Thanos's ship made a surprise appearance in Thor: Ragnarok's post-credits scene. Thinking back, Marvel fans should have seen it coming.
Marvel planted the seeds back in Marvel's The Avengers in 2012. Thanos sent Loki on a mission to earth to retrieve the Tesseract, which is one of the Infinity Stones. Thanos's proxy, the Other, warned Loki about what would happen if he failed.
"You will have your war, Asgardian," he said. "If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice, where he cannot find you. You think you know pain? He will make you long for something sweet as pain."
The film's post-credits scene revealed that "he" is Thanos, and Thanos made good on the Other's threat. His ship, Sanctuary II, found the Asgardian refugee fleet after Asgard's destruction.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Loki will be an agent of Thanos. Has he always been, or is he forced back into the Mad Titan's service? Could this be some of the pain and sacrifice that co-director Joe Russo recently spoke about?
"For us, its very important that the heroes feel pain and that they make sacrifices because I think that, not only is a great storytelling, but it also is inspiring and I think we need a lot of inspiration in this world right now," Russo said. "So, for us, I don't know if we can ever get you to accept it, but I promise you this: we'll do our damnedest to tell you the best story possible, and what you do with it from there is up to you."
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Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 4, 2018.
Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include; Black Panther on February 16, 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.