Kevin Smith shares an uncommon opinion regarding Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos, that the genocidal Mad Titan is actually a hero. Marvel’s massive team-up movie is famous for many things. It features arguably the MCU’s greatest villain to date, features the most Marvel heroes ever to appear in the same movie, and going into its release, may have been the most secretive Hollywood blockbuster in history. Of course, if there’s one aspect of Infinity War that sticks out most in the minds of fans, it’s got to be the absolute gut punch of an ending.
While it’s obvious that most (if not all) of the heroes killed by Thanos’ deadly Infinity Gauntlet-powered snap at the end of Infinity War will be resurrected in some fashion during Avengers 4 – after all, Marvel Studios has more movies to make starring them – that knowledge didn’t lessen the blow to fans. Watching beloved characters like Spider-Man and Groot turn to dust was quite traumatic for most, and continues to be so on subsequent viewings.
Some have made the argument that Thanos has sympathetic qualities, at least for a genocidal madman. After all, he’s clearly heartbroken about needing to sacrifice his adopted daughter Gamora to acquire the Soul Stone. Yet, few would ever venture to call him a hero. During a recent addition of his Fatman on Batman podcast, Kevin Smith did exactly that, albeit with qualifiers. Smith and his co-host Marc Bernardin had been asked by a fan to assemble ultimate teams of five heroes and five villains, and while many of the answers were clearly tongue-in-cheek, Smith’s explanation for putting Thanos on his hero team is quite interesting.
“Controversial choice, Thanos. From a certain perspective he’s a hero. He could have literally wiped out everybody with one snap. I call that mercy.”
Smith is clearly aware that his pick of Thanos as a hero will draw some strong reactions from his audience, but at the same time, also pique their interest. In explaining his pick, Smith echoes a famous Thanos line from the film, in which the Mad Titan points out to Doctor Strange that with the power of all six Infinity Stones, he could cause all life to end. By simply wiping out half of life in the universe – and thus achieving “balance” in Thanos’ opinion – he is showing mercy. Amusingly, Bernardin immediately follows Smith’s pick by adding Thanos to his villain team, leading to some hypothetical good Thanos vs. bad Thanos action.
While Smith was most likely just trying to be creative with his choices more than anything, it’s interesting to consider if Thanos really does have some heroic qualities. At the end of the day, his stated goal for wanting to do what he does is to end hunger, suffering, and lack of resources by cutting the universe’s population in half. Plus, he saw what his inaction led to on Titan, his glorious former home. After watching Peter Parker die in agony at the end of Avengers: Infinity War though, Tony Stark isn’t likely to ever be convinced of Thanos’ heroism.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019