In Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which kicks off next year with Captain America: Civil War – Thanos will gain all six Infinity Stones and launch his assault on the universe.
This will see him coming into conflict with the likes of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
While we fully expect there to be casualties on the heroic side, it is also fairly obvious that they will defeat the Mad Titan in the end. But how?
In this article, we take a look at the five most likely candidates to land the finishing blow on Thanos (and predict how exactly they might do it).
There’s a very big chance that Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man AKA Tony Stark will land land the finishing blow on Thanos in the Infinity War movies, for no other reason than the fact that he’s the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
He’s the only hero to have been given three solo movies to date and he was key in both of the Avengers’ victories in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron respectively.
It’s hard to imagine how he might beat the Mad Titan – as it wouldn’t be through an existing method shown in any comic – but the likelihood is that it would probably involve providing a distraction, using Stark’s trademark wit, before using some specially-designed weapon he had made for the occasion, as he certainly doesn’t possess the power in his Iron Man armour to single-handedly defeat the villain.
However, given Stark’s popularity and his penchant for being key to both solo and team victories, it definitely might happen in the battle that everything in the MCU has been leading to – he opened the franchise, it’s only fitting that he might close the event it all led to.
If the way Thanos ends up being defeated in the Infinity War movies reflects how he was defeated in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc, it may just be a case of Nebula stealing the gauntlet off him and undoing everything he had done with it.
This would be even more fitting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than it was in the comic books, because Karen Gillan’s version of the character is the Mad Titan’s adoptive daughter – and she resents him because of his favouritism towards Gamora.
It would be the ultimate revenge for Nebula’s treatment at Thanos’ hands if she was to thwart his attempts at taking over the universe – not only fixing everything, but also undoing the scars she had gained working for her adoptive father.
In the comic book arc, this scenario ultimately resulted in Adam Warlock taking the Infinity Gauntlet from Nebula and discovering Thanos working humbly on a farm. Who knows if that would be the case in the MCU?
The likelihood is that Loki is going to be working alongside Thanos in the Infinity War movies. Having failed the Mad Titan in The Avengers, Loki anticipated being punished – and the only reason we can think that he hasn’t been is because Thanos has further plans for him.
Of course, Loki being Loki means he will probably have plans to double-cross the Mad Titan. Whether or not this will result in him saving the day and redeeming himself or going on to take over the universe on his own terms with the Infinity Gauntlet remains to be seen, but there’s every chance it could be him who defeats Thanos.
Tom Hiddleston’s character is incredibly popular and it would be foolish to think he doesn’t have a big part to play in the climax of Phase 3.
The fans would love to see a redemption storyline, however, and seeing Loki sacrifice himself to defeat Thanos would be awesome and a great way for him to bow out of the MCU.
Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes is slowly being nurtured into replacing Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers as the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Captain America – and that will probably happen after the Infinity War movies.
It will be a move triggered by the likely death of Evans’ Captain America – and that death could come with Cap making the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Thanos and save the universe.
In the Infinty Gauntlet comic book arc, Captain America was killed in an iconic scene in which he stood up to the Mad Titan on his own – bravely but foolishly – in spite of the villain essentially being God at the time.
The same thing could happen in the MCU, but this time Cap’s bravery could somehow result in both him and Thanos dying – and what a fitting way it would be for the most courageous and virtuous character of the franchise to bow out.
In the comic books, Drax was created specifically to be the anathema to Thanos and was, therefore, destined to kill the Mad Titan – which he has done (by ripping his heart out, for example).
While that’s not the case in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has been hinted that Dave Bautista’s character will finish Thanos off (“Of course Ronan was only a puppet. It’s really Thanos that I need to kill”) and it would be suitable revenge for the green alien, after his family were killed under Thanos’ orders.
The likelihood is that the Avengers will be being soundly beaten by Thanos in the first Infinity War movie, only for the Guardians of the Galaxy to join the fight in the second – and that’s when Drax will strike (and it will probably be a straightforward attack with his blades).
Very few people would complain at this outcome – Bautista’s character gained a lot of fans for his performance in his first MCU appearance.
What do you think? Will any of these characters land the finishing blow on Thanos? Who else is most likely to do so in your opinion? Have your say below.