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Rumor says Thanos may return in Avengers: Secret Wars

Published Jan 5th, 2023 10:07PM EST
Iconic Avengers scene from The Avengers.
Image: Disney

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When the Multiverse Saga concludes with Avengers: Secret Wars, we’ll witness the biggest team-up the MCU can manage. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will need all the help they can get to defeat Kang (Jonathan Majors) and the Kang variants helping him.

We already have a plethora of rumors detailing all the superheroes that might appear in Secret Wars to help the Avengers, including beloved heroes who are no longer alive or superheroes from other universes. But what if a formidable Avengers adversary shows up in Secret Wars to help the Avengers against Kang?

Before I can explain this amazing rumor, you should know that significant spoilers might follow below.

Secret Wars will be an adventure as big as Endgame

Avengers: Secret Wars will premiere on May 1st, 2026, so it might seem too early to trust plot leaks. But Marvel must have finalized the overall Multiverse Saga story. It can always change how the MCU gets to the Secret Wars finale, but the broad strokes of the storyline are already unfolding.

Even if it’s too early to trust Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars plot leaks, some of them might be based on factual information. And these leaks say that Marvel wants to replicate the Infinity WarEndgame success with the upcoming Avengers movies.

Moreover, Marvel reportedly wants to offer a similar dynamic. The Avengers will lose to Kang in the first movie. They’ll then recruit all the help they can get to defeat the Multiverse Saga villain in Secret Wars.

Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer 1.
Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer 1. Image source: Marvel Studios

That’s why rumors saying Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) will return to Secret Wars despite his Endgame death make sense. Similarly, Marvel can grab Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) from his timeline and get Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to help. The Avengers will get these dead or retired Avengers from the past and bring them back once they beat Kang.

Similarly, we might see Spider-Man variants return to the MCU after their brief stint in No Way Home. And we could see X-Men like Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) join the Avengers in Secret Wars against Kang.

But if the situation is desperate, the Avengers might want to recruit powerful villains from their past to beat Kang.

Will Thanos join the Avengers?

A Twitter account that aggregates MCU rumors without providing details about their origin claims that Josh Brolin will return as Thanos in Avengers: Secret Wars:

That’s all the tweet says. It doesn’t explain whether Thanos will join Kang or whether he’ll be on the Avengers team.

But it doesn’t make sense to see Thanos as the villain again. The Avengers beat Thanos in Endgame, and the villain’s arc is done. There’s no point for Marvel in turning Thanos into a Kang ally, especially if the latter will have various Kang variants to help.

A more interesting twist is having Thanos help the Avengers. Let’s remember that we saw a “good” Thanos join a variant of the Guardians, with T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) leading the group. It happened in What If…? and was an incredible twist. But it would absolutely stun the audience if the Avengers were to team up with the Mad Titan in Secret Wars.

Loki Episode 6
Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Loki finale. Image source: Marvel Studios

I’ve also explained previously that Thanos was never supposed to fulfill his destiny. He was always supposed to beat the Avengers in Infinity War only, so they developed the tools that would ultimately help them defeat the villain in Endgame.

Specifically, the Kang of the future needs Tony Stark to develop the primordial time-traveling device, which is actually a gadget that lets you travel the multiverse. And that’s why He Who Remains orchestrated the events in Infinity War and Endgame in this particular order.

Not to mention that Thanos killing half the universe means some of Kang’s ancestors would never be born. Hence, no Kang a millennia later.

That said, I’m only speculating here. But having Thanos join the Avengers against Kang would be an incredible moment for Secret Wars.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.