For a film packed with as many characters and plotlines as Avengers: Infinity War, a two-and-a-half-hour runtime is actually pretty concise, leaving out plenty of details to be further explored in the movie’s tie-in material. From the Infinity Wars comic books, for example, we recently found out where those all-important Infinity Stones came from, and in the new artbook Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – The Art of the Movie, we learn why Thanos didn’t perish with the rest of his civilization.
Before its destruction, Titan was home to a peaceful society that Thanos knew to be on the brink of collapse due to resource scarcity. When this villain-in-the-making proposed his solution of killing half the population, not only did the people not heed his advice but they apparently sent him into exile. For the Mad Titan, however, this punishment proved to be a blessing in disguise, as he was no longer present when things got all apocalyptic.
While most fans were probably happy to fill in the blanks with their own ideas for how Thanos survived, this little clarification certainly doesn’t hurt.
Earlier this year, Infinity War co-director Joe Russo explained how the failure of the people to take Thanos’ suggestion seriously left a lasting impression with the tyrant, arguing that this is one reason why he ultimately used his Infinity Gauntlet to half the universe’s population, instead of doubling the supply of resources.
“Well, he was told ‘no’ to an idea that he had that he felt was the only solution, and then was proved right to himself when that solution was not acted upon,” Russo said. “So his messianic complex — he is now committed to following through on the idea he had many many years ago. He is not a stable — although he appears stable at times, he is not a stable individual.”
Regardless of whether you buy this explanation for the oft-referenced plot hole, Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos finally go through with the plans that once got him exiled, and it will be up to Earth’s Mightiest heroes to clean up this mess when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.