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In the Avengers movie, why didn't Thanos personally come to Earth instead of Loki? Or, if Loki's skills were required, why didn't he come with Chitauri? He knew that humans were primitive; there wouldn't be any threat and he could personally secure Tesseract.

AFAIK, the movie didn't display much. Is there any other source answering this?

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Thanos is a consummate mastermind. Though his physical, mental and metahuman capacities easily rival any being on Marvel's Earth, he is prone to work with proxies when he deems the challenge insufficient to warrant his direct attentions.

Earth-616 Marvel's Primary Continuity

  • Thanos is one of the most highly developed of the major Marvel villains in their prime continuity. Having swung from completely evil to even doing a good deed every now and then, Thanos' motivations are almost always his own. He is complex, contrary (not even sure of his own mind, hence his failures to ultimately destroy the Universe while he used the Infinity Gauntlet), and unfathomable by most beings who interact with him.

  • Thanos employs agents to do his bidding to keep his enemies unaware of his existence until he is ready to engage the enemy directly. He isn't shy. He is perfectly capable of engaging his enemies but he prefers to gather intelligence through his proxies to better know his enemies when and if he confronts them directly. Direct confrontation with Thanos, particularly if he has had the chance to study you usually equals defeat (or death if he is in a bad mood.)

Thanos manhandles Thor and the Thing

Thanos manhandles Thor and the Thing

  • His proxies have included Gamora, Adam Warlock, Nebula and even the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • While almost nothing is known about the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of Thanos, the fact he is able to send Loki to Earth to do his bidding is already a testament to his capability. But since we don't know how much Thanos knows about Earth, we are forced to assume, at this point he knows very little and sends Loki as an initial probe of Earth's potential defenses. Yes, we look primitive, but a spear can still kill a man with a gun if the spear thrower gets the drop on the soldier.

  • Why didn't he go himself? By sitting in the shadows, he learned about the Avengers, Thor, Asgard, the Tesseract and where it ended up, Loki's capabilities, SHIELD and its capabilities and just what every one of those groups was willing to do when faced with an all out invasion of this type.

  • For Thanos, knowledge is power. Not gaining the Tesseract was surely a bit dissapointing but he already has (if he is similar to his Earth-616 counterpart) fast spaceships, legions of flunkies, and more capable lieutenants at his beck and call. Thanos will surely claim the Tesseract and the Aether when he is ready.

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