- NOTE: This article is about the mainstream version of Thanos from the Marvel comics. The incarnation of Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic film series can be found here: Thanos (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
This Villain was Headlined on January, 2011.
|“||Am I not Thanos?! Did I not butcher the woman who gave me birth, who forced me into this hell called life? Is not the wake of my passing crimson with the blood of my enemies and allies alike?! Death is with me every second of the day!||„|
Thanos is one of the main antagonists of Marvel Comics. He is considered to be one of the most powerful and dangerous villains to be created by Marvel. He appears as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Ultron) of the Avengers comic book series, as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Magus) of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, and as a major antagonist in both the Iron Man and Silver Surfer comics.
He is a powerful alien warlord born on Saturn's moon, Titan, born to the race of demigods known as "Eternals". Being the strongest and most evil of all of them and appearing as a threatening and monstrous beast, Thanos fell in love with the living female embodiment of death and is willing to destroy every existence to win her love, no matter how powerful he must become in his quest to do so or who dares to stop him in his goals.
He is specifically the main antagonist of the storylines The Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity, as the titular main antagonist of Thanos: The Final Threat and the titular villainous protagonist of The Thanos Imperative.
He made his debut appearance in 1973 in Iron Man #55 and continues to terrorize the entire Marvel universe and beyond up to the modern era. His popularity as a supervillain is seen in his ability to hold a large presence both in mainstream Marvel comics and his own series while also being seen in a large array of products ranging from video games to toys and cartoons (though his nature is toned down in some of the cartoons, for obvious reasons).
|“||I am Thanos of Titan. I have conquered worlds. I have bent reality around my will. Men cower at the mere mention of my name. And now... now you have imprisoned me... mocked me... disrespected me. And here you stand, ready to take advatange to my condition. Ready to finish me. Well, if I am to fall, I will die showing you all that Thanos will not be disrespected. Thanos is still a conqueror. Thanos is still a warrior. Thanos is still a god. And you will either bow or be broken!||„|
Despite his overall megalomaniacal personality, Thanos doesn't wish to destroy everything, even willing to join forces with heroes when he perceives a threat more dangerous than himself, as when he worked together with Adam Warlock to stop Magus and the Goddess, Teamed up with Thor and Genis-Vell to defeat Walker, sacrificed himself to restore the universe after defeating Akhenaten with the Heart of the Universe, defeated Hunger with the help of Galactus, helped the Guardians of the galaxy in order to stop the invasion of the Cancerverse, or when he worked with Deadpool to release Death from Eternity's prison. He has genuine respect for Mar-Vell and Adam Warlock. Thanos helped Mar-Vell in his journey to the afterlife and he considers Adam his only friend.
Powers and Abilities
Thanos is immensely powerful, even when not empowered by outside magic or cosmic-devices, he is superhumanly strong and durable - he can manipulate and absorb cosmic-energy as well as alter matter in various ways and has displayed such varied abilities as telekinesis and limited telepathy. He is also in possession of vast alien technologies capable of time-travel, teleportation, force-field creation and entering alternate-universes. In addition to all this Thanos is knowledgeable, mind forever plotting new ways to get what he wants. He is also an impressive expert in scientific fields like computers and robotics.
- Superhuman Intelligence: Possibly Thanos' most dangerous ability is his mind. Thanos' intellect is dedicated to enhancing his own powers and to the annihilation of all life. Thanos is a genius in virtually all known fields of advanced science and has created technology far exceeding contemporary Earth science. He has also shown to quickly adapt to new battle situations, as shown in his fight with the Champion of the Universe, who outclassed him physically and whom he beat by dancing around him, blasting him with energy attacks and tricking him into destroying the planet they fought on. Thanos has remarked that, compared to himself, Bruce Banner's intelligence is only great for human standards. This lets him generally have the upper hand against the heroes even when they defeat him as he often lets them worse on purpose.
- Superhuman Strength: Thanos possesses vast superhuman strength the full limits of which are unknown. Death has increased his strength beyond their original limits to levels rivaling or surpassing those of the physically strongest Eternals and the Hulk. Thanos' strength is so vast he has destroyed entire planets with the simple force of his blows. He has proven capable of fighting Thor, even when he had the Power Gem, and Odin. His strength is so vast that he has been able to easily defeat the likes of the Silver Surfer, punch away an attacking Hulk, physically subduing Beta Ray Bill and Ronan the Accuser with ease (as well as casually breaking apart the latter's Universal Weapon) and, most impressively, wrestle with the mighty Tyrant (Marvel), although only by being additionally empowered by an external power source. Thanos can also augment his strength with his cosmic energy when needed. He even defeated two clones of Thor at once.
- Superhuman Stamina: Thanos' musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As a result, he has nearly superhuman stamina in all physical activities.
- Nigh Invulnerability: Before his "death" at the hands of Adam Warlock, Thanos possessed an impressive degree of resistance to physical injury, even compared to other Eternals. After his resurrection, Lady Death increased his ability to resist injury to a much greater degree and he is nigh invulnerable. He has withstood at point blank range planet destroying attacks without any harm. He has withstood blasts from the Silver Surfer unharmed. He withstood a battering from an enraged, Power Gem-wielding Thor with all but a bloody nose. He possesses such an incredible resistance to injury that he has been shown to survive point-blank blasts from Odin and Galactus. Thanos recently withstood three full screams from Black Bolt, one at point blank range without any significant damage. He also survived being subjected to an artificial singularity.
- Immortality: Like all Eternals, Thanos is immortal in the sense that he is immune to all known diseases and infections and is immune to the effects of aging. Thanos was formerly banned by Death itself from entering its realm, rendering him truly immortal. No matter the severity of any injury, Thanos was unable to die and completely recovered. This ban has since been lifted.
- Accelerated Healing Factor: Despite his extraordinary durability, it is possible to injure Thanos. Like all Eternals, however, Thanos is capable of regenerating damaged tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than a human being. His healing powers aren't as developed as those of some Eternals. Some Eternals are capable of regenerating any destroyed tissue. Given the circumstances of his death at the hands of Drax the Destroyer during the event Annihilation, Thanos is unable to regenerate missing organs.
- Superhuman Agility: Despite his great size, Thanos' agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. His agility is roughly equal to that of the average Eternal. That said, some incarnations have him be slower than some of Marvel's heroes.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Thanos' reaction time is enhanced to a level that is beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Like his agility, his reflexes are about average for an Eternal. Either way, he is on par with if not much faster than Thor.
- Energy Manipulation and Control: Thanos has displayed great versatility in the use of his energy projection abilities. He has demonstrated the ability to project pure energy as a concussive force, "magnetic" energy, infrared heat-beams from his eyes, and disruptor beams, unilaterally striking separate targets with his optic blasts as well as use his use his mental link to his techo-mystical chair to form vastly powerful energy shields, barriers, and force-fields. The exact extent of Thanos' energy projection abilities are unknown, but his blasts have been capable of rendering the likes of Thor & The Hulk unconscious. He was also able to slightly damage Galactus' armor and blast the Devourer of Worlds off his feet. By collaborating with the In-Betweener they together released the latter from his prison created by Master Order and Lord Chaos. It has been speculated that the nature of Thanos' cosmic energy reserve may be quasi-mystical in nature.
- Matter Manipulation & Control: Thanos has demonstrated some ability to manipulate matter on the atomic level, similarly to other Earthborn Eternals. On one occasion, he turned the Skrull, Skragg into stone.
- Telepathy: Thanos possesses psionic abilities. His mind is invulnerable to most forms of psychic attack. Thanos has demonstrated the ability to successfully defend himself against psychic assaults from powerful telepaths like Moondragon and Mantis.
- Time Mind Sync Warp: A psychic attack he used once on Drax the Destroyer, it plunges the victim's mind into a psychedelic dimension of insanity, causing death or incapacitation. Drax was able to resist it for a while due to his great willpower/cosmic origins, but eventually fell to the attack, although he recovered later
- Curse Casting: Thanos seems to be at least partially skilled in magic, evidence being him cursing Deadpool to be unable to die.
- Teleportation: Thanos can teleport himself across unknown distances through his link with his techno-mystical transport chair. When stranded in space with Terraxia, he could neither fly, nor teleport to his rescue, presumably because his chair got destroyed in the struggle before.
- Telekinesis: A ability which may be tied with his telepathy, he can lift up small objects and levitate people into the air. The Space, Power, and Reality Gem advance the capabilities of Thanos' telekinesis when using them. With the Gems, Thanos could move, manipulate, and lift terrain surrounding him and remove Cybernetic Implants/Enhancements with little to no effort.
- Space Throne: The Space Throne of Thanos was a throne-like chair capable of faster than Light travel, teleportation, and dimension travel. The Throne was also capable of generating a powerful force field and emitting energy blasts from the top of its frame.
- Energy Stasis Rifle: An experimental weapon built by Thanos capable of generating a cube of pure force, which envelops the target and places them into near-complete physical stasis. This stasis cube was capable of holding the insane, power-gem enhanced Thor during the Blood & Thunder story. The experimental version of this weapon carried charge enough for only one blast.
- Skilled Unarmed Combatant: Although he prefers using his wits, Thanos is a highly formidable hand to hand combatant, having been trained in the Arts of War on Titan. He is particularly skillful at using a combination of his physical and energy manipulative abilities during combat. His Old King Thanos incarnation is also a skilled swordsman, being able to overwhelm a Mjolnir-wielding Silver Surfer.
- Mystical Knowledge: He also has great knowledge of arcane and mystical lore in a similar manner to Doctor Doom. Whether he is on par or superior is unknown.
- He was created by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich. Jim Starlin originally conceived of Thanos of Titan during college psychology classes. Starlin even made a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, being a survivor of Thanos' Snap.
- Thanos was ranked number 47 on IGN's top 100 comic book villains of all time, 22nd on Wizard's Top 100 greatest villains list and number 21 on Complex's 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains list.
- The only being, other than Lady Death, who Thanos respects and considers a friend is Adam Warlock despite the many times he helped the heroes of Earth fighting him.
- Although Thanos was inspired by Darkseid, the similarities between the two characters are only on a superficial level as Thanos is not really interested in enslaving the universe like Darkseid, but he's mostly motivated by his desire of being loved by Lady Death.
- Jim Starlin stated that Darkseid "inspired Thanos' look, but not his character".
- Thanos fought Darkseid in an episode of ScrewAttack!'s DEATH BATTLE and lost.
- It is common that fans of the character think that nobody but Jim Starlin himself has ever done Thanos justice yet. Part of this reason stems from other writers ignoring or forgetting much of the Character Development Thanos as undergone over the years and writing him like how he acted during his early 1970's appearances where he stole artifacts to kill and conquer the universe, which was over 40 years ago, as well as having him rely more on brute force rather than using his vast intellect. Jim Starlin shared this opinon and have always been very protective of his character in fact he wrote Infinity Abyss in 2002 who resolted around clones of Thanos creating chaos in the universe: he made the story so that he could retconned every time that Thanos was written out of character as the work of a clone of him. Similarly, he wrote Infinity Relativity and Infinity Finale after been disappointed with Thanos' writing by Brian Michael Bendis and Dan Abnett in his absence.
- The name "Thanos" is based on the name of the mythological Greek figure Thanatos, meaning "death", a reference to his love for Death.
- He created a series of clones called Thanosi using both science and mysticism.
- Al Ewing adressed Thanos' use by Brian Bendis as a throwaway Starter Villain in Civil War II by having Thanos explain in The Ultimates that he let himself be easily defeated by Captain Marvel's team in order to be brought in their HQ. This is one of many times where he lets the heroes win, so he could scheme without their awareness.
- His brother Eros used to be a member of the Avengers under the codename Starfox.
- Thanos is mentioned in How the Universe Works when cosmologist Oluseyi reveals he knows of three doomsday weapons in the episode Battle of The Dark Universe. Among his list, Oluseyi mentions the Infinity Stones when Thanos gets his hands on them.
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