On Tuesday, November 20, Marvel will release the first novel tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos: Titan Consumed from writer Barry Lyga. While io9 reported that the novel will not be set in MCU canon, the novel does function as an origin story for Thanos, who sought the power of the Infinity Stones in order to bring “balance” to an unchecked universe.
Learn more about Thanos and his character outside the MCU in the video at the top of this post.
ScreenRant posted an early preview of the book, including a scene towards the end that hints at potential new villains for Avengers 4. The scene involves a new character original to the films, known as “the Lorespeaker,” who tells Thanos that the ancient Celestials — and an unnamed race “whom the Celestials fear” — are keeping a close eye on the Infinity Stones.
The except is reproduced below:
“They are hidden, Thanos,” the Lorespeaker said, as though badgering a child, “because they are too powerful. And because the Celestials and the others, the ones whom the Celestials fear, keep close watch on the Stones from afar.”
In the comics, the Celestials are powerful aliens and some of the oldest beings in the Marvel Universe. While they have a nearly four-decade history in comics, in the MCU, only scant few mentions of the Celestials have been made.
The most notable was in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, which reinterpreted Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russel) as a Celestial, whereas Ego was actually a different species of alien — an Elder of the Universe — in the comics.
The Celestials aren’t explicitly villains or even all that hostile. For the most part, Celestials are neutral, which makes them pliable enough to be “villains” in Avengers 4. But those “other” aliens that Lyga hints at suggest the Celestials aren’t the greater threat that alleged leaked toy box art for Avengers 4 hint at. Fans are speculating the next villain will be Annihilus, who once led an invasion in the 2006 Marvel crossover series Annihilation, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.
Avengers 4 will be released in theaters on May 3, 2019.