For eleven years, comic book fans and neophytes alike watched as The Marvel Cinematic Universe rocketed towards a conflict that would rock the entire universe. Ever since Jim Starlin's creation Thanos made a cameo in the mid-credits scene in The Avengers,The MCU suddenly felt like it was building towards something epic.
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The arc culminated in both Infinity War and Endgame which were based on the 1991 event The Infinity Gauntlet. While the two films are pretty faithful in terms of hitting the major beats, there are a lot of things from the comics that were left out. MAJOR SPOILERS!!
In The Infinity Saga, Thanos is only backed up by The Black Order, and they don't really question his authority by any means. The films don't linger on The Black Order too much, as the main focus is on Thanos himself. In the comics, however, that was not the case.
In The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has a wingman in the form of Mephisto. In Marvel Comics, Mephisto is basically Satan, though it isn't outright stated that he is. Naturally, he stabs Thanos in the back, Mephisto gotta do Mephisto. Mephisto hasn't shown up in The MCU yet, so he obviously couldn't appear in the film.
One of the more underrated wins from the infamous Fox-Disney deal from not too long ago was that The MCU can now use The Silver Surfer. Galactus' most famous herald has a huge following, so his involvement in The Infinity Gauntlet makes sense. The Surfer crashes through The Sanctum Sanctorum and warns Doctor Strange and Wong that Thanos is coming. It's a chilling scene and sets up the oncoming death very well.
However, if you saw Infinity War,this might be news to you. In the movie, Bruce Banner is the one who crashes into The Sanctum Sanctorum. The Fox-Disney deal was still up in the air, so The Surfer couldn't make his debut in the film, so The Russo Brothers decided to make an equally impactful statement.
For those who aren't familiar with him, Adam Warlock is a big player in Marvel's cosmic scene and has even been a member of The Guardians Of The Galaxy. Another thing that you'll find in his impressive CV is that he once wielded The Infinity Gauntlet. In The Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock leads the charge against Thanos, gets his hand on The Gauntlet, and ends the conflict.
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James Gunn had only set Adam Warlock up in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, so Iron Man took up his role in the film, and that meant that a moment of triumph would be turned into a moment of tragedy.
Even though everyone who died in Infinity War came back when the snap was reversed, many people still can't get over the initial massacre. Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Falcon, Wasp, Groot, Mantis, all gone, and Thanos' threat was fully established.
In the comics, the casualty list didn't feel nearly as severe. Most of the A-List characters were spared from being dusted and while there were several high profile deaths (I.E. Daredevil, Black Panther, The Fantastic Four,) the majority of the characters lost were B-tier at best (Night Thrasher, anyone?)
A good deal of the conflict in The Infinity Saga takes place on the planet we all know and somewhat tolerate. While there is a good deal of space travel in The Saga, most of what goes on in the films happen on Earth. With that said, the filmmakers did a great job to make sure the Earth-bound conflict didn't feel small fry.
In The Infinity Gauntlet, the majority of the story takes place in space, with the epic cosmic beings created by Marvel's architects getting involved in the cosmic opera.
In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos responds to Mistress Death's rejection of his act of love by creating a mate for himself in Terraxia. A beautiful, female version of The Mad Titan himself who Thanos claims he truly loves. However, this is a hollow gesture, as Thanos' heart truly belongs to Death.
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Terraxia doesn't make an appearance in The Infinity Saga, which may have something to do with Thanos' change in motivation. To be fair, that may have been a solid move, as there wasn't really much to her, and Thanos' arc doesn't really need her.
In one of Captain America's most awesome moments, the comics see Cap walks right up to Thanos after The Mad Titan has laid waste to Cap's friends. Without an ounce of fear, Captain America tells Thanos that as long as one man stands against him, he will never be able to gain victory.
A similar moment takes place in Endgame. During the final battle with Thanos, all hope seems lost until Cap throws Mjolnir at the man who wiped out half of the universe, before calling it back to him. It shows that not only is Captain America worthy to hold the hammer of Thor, but he is someone you wouldn't want to tick off.
The final battle with Thanos and his forces in Endgame will be a moment that is talked about for decades to come. Every hero in The MCU (well, almost everyone) gathering together to fight Thanos and keep the new gauntlet from The Mad Titans was the biggest battle in superhero cinema and will be a hard act to top.
In the comics, the fight is far more one-sided. Thanos kills the resistance in truly disturbing ways, however, it is Thanos' own desire for power that leads to his downfall. The Mad Titan becoming the new version of Eternity, giving Nebula enough time to seize The Gauntlet, and reverse her father's actions. However, due to her mental fragility, Nebula goes a bit too far, and Adam Warlock has to step in to stop her.
In The Infinity Saga, Thanos is 100% convinced that only by wiping out half of the universe will it truly be at peace. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. It's a motivation that has fans debating as to whether Thanos is in the right or is simply a nihilistic sociopath.
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Thanos' motives in the comics are a bit more abstract, to say the least. In The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is motivated by his great love for the embodiment of death known simply as Mistress Death. After gathering the Infinity Gems, The Mad Titan snuffs out half the universe as a declaration of his love.
When Tony Stark uses the gauntlet to wipe out Thanos' armada in Endgame, The Mad Titan is wiped out along with them. It's a somewhat fitting end to his character, with the thing he had been obsessed with being the instrument of his downfall.
However, in an irony worthy of the drama, the comics had Thanos faking his death only for Adam Warlock to find him living a humble life as a farmer on a mysterious planet. Thanos then notes his lack of envy towards Warlock, as he feels he has gotten the better end of the bargain.
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Ever since he was a young lad, Seth Rector has had a love for all things that reek of geek. Movies, tv shows, comic books, and video games are what he considers his wheelhouse. A writer at heart, Seth says he's over the moon now that he can write about what he loves. When he isn't writing for Screen Rant, he is putting his film degree from Lights Film School to good use by working on future film projects.
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