By Gabe Toro | The Playlist May 29, 2011 at 3:53AM
Obviously huge spoilers about the forthcoming "The Avengers" and "X-Men: First Class" abound in this post. If you don't want to know anything and would rather keep the surprises fresh then move along to another post. There should be enough 'First Class' clips and images to keep you busy until you see the movie next week. For everyone else who just has to know, please read on....
While Marvel remains coy regarding the storyline for the currently-shooting "The Avengers," we do know that Tom Hiddleston's Loki will offer a certain level of villainy. Rumors also persist of the involvement of the Skrull alien race, a band of green-skinned shapeshifters that would represent excellent henchmen in a large-scale action picture. But there might be one remaining baddie for our heroes to face, and according to Latino Review, the name is Thanos.
Thanos, to make a very long story short, is a member of the race know as the Eternals. But he's a cross-breed, with a bit of Titan blood, enough to be called the Mad Titan. He's also a nihilist, with designs for destroying the universe to appeal to a living embodiment of Death, for whom he eternally carries a torch. Oh, and he's huge and purple and dresses, as the kids say, like a boss.
One of the more famous Thanos-centric storylines involved his quest for the Infinity Gems, six magical gemstones that, when united with a (power) glove called the Infinity Gauntlet, could destroy all life. Thanos also had many run-ins with the Cosmic Cube, a similar Marvel Comics MacGuffin that was known to alter reality. The Cube, originally created by the Skrulls, had a starring role in the post-credits sequence for "Thor" and is said to feature heavily in "Captain America: The First Avenger," where it will be referred to as The Tesseract. And if you peeped the Asgardian trophy room in "Thor" you caught a peek of the Infinity Gauntlet.
The scooper at Latino Review refuses to say in what capacity Thanos will appear, which makes us think that, at best, this is a mere cameo, perhaps a post-credits sequence. "The Avengers" is currently filming, and adding a character like Thanos widens the scope considerably. It also suggests the eleventh hour addition of a potential major cast member, as Thanos is too considerable a threat to be vanquished in merely one film. Moreover, if you tackle the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, each of the Infinity Gems is protected by a major cosmic player in the Marvel universe, so that's five more large speaking parts for a film that, rumors persist, won't be as expensive as it sounds.
In other Marvel news, a few rotten writers have felt the need to spoil a very big surprise within next week's "X-Men: First Class." We aren't fans of letting the secret leak, but it is newsworthy, so we invite you to click here if you want to know the nature of this secret in all its spoilery glory*. Please do not reveal the secret in the comments section.
"The Avengers" opens on May 4, 2012 and "X-Men: First Class" hits on June 3rd.