It is coming. Like Paris Hilton banging on the doors of an abortion clinic before opening hours, Avengers 2 is marching towards us. Never fear; Fully ‘Avin It has you covered with a breakdown of everything you should read in order to maximize your enjoyment of the movie and its many successors.
In part 1 we’ll start with a comic book called Thanos Quest. It was written in 1991 and you can grab it for the very reasonable price of £2.49 on the Comixology. If you don’t have comixology, start by downloading it now for free on iOS, Android and even (urgh) Windows.
Thanos is the purple dude who made his first appearance in Avengers 1 after the credits. His gravelly smile oozed malevolent confidence – the face of an evil, powerful creature with a cool intellect and a plan. The book ‘Thanos Quest’ is the concise envisioning of his plan – to capture the six infinity stones we’re hearing so much about.
Thanos spent time peering into something called the Infinity Well, and somehow he’s realised the true nature of the stones: that if united they will literally make him God.
We’ll get back into the movie universe soon, but first, here’s the skinny on Thanos himself. He’s described as “The Mad Titan” – a description that I personally feel is underserved, for a number of reasons. Firstly, he’s from Saturn’s famous moon Titan – he’s not a mythical Titan that the name may imply. Secondly – he isn’t (in my opinion) mad. He’s a cool, calm, collected individual with ruthless intelligence and surgical strategic skill. He wants to be powerful, but there’s a reason for everything he does and he achieves it in a way that one should not describe as ‘mad’.
Thanos Quest is an exhibition of exactly that; Thanos sets out to prove his love of death (death is literally a woman in the Marvel universe who Thanos is in love with) by collecting the six infinity ‘gems’ (or stones). Each gem is held by a different being, and you get to watch Thanos plan and execute each ‘heist’ based on his enemies strengths and weaknesses.
Case in point: while fighting a being known as “The Champion”, Thanos comments to himself that Champion’s strength grows in proportion to his anger. Thanos remarks on how similar Champion is to The Hulk, and says Hulk is a being who he’d avoid conflict with until he has the right power. Thanos is no madman, he knows his own limits and prides himself on knowing his opponent’s strengths.
The Collector makes an appearance as another gem holder for Thanos to defeat. The most interesting opponent by far, though, is The Grand Master. In many ways he’s just like Thanos: an immensely powerful being who’s greatest asset is – despite his immense strength – his intellect. How do Thanos and The Grand Master fight? In a video game. No shit.
Both characters know that physical confrontation is pointless. Whoever looses would destroy his prize in the process. So they sit down to play a video game together – pitting nothing but their minds against each other.
We’ve arbitrarily decided that here is where spoiler territory begins, so we’ll say no more on the plot. Hopefully we’ve given you enough information to decide if you should buy Thanos Quest, or keep this general overview of the plot to help you with other Marvel comics/movies.
We recommend the former, though, as this book is as well-written as it is integral to Marvels overall story. In part 2 we’ll talk about the big one: Infinity Gauntlet.