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Is Thanos really returning to the MCU?

Is Marvel bringing back the Mad Titan?

Rumor-mongering website We Got This Covered is reporting that their oh-so-wily anonymous sources inform them that Josh Brolin's Thanos, the Big Bad of the entire 22-film Infinity Saga who finally met his end at the hand of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, will soon return to the MCU.

Now, let's get a couple of things straight: first, WGTC isn't super-reliable when it comes to accurate inside information, so any rumor that the site is reporting needs to be viewed with skepticism. Second, even if this rumor is true, those sources didn't stipulate in what capacity Thanos would make his alleged reappearance.

Sure, it was extraordinarily difficult for Earth's Mightiest Heroes and all of their allies to put an end to Thanos' plan to wipe out half of all life in the universe. Hell, he had to actually succeed in this endeavor in order for Stark and Bruce Banner to actually get down to the business of science-ing up a way to retroactively stop him.

Thanos was the sheer embodiment of determination, and we suppose it's not outside the realm of possibility that — even though the 2019 version was decapitated by Thor, and the 2014 version was dusted by Iron Man — some other version of the Mad Titan could somehow return to vex our heroes yet again. Does it make narrative sense? No, it does not. Would it thrill the fans? Er, not so much — Thanos' arc was about as complete as arcs get. Do we have any indication from any knowledgeable party, aside from the anonymous sources of a pretty unreliable website, to indicate that Thanos will be back? We do not.

Could it happen, though? Well... maybe.

Thanos could have a cameo in The Eternals

We submit that if Thanos returns to recapture his position as Big Bad of the MCU and resume his quest to kill half the universe, we will eat our hat with a nice vinaigrette. There's simply no way; the MCU has become far and away the highest-grossing, most popular film franchise in history in large part by keeping its fans on their toes, and we sincerely doubt that Marvel Studios will start second-guessing that strategy at this late date.

As we previously alluded to, though, Thanos' reappearance could take on a different form — say, a brief, fan service-y cameo. There just happens to be an upcoming film in which such a thing would actually make a great deal of narrative sense: Eternals, a flick which may span tens of thousands of years with its story, and which has a built-in connection to Thanos.

The Eternals are an ancient race of superpowered beings who watch over the Earth in opposition to their counterparts, the Deviants, who are basically Eternals with mutated genes. In the comics, Thanos is an Eternal who carries that Deviant gene — which is why he looks less like a Greek god, and more like Evil Grimace.

If Eternals does indeed tell a millennia-spanning story, it might be cool for Thanos to pop up, or at least be referenced, somewhere in there. It'd make for a nice nod to the Infinity Saga, perhaps even demonstrating that Thanos' universe-obliterating quest wasn't even all that relevant in the grand scheme of things.

Thanos coming back to reclaim the Big Bad throne, though? No way.

Who will be the MCU's next Big Bad?

At this point, it's not even clear if Phase 4 of the MCU will have a Big Bad at all — and if another Thanos-level threat is to be introduced at some point, Marvel has a lot of awesome characters to choose from. In fact, now that Fox Studios has been absorbed by Disney, that selection is wider than it's ever been, and it includes a goodly number of characters which fans have been pining to see in the MCU for some time.

First and foremost among these: Doctor Doom, the iconic villain whose plans for world domination are typically foiled by the Fantastic Four. The monarch of the fictional country of Latveria, Doom is kind of like Iron Man, Thor, and Doctor Strange all rolled into one — and it just so happens that his country has often come into conflict with and/or instigated a conquest of Wakanda, the Black Panther's home, in the comics.

Supposed leaks have already hinted at Doom's eventual appearance in the MCU, but some fans would prefer that Marvel go even bigger — with Galactus, the world-eating entity whose arrival is typically heralded by the super-rad, insanely powerful being known as the Silver Surfer. Rumors of his arrival have also flown fast and furious, based on... well, not much.

Hey, as long as we're speculating, let's also assume that Sony and Marvel will eventually work out a long-term deal which would allow for Norman Osborn to take on Big Bad duties. The erstwhile Green Goblin may not have planets for lunch, but he's nothing if not ambitious — he once tried to conquer Asgard, and damn near succeeded.

Of course, we'll just have to wait to see what Marvel has in store for us. Whatever it is, though, we're pretty sure it'll be cooler than "more Thanos."