WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Thanos Annual 2018 #1, and the short story "Titan's Greatest Dad," by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela, in stores now.
In case you were somehow unaware, a little movie titled Avengers: Infinity War has just hit theaters. With the movie now rolling out in cineplexes across the globe, Marvel fans are greeting the arrival of Thanos, the Mad Titan, and reveling in the havoc he's wreaking upon the world and Earth's Mightiest Heroes. And thanks to some carefully planned synergy, fans can walk out of the theater, head directly to a comic book store and pick up one of the week's new releases: Thanos Annual 2018 #1.
The comic is designed to be read and understood by pretty much anyone, new and old readers alike. It basically functions as a small anthology book, where various creative teams tell short stories detailing why Thanos is the Marvel Universe's biggest and most devious bad guy.
And, in the very first story of the book, both casual and devoted fans will notice that one aspect of the Thanos mythos received a Marvel Cinematic Universe overhaul: Thanos' ship, the Sanctuary II, now looks just like it does in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.
In the comic books, Thanos' spaceship may not be seen often, but it has made appearances from time to time. The Sanctuary serves as Thanos' home and center of operations throughout his universal travels. It is usually depicted as having a bulky, squared "H" shape, and appears to be quite large. The ship wasn't only limited to just one iteration, with Thanos having as many as three different versions over the years.
However, the Sanctuary ship we see in Thanos Annual #1 is quite different than the one readers previously saw in Marvel's comics. Although it appears only for one panel, we see that the ship has gone through a complete design overhaul -- now, it harbors a clear resemblance to the ship that we first glimpsed in the mid-credits scene of Thor: Ragnarok. The scene in question saw Thanos' moon-sized ship dwarf the Asgardians' craft, and it showcased a design that was more dynamic, dwarfing and menacing all at the same time.
As we know thanks the Avengers: Infinity War trailers, this is the ship from which the Mad Titan will launch an all-out assault on the remaining Asgardians alongside the members of his Black Order.
On top of that, in the Thanos Annual comic book, the narration by the Cosmic Ghost Rider (aka Frank Castle, the Punisher) informs us that this ship is the Sanctuary II, the same name it has in the films. The Rider ponders what happened to Sanctuary I, although we don't find out the answer. In the MCU, the first Sanctuary appears in both the first Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as the open area in space where Thanos sits atop his throne.
We don't yet know if this is now the Sanctuary I of the comics (we might find out in future Thanos stories), but we do know Sanctuary II has now been retconned to reflect the MCU's version of the massive spaceship. It's not the biggest or flashiest change, but it still manages to reflect the importance that Thanos currently holds in both the movie and comic book universes.
In theaters Friday worldwide, Avengers: Infinity War is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin, among others.