Season 2, Podcast #7 — “The Daily Bugle” A Round Table Discussion About Thanos

In a podcast back from hiatus, The Daily Fandom marks its welcome back with a discussion about the man himself, Thanos. If you mention Marvel to anyone, Thanos comes up in conversation.

After making his debut in Infinity War, the concept of Thanos is… complicated. So, what better way to talk about the complicated man who just wants to serve his lady love, Death, than Thanos. 


Shareca [Podcast Host, Question Asker]: Hello, all and welcome back to The Daily fandom podcast. Today, we’ll be focusing on Thanos. The infamous Big Blue MCU villain today, we’ll be focusing on Thanos’ Quest, Thanos goal… His redemption if he has any and… who Thanos is. We will be having a conversation with a few writers that write for The Daily Fandom, it’s going to be Claudia, Kyle, and Brandon.

We brought them on board today so we could all talk about Thanos, and who Thanos is and deconstructing this — I don’t know — big, huge, complicated villain, that is Thanos in the MCU in both comics and the recent Infinity War introduction film. So we’ll be talking about that a little bit today and we’re just gonna hop right into it.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

So enjoy this is a really long podcast, so play in your car, listen to it a little bit and let me know if you like it. We’ll be doing another one coming up soon on Iron Fist. So please look forward to that.


The Patrons of The Daily Bugle: A Round Table Discussion About Thanos Podcast

Shareca Coleman

CEO; Podcast host, question asker

Kyle Scher

comics contributor, podcast guest

Brandon Daniels

culture section head, podcast guest

Claudia O’Flaherty

comics contributor, podcast guest


Kyle Scher [Podcast Guest]: Uh, well, as Shareca said I’m Kyle Scher. I’ve been reading comics off and on for a very long time. Was the leader of my comic book society at my university. My relation of Thanos primarily comes from Starlin’s early work on — like — Silver Surfer and Orlock. And then moving into Thanos Quest and Infinity Gauntlet.

My view on Thanos is a — is sort of a — play on what the internet has turned “The nice guy trope.” Where he’s obsessed with Death he’s obsessed with this one girl that won’t give him the light of day and he’s constantly trying to impress her. And she’s not being impressed and I think that’s a very fascinating motivation for a villain — such a cosmic level villain who — just — he’s bigger than everyone.

He’s got this massive chin and he’s got all this power. But, in the end, by time he gets the Infinity Gauntlet, he becomes God-like he becomes onto a god, it comes eternity and infinity both, and he still can’t get this woman to love him and I find that fascinating that we take such a big character and give him such a simple yet interesting sort of motivation and quirk about him. And, uh, while I do enjoy movie Thanos, I think that bit is lost in the movies, which I was quite upset about because I don’t enjoy movie Thanos, as much as I enjoy comic Thanos.

Shareca: Yeah, very accurate, I agree. I was very bummed to see that Death didn’t show up, but that’s neither here nor there. Alright, so the Brandon is his next.

Brandon Daniels [Podcast Guest]: Hey, yeah, I am Brandon Daniels, and I have been into comics for a good while, but I haven’t really been reading them all my life. I kinda started let’s say middle school and my relationship with Thanos is funny enough, maybe much more different than cows, but may be more along the lines of what a lot of the general public was, where I saw him at the end of The Avengers movie, the first one, and I was like, “Oh well, because I have my little bit of comic knowledge,” I was like, “Oh I turned to my friends. I know who that is.

That’s a Skrull ’cause he’s got a real wrinkly chin — and literally, I go on the Internet and they’re like “Oh, yo, that’s Thanos” and I’m like, “Oh I was sorely mistaken.” So immediately I started looking him up. I read his wiki of course, ’cause that’s what you do when you don’t have thousands of dollars for comics. But it was like, “Oh cool, this is a dude who’s super powerful, but I’ve never heard of him because I’ve grown up a little bit on the comic but mostly just from the cartoons.”

So when I started hearing about how he killed half the universe and did that all because he was in love with Death, it really for me, kinda rocked me. And I agree with Kyle that like… yeah, that’s interesting and fascinating but I will be honest when I first heard about this and remember this is ten years ago, so this is when I’m still at that age of 13, so I’m like, “Oh I’m just starting to learn what relationships mean.”

So the idea of — like — killing people because you’re in love with a concept that’s personified as a skull lady was not up my alley, and I just thought it was really silly, and as time went on, I started to appreciate his devotion more and how scary he was, and I’m like, “Okay, this guy, he backs up what he says, so that’s pretty dope.” And later when I saw in the movies, just recently, I actually really enjoyed his rewrite that they did for him.

Where instead of him doing it all for the obsessive love, he did it as this altruistic gesture for the universe and of course it’s a warped mentality, but I think that gives him at least in my mind, a little bit more, maybe relatable. I don’t know if I wanna call it depth, it’s just something, at least for me, I was able to immediately connect with whereas the other motivation when I was younger. I was really hard for me to understand why someone would do that but I guess that also lent itself to more in-depth study. So, That’s — that’s awesome.

Shareca: Yeah, awesome. And then we’re gonna go to Claudia.

Claudia O’Flaherty [Podcast Guest]: Hi, I’m Claudia. I — actually — I want to say I didn’t start reading comic books, till I was about in junior year in high school. I’m not a 100 percent on that, but probably about junior year and I kind of immediately nose-dived into Legion of Superheroes, which inherently requires then going in and learning about a lot of stuff, but it’s also very much DC. So as far as Thanos as a character goes, I have had pretty much zero interest in him.

Never really cared, except to vaguely acknowledge. “Oh, look, it’s Marvel’s Darkseid now,” which is true, but also not true, was technically a real of a different God at the time, but I actually didn’t see Avengers, the new one, until very recently, as in about an hour ago, because I realized, “Hey, I should probably see that before I talk about —

Shareca: — Sorry, that’s gold!

Claudia: — anything, at this point.

Claudia: Yeah, I figured I should get the chance. Uh, Josh Brolin is amazing! Anyway, so, um, I can’t say I have a strong feeling one way or another, but I do have a lot of opinions about there’s the question of whether or not… is this motivation for liking Death really that deep or is it just kind of weird? ‘Cause if you think about it, she’s not even really a character for a good portion of the writing.

I’ve seen a couple of comics, where the way they wrote her, it was kind of interesting… and I do like that whole… she’s a nice guy or not, she keeps the ultimate horrible interpretation of that nice guy trope. Like — that really does stick for me in some ways, but in other ways, like there’s just, it’s really hard I think in part because he’s always been used in Marvel at this default big bad and a lot of the crossover events to really got your head around whether or not, he’s a character, he just canon father bad guy for the next profit work.

Shareca: Yeah, that’s awesome, I love how we have kind of all three different types of people here. That’s amazing, uh, mine’s a little bit more similar to Brandon’s. Same thing happened. Saw him at the end of — kind of like — an Avenger’s movie and was like, “Oh that seems cool,” it was like Guardians of the Galaxy or something I was like, “Oh, he seems cool. Let me find out about him ’cause he might be of importance.” And then he didn’t show up for six more films and then he got his own so then I could have easily just looked him up like two months ago.

But yeah, I don’t know Thanos is a very weird, complex, character, in a weird way… not in the sense that he’s like he’s trying to impress Death, but in general I like his comics and movies versions for what they are. I think they do each thing differently really well. His movie version is a little bit more millennial ’cause it’s a little bit more relatable with the time, especially, like his view on why he wants to do it, which I thought was pretty cool how they did that. Um, But yeah, I don’t have really a long stint I guess I’m in between everybody. I don’t have a long withstanding relationship with him, but, it’s indifferent.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Shareca: Alright, so, um, alright so, whew! We’re gonna get into the first question. So the first question is, it’s kind of like a three-parter-ish…

So what does the Infinity Series say about Godhood? a) Is God had still interesting, or at all relevant topic for the modern audience. And if not, how can it be re-worked into something relevant or can the concept of Godhood especially in Thanos’ case be harmful for one person to achieve or want to achieve. b) And, is there a positive way to look at the Godhood that Thanos has or wants to be… or wants to create etcetera.

Claudia: I don’t — as a general rule.

Bringing characters into that sort of God space is a really bad idea. It’s not always a bad idea, and there are lots of stories that have been done with God like characters our earliest human stories or God-like characters and all Superhero are inherently in and of themselves about God like characters. I think one of my struggles with really — like — enjoying Thanos sort of centric comics, though, is that there is sort of this focus on it as if that is at all something that as an audience, we are going to the lake to or be sympathetic, towards.

When really, when I’m reading a Thanos comic it’s definitely more like watching sort of a very old stage play where you’re watching these events transpire, but you’re not really in the events that are transpiring, and that can be done really well, but it’s definitely something that’s very…

…If you think about more modern comics, like say Spider-Man being tentative to that example, we definitely narrative stylistically have moved towards a type of comic that is much more involved with putting the reader into the story in some form, whether there’s an audience point of view character, whether you are the hero, you tend to be a little more incorporated and in fact in the struggle with a lot of more powerful DC heroes, for instance, is that they’re not relatable. How do we humanize them? And so I think I —

Shareca: — Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt — I do — I agree with that, they kinda remind me of… like a Shakespeare play.

Claudia: Yeah. And — and — actually even Shakespeare does sometimes have these more relatable characters in it, right? Like this is why I think even reading Thanos’ stuff, I’m like ah, Warlock is cool because there’s just… something ever so slightly more relatable about him, even when he’s flying around at the embodiment of alternate reality or whatever, like, still, I’m kinda like… “Aw, that’s cute that you help Gamora out like that.”

And then immediately went crazy, but whatever, it’s a weird, it’s a really weird space to have a character occupy and, I think because they never have him resolve that conflict because he’s constantly pursuing this, and he never like — like in the original story when he achieved Godhood, he is unhappy and that’s supposed to be character development, but instead of sticking we keep me revisiting and it really hurts the ability to kind of enjoy some of these stories in the long run.

Kyle: I agree, mostly with that — um, as a bit of a rebuttal. I got a degree in creative writing. And one of my teachers — especially my first year — used to complain about the use of reliability in stories in the idea that you can relate to a character because she always said is,

“Take Indiana Jones, you’re not going out venturing and looking at tomes and stuff so you can’t really relate on the exact level, you can sympathize with them, you cannot relate.”

That’s what she would always tell me.

Claudia: I think that’s a misinterpretation of what the term relatability should really mean in creative writing, though. ‘Cause reliability, often like — no you don’t relate with Indiana Jones’ career or his badassery or awesomeness, but you know you relate to the fact that sometimes he has a stressful relationship with its father and that sometimes — there’s little things in a character that really make a character come to life. Sometimes in a way that’s meaningful for an audience.

And I think oftentimes when we’re talking about with relatability, we’re not talking about realism. We’re not even talking about sort of realistic expectations, right? Because grounding superheroes, in reality, is kind of dumb. But, we are talking about giving them that one or two little things that sort of allow — you’re right, reliability can be a bad word. But almost a slight moment of connection between readers. ‘Cause, honestly, Darkseid, as an example, is like — that is not a character you can connect to.

And he’s not meant to be, but — like — really, you cannot connect to Darkseid, it’s very little in that character there where you can go “Oh,” but Thanos does have that whole story with Death, which is supposed to be that but sometimes depending on the writer, sort of borderlines, into — like — unreliability because it is so bizarre; and, yet, at the same time, is probably his most relatable sort of aspect…

Kyle: But — uh — I kind of view it the way Grant Morrison talked about it. He has this entire concept of the “Super-God” and how superheroes are really American Mythology and… when he talked about Superman, he was in a documentary but All-Star Superman, he put it that Superman just like us, we can relate to him any way we want; he goes out and he walks his dog, but for Superman walking his dog it involves throwing a tree to the moon — it’s just taking a very human idea, and then ramped up to eleven.

Claudia: And, Grant Morrison does an amazing job of God-like characters. ‘Cause he really understands how to bring that God likeness into the things that we love about his characters without compromising — like, you know when people do that thing where… “Oh he’s all-powerful, so can’t fight anyone, ever who’s boring.” Grant Morrison doesn’t care about that, Grant Morrison is going to make everything interesting.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Kyle: And that is why he is an amazing writer as a… as far as the topic of Godhood as someone who is religious, I’m actually quite fascinated with the way we interpret Godhood — sort of — as a culture and as humanity. How we keep reevaluating what Godhood means, sometimes it’s a blessing thing, sometimes it’s curse, sometimes there are epithets, sometimes they’re the trickster God — you know, that kind of thing.

So, how humanity keeps viewing Godhood and keeps changing its definition. I always find very fascinating as someone whose religious and into religion. As far as in Thanos’ case, what I find interesting is he is a natalist and he wants to become a sort of a god-like being to impress Death, but his psychological need for failure, he always builds in this idea that he needs to lose. It’s a subconscious thing, ’cause he doesn’t like winning.

That’s something that’s revealed in Infinity Gauntlet, and I find that interesting because his concept is I want to be God so that I can get with this girl, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t believe he’s worthy to be God and I think that’s a very interesting way to play it. Is the villain that wants this, what doesn’t believe he’s worthy of it?

Brandon: No, I agree with a lot of that. I think maybe I’m more in that camp, uh, Kyle, where — similar, to what you were saying with Grant Morrison. As long as these characters have a nugget of something that we can recognize, not even just relate to, but we can recognize. Oh, that’s like you said, natalism. I’m not a natalist, but I know what that means and what that is and I want to see a character express that then I think that is what is gonna bring a character who may be doing these extravagant things into an area that we can easily become invested in.

So for me, I think Godhood is still a concept that is relevant and something that can really be played on to be interesting in the general mindset because there’s so many times where we see stories already where it’s Greek Mythology and were remaking Zeus and the Titans, and Wrath of the Titans, were making another movie, about this, and it’s really I think it hits home to our fascination with what it means to attain these absurd levels of power. And then to have flawed people deal with that and so that’s really cool. I mean like — I loved Evan Almighty. Growing up and whatever.

So, seeing like a really incompetent guy get the powers of God was fun. But then with Thanos, you have this dangerously efficient natalist with trying to attain this power. So for me, it’s just interesting to watch like, “Oh is he gotta get it, I think he’s gonna get it.” And it’s one of those… I’m on the edge of my seat — ’cause he eventually does like you [Kyle] said, in the Infinity Gauntlet he gets that power and then he builds in a way, for himself to lose. And so there are so many facets there… where as long as you pair Godhood with I guess you could call it “human nature,” it morphs itself into I think endless possibilities.

Kyle: I absolutely agree.

Claudia: I think the interesting thing — you’re saying, “You’re interested in, sort of — Godhood because being religious that’s something that like — is an interesting sort of area to explore. I think part of my problem with Godhood specifically — not got characters, not powerful characters — but, the actual term God and God like as it’s used in something like Marvel Comics is that very often Marvel doesn’t really explore the implications of the God part. It’s

“Oh, they’re powerful… And now we’re going to kill a bunch of people ’cause that’s what you do when you get powerful.”

Or “They’re powerful. And now we have to write them out of the books because we don’t wanna have to deal with the implications with that.” Marvel could write a really interesting book just sort of actually addressing the actual implications of, you know, if Thanos achieved Godhood what does that mean? And — right now in comic books and as comic books stand and by no fault of the characters of the original writers, being a God in Marvel Comics essentially means… you’re just another big guy, for the superheroes to beat up when they themselves are busy being God.

Kyle: Yeah, well, that’s more of a sentimental modern comic book writing. Uh, one thing that the Infinity Gauntlet, I think, does on talk about Godhood which I thought was very fascinating was when Thanos, officially gets — officially gets sins and becomes eternity and he sees the fertility of it all and literally — when he loses, and at the end, he becomes a farmer, and he realizes:

“I saw the future; I saw all of time, and space, happening all at once, and I realized it didn’t matter.”

Thanos, paraphrased by Kyle Scher.

— and I thought that was very interesting to just take Godhood and go. Well, you can do all this, you can see all this but would you drive you and say… Because it drove Nebula insane in Infinity Gauntlet. And for Thanos, he goes… I’m not worthy of it I’m done. And goes to become a farmer.

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Claudia: I actually really like that, and I think that’s an interpretation of his character I would like to see stick a really long time though, obviously, we are about to more Infinity, stuff, so — but yeah, no, that — that — that is something that really works because that — even though it’s a tiny bit of a cop-out, ’cause we’re not talking about an… it also is still very much addressing that sort of. “What does it mean?” Well, you don’t know what it means because: for a big answer, because no one can answer that but for Thanos it means I’m gonna go be a farmer, which is a good answer in my opinion.

Shareca: I agree with that. I was just gonna add that, the thing that I find interesting about Thanos’ character and comparing him the Godhood is that for me, he was kind of the first, I don’t know, villain that I saw that actually won, I guess, earlier like Brandon said, “Ooooh, is he going to do it, is he gonna do it?” You didn’t think he was gonna do it. ’cause usually in more comics, they don’t… Somebody comes in and they’re stopped in some way or something happens.

And so it was super weird, to have him win… And I don’t know, as it’s even still shocking to me rereading it and to have him win because no one ever went so I don’t know it’s still just like an interesting concept that he won this whole time in both in comics and a film, but it’s just, I don’t know, it’s weird, it’s probably just me, but yeah.

Claudia: Man, you need to read some Darkseid stories.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Kyle: Yeah, and Daredevil, specifically, early Daredevil like Frank Miller era — late ’70s going into the ’80s. That entire book is predicated on “Matt always loses, and the villains always win.” And to me, Marvel — it’s weird talking about this in the modern age because we have a very different view on this. I had a discussion with this with my society. To me, Marvel was always the human side of the comics where all the characters were very human level. You could understand them in a certain way.

And then DC had God like beings that were embodiments of a particular concepts — Wonder Woman represents truth, Batman represents justice, Superman represents hope, etcetra, etcetra, etcetra. You had some crossover here and there of characters like Captain America or The Question being more like the other company, but existing in that company. But I often see that the villains win more in a Marvel Comic than I do in a DC comic. 

Claudia: I think that has a lot to do with the fact that — like — there’s — how do I even explain it? ‘Cause I read something to this sort of affect, but it’s like — Batman loses a lot, we don’t hear about Batman losing ’cause the general fan vibe around Batman is like… you know, you see those arguments online, Batman versus Superman, who wins?

Batman versus Green Lantern — like there’s sort of a culture around those characters, which I do think stems from that fact, but inherently, I want to say you’re right that the DC heroes win more. But there’s also like — one of my favorite scenes ever in a comic book ever is there’s — uh — there’s this woman Saturn Girl in Legion of Superheroes she has these two kids, right?

And she knows there’s no… They just recently kind of defeated him, but they couldn’t defeat him, by themselves. It took the entire force of pretty much every superhero known to man, in their century, plus a God that they woke up to throw at him to kind of put him back to sleep, and so she shows up and she says “Look Darkseid, I know you took my kid, and I get it, you’re evil, you’re all powerful. I want him back,” and Darkseid shows up and he plops her kid down.

And — it was essentially this entire scene we built around the purpose of like… You cannot beat him, you can put him to sleep for a little while and he will stay there — maybe first century or two maybe for millennia if you’re lucky. But you do not win because even asleep… he is able to make people disappear, and rewrite all of time, and it’s a really good scene and it’s indicative of the fact that, you know, I think DC because it’s lead character is Superman, and it’s a face that’s really hard to beat Superman.

Superman does put on an aura of that, though I don’t think it’s necessarily true and all of the — especially today, feeling it in modern comics were more in a common between Marvel and DC at this point than there is different. And just, it can be so nitpicky and difficult to tell.

Kyle: Yeah, in modern times it’s definitely change. But I was never — I wasn’t trying to imply that DC characters never lose it, was just, it’s just something I noticed because often times, especially because of the movies, people always approached me, especially when I was running my society like “Oh DC’s dark and blah, blah, blah.” And, it’s like no, that is not how it ever was. DC was inherently the more light-hearted company for many, many, many years — 

Claudia: And, a huge part of it is comics code. I mean comics code forced DC to put out a certain type of comic and then Marvel showed up and was like… “How about… nah.” Which definitely helped them a lot and built them as a company.

Kyle: Mhm. But to give an example of my favorite comic the question ends with Vic leaving — the — Hub City because he realizes heroes are useless and I can’t save the city, inaudible and I don’t — I can’t think of a more pessimistic end to a superhero comic ever. There’s just something about, Thanos, I think that is fascinating to see him win.

But, at the end of the day, he always does end up losing. And, that’s built into his character. I mean in Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock has a plan that doesn’t go quite to plan and then Nebula gets a hold of the Gauntlet and then screws everything up. And, uh, Adam Warlock wins. You know that kind of thing. But there’s something fascinating about seeing this guy win for a bit, and then we undo it.

Shareca: Yeah, I agree with you 100 percent.

Brandon: No, yeah, I was just gonna say I agree, again, what you were saying, and I think it’s interesting as two were like, showing the differences between Marvel and DC, and like you said, Claudia — I admit, yeah Thanos is easily a rip off of Darkseid, but the nature of the two of them is different, the same way that like old-school DC and Marvel were different. The way you were saying —

Claudia: They are very different characters.

Brandon: — Yeah, yeah. One is — one like in DC is the ideal where Marvel’s may be more human. So, in DC of Darkseid who, like you said, cannot be beaten — like he is the — essentially, if you’re talking about the new Gods, he would be the devil. Like he just was and is like evil, and you can stay him off, but at the end of the day, you don’t beat him like you’re saying, but with Thanos, it’s this dude who’s like, he’s like, literally I describe him as a dude.

Yeah, you describe him as a dude. And he’s like just trudging across the Cosmos. Like — just — scraping by trying to get in every bit of power to finally get that Godhood, and then be the evil character. But they come from two different starting points. You get introduced the Darkseid, and he’s just stone cold and dark.

Claudia: Yeah, and like Darkseid is the king from the get-go. Whereas Thanos —

Brandon: Yeah, and that’s awesome!

Claudia: — has the underdog story kind of built in…

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Brandon: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, ’cause Darkseid has his own — like — evil planet. And you’re like, “What is happening? This is awesome but weird.” And Thanos is just like, “Oh yeah, no I will rule and I kind of rule, but I’m gonna mess some stuff up like Darkseid but I gotta get there. So come with me on this adventure, and it’s like

“Okay, both of them, they’re like, everything about this is weird, but I dig it and so, okay, let’s go.”

Kyle: I think the key difference between Thanos and Darkseid, ’cause I… ’cause I get a lot of people saying — like — saying, “Oh there similar… Or their rip-offs or whatever,” and I don’t really see it like their designs, or similar, they started from a similar place. But ultimately they come — one comes from a guy taking a psychology class, and being fascinated with a subconscious failure.

And another one is Jack Kirby attempting to do the Bible but with a twist in comic form. So they’re inherently very different from the get-go, from my personal opinion anyway. But I think the key difference is Darkseid to me anyway, is Death. There’s a moment, one of the great adaptations — everybody talks about this and one of the adaptations is the DC Animated Universe.

There’s a moment where Superman meets Darkseid and says “Whose Darkseid?” and “Darkside inaudible, and to me, that instantly states exactly what Darkseid is. Thanos — uh — is the guy who’s chasing Death he wants to be with Death, but he could never be that way because he’s too flawed. We have the concept of the flawed hero, but we put it into a villain.


Shareca: Kyle, that was beautiful. So, with that being said, we said we’re gonna jump to the next question.

Is Jim Starlin the only one that truly understands the character and if so, why do you think that is? Does the constant state of resetting a character, especially one who is so easily sliding into generic villain territory when his lessons aren’t allowed to stick is it ultimately harmful to these stories that Marvel produces and wants to tell and why do they keep doing it if so?

Claudia: Very harmful.

Kyle: Um, yeah. I would say that in my personal opinion, I think Jim Starlin is the only one that gets the character. He did create the character and… Well, I’m not saying that only the person who creates the character understands the character that is by no means the truth. My favorite character was re-interpreted by insert name here.

I think that’s a definitive version. And Steve Ditko’s version is interesting but is not to be the definitive take but Jim Starlin, has devoted so much to this character to the point of continuing to write him in OGN’s, and many series throughout several years now, he was doing up until I think 2017 was the last one. I may be wrong on that but she’s clearly taking the character on a journey in an art and what’s fascinating about Thanos, like we were saying earlier, is that he’s an ever-changing villain.

He’s on the flawed villain. And, I don’t — every time I see Thanos, not written by Jim Starlin, I always see this smiling cackling crazy man, and I don’t see that flawed villain that I quite like in Jim Starlin’s work, and now the constant state of resetting characters, that’s a given. With comics, comics are constantly in flux, We’re doing reboots, soft reboots, right now in DC we have Rebirth which means continuity, that doesn’t mean a thing.

We’re just picking and choosing what we wanna keep in what we don’t and you’ve just gotta get used to it and it’s annoying and it’s very harmful to certain characters who constantly have to regurgitate either the main storylines or their arcs. And, I certainly think it’s harmful to Thanos, but — it comes with the comics industry, and you just kinda have to live with it.

Claudia: I think it does, but I also feel like there are writers and there are times when comics reboots and upsets status quo to reset status quo and they do it intelligently. I think one of the things that can be frustrating, so I don’t like Thanos, particularly very much. Like I couldn’t care one way or another. I think Starlin, probably has a really good interpretation, of the character, but I see a sort of a list of other people who had a stab at him, and I looked at some of those writers and I’m like…

“I bet you kind of understand this character and I would trust you to write Thanos all right.” ‘Cause I think Keith Giffen or someone is on there — I don’t know — the thing with the whole like — things not sticking is it especially damaging for a Godlike power character because he is going, he again very using him, essentially, as crossover cannon father, which is just… so… it’s frustrating, it’s not something to on change and it’s kind of a bummer because it makes it hard to… to just… sigh — it’s not hard to just write it.

It’s just… It’s just weird, and I wish they would do it a little more intelligently. They have other characters, they could be using, as the sort of thing, and they have writers who could pull this sort of thing off, but obviously the… what is it like we have an event pretty much every month that we need to apparently sell books. God, kill me —

Kyle: ‘Event fatigue’ is a thing, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah.

Claudia: I just hate events, and they make me sad.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Brandon: *Laughter* Yeah, okay, ’cause well, yeah, the event going on right now, it’s very interesting. “Infinity Wars” because we got to tie into the movie and talk about the Infinity stones. But I mean, again, taking it back to Thanos, and if Jim Starlin’s the only guy who can write him. See I’m in the camp that I think you can have other writers write about any character and have it would be revolutionary —

Claudia: — Except for Grant Morrison! *Laughter*

Brandon: Right, right, especially I think for Thanos ’cause Jim Starlin, hands down, of course, built the guy up from the ground up. But I think also you have, I know you were saying Keith Giffen, but I think Jonathan Hickman did great with Thanos and… 

Claudia: Ooooh, yeah!

Brandon: I personally really enjoy Donny Cates on the recent Thanos Wins arc that’s going on — like — like — his kind of like out there brain really gives just vibrancy to the whole mythos of Thanos, and it might not be exactly the Thanos that we have all been used to, or at least what he’s been built up before by Starlin, but I think that gives credence to how we can get fresh life into these characters.

‘Cause I totally agree, Kyle, that the nature of comics is, it’s a circle. You gotta go back to the status quo because we’re too — I don’t know, afraid of stagnant — whatever the companies think to move on to other characters, and if we do move on to another character, it’s going to be very, very, very slowly like Peter Parker and Miles Morales for the two Spider-Men and it’s like only now has Miles’ finally getting a movie, and even then he’s not the only guy you got to have Peter in the movie, too.

But in that kind of sense, if we can’t change the characters because they think that that’s like — maybe they’re branding almost where Marvel’s saying, “We can’t get rid of Thanos because everyone knows Thanos and if we need a big bad, we have to use Thanos.” Like — okay, if you can’t change Thanos, and he has to go back to his default state. Maybe get a new writer on there, where they have a different interpretation of Thanos.

At least for us, as the readers. We see it as maybe some type of progression of the character where once he was this flawed like, kind of, humanistic character who wants to chase after that, Death, but now, maybe he’s going a little bit more crazy and maybe the next writer will make him go back to being a little bit saner and something like that. As long as they don’t break too far from character. I think that could maybe give a little bit of a way for the stories to continue to be interesting and grow.

Shareca: Yeah, bouncing off what — uh — Brandon was saying, I agree with that and I was gonna mention that actually. I think it would help a lot if he wasn’t just doing the same thing every time — well — similar to the same thing every time. There’s nothing really crazy from any rendition, we get.

I mean — obviously, there’s different ways to portray him, personality-wise, who he is, but he’s always doing the same thing. He’s just the villain guy you know him as “The Big Villain Guy” and if you’ve seen the movie, you know him as Josh Brolin. So — like — there’s no kind of in between. You know him either as a big dude or Josh Brolin, who also plays every other villain in the Marvel Universe. But —

Claudia: Josh Brolin is perfect —

Shareca: — He is great. I love Josh Brolin. But yeah, I think it’s just more so I think what makes him generic or what makes him stuck in what he is is that he does the same thing kind of every time he always has one goal.

And while I wouldn’t mind keeping the goal the same like Brandon was saying, changing something, maybe, I don’t know, making him have a realization, I don’t know just altering something in some way would help make him less generic.

Claudia: Almost wish we had a different villain to slot into the generic cosmic villain role. Just because it is like — it’s a role that’s necessary at a certain point in every superhero story, we gotta tell that story and it’s a pity that Thanos who is a character where the creator has a super specific vision keeps getting kind of run into that, because I do think — like, in an ideal world, Starlin would be allowed to tell Thanos’ story how he wants — in its own like wherever give him a book give him multiple books don’t care.

And then we’d have a different character who fundamentally is filling out the same role. The problem and I’ve read this somewhere before, but — like — the problem, of course, is that the reason Thanos is the one that’s used is ’cause people like him and the reason people like him is because, Starlin, had a very specific vision for him. So it’s a bit of a paradox conundrum there going on but it would be nice.

Kyle: Yeah, as a Daredevil fan, it’s the “Daredevil must always be dark thing” that Mark Waid attempt to address where Frank Miller had a very particular vision for that character, and every writer or afterwards was trying to ape Miller, and some of them were or successful than others. Like Bendis. But when Mark Waid we came in, he was like… “I want to do something different. I wanted to turn back time and go back to way Stan Lee envisioned this character” and he got a lot of flag for it.

And I think he actually did a pretty good job of blending the darker Daredevil with the more swashbuckler Daredevil. And, so, the problem ends up being when you have multiple writers sort of interpreting a character, which is what comics are based on. So it’s kind of, it’s the ‘snake eating its own tail’ kind of mentality.

You get different interpretations of the character and one of them ends up sticking and we don’t like — especially in comics, in the big-two, anyway — in Indie stuff you get a lot more of breaking status quo but in the big two, we kind of just stick to it because it’s what’s famous, it’s what’s well-known and we want to have sort of like a comfort blanket so that we can have everybody sort of enjoy the story and everybody has a jumping on point.

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Brandon: See, I wanna actually pose — kind of — a branch off question from this and in the discussion of where all haveing here, where as much as we love Thanos, and as much as people love Thanos and like you’re saying, you can’t really move him or swap them out for another character, because people know him. Would you guys — like, I guess, personally, as consumers of this stuff — be open to something like that? Where — I know for me when I saw Infinity by Jonathan Hickman that Thanos had a son and literally Thanos’ son is purple and looks like Thanos. Just like skinnier and younger.

And I was like, “What…” And they’re like, “Oh yeah, this is his son,” and I’m like, “Well he looks exactly like him.” And then recently in the Thanos book Thanos Returns by Jeff Lemire Thanos is dying and Thane — again Thanos’ son’s name is Thane. So, it’s like two letters off. But anyway, the son is like, “Oh cool, my dad’s dying, I’m gonna take over his empire.” And I mean, of course, because it was a book coming out, before Infinity War they weren’t going to kill off Thanos, Infinity War being the movie and everyone was about to see the Thanos. But I was thinking about that idea.

Well, if we did kill Thanos, you have this other character who looks like him, is two letters off, is his son — so, we could like justify it. And he’s almost as powerful, ’cause apparently, Thanos is the father, but I think he’s half inhuman, and — I mean — that’s like a curse word now in the Cinematic Universe ’cause the show was traaaash. But, you could maybe redeem it.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Claudia: Inhumans are trash!

Brandon: Right, just don’t — just — just don’t say that — just say, “Hey, this is Thanos’ son. Um, who is his mom? Doesn’t matter. His name is Thane, so you don’t even have to — like — change the contact in your phone too much. Just delete two letters. And BOOM and like — in the comic he gets the Phoenix Force, and that’s kind of cool.

And, I’m like, “Oh, so your whole thing isn’t the Infinity Gems, it’s the Phoenix Force! That’s different, but Marvel if you were a writer and you wanted to write a story about Thanos, but I’m an editor and I’m saying, “Hey, use Thane, please, use Thane. You don’t have to but please!” Would you do that?

Claudia: inaudible …only to make him be the most annoying powerful almighty brat in the universe. But actually, realistically, I love those sorts of characters; I love Dacan and in Laura, from the hero side of things, I love Dacan and Laura, I love Miles Morales, I love — uh, oh uh — God, I just forget Vision’s daughter’s name. Holy crap, and it’s not that far off like Vi or Viz, Viv — something like that.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s just Viv.

Claudia: Right, so there are bunches — there are bunches of like Legacy characters who fill out different types of roles on the hero side of things. I’d be totally open to a good writer taking a character like that and running with it. Or introducing a new character, like I’m a comic book reader, I’m used to — just throw someone at me and it’s someone’s long-lost son, sure, whatever.

Kyle: Yeah, like I was explaining actually in the pre-show before we end up starting recording was I’ve always viewed comics as soap operas in printed form. So you can pick them up at any point in time, continue reading them; you just get the context of what the characters are saying to understand much like with a soap opera… you flip on the TV, you get the context of what the people are saying and slowly over time, you begin to understand the unfolding storyline. And often times it doesn’t end up in a particularly well-written place. And then they have to write themselves out of a hole. But that’s… writing without an idea in mind, in a nutshell.

But, I have no problem with “the long-lost son” sort of stereotype story what not and I think it would actually be quite interesting to take Thane and do a parallel to his father and perhaps having this character who is almost exactly like his father, except he doesn’t have that crucial flaw that he ultimately does become the villain that believes he’s worthy of the power.

And where you have this sort of father-son relationship of the person who doesn’t believe he’s worthy because of this experience, his age, and you can have this interesting discussion about a father — not only a father and son relationship — the way children — especially in their teens see themselves as invincible, and they know everything. Where he believes he’s worthy, but his father is like “no one is worthy.”

Claudia: I’d love to see Thane and Thanos throw down, that’d be great. In that context too, of like — is that — moving that character into that sort of the big, bad cosmic dude on the scene.

Shareca: Yeah, I agree, I wouldn’t mind it. I — it sounds generic, but it’s not as generic as keep reusing Thanos’ storyline.

All seeing Infinity War, we all know, kind of Thanos’ ‘millennial goal.’ He has like a millennial goal in the film that different than the comics. So there’s a — kind of — conversation going around that Thanos’ concept or idea is not necessarily bad. It’s not good… but it’s not bad… there’s — like — some sort of something inside of it that makes sense.

But, ultimately, the way he goes about it obviously is really dumb, but the — I guess the main goal that he wants makes sense. So the question is focusing on Thanos’ quest in the film and if there is a good concept inside of what they did with him or did it falter or did you think it altered in some way or did not make sense, etcetera.

Kyle: It was fine for what it was. I’m on the camp of much preferring the comic Thanos, but I’m not gonna say that film Thanos was bad. I quite enjoyed film Thanos. But, at the end of the day, it kinda feels like we took Thanos and made him Ra’s al Ghul and people may not quite understand what I would say when I see that.

So Ra’s al Ghul is an eco-terrorist that leaves humanities over using Earth’s natural resources, and it’s destroying the Earth. So what is he gonna do? He’s gonna overload the Lazarus pits so that all the humanity is wiped out and earth is restored to its natural beauty with all its resources, and its green spindler. Thanos believes the — entire universe is — we’re growing too overpopulated were using too many of these resources and people are starving so let’s destroy half the population of people so people are no longer starving, we don’t overuse the hoses and stuff like that.

It turns him into a different kind of villain — a villain with understandable ends, but not a justifiable means, which is a good concept for a villain. It just doesn’t feel like Thanos to me, ultimately, but it is enjoyable to watch.

Claudia: If the question is about morality in regards to — like — his goals. I’m gonna be that guy and say… Do you know how large the universe is? We ain’t even runnin’ out of resources — like, like — Okay so, if all the human beings lived in a city with a population density besides like New York we’d all fit into like Texas. It is some stupid like metric like that.

What’s actually going on inaudible, ’cause we do have resource problems that those are often caused by things not actually related to our population and more related to who actually has control of resources and like what we’re choosing to do with it, right? There are more practical ways to farm, but we choose not to farm that way because of money or in structure or whatever.

The universe is large and nothing in the previous space-bearing movies in this franchise, right, like Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy has demonstrated that bunches of people are just out there starving. So, for me, personally, I can’t really seriously address the question of is there a good intent here because just from a — like — mind immersion sort of place. I can’t even take the concept of us needing to take that drastic measures seriously.

Like I get that it’s kind of topical given everything that’s happening currently with natural disasters, global warming, all that stuff. But, at the same time, when you’re looking at that kind of scale, this is just a concrete example of sci-fi writers forgetting how parking big spaces like that’s even within the realm of possibility that anyone is running out of resources. We’ve seen what — four alien races and all of the Marvel movies at this point? Like — it — it’s just, it’s a bizarre thing.

And then, of course, even if the way you’re splitting humans up is random, it’s still in… like its own way very echo-y of countries that go “Well we don’t have enough resources for all these people. So they’re gonna go over here.” Like it’s borderline genocide. Like he’s not splitting up —

Kyle: It is genocide.

Claudia: The problem is he’s not eliminating a specific group, so, by definition, it’s kind of not genocide but I think we can safely say it’s like genocide mentality. There’s probably a better word for it but like it’s right up there, right next to genocide.

Kyle: It’s genocide light trademark.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Shareca: Yeah, honestly. I mean — I — I don’t wanna agree but… yeah, basically. I just thought it was weird how he wanted to get rid of half of the population, but also superheroes were in on that too? So they also vanished. So I get the regular human beings, but they’re not really regular human beings are they? That brings up a different question, right?

Claudia: He got rid of planets. He got rid of ants. He attacked all the life.

Kyle: It’s half of life in the entirety of the universe, so it’s everything down to the smallest amoeba.

Brandon: Yeah.

Claudia: Such a bullshit way to level the playing field.

Shareca: — But, that’s why I was like they really had to put in the superheroes in there. They couldn’t work that any way. They had to say, “You know what, we’re gonna get rid of half of the population, but we have to say every single bit of population in order for like Captain America to be included in on it.

Claudia: Honestly, I mean even though they are superheroes, they are still mostly people… except for one’s that are aliens.

Kyle: And, even then it’s the universal population —

Brandon: Yeah, exactly.

Kyle: — aliens will be affected.

Brandon: You know what, I think… Oh, I was just gonna say I’m gonna try to play Thanos advocate here because of course, of course, it’s ridiculous to kill people to try to call the population. Like that’s really, really not okay. 

Shareca: I’m glad you added the disclaimer.

Brandon: Yeah, but, like, you know… I’m trying to get in his head space, and in the head space of #ThanosDidNothingWrong ’cause that’s a real hashtag and I find that amazing that so many people whole-heartedly believe that. I don’t. But, I kind of get what — 

Claudia: Because of Josh Brolin. If it wasn’t Josh Brolin.

Brandon: Oh, yeah, no. His charisma — it’s insane. It’s like, “Oh okay, you know what, I don’t want to die; but man, you’re charming, okay?”

Kyle: Um, as someone who hasn’t really investigated the hashtag but has seen the subreddit s/ThanosDidNothingWrong. I think it’s mainly meant as a joke, at least for the majority of them.

Brandon: Ah, ’cause I’ve seen some peoples, like maybe ’cause the internet gives birth to everything, but I’m pretty sure there are some people that whole-heartedly, are like… “No, no, no, this is right. He was right. I’m not joking. This is true.” And that’s  — that’s scary to me.

Shareca: I see a lot of that on Twitter, Reddit is more so like the funny kind of aspect of social media, but on Twitter, I see people are actually serious… 

Claudia: I mean, obviously, the internet kind of amplifies sort of the worst aspects of any opinions.

Kyle: Ooooh, yeah.

Claudia: So, I definitely take it with a grain of salt, but it’s also hilarious. Again, it’s just — I can’t take the argument seriously when we’re talking about scales as large as the universe like the universe ain’t runnin’ out of — like we don’t know how big it — like — just ugh, we aren’t running out of resources. It can’t. 

Kyle: You brought up an excellent point, Claudia, about the — there was no foreshadowing.

Claudia: Not at all.

Kyle: Uh, any kind of resource problems in any of the Guardians films or any film to dealt with space in the MCU. And that’s ultimately the problem is that I love the MCU. I quite enjoy it and I’m really glad that people are experiencing these characters and I’m really glad that a lot of them — at least the ones I have met — who’ve never read comics are going to see these films and wanting to get into comics.

But, at the same time, they pretend like they have this ongoing plan in this ongoing idea where they’re going with these films. But if you actually break it down there are 200 billion continuity problems. And they didn’t know what they were doing with Thanos at all. You got his first appearance in Avengers which makes mention of Death, we never do anything with her. All the infinity gems or Infinity stones as they called them in MCU are the wrong colors, because they didn’t know which gem was which, and, so, they got to Infinity War.

It’s small things like that, and so there’s no foreshadowing of why Thanos wanted to do what he did. He was just like “We got to Infinity War, oh now, now, we now know what he’s doing and why,” and it just kind of comes out of the field.

Shareca: I think that’s why they made him have the goal that he had in Infinity War because they could have used the same ol’ one he’s always had. Impressing Lady Death, but they didn’t do anything enough with it to continue it. So, they were like, “Oh shit, we gotta think of something ’cause we haven’t really continued but we said through five movies ago, whoops…” So, then they kind of had to revamp it, I guess.

Claudia: I also think in… So in defense of Thanos’ crazy idea. You could make the argument, tentatively, that the reason there’s no foreshadowing is because he’s looking into the far future. This is a guy with a lot of power and gazes into like wells of knowledge and shit, it could be theoretical —

Shareca: Or, he’s just always high.

Claudia: Laughter. Uh, yes. The theoretical there, I could kind of defend him, but I more lean towards the fact that they should have done a little more work foreshadowing.

Kyle: Yeah, absolutely.

Brandon: Yes. Also, just on the point of being high all the time, I really hope that Marvel just makes a kind of one-off joke comic called Infinity Stoned where he is —

Claudia: That was good!

Brandon: That’s just — I thought about that, I was like, “That’s the perfect pun-word. This stoned, Infinity Stoned. This, okay!” Anyway, um. Were just stoned infinity, so okay, anyway —

Shareca: I think that might be Avengers 4, if I’m not mistaken.

Brandon: Oh, yeah, that’s the — that’s the title. That’s why they didn’t wanna release it, ’cause it spoils the whole movie, that Thanos is high the whole time and this whole movie was an acid trip that’s… oh man, that’s so good.

Mumble.

Kyle: If Avengers 4 is just Clint Barton and Kate Bishop getting high. I would watch that without a second thought.

Claudia: Oh, go through the entirety Avengers 4 make it dead serious and then at the very end that’s the like stupid teaser tag at the end of the credits.

Brandon: Oh my gosh, that would — the entire world would erupt in anger and —

Shareca: I would pay three times over for it, though.

Laughter.

Brandon: Yeah, no, but I think we — we because the same way we were saying, “Oh the universe can’t run out of resources. We’ve seen like four planets.” I think that also, again, I think we wanna give the writers of Marvel maybe as much leeway as possible ’cause I agree they probably didn’t have a plan, but assuming they did… we did also only see four planets.

If the universe is made up of hundreds of trillions of billions of planets, then I don’t know four is a really small sample size and if the Thanos is like… “Nah, I’ve looked at the universe and we’re definitely running out of resources.” I don’t know you I’m inclined to believe you, you don’t seem like you’re like. I mean, like yeah, you’re evil, but you don’t lie though. Okay, sure, did you do the math? Like to throw some science, did you — did you make a log-rhythmic growth model.

Are we really? Oh okay, then fine, yeah, sure. We’re probably gonna hit the cap soon. What’s your idea, Thanos? Oh, you wanna kill half of us? That’s pretty brutal, but mathematically speaking, okay. Like yeah, that’s — that’s, fine.

Claudia: But, he’s killing half of your plants, he’s killing half of your plants too, which ultimately just means your back to the same amount of resources in a lot of places.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Kyle: Yeah. The least they could have done is like in Guardians 1 a large majority of Guardians takes place on Nova Prime, the space cops literal space cops — they could’ve just inserted a random line in somewhere of

“Blah, da, blah planet is the half their population is starving. We should probably do something.”

Obviously, you would write that much better. And I write much better but not off the cuff, but, you know, something like that, something to get people thinking the universes overpopulated.

Claudia: Even just something where people would then like watch this movie and then someone re-watching Guardians, after be like, “Oh look, they foreshadowed it.” Like that stuff goes a long way, I think toward making these events not feel forced.

Brandon: I think the closest we got to that was I think Saccar is what they call it in Thor: Ragnarok that junk planet that they land on ’cause for the most part —

Kyle: Yeah.

Claudia: It’s at the end of the universe, isn’t it?

Brandon: Yeah… Is it at the end of the universe? See, I’m, it’s — Nebula’s where it is for me. I don’t know where it’s located, but —

Mumble.

Claudia: It’s like a weird place.

Brandon: Yeah, ’cause the city is extravagant, but, when they first land, they land basically in a junk pile. And you see, like people living in the junk and I’m like, “Oh, so there’s a lot of poverty here, and for the most of the movie we’re not dealing with that because, for some reason, that’s boring to deal with like socioeconomic demographics, but…”

Oh yeah, no there is like a problem. It’s very, very subtle. And that’s like the only movie they really show it in because it’s one of the only space movies that has, I think the opportunity to, I guess, Guardians they could’ve shown it more, but there’s a lot of crime, I guess, ’cause they just go to a bar and the head of a celestial and everybody’s a ruffian.

Claudia: Yeah.

Kyle: Ragnarok is — I have — I have a bit of a controversial opinion, I’m not a big fan of Ragnarok. I can understand people enjoy it. It’s a very funny film. I’ll give it that. I just don’t quite enjoy it on a writer level, because it brings up so many interesting ideas but only lightly touches on it because we gotta get to the next joke.

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And it doesn’t spend enough time actually analyzing those ideas, like in a planet that is poverty ridden and its central form of income is a “gladiatorial arena.” That’s a very interesting concept, which we’ve touched on in like Star Trek, and other sci-fi properties, and we do nothing with it. It’s just meant as a joke. So we can get Jeff Goldblum on the screen. That’s why ultimately.

Shareca: Which I don’t mind! Shouts out to Jeff, shouts out to Jeff Goldblum.

Kyle: It’s — it’s enjoyable in a comedy sort of way, but I just have a problem with the fact that it doesn’t touch on any of the subjects. Which, once again, as Brandon was saying, is — it was a film that they could’ve used. Especially because it’s only what a year, less than a year, out from Infinity War. To actually start seeding this.

Shareca: Yeah, and I think in that regard, it’s really — the best word is shitty because they — I mean — for lack of better wording, they did the Thor universe really horrible. And at the time they got to Ragnarok they were like, “Oh shit, we gotta save this real quick. Oh, Guardians did really well, you know, they made jokes!”

So then they tried to — I think — adapt that so the Thor universe and kinda be revamped which really sucks because I didn’t think the first were that bad. I mean, I thought they were whatever for what they were but I didn’t think that they were that bad.

Kyle: As a fan of J. M. S’ (J. Michael Straczynski) run, which is a very introspective character-driven, slow-paced Thor comic — um — seeing comedy Thor just wasn’t my taste. But that’s off topic.

Claudia: I mean, yes, this is very off topic. And I actually enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok a lot, in part because Loki is a character that I’m very fond of and I felt like the earlier Thor movies were really weird — not — It’s just they were doing stuff with that character I didn’t wholly understand and I didn’t think were like… other time we should totally do an entire thing on Thor by the way, just saying, but…

Shareca: Yeah, Thor and I was actually gonna mention — um — Loki, too. Talking about generic villains. They do them so dirty in the films. He’s so generic, he does the same thing every time, it’s like it’s so shitty that they do him like that ’cause, Loki is actually a really good comic character.

Claudia: Yeah, Loki has so many — yeah, he’s got so many — like — facets and he’s done in such an interesting way in the comics where like I feel like almost any writer can pick him up and tell a story with him. And it almost doesn’t feel out of character because he is a multi-faceted — like, inherently as a God, sort of manifest in these multiple ways, which is just an interesting thing I’ve always really liked about his character in comics.

Shareca: Yeah, I 100% agree with that. Um, getting back on topic, that one actually wasn’t that far off topic ’cause we were talking about generic villains. Um, but, so I want to open up to you guys, to just ask some questions, or have a discussion or anything on your mind about Thanos. Um, whatever kind of you wanna mention, talk about, or you can go on a rant yourself if you want?

Brandon: Okay, um, I think one thing that I wanna say that I enjoyed and maybe I’ll pose it to you guys if you wanna talk about this, especially maybe you Kyle. ‘Cause you seem to know a lot more, at least than me, on — about Thanos — is I enjoyed the streamlined nature of his family that they did in the movies where they’re like, “Oh Gamora, Nebula they are his daughters, they were like kidnapped and boom, that’s basically, all you need to know.” ‘Cause doing more research into it and learning about it myself, I was like, “Oh Nebula’s technically his granddaughter.”

That’s interesting and that’s cool. But you know when you’re in a movie setting, you only have like an hour and a half to get everything you need in there. So I kinda enjoyed that they streamlined it in the movies, where I know some people might be upset, but for me, I was like, “Cool.” And I talked to my friend who didn’t know anything about the comics and I had written an article on The Daily fandom about like oh, worst fathers in comics, and I was like Thanos is the worst because he — like — does terrible things.

And I mentioned about Nebula being his granddaughter, and my friend was like, “Oh I thought in the movies like…” and I was like, “Oh no, no, it’s different.” And he was like, “Oh, that’s interesting and weird,” but I just saw it as like, “Oh yeah, they do change it in the movies and I like that ’cause it’s a much smaller hurdle for people to get on board with. ‘Cause you’re like “this is an unkillable, Titian monster, and he’s got children, we don’t need to talk about his grandchildren. He’s just — he just has children.”

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Kyle: Um, I don’t mind — the — the changing the grandchildren to children. I actually thought it was actually a good move. Not only does it help introduce people to those characters in a more sort of consumable fashion, but it also gives them a more immediate deal — like your grandfather does something you’re gonna be upset about it.

But if your father does something you’re gonna be really upset about it because that’s your immediate family. Your immediate family being your mother and your father and any siblings. So it gives a much more immediate personal connection between Nebula, Gamora, and Thanos. Which I think forms this very interesting triangle to examine. Now, as far as the rest of his family, I was really upset that Star Fox, his brother, —

Brandon: Oh…

Kyle: — is just killed off like we kill off the rest of the Titans, they’re all dead, which I was annoyed with because I like Star Fox —

Brandon: Star Fox is problematic, though, ’cause like he’s cool, but his name is copyrighted by Nintendo and —

Kyle: He just got an — inaudible.

Brandon: Oh, yeah, yeah. But, see that’s — that’s the two-prong problem: one, he’s copyright, and two his power is like a roofie, like his powers, they’re essentially date rape. And, I’m like, “That’s not okay, man.”

Laughter.

Shareca: I have to agree. Yeah, I was gonna bounce off with the whole daughter, granddaughter situation, and I wanna say, I think that they did that in the films because they didn’t — I mean, we get Guardian’s films with like Nebula and Gamora, but I don’t — I mean, my personal opinion, were really developed that well, they were developed okay.

So I think if you would have made like Nebula the granddaughter it wouldn’t have made sense in Infinity War and we would’ve been like, “Okay, who cares?” You know, I think changing them to the daughter, you’re like, “Oh! We’ve been seeing them in two films, okay, yeah, that makes sense. We have some sort of connection to her. Now we get it!”

But, I think if it was the granddaughter, it wouldn’t have as much of a sting as it would. Because you’re like “Oh, that’s just the granddaughter, okay like bye Nebula, see ya later.” Uh, sort of thing, as opposed to making them an immediate family member like Kyle was saying.

Kyle: Yeah, and it — it does the change in the family members thing much better. Than… Than just — the Justice League film did where they make Steppenwolf Darkseid’s nephew instead of his uncle, which is just dumb, it’s incredibly dumb and I hate that because he should be his uncle that’s just — whatever — but changing it where Darkseid’s always on top seems antithesis to Darkseid’s journey.

But, that’s another topic. But it does — I think it just allows people to connect to that relationship that abusive father relationship they have in a much more interesting way than if they were granddaughters.

Shareca: Yeah, I agree with that, definitely agree with that 100 percent. Does anybody else have at any last minute questions, thoughts, thank you, Brandon, by the way.

Claudia: Not particularly. I mean, I do think they should put Thanos in a box for a while and revisit him later. But, like, obviously not going to happen.

Kyle: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I think he’s been the big bad for so long I think we should just put into side let another character have the limelight — it’s what I say about Batman all the time, let’s put him to the side for a bit, get some side characters have their thing and then bring him back.

Shareca: Basically pulling a Bucky Barnes.

Brandon: Yes, that’s true.

Kyle: No, nobody liked Bucky Barnes except in Ed Brubaker, which is why he brought him back.

Laughter.

Brandon: Yeah, oh, can I post one real quick last question ’cause I heard this floating around and I thought it was really interesting, in regards to Thanos being the big bad after like ten years of build up. Which was, um, do you think that this was a right choice like as much as we’ve been talking about Thanos, and how we love, hate him, what they did with him, whatever. Do you think it was a good idea for Marvel at — it was like ten years ago? Joss Whedon, when was at the — at the end of his movie — he’s like “Oh, I’m gonna throw in a little teaser trailer for something” and he just threw in Thanos.

Do you think that was overreaching? Because the way we’ve read… And we’ve seen with Thanos, he’s THE big bad of the Marvel Universe essentially equivalent to Darkseid if you will. So do you think that because maybe back then, they didn’t know that the MCU would go on this long, but do you think it was good for them to be like… Yeah, no, eventually we’re gonna get to Thanos. Or do you think that’s like… Where do we go from here?

That’s a peak, what are we gonna do? King The Conquer which is cool, but should King have been first? And then we do Thanos. Or is this Thanos, being the first villain, what gave the MCU it’s like kick its agency.

Thanos
Credit to Marvel Comics & Publishing

Kyle: I’m not a legal person but if memory serves, King is wrapped up with the Fantastic Four, and Fox so — 

Shareca: Yes!

Kyle: — so, they didn’t have the rights, until recently, they didn’t have the rights to King. However, I think King would have been the better choice, personally, I think he’s a more interesting villain. Ah, I really like King. But I also like time travel stories so it sort of fits into my sort of guilty pleasure, but I think Thanos, was chosen, I think with the blue because one of the more famous events, is Infinity Gauntlet. Everybody knows Infinity Gauntlet even if you don’t read comics. I’ve encountered people before the film before Avengers came out that at least knew about the yellow Gauntlet with the multiple gems.

People know about that ’cause it’s so iconic. So I think, throwing that in as a teaser by Joss Whedon was actually pretty good move, is just that the MCU moved on without Joss Whedon and went a completely different direction with him. And it has sort of leaned their entire franchise on: He’s the villain he is the big bad. It, ultimately, leads to the question of where we’re gonna go from here on. And they already have planning problems as we discussed previously. So it’s a complicated mess.

Claudia: So I would say about three things. The first is that I wouldn’t necessarily pin the entire blame on Joss Whedon because there’s no way they let him put someone as big as Thanos into his movie without that getting approval from overhead and by the time of Avengers they very much had a plan —

Shareca: Yeah.

Claudia: — Even if they say that is somewhat poorly. I would also say that, yes, I would have said it was a mistake if it weren’t for the fact that, very recently, they acquired the Fantastic Four and presumably other related wr — I mean they got their Spider-Man back. So, essentially, where it can it go from here? Galactus, probably. They can go other places if they want, but they do have a couple more cosmic villains they can bring out of the woodwork if they want to keep getting these big cosmic villain sort of highs.

I, also, personally think they’re going to just spin this into a straight reboot of their movie line so that they don’t have to worry about planning long term. So, instead of it being — ’cause we are at twenty plus movies at this point — what they’re probably going to do is after this major event, restructure and reshuffle their cinematic universe a little bit, and then create a new plan for what they wanna do with what is hopefully going to be a new set of characters considering that we’re bringing in some new faces.

Shareca: Yeah, I was gonna say that — Marvel kind knows what they’re doing all the time, so I feel like they had — it’s been — the big question is, “Do the comics follow the movies or do the movies follow the comics?” So, it’s that main question of like… I’m sure they have some idea that Infinity Wars was gonna reboot come out with its own comic series. Like they kind of know their comics ahead a time or like ideas for comics ’cause they’re usually years in the making or at least somewhat in the making —

Claudia: Oh, with the amount of events they have going on, I bet they only plan it out a few months in advance.

Shareca: Honestly, I wouldn’t doubt it, but I would hope — this is me hoping — I would hope that inaudible. But I think they had some idea that they were gonna reboot this whole Infinity War thing, or like Kyle was saying since everybody knows about it, everybody has some vague idea of Infinity War. That they were gonna try and spin it or bring it back and so maybe before the movie came out. They were like,

“Okay, we’re gonna have this Infinity War comic coming out, but we gotta have a movie also to tie with it ’cause it wouldn’t make sense.”

So I don’t know, I feel like they always knew. Even if they didn’t know that it was kind of gonna be something big and something that they could either leave off or something that they could like they’re trying to say, make a whole reboot of the whole kind of Avengers and killing off people, that’s a whole thing, but that’s the thing in itself kind of doing the whole All-New Different Avengers movies. But yeah, I feel like they probably always had an idea that we’re only gonna have a contract with certain people for so long and so they were gonna have to do something.

Claudia: I mean, I definitely think that — like I do not think that the comics are planned that far ahead. That’s way too long for comic books, because writers only last a year at most on a book a few years if they’re like very well known. But the event that’s happening right now is probably planned six months ago for the fact that they released the movie. But famously Marvel has been very bad at having their comic book continuity match-up with their movie continuity. A new Thor movie would come out, but then Jane Foster would be Thor.

So people who pick up a Thor book and not know what was going on. And this has been like a famous problem for them. But the movies were planned, for sure. The movies were at least somewhat planned even if they kind of went in a different direction then they were originally intending. Especially because they lost certain creative people along the way. But like the comics — the comics are just a mess. And like — like — given the turnover rate at those companies for people on books, they could not have planned the current event going on right now more than maybe six months to a year ago.

Shareca: No, yeah, that’s what I meant. I meant — I didn’t mean like ten years. I meant like six months to a year. Like they kind of knew like okay, we can spin this off into something.

Kyle: The way — the way Marvel works specifically because Bendis has talked about this in interviews. The Marvel Summit happens either in late December or early January, depending on the year and people’s availability. And all the writers and artists get together and they discuss their plans for the retrospective books or respected books.

And they talk about storylines if it’s gonna interfere with anybody’s plans for a character that may cross over, and then they talk about big major events and because the movies have gotten so big, oftentimes, it’s tie in the big summer event to the movie that’s coming out. So Civil Wars coming out so we gotta do Civil War II, Infinity War is coming out so we have to do Infinity Wars, etcetera, etcetera.

Shareca: Yeah, which makes sense. Yeah. Any last thoughts on anything Thanos, anything about the film, anything about Death, rest in peace. No, we need more Death, but kind of rest in peace. 

Brandon: I think maybe my last thought is just… I think it’s cool that so many people now know who Thanos is. Like to go back to where I started, like I started thinking he was a Skrull because I saw Skrulls on the cartoon and I’m like “Wrinkley chin must equal what I know, ’cause whatever high schooler, a sophomore and I think I know everything” so now it’s like, “Oh no, there’s this whole big breath of comics and creativity that me in the world, had no idea about…”

And now I can go down the street and be like, “Hey you know about Thanos” and they’re like… “Yeah, I know about Thanos…” Back in the day, that was fighting words, ’cause it’s super nerdy and whatever, so I think it’s cool. I’m excited that Thanos for his many changes and his many different forms and faces is now in the pop culture and in the zeitgeist and stuff like that is being, I guess groomed to increase our creativity and to just increase our love of flawed characters seeking Godhood.

Shareca: I agree with that, and I’m — I’m also not mad that they chose Josh Brolin, so I’m not — so, I think they actually chose a really good person to play Thanos. So I hope they do really cool things with Josh Brolin.


And as always, thank you so, so much for listening. We appreciate all of the ears and eyes, I guess, that are listening to this podcast, we appreciate it. As always stay awesome stay nerdy and stay writing that great fan fiction that we read every week for our Fanfic Fridays. We will see next time, same time, same place we are back, we took a small, small, small break for a few months over the summer, but we are back and we are doing more podcasts and hopefully these topics and what we talk about will spark up a discussion and spark up a conversation and as everything will be linked as everything will be written maybe. Um, you should be able to have a more interactive experience with this podcast.

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