If you have had a thought about Thanos's motivation in Avengers: Infinity War, it has likely been expressed rather eloquently by Justin Jordan. The writer of DC's Brimstone and Sideways has taken to Facebook on two different occasions in the last few days to make spoiler-y declarations about the film's villain.
So, yeah, spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.
The first post questioned the wisdom of Thanos's master plan, while the second actually praised how it played within the context of the movie.
You can see them below, pasted here mostly because Jordan is Facebook-courteous and provides row upon row of "spoiler space" in his posts.
1. The actual problem that Thanos thinks he's solving isn't that the universe runs out of resources and starves - it's that the fighting for the resources as they run out will kill everyone. That's subtly different.
He both says this, and you can infer it from Titan - starvation didn't knock the planet off its axis.
2. His plan wouldn't, you know, actually work. Let's say, for instance, you manage to suddenly eliminate half the human population and the world continues on (and more about that in a bit).
Do you know how long it would take to get the population back to where it is?
About forty years. That's plus or minus the doubling rate of the human race.
So the very best case scenario is that his plan buys everyone a century or two. Bear in mind, his rationale is based on usage of resources being inevitable. So no population reduction plan can work.
(Which isn't a criticism of the movie. For all that he SOUNDS rational, Thanos is indeed mad.)
3. In a real world situation, the sudden loss of 50% of the population on Earth is likely an extinction level event. The developed world really IS just a couple of weeks from starvation at any given time.
It's not a huge issue NOW, because nothing that happens to us is (as yet) global. So when s--t like Katrina or what happened to Puerto Rico happens, we can move resources there.
This, though? You don't have that out. And our infrastructure as a whole is not really designed for stopping and restarting. And that's before you get into the chaos we saw a little of in the stinger.
4. The idea that our population has already reached some kind of unsustainable level is (probably) a false one. There absolutely is, at some point, a physical limit to resources. There's only so much Earth and so much sunlight.
That said, we still produce waaaay more than we need to support a population larger than we have now. We're capable (although we're not doing so, as yet) of doing this without running out of resources.
So far, our ability to support people is constrained by our technology and (way more so at this point) our choices. F---ing with the global climate may kill us, but that's not an inherent function of population.
As many if not most of you, Thanos' motivation in the comics is that he is literally in love with Death.
Death in the Marvel universe is an actually entity, and Thanos is literally in love with her. This is an interesting motivation that has been mined for a a lot of good stories and it makes him relatively unique.
It is also a s--t f--- awful motivation for a character essentially appearing in a single movie. Especially one that has to service a bunch of characters.
If you gave Infinity War Thanos the same motivation, then he essentially would become a character who just loved the killin', Essentially a generic villain.
Because there simply isn't narrative space to develop that concept, and in doing so you lose a lot of pathos and gain....nothing. Fidelity to the source material.
You could make it work in a movie that was just about Thanos and being in love with Death. But to fit it within the existing framework of the MCU?
No, sorry, in that context it's a patently inferior choice. Just because something is different than the source material doesn't make it worse, kids.1comments
In the case of the second post, comments drew parallels between the changes Joe and Anthony Russo made in the film with those made by Zack Snyder in Watchmen, with the prevailing view being that the "giant squid ending" would likely not have worked on film.
Jordan is no stranger to trying to get inside of Thanos's head: he and artist Rafer Roberts created Thanos and Darkseid: Carpool Buddies of DOOM!, a fan comic they sometimes give away at conventions.