Here's What the Creator of Thanos Thinks Of the Fan Obsession With the Marvel Villain

Ever since Avengers: Infinity War, the internet has had a strange fascination with the villainous Titan, Thanos. The character, portrayed by Josh Brolin, has even become something of a sex symbol for some. As baffling as that may for the rest of us, no one is more surprised by it than the creator of the Thanos, comic writer/artist Jim Starlin. Here’s what he had to say at a recent panel at San Diego Comic-Con. 

Here’s how Starlin was inspired to create the character

“Thanos and I were both very comfortable being called characters,” said Starlin. “Maybe a handful of people knew [him]. And now, he’s a pop icon, and I can’t go to the YMCA without someone asking me to sign something in the locker room. It’s weird.”

He continued, “Thanos is…I hate to admit it, but there’s a lot of me in him. We’ve all got these dark things we don’t want to admit to. He was my way of venting [about] things inside me without taking it on my cats.” 

He first saw Thanos on screen with the rest of us

Starlin spoke about when he first saw Thanos on the big screen in The Avengers. “As the end credits ran, the comic book fan behind me went, ‘Thanos!’ And [his friend] behind me went, ‘Who’s Thanos?’ I realized at that point the next couple of years were going to be kind of strange. How strange I didn’t realize because there was no telling then how popular this d*** thing was going to be.” 

He figured that after Infinity War, everything would go back to normal for him since Thanos’ story was seemingly wrapped up. However, the characters’ popularity continued long after the release of the film. “The thing I find most unusual is the sex appeal some of the people find in him. Anybody who feels that way, I recommend psychiatric help immediately.” 

Starlin appeared in a cameo in this Marvel film

There are a few big perks to creating comic book characters. One of them is that, when they make a movie about them, there’s a chance you may get a cameo role in the film. That’s what happened to Starlin with Avengers: Endgame.

He says that he wrote on Facebook, “Mr. and Mr. Russo, I’m ready for my close-up,” not expecting anything to come of it. But they took him seriously. “I had no idea what I was coming down there for,” said Starlin, of how he got into the scene with Captain America. 

He was a little worried that Thanos would be translated incorrectly.

“There have been some bad movies out there that involve [comic-book] characters. I didn’t want Thanos to be one of them. And Joe Russo, [one of] the directors, really put me into a spin before Infinity War came out. Because he emailed me and said, “We have to cut a half-hour of the movie and we have a half-hour of Thanos’ back story, and that’s what’s going.”

Fortunately, he was happy with the outcome. “Three minutes into the movie, I’m going ‘I don’t have to worry about this.’ Even before the Hulk got beat up, I said, ‘This going to be OK.’ I only had a few minutes to worry.”

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