Thanos's MCU Origin Won't Be Revealed Outside Of The Movies [Updated]

Update: Turns out io9 was misinformed on this one. The publisher of this novel originally told them the novel was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, but they've since reached out to reveal that it's not actually canonical. Our original story follows.

Every studio in Hollywood has spent years chasing Marvel Studios' success with shared universes, but now the people running the Marvel Cinematic Universe are looking elsewhere for some inspiration of their own. The MCU is taking a page from the Star Wars playbook and branching out into canonical novels, and a new report says that the first will be a Thanos origin story that details the rise of The Avengers' most dangerous foe.

A Thanos Origin Book is Coming

io9 says that author Barry Lyga is writing a new book called Thanos: Titan Consumed, which will be the first officially canonical tie-in novel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here's the book's official synopsis:

Space. Reality. Mind. Power. Time. Soul.

Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots...

Infinity Stones.

Only beings of immense power can hope to wield these stones, but for those who are worthy, the powers of a god await.

Thanos is one such being. But he wasn't always.

Born on a doomed world and cast out by his people for his genius, physical deviancy, and pragmatic but monstrous ideas, Thanos is determined to save the galaxy from the same fate as his homeworld... no matter how many billions have to die.

Learn the origins of the most formidable foe the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther have ever faced—a foe whom even a group of remarkable people, pulled together to fight the battles nobody else could, will fail to stop....

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.

Thanos is here.

And here's the cover:

Thanos book cover

io9 also has an interview with Lyga about the book, and the author explains what he set out to do with the character:

"It's less about making him likable and more about making him understandable. A small distinction, perhaps, but an important one. It's a pretty big idea to say, "Half the universe must die." And then it's a big jump to say, "I'm the guy to do it." And then bigger to say, "Not only must it be done and not only am I the one to do it, but I know I can do it. And here's how."

That's just an enormous amount of confidence, of persistence, of dedication. Most people wouldn't even get to the idea of killing half the universe in the first place. Thanos did. And then he took it a step further. And a step further than that. Why? How? I wanted those logical leaps to fall into place."

Not Just A Thanos Story

Elsewhere in the interview, Lyga talks about how he wants to "reverse-engineer" the moments we've already seen of Thanos in the MCU and "show how we got to them." Considering this book is set before Avengers: Infinity War, we're expecting to get some more insight into the early days of not only the Mad Titan, but Gamora and Nebula as well. It's clear from the Guardians movies that the two of them didn't exactly have a happy childhood, and seeing how they interacted with Thanos back in those days will hopefully provide some more shading to those characters as well.

Thanos: Titan Consumed will be available for purchase on November 20, 2018.