New Avengers: Endgame Concept Art Reveals Baby Thanos

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A book collecting concept art for Avengers: Endgame has given us our first (and possibly only) look at baby Thanos.

A video posted to the YouTube channel of Toys Encyclopedia Thailand flips through the book page by page, briefly showcasing each of the myriad examples of beautiful artwork from which the capstone of the Infinity Saga was created. At 12:34, a page is seen of Thanos as a baby and young man, his purple skin and crevassed chin making him instantly recognizable whatever his age. An accompanying paragraph of text states that Avengers: Endgame initially intended to include a flashback detailing Thanos’ youth, and his being initially spurred on his quest by his home world being slowly destroyed by overpopulation.

This isn’t the first time that younger and infant versions of Thanos have been seen. The five-issue limited series Thanos Rising detailed the Mad Titan’s origins, beginning immediately after his birth where his mother attempts to kill him after laying eyes on him and seeing him as carrying a Deviant gene that resulted in his odd appearance. Through his beginnings as a sensitive and pacifist artist slowly corrupted by ostracization from his people, he becomes obsessed with winning the approval of Mistress Death, growing into the megalomaniac immortalized by The Infinity Gauntlet.

He’s also seen as a baby in Cosmic Ghost Rider, a series set in an alternate reality in a universe conquered by Thanos, where Frank Castle takes on the abilities of both the Spirit of Vengeance and the Power Cosmic as the Herald of Galactus. Attempting to avert the universal slaughter, Castle travels back in time to raise Thanos himself, only to discover that the atrocities to which the child would subsequently bear witness results in someone even worse, and after giving up and returning the child to his own time, Castle is ultimately informed by Mistress Death that it was his actions that planted the seeds of Thanos’ homicidal tendencies.

The planned flashback of Thanos’ past was likely intended to give the character greater nuance and a more rationalized explanation for his mission that shortsightedly perceives the only issues preventing advancing civilizations from developing into idealistic utopias being population control and resource management. Although making an already lengthy film even longer, it would have gone some way towards preventing the Avengers: Endgame version of Thanos from devolving into another of the generic MCU villains that’ve always been the saga’s weak point, being one of the few blemishes on an otherwise sublime film.

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