Thanos' Final Gauntlet May Tear the Marvel Universe Apart

Thanos Annual cover header

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy #1 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Marte Gracia and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.

Marvel's relaunch of Guardians of the Galaxy is already making a huge splash by introducing a brand-new roster of cosmic heroes to the franchise. Say bye-bye to stalwarts Drax, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon and hello to Cosmic Ghost Rider, Beta Ray Bill, Moondragon and Phyla-Vell, who join the returning Star-Lord and Groot.

Also, the Guardians' primary villain, the Mad Titan Thanos, is no longer alive -- Gamora killed him in the first issue of the Infinity Wars event under her new identity of Requiem. You'd think that would make the galaxy an easier place to defend, but the opposite is actually true. Things have only gotten worse, and Thanos is the main reason why. The Mad Titan's death has revealed a secret last will and testament which details his insidious plan to cheat death by transferring his consciousness into an unexpected being.

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This is obviously a shock to the assembled cosmic characters in attendance to witness the reading of the will, with arguments made on both sides regarding whether to believe this to be true or taking his words as a lie. However, the most immediate threat lies in the widespread paranoia that Thanos has caused, which could literally tear the Marvel Universe apart.

Thanos Unleashes His Final Gauntlet

After playing Thanos' recorded message, Starfox points out that while they are the greatest and most influential powers in the universe, he intentionally didn't invite any of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to attend. The likes of the Avengers and Fantastic Four are against killing, and what Starfox has in mind will include a great deal of bloodshed. He's already gathered a list of potential suspects for Thanos to resurrect himself in, and the list includes a number of high profile heroes and villains.

As you can see from the image above, we're looking at characters like the All-Father Odin, Mephisto, the Immortal Hulk, Iron Man, Loki, Jean Grey and Invisible Woman, just to name a few. If Thanos were allowed to come back to life while inside one of these bodies, he could gain their intelligence and powers while working as a spy entrenched in the superhero and supervillain communities.

Gamora may be the prime suspect, but Starfox surely won't take any chances and leave one of these loose ends breathing. He intends to murder everyone on this screen with the help of the Shi'ar, Kree, Skrulls and other alien races. What we're looking at is a conspiracy to commit mass murder on a universal scale, just to prevent one of the worst villains the Marvel Universe has ever seen from coming back to life. It begs the question of which do you value more -- one life or millions of lives?

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If Guardians of the Galaxy goes through with the rebirth of Thanos, Marvel could be on the verge of its next big yearly event where the Earth-based characters face off against the cosmic corner of the universe in a winner-take-all battle. Though a number of the characters at Thanos' will reading are thought to be killed in some type of space hole created by the Black Order, they will most likely return to begin their quest at stopping Thanos 2.0.

Do they first seek out Gamora, or does another suspect take center stage? Guardians of the Galaxy will be fascinating to monitor as these developments unfold over the next several months.

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