Production on Marvel’s The Avengers is already underway, kicked off near the end of April with much fanfare and a personal message from writer/director Joss Whedon. At the time, the studio’s press release confirmed the central antagonist as none other than Loki, the conniving figure played by Tom Hiddleston in this month’s Thor.
Of course, we also know the cast consists of Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill). However, if recent reports are accurate, there may be another villain facing off against this formidable team.
Potential spoilers from here on: So far, the running theory is that Loki uses the Cosmic Cube, teased in the “stinger” following the Thor credits, to contact the Skrulls. The green-skinned alien race of shapeshifters forms an army that battles the superhuman forces of The Avengers. However, Latino Review reports Loki may also wind up stealing and harnessing the power of another magical artifact from Odin’s vault: the infinity gauntlet.
The gauntlet — here’s a picture of it at Comic-Con 2010 — is a golden glove fitted with six “infinity gems” that give its wielder God-like power. In a ’90s Marvel comic book series, appropriately titled “The Infinity Gauntlet,” a mad Titan named Thanos creates the powerful object to give him mastery over time, space, mind, soul, reality, and power. Then he destroys half of Earth’s population and imprisons the universe’s other Cosmic entities.
Latino Review has been fairly reliable in the past, especially with Marvel-related mysteries, but this should be treated as a rumor for now. The site doesn’t reveal how Thanos fits into the story, though given the prominence of Loki and the Skrulls this time around, it may be safe to assume the cosmic villain part of a potential setup for a larger scale sequel. The forward-thinking plan has been Marvel’s modus operandi since Iron Man, no reason to suspect their May 4, 2012 release is any different. (Source)