After his mid-credits cameo in last year’s blockbuster superhero ensemble The Avengers, it had been expected that Thanos would feature prominently in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with an appearance in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy leading to a starring role as the primary antagonist of The Avengers 2 the following year. However, we’ve heard recently that another bad guy, The Collector, is set to duke it out with the Guardians in James Gunn’s cosmic team-up, and now Joss Whedon has hinted that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes might not go up against the Mad Titan until The Avengers 3.
“Thanos is more powerful. He’s not someone you just trot out and punch him,” said Whedon at the premiere of Iron Man 3 (via DesdeHollywood). “Like you did in the comics, you want him to be threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He’s definitely a part of what I’ve got going on. The thing about The Avengers is, that they are very powerful, but they aren’t very stable. There’ll definitely be some people who are gonna shake them up in the next instalment!”
It is of course unclear whether Whedon is referring to the climactic battle of The Avengers 2 as “the big finale” or if he’s implying that we’ll have to wait until the inevitable third instalment, but his comments about the Avengers being shaken up by “some people” has fuelled speculation that the sequel could introduce a variation of the Masters of Evil, a team of supervillains who first battled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes back in The Avengers #6 in 1964.