Thanos is shaping up to be the biggest villain of all cinematic history. The character was first introduced in The Avengers in 2012, but seeing as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was established in 2008, his debut as a fully fledged character onscreen has been in the offing since the last decade. In the comics, Thanos is also one of the supreme villains for the heroes. But you’ll be surprised to know that Thanos is in fact not the most terrifying being out there. There have been a host of characters who have taken out the Mad Titan, despite Marvel’s marketing to the contrary.
Marvel Comics took their time in identifying who would take the mantle as their most lauded villain and Thanos was mixed around for years before he was selected. In the interim, he had been several scenarios where Thanos had not come out looking the best. On some occasions, he suffered embarrassing losses, while in others he was involved in extremely campy storylines that will surely take away from the terrifying image Marvel wants to portray of him.
The wacky nature of comics has meant Thanos has been given a backstory that doesn’t match with how he is now. His family history is also one that is not well-known and which Marvel would like to keep hidden so as to keep the mystique alive until Avengers: Infinity War.
20 Déjà Vu
Marvel still has a lot of catching up to do with DC in the villain department. DC is far ahead as far as antagonists of quality are concerned. Thus, it is fitting that Marvel’s arguably biggest villain is in actuality a rip-off of DC’s most powerful antagonist. It doesn’t take much scrutiny to see the resemblance between Darkseid and Thanos, the two have a noticeable likeness.
Thanos and Darkseid’s ultimate goals are also extremely similar. Thanos searches for the infinity stones, while Darkseid is relentless in his quest for the Anti-Life Equation. Both these MacGuffins are supposed to give nigh-omnipotence to the antagonists. They even have the same manner of disposition wherein they have the tendency to let their henchman do most of the work while they themselves remain in the shadows and manipulate from behind the scenes.
19 He Lost To Squirrel Girl
We’ve already established how bizarre comic book storylines tend to get. There are so many plots flying around that some are bound to get lost in the process. This is one Disney and Marvel would love to make people forget, as it risks all of Thanos’ Supervillain persona. The Mad Titan has faced off against the very best in the Marvel universe such as Galactus, Silver Surfer, and Thor, and lived to tell the tale. And yet Thanos has an embarrassing loss to none other than a superhero known as Squirrel Girl.
Squirrel Girl’s superpower is literally the ability to talk to squirrels.
Thanos was handily beaten by Squirrel Girl with a Watcher present to even witness the loss. To make matters worse Squirrel Girl was aided by her sidekick known as Tippy–Toe. Let’s all take a moment and slap our palms to our foreheads in derision.
18 He's Failed At Everything So Far
Remember that purple guy who is supposedly the most powerful being all of the universe? The same guy who threatened Ronan the Accuser that he would ‘bathe the starways in (Ronan’s) blood’ should he fail? And the very person who has an infinity gauntlet and will ‘do it himself’, meaning conquer the universe? Well, this guy has done nothing but lose as of now.
Thanos bequeathed the scepter with the mind stone to Loki to aid him in capturing the space stone, only to lose both infinity stones. He was unsuccessful in procuring the power stone from Ronan. His daughters and henchman all betrayed and turned against him and he’s done nothing but monologue for centuries now with nay an infinity stone to show for his efforts. Doesn’t exactly scream all-powerful villain, does it?
17 The Thanos-Copter
If you weren’t already bemused by the Mad Titan’s list of embarrassing losses here’s one that takes the cake. There’s something known as early installment weirdness. This comprises of a character who is yet to be established and to whom out of character moments happen as writers aren’t sure what to make of him. Thanos was hit with the brunt of this.
Taking hammy to a whole another meaning, Thanos flew a helicopter of all machines and attempted to steal a cosmic cube.
This attempt was thwarted by Spider-Man, and the cube was then used by a random kid to make an ice cream machine (it’s even more ridiculous in proper context). Somehow an all-powerful Titan was then apprehended by Earth’s authorities – the New York City police – and taken to jail.
16 Thanos Isn't His Real Name
Thanos sounds very familiar to anyone aware of Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, the God of the afterlife is known as Thanatos. Clearly, Marvel wanted some association with the personification of the end with their biggest supervillain. To add more intrigue to this Thanos is supposed to be in love with Lady D in the comics, thereby further associating himself with Thanatos.
However, Thanos’s real name is much simpler. In a recent issue, his true name was revealed to be Dione. Thanos met a future version of himself who would reveal to the Mad Titan his earliest beginnings. Dione is really an intimidating name and doesn’t make us any more fearful of him. That’s why until Avengers: Infinity War is unveiled, Marvel will stick with calling him Thanos.
15 His Love Interest
At the end of The Avengers, The Other appealed to Thanos to avoid a confrontation with the Avengers as they were more powerful than estimated and to fight them would be “to court Death”. Hearing those words brought nothing but a satisfied smile to Thanos’s features. It may have seemed like Thanos was merely brushing off the Avengers’ threat or happy about the prospect of worthy foes, but in actuality, it was a reference to Thanos’ obsession with the literal personification of this.
In the comics, Lady D is an actual character.
Thanos has a maddening obsession with Lady D and seeks to be with her. She made Thanos collect the infinity stones so he could wipe out half the universe, her reasoning being that overpopulation was causing her abilities to falter. Despite following through with her demands, D kept Thanos’ love at bay.
14 He Celebrates Christmas
Everyone needs a holiday once in a while, right? Supervillains need to unwind on occasion too. Thanos takes special time each year to celebrate Christmas. The Mad Titan isn’t innately jolly, though, his intention to do with Christmas was to specifically condition his adoptive daughter Gamora.
To prevent Gamora from becoming a mindless assassin, Thanos would celebrate Christmas with her complete with giving gifts and the whole shebang. Gamora would develop some conscience due to this and this was Thanos’s true motive. However, how this worked is anyone’s guess as Thanos is supposed to be older than Jesus Christ and how he researched on Christmas practices is another head-scratcher. Thanos even took a break from his villainy to gift presents to his brother and other family members.
13 He Loves Honey (Sort Of)
The television landscape isn’t very rich with actors. For the most part, it is the same actors who voice several different roles. In video games, you’d be hard-pressed to find completely different people voicing different characters in separate games, and the same goes for television as well.
There are some actors who have gained a lot of fame from voicing characters such as Mark Hamill as the Joker or Kevin Conroy as Batman.
Then there are others who haven’t become as famous and their filmography isn’t well-known. This is the case for Isaac C. Singleton Jr. who voiced Thanos in Avengers Assemble. Singleton’s work stretches to such range that he has even voiced Winnie the Pooh. It doesn’t bode well for Thanos’ commanding presence that he shares the same voice as a bear. This is a secret Disney wouldn’t promote.
12 Love Triangle
Deadpool can make any storyline feel hammy, despite the plot being one of intrigue and bizarreness. The Merc with a Mouth is famously immortal, and fans of the Deadpool movies will probably not know of his affiliation with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s main villain Thanos. In the comics, Thanos is responsible for turning Deadpool immortal due to their love triangle with the personification of the afterlife.
Now, that’s a strange statement you just read but it is completely true. As it turns out, Thanos’ action of wiping out half the universe to court Lady D was insufficient and the Lady was more taken by Deadpool instead. Gripped by insane jealousy, Thanos cursed Deadpool with immortality and forever separated the mercenary from the arms of D. Turns out D is really smitten with funny guys. Maybe Thanos should look into developing a sense of humor.
11 The Creepy Brother
Stories involving Thanos generally are quite serious. However, the comics are so bizarre most of the time that you are bound to find campiness in some shape or form. Supervillains aren’t exempt from this either. Thanos isn’t an only child and one of his siblings is the infamous Eros. The character is wildly inappropriate and was even tried and charged for coming to women in court in the comics.
Even more astounding is that Thanos’ brother was part of the Avengers!
His strangest ability is having control over the pleasure center of females’ brains, which he takes advantage of and successfully tempts them. That’s rather creepy, to say the least, but it doesn’t stop there as he has literally landed the majority of the women in the universe. He is as far away from Thanos in personality as possible.
10 He Can Shatter Vibranium
Vibranium is the only purely indestructible material in the Marvel Universe. As seen in Black Panther, the Wakandans used vibranium to become the most technologically advanced country in the world. Vibranium is so powerful that even alien races cannot penetrate the material. Thor’s hammer was unsuccessful in landing a dent on Captain America’s shield in The Avengers. Captain America’s shield is the most popular creation using vibranium.
That’s why it was a sight of dread when Thanos destroyed the shield with no problems. Thanos had, by that point, wielded all of the infinity stones. Using their power, he was able to bend all kinds of reality. Breaking apart vibranium was no more than a formality. While the shield may or may not make an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, we will see Captain America lock horns with Thanos using vibranium gauntlets.
9 Fans Beware
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mainstay heroes better have their tissues ready, for someone is most definitely about to bite the dust. In the comics, Thanos has wiped out entire civilizations and ended lives of most of the mainstream protagonists as well. While in comics these heroes won’t stay gone for too long, in live-action dying has been permanent thus far in the MCU.
Thus, any hero who will go up against the Mad Titan better have their will signed.
Thanos has defeated the likes of Thor, who is among the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe, he has also shrugged aside the Hulk of all beings. However, the most impressive feat on his list is his defeat of the Silver Surfer. The Surfer is a reality bender with a slew of powers and taking someone of that power out has to be on another level entirely.
8 No Motherly Love
Thanos has a tragic past. On the outside he may seem like another one of the power-hungry antagonists seeking universal power, the titan, in fact, has a sad backstory. Thanos was born with considerably magnified powers that resulted in his appearance being deformed since childbirth. Due to this, he was shunned by his entire race.
It was to such a degree that his own mother tried to end the child Thanos’ life. His hostility toward his family is justified, but Thanos carried this grudge throughout his life and destroyed his planet’s moon that ended life all life there. Thanos would then have several battles with his own father and even grandfather. Suffice to say, this is one family drama that has gone off the rails in astounding scale.
7 Mjolnir Doesn't Work On Him
Thanos isn’t actually worthy of wielding Mjolnir, but in essence, he can control it. Odin, arguably more powerful than Thanos, placed the enchantment on the hammer that only those who have proven themselves worthy can control the hammer’s powers, yet in the comics, several characters have gone around this rule.
In Thanos’ case, it’s because all-power trumps everything else.
And the Infinity Stones grant the holder just that. When Thanos had acquired all the gems for himself and inserted them within the gauntlet, the Mad Titan face off against Thor and easily dispatched of Mjolnir, that had been hurled at him by the God of Thunder. The reality stone has the power to bend every kind of reality and here it came in full use.
6 Daddy Dearest
Guardians of the Galaxy surprised everyone by being one of the most important films that connected all the way to Avengers: Infinity War. The film revealed Thanos’ backstory. Gamora and Nebula are shown to be Thanos’ adoptive daughters. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 detailed more of their upbringing where it was said Thanos would punish his daughters’ failures by removing parts of their body.
Avengers: Infinity War will add more layers to the story by showing us Gamora and Nebula’s remaining siblings. The infamous Black Order consists of other adoptive children of Thanos, all with ranging skills of their own. These guys aren’t to be taken lightly. In fact, they are bad news for those fans who are attached to Doctor Strange and Captain America. Two of Thanos’ children have been confirmed to go up against these characters.
5 He Has Fought Celestials
If you think Thanos is the ultimate, most powerful character out there, then be ready to be taken down a notch. For all the foreboding Thanos’ arrival had in the Marvel Cinematic Universe the fact can’t be denied that there are much stronger beings out there than the Mad Titan. Thanos places on the higher scale of characters in the Marvel universe who should get the better out of most others. But Thanos is still no match for the elite set.
And characters such as Galactus are simply too powerful for Thanos to challenge them.
His face-off with Galactus was more or less a slight inconvenience for the Celestial. Thanos attacked Galactus, and that sent him flying off in the distance and bouncing on the pavement before he could collect his bearings. Galactus’ wrath was much greater than Thanos’ might and the Mad Titan was taken out.
4 Changing Actors
Upon Thanos’ first introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as seen in The Avengers, those who weren’t familiar with the comics weren’t sure what to make of the big purple guy who appeared at the end credits sequence. While it was later revealed the person was Thanos, for the next two years there was speculation as to what his role in the MCU would be. This would become clearer when he appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy. A noticeable change was there in his appearance.
In The Avengers, Thanos seemed to be a lot shapely than how he was in Guardians of the Galaxy. This was due to the change in actors since the former movie. Damien Poitier portrayed the character originally, only to be replaced by the better-known Josh Brolin, who will reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
3 Audience With The One Above All
In Marvel’s comic universe, the multiverses stretch so far and wide that we have outlandish characters take on the monikers of Gods, Titans, and others. These characters aren’t actually deities; rather, they are more of supernaturally-powered beings that are so above in terms of abilities to humans that they are considered to be Gods and whatnot. In the comics, Celestials are those beings that reach the closest to Godlike.
The One Above All is the Celestial that is widely considered to be the all-powerful character in the comics.
It has scarcely appeared, but when it does it has commanded authority. Thanos, along with Adam Warlock, pay a visit to the One Above All where Thanos is ready to bargain with Marvel’s version of God. The Titan is such a master schemer that he shows no discernible fear when conversing with the One Above All.
2 He Wants To Lose
Villains lose, mostly due to heroes rallying at the end and their overall teamwork bagging the win. In the case of Thanos, his losses aren’t so much the efforts of the heroes but the antagonist’s own doing. Thanos was able to capture all infinity gems and wipe out half the universe with a snap of his fingers. And yet, in every story involving him, he ends up being the losing party. The reason? It’s not quite simple.
Evidently, Thanos doesn’t want to win. Deep down he knows there is no point in victory, perhaps because the consequences from his dominance will have no value once he reigns supreme. Thus, Thanos inadvertently allows himself to lose. On the outside, it might seem his ego is such that he allows the heroes a chance at victory. However, his deep insecurities are the real reason.
1 Infinity Incomplete
All this chatter about infinity stones adds a great layer of intrigue to Avengers: Infinity War. The official synopsis for the film makes sure to mention that Thanos is on the lookout to assemble all the infinity stones to bend reality to his will. However, don’t be swayed by marketing, as some keen observation will point out to you that Thanos will most likely not be acquiring the infinity stones in this film.
In every trailer, teaser, and picture that has been released, Thanos only has two infinity stones in the gauntlet.
Don’t hold your breath on knowing about the location of the soul stone either, as Thanos needs all the others to complete set too. Be prepared to see only two stones acquired in the film and some other storylines. Avengers 4 will most likely bring a full conclusion to the infinity saga.