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Stunning Marvel Concept Art Reveals Young Thanos And The Eternals

You've never seen Thanos like this before. 

As one of the biggest, baddest, and best villains in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is not one to be forgotten. Everyone knows what he's all about (balancing the universe through whatever means necessary) and exactly what he looks like (purple skin, a thick neck that holds up a bald head, a face that's mostly chin, enormous muscles, and huge hands). Audiences learned a great deal about the Mad Titan in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but there's a whole history they've yet to uncover. Stunning new Marvel concept art teases just that. 

Posted to Twitter (via We Got This Covered) by artist Ryan Lang, who has worked on several Disney and Pixar films, the concept art depicts Thanos in a much different light than Marvel fans are used to. He's young and noticeably thinner than normal, shown standing alongside a man, a woman, and a child whom Lang confirmed as members of the Eternals race. 

Lang explained in the caption of his post that he was "asked to visualize what [the] Eternals looked like next to a young Thanos," so he whipped up a family portrait for the intergalactic tyrant. (More on that below.)

One might assume upon initial glance at Lang's artwork that this is the actually the very first look at the MCU's version of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings created by the powerful extraterrestrial cosmic entities known as the Celestials as an offshoot of humankind. Fans might also assume based on the concept art that Brolin will soon reprise his role as Thanos, appearing as a younger version of the villain in a future Marvel movie. These speculators would be forgiven for their actions, as Marvel Studios is indeed cooking up the Chloé Zhao-directed feature The Eternals, and is assembling a star-studded cast as we speak. It's not beyond the realm of reason to conclude that Brolin might start in The Eternals and that the titular species will appear on-screen exactly as they do in Lang's concept art. 

However, this isn't quite the case. Lang noted that he created the illustration for Avengers: Infinity War, presumably for a scrapped flashback scene in which Thanos speaks about life on his home planet of Titan. 

"I think there was a flash back at one point. That's all I know. PERIOD," Lang said in his original tweet. He then clarified (via Reddit) that the specific assignment was to "design 'what Titans looked like,'" and he chose to go with the Eternals to "not enrage some 'fans.'" 

Within the Marvel comics, Titans (sometimes called Titanians) are actually a branch race of the Eternals, so it makes sense that when Lang was asked to visualize the Titans and what the Eternals would look like standing next to Thanos, he drew an Eternals family that seems to be Thanos' own. 

It's canon in the comics that Thanos is the child of two Eternals: his father, A'Lars (also referred to as Mentor), was the head of Titan's Eternal settlement; his mother, Sui-San, was an Eternal who founded the new Eternals on Titan. A'Lars and Sui-San had another child, Eros (also known as Starfox), who grew up to be the binary opposite of his power-hungry, fear-mongering older brother Thanos. It's entirely possible that Lang did some research into Thanos' family tree and chose to illustrate a young Thanos standing beside his mother, father, and little brother Eros. And who knows? Maybe Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo intended to introduce Thanos' family into the movie, but decided against it because they knew Marvel was working on The Eternals... or maybe because the superhero ensemble was long enough without adding in the Mad Titan's lineage. 

What we are certain of, though, is that the MCU appears to be honoring the established lore vis-à-vis Thanos' parentage. A'Lars hasn't yet physically appeared in a Marvel movie, but Avengers: Infinity War did drop his name when Red Skull (Ross Marquand) called the Mad Titan the "son of A'Lars" when he greeted him on Vormir. A'Lars isn't mentioned again within the film or in its follow-up Avengers: Endgame, but there's definitely room for Thanos' dear ol' dad to pop up in Marvel's purportedly cosmic-centric Phase 4

Obviously, there are deep ties between Thanos and the Eternals race, and Marvel Studios would be wise to explore them. Will that happen in The Eternals? Maybe! There's so much Marvel has yet to announce about the upcoming feature that really anything can go at this point — like The Eternals digging into how Thanos turned into a universe-annihilating super-villain. Heck, The Eternals could simply reference that there was a child of two Eternals who was born with the gene mutation known as Deviant Syndrome and ultimately went corrupt with power, and Marvel fans would probably be overjoyed. 

Whether Marvel winds up using Lang's concept art as a basis for what the Eternals will look like in their forthcoming movie, we can't say. Their pink skin and the mother and child's half-shaved hairdos are evocative of the Eternals' design in the Thanos Rising comics, so it isn't as if Lang went totally off-base with his illustration. Still, the Marvel bigwigs, Eternals director Chloé Zhao, and the film's creative team could take a completely different approach and do something wild with the immortal beings' look in the new movie. The Eternals is expected to arrive in theaters sometime in 2020, so there will be a substantial waiting period to find out what the titular race will actually look like on the big screen. Fans can use that time to get the haunting image of young Thanos out of their heads.