WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Infinity Wars #2 by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin and Cory Petit, in stores now.
Wherever the Infinity Stones go, Thanos is almost sure to follow. This well-known fact is why no one was surprised to find out that the Mad Titan would have an important role to play in Marvel's latest event, Infinity Wars. Indeed -- the character received top billing in the early promotions, alongside newcomer Requiem. In short, he seemed to be one of the main players of the story -- which is why the creative team managed to pull the rug out right from under our feet when Thanos was killed in the opening chapter, his head severed clean off his body by his adopted daughter, Gamora.
The demise of Thanos was shocking, to say the least. After all, he is one of the biggest and baddest characters in the Marvel Universe. Throughout his life, Thanos only ever had one goal, and that was to win, to rule, and to be recognized as the most powerful being in all of creation. It's something we saw the character actually accomplish in Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw's 2017 Thanos storyline, "Thanos Wins," which took readers millions of years in the future. There, old King Thanos was the supreme ruler, a destroyer of worlds.
But now, Infinity Wars #2 changes what we thought we knew about the character. By showing us a new moment from his past, his entire continuity has been altered, affecting everything, from the present to the future.
An Important Lesson
Infinity Wars #2 begins with a flashback showcasing Thanos and a young Gamora. She is quite small, but still we see the strength that Thanos saw in her. In the scene, the Mad Titan explains to his recently adopted daughter the most important lesson he can teach her: Only the strongest survive, and the passing of things is inevitable. He tells her that he is the agent of death, and that the Universe works through him. "But you won't live forever," young Gamora answers. "You told me that when my parents were killed."
In answer however, Thanos offers something we have never heard him say before. He explains to Gamora that immortality can be achieved through children, and that the life of a parent continues through a child's creation. When Gamora answers by saying that someday, someone will come to stop him, Thanos towers massively over his young daughter, enveloping her in his shadow. "You're right... Somewhere out there the Universe is molding the special soul that is fated to kill me."