Although Thanos didn’t appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until the mid-credits scene for 2012’s The Avengers, there’s a fan theory going around the Mad Titan might have actually played a role in 2008’s Iron Man. In this video, we’re going to lay out the theory that Iron Man’s Obadiah Stane was actually Thanos in disguise and what that means for the MCU.
While the theory might sound pretty crazy, there’s some evidence to suggest this might actually be true. There are a lot of visual similarities between Iron Man and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. In Iron Man, Stane steals the arc reactor from Tony’s chest, which looks shockingly similar to when Thanos stabs Iron Man in the chest. While on the surface this may look like a coincidence, Joe and Anthony Russo were seemingly trying to call back to that original scene with Iron Man’s near-death experience.
However, the similarities between Stane and Thanos don’t end there. The two villains look alike and use similar tactics in order to achieve their goals. There’s more to the theory than just that, though. Check out the video below for more on the theory Thanos was secretly hiding in the MCU from the beginning.