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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

This year’s Avengers: Infinity War will pit our main superheroes against the Mad Titan Thanos. Audiences were first introduced to the character at the end of 2012’s The Avengers in the post-credits scene. Given the character’s galactic nature, it’s fair to say that this is the biggest, baddest villain that most of the heroes have faced before (then again, the Guardians of the Galaxy did recently face a celestial being).

But just how badass will Thanos be? This is a character, who, after all, has survived multiple blasts from the Silver Surfer in the comics. Of course, what is true in the comics isn’t necessarily true on the big screen, so it’s a question worth asking. Just how much of a challenge will this mad Titan be against the greatest heroes of Earth AND the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo recently spoke with Empire Magazine, and in their conversations, the subject of Thanos’ strength came around.

“He’s stronger than the Hulk,” he told the outlet. “He’s more like Genghis Khan. He’s a force of nature. He has a spiritual wisdom well beyond all the other characters. He is a conqueror of worlds. He doesn’t have a weakness, and that’s what makes him so threatening.”

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Well, s**t. That makes him quite the formidable opponent. But if he has no weakness, what’s keeping him from being just a boring, dry baddie who steamrolls over everyone?

“One of the big challenges is how to make sure he’s not just a relentless machine collecting stones like he’s going shopping,” co-writer Stephen McFeely said. “So we want to give him a full weighted emotional story. You can kind of say this is Thanos’ origin story so that he will get the weight of any of the previous heroes in terms of the decisions he has to make in order to get what he wants.”

That’s the staple of any good villain, for sure. In the past, the studio has fallen victim to making these guys one-note baddies, but in recent years, they’ve done a much better job at it, with the latest example being Black Panther‘s Killmonger. In fact, while villain is the proper term for such characters, it’s almost a disservice, and we may be better off using the term antagonist.

“Villain is a derogatory term that Thanos wouldn’t agree with,” co-writer Christopher Markus said. “Another one of the things we set out to do in this was, if Thanos is just a bad guy, then you’re dead in the water. It’s just a bad guy, you know? You get bored pretty quickly after he’s torn off the first few heads and we have two movies.”

They seem to have a handle on what makes a villain good and bad…but were they able to execute it? We have just over a month until we find out!

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SOURCE: Empire (via ComicBook.com)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.