Avengers: Endgame is a film filled to the brim with so many references and story elements that fans will surely spend the foreseeable future breaking down every scene in a search for clues regarding the MCU’s next few phases. That’s the upside to a dense shared cinematic universe. Seeds for a forthcoming feature could be planted far in advance and even the most dedicated viewer would be none the wiser.
Yet, this doesn’t stop fans from trying to piece together the next decade of Marvel movies, and a new theory suggests that Thanos may have had a hand in creating an even bigger bad for the franchise’s future. The theory, posted to Reddit by u/UpwardSpiral00, has gained a lot of traction amongst Marvel fans lately, as it suggests the Mad Titan used his second snap to not only destroy the Infinity Stones, but to create an “insurance policy” against the reversal of his dastardly plan.
Here’s how it reads:
So I’ve been thinking a lot about Thanos lately, and how he seemed to have such resolute conviction about destroying the Infinity Stones after his snap, to prevent them from being used to undo his culling of the universe. And something didn’t sit right with me.
Thanos is a smart guy. He’s worked hard for decades on his crusade to balance the universe. He may have even used the Time Stone to look ahead and see his death at the hands of the surviving Avengers. But he didn’t seemed concerned about his great work being undone. And yet, it would be, even just with nature running its course.
The world population in 2018 was roughly 7.7 billion. Thanos snaps, we’re down to 3.85 billion, or roughly the global population at the end of 1972. So in 46 years, about half a human lifetime, the population would bounce back. And presumably this would be a similar scenario replayed on other planets in the MCU that survived the snap enough to bounce back. Surely this would have occurred to someone as smart and methodical as Thanos.
And even if he didn’t foresee his own death, he would have understood that without the stones, life would be free to run rampant again. So my theory is, as part of his plan to remove the temptation of the stones but still ensure his great work would not be in vain, he created an insurance policy, at the same time that he was destroying the stones. An agent of destruction that would keep life in check by not only being a cosmically powered force of nature that mere mortal heroes couldn’t surpress, but also by using burgeoning populations and biospheres for its own sustenance. A world devourer.
And I think that’s how they’ll bring Galactus into the MCU.
According to this theory, Thanos could have used his second snap to create Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, to limit the population in case Earth’s Mightiest Heroes found a way to bring those dusted back to life. In a way, Galactus’ hearty appetite supplements the Mad Titan’s plan to limit life in the galaxy, and as u/UpwardSpiral00 notes, for someone with the ability to see through time, it’s kind of odd that the villain wasn’t too concerned about his work being undone. While this takes a lot of liberties with Galactus’ comic book history, it wouldn’t be the first time the MCU has changed up an origin story or two, and you have to admit, this idea comes together pretty neatly.
That being said, this is Marvel we’re talking about. Nearly every single fan theory posted online fails in comparison to what their writers usually come up with, so don’t expect to see a Thanos-created Galactus popping up in the MCU anytime soon. In fact, we still don’t know when we’ll even get another Avengers movie, and a lot can change over the next phase of films. Until then, though, one can still have fun watching Avengers: Endgame at home and planning out their own intricate web of plans and theories.