Infinity #2 came out yesterday and proceeds to be one of the very few big comic events that I’ve been able to enjoy. So far, at least. What was curious was the Black Bolt subplot, which is used as the issue’s cliffhanger. Thanos has shown to be incredibly interested in something Black Bolt has to offer and it isn’t the Infinity Gems, since they’re all out of the Illuminati’s hands. Thanos has been sending his galactic flunkies to different worlds with the demand for a tribute. They must give Thanos the heads of all of their subjects who are between the ages of 16 and 22.
This coincides with the recent Thanos Rising miniseries, where it’s established that Thanos became the Screaming Jay Hawkins of the universe by having bastard children all over the cosmos. Not a single one of them takes after Thanos, even in appearance, and he’s become interested in wiping them all out. Obviously, that tribute would catch the needles in the planetary haystacks.
In the end of the issue, Black Bolt holds a meeting with the Illuminati in a realm where Bolt is able to speak freely without risk of kickass explosions. He hands Richards some kind of trinket and we have this exchange:
Black Bolt: And as I will be delivering my response to his request in person… I brought you here to give you this.
Reed Richards: What is it?
Black Bolt: Records. The hidden archives of Inhuman kings and queens. In there you will find what Thanos is looking for.
Black Panther: But what you said about the tribute—
Black Bolt: The tribute is a lie. A convenient one that Thanos is telling to cover up the truth… He doesn’t desire the death of every child of a certain age. He wants to ensure the death of a very specific person.
Black Panther: Who?
Black Bolt: The one Thanos has come to Earth to kill… His son.
Right there we know that Thanos has a child on Earth and that child is an Inhuman. Again, it’s an offspring that won’t resemble him, meaning you’re not going to see a purple dude with a craggy chin and a mullet. It’s strongly possible that this will be a new character. After all, this is an event story and it can’t be an event story without introducing a new superhero who will barely, if ever, be touched by any other writer afterwards. They can’t all be Blue Beetle and Layla Miller.
But what if it’s someone established? Someone that we, the readers, would know? I’m not the most well-versed in Inhuman history, but I’ve seen those who are scratch their heads at who it could be. Then a theory popped up in my head.
Let’s let Charles Xavier from New Avengers: The Illuminati #3 explain it.
Illuminati #3 is a very strange issue in retrospect, whether you loved it or hated it. People have differing opinions on Brian Michael Bendis’ writing, but one thing everyone seems to agree with is that his writing really fell to pieces towards the end of his Avengers/New Avengers run. After Siege happened, Bendis started running out of stuff to write stories about and flailed about as he stuck around well past the expiration date.
Yet he never did follow-up on Illuminati #3.
For those who haven’t read it or need a refresher, Illuminati #3 is an issue where Bendis decided to retcon the hell out of the Beyonder. Instead of being this omnipotent cosmic force, Bendis labeled him as a man with a mutant gene who was exposed to the terrigen mists and became a super-powerful mutant-Inhuman. Black Bolt claimed he had no memory of him as being his subject and after crossing paths with him in space, the Illuminati shamed the Beyonder into seemingly leaving the universe. The last page was ambiguous as Beyonder walked the streets of Manhattan. Was he using reality as a sandbox again or was he in the actual New York City? We never found out.
So what if it’s the Beyonder that Thanos is out to kill? It’s a longshot, but it’s food for thought.
The stories Hickman are telling through Avengers, New Avengers and Infinity are massively dire in terms of our heroes’ chances of victory. The Infinity Gauntlet has been deemed ineffective. A space armada featuring two Superman stand-ins and Thor is sent on the run. It isn’t out of the question that someone on the Beyonder’s level would be needed to turn the tide in some way. That, and it would give closure to that Illuminati story.
Then again, I also predicted Magog was Booster Gold’s father once upon a time and that was totally wrong, so what do I know?
Edit: I’ve also seen some speculation that Thanos’ son is the new Nova, who is both hiding a secret of some kind (according to Phoenix-Cyclops in AvX) and is one of the characters to appear on the cover of Infinity #6. Interesting.