‘Marvel: Avengers Alliance’ Game Reveals Identity Of Key ‘Infinity’ Event Comic Character
Fans of Playdom's Facebook-fueld Marvel: Avengers Alliance got a glimpse at a brand new Marvel character this weekend when one of the key players in the Infinity crossover was revealed in the game before being properly introduced in the comics.
Avengers Alliance is a turn-based combat strategy game available via Facebook and Playdom's website in which players recruit Marvel heroes and train them up to take on the bad guys. The game routinely offers limited time "Special Operations" missions, sometimes based on comic or movie story lines such as Avengers Vs. X-Men, Dark Avengers, and Iron Man 3. The current Special Op is based on Infinity, and offers two unlockable new characters. One is Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans. The other... well, potential spoilers for Infinity ahead...
The other unlockable character is Thane, a male hero with glowing hands and power over life, death and... amber. No character matching his appearance has appeared in the comics yet, but Bleeding Cool notes that Marvel's own Augmented Reality app features a video identifying Thane as the son of Thanos. This presumably makes him the same character as the previously unnamed Inhuman healer being spied on by Doctor Strange in New Avengers #10.
The Infinity storyline sees Thanos come to Earth to retrieve the last Infinity Gem and to kill his own son, who is hidden somewhere among the Inhumans. The details match up, and there's obvious irony in giving death-obsessed Thanos a healer for a son.
Judging from the game, Thane's powers include coating people in amber, either to harm or to protect them; spreading plague; and healing allies by harming enemies. Avengers Alliance takes a slightly loose approach to adapting superpowers, so this may not be a wholly accurate representation of the character's powers in the comics.
While Black Bolt is unlocked by completing all the assignments in the Infinity Spec Op, Thane can only be recruited by opening lockboxes that are won by completing special tasks. Lockbox heroes have always been characters that were previously villains in both the game and the comics, including Magneto, Omega Sentinel, Juggernaut, Constrictor, Satana and Elektra, but as Thane has never appeared in the game before, he may mark a departure from the villain-turned-hero motif.
Incidentally, one way to collect lockboxes is to team up with your friends to defeat Thanos in "group boss" mode. If you chip away enough of his health bar, you might get one lockbox (and a piece of Inhuman scrap metal). You need at least eighty lockboxes. Speaking as a player, I can safely say that these group boss missions are ludicrously difficult for anyone who hasn't had the time or resources to max out their characters, and I haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. Ahem.
Long time fans of Bob Harras's Avengers run will remember that there was once a villain named Thane Ector, a creation of the Celestials on Omega Climion Six who fought the Inhumans on the Blue Side of the Moon before trying to conquer Earth and getting zapped. This isn't that guy.