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The Avengers read the Thanos children's book, split on whether Star-Lord or Thor blew it

Don Cheadle, Thanos
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With little indie film Avengers: Endgame coming out on April 26, unholy alliance Marvel-Disney is doing everything in its power to ensure that the film makes essentially all the money in the universe. With several of the (remaining) super-team ganging up on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday, the superhero franchise continued to swarm the airwaves with a charm offensive all but guaranteed to entice even the grumpiest moviegoers to its cause. Forbidden to give away even a single, seemingly insignificant detail about the plot of the climactic end to the film (and the ever ominous-sounding Marvel: Phase 3), Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, and apparent immortal Paul Rudd had nothing to do but be all cagey and charming. Rudd did address that rumor about how Ant-Man might save the day, but he would neither confirm nor deny, so we say it’s still on the table.

But the rest of the team wasn’t completely left out of the corporate synergy fun, as Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans joined Johansson and Hemsworth for a filmed bit where the super-friends all read from the children’s book, ’Twas The Mad Titan Thanos. The gang seemed to agree that turning the annihilation of half the life in the universe into a kids’ story is tricky business, but they gave it a shot, even if everyone involved couldn’t help notice that the cartoonish rendering of the purple behemoth’s wrinkled chin looked even more like a nutsack than on film. (And that “Groot” does in no way rhyme with “soot.”) Pausing for commentary more and more as the story went on, the Avengers all chimed in on how things actually went down, with Hemsworth getting a touch defensive on the whole “go for the head” issue. Claiming that Star-Lord is the one who really blew it by letting his emotions screw up a perfectly good plan, Hemsworth taunted his absent teammate, saying, “Glad you got your relationship sorted—half the universe is dead.” Still, the rest weren’t buying it. “Fucking Thor,” indeed.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.