let's meet at Zankou Chicken a little later to discuss. 

-- Geoff Boucher and Gina McIntyre


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Photo: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) in "The Avengers" Credit: Zade Rosenthal/Marvel


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