Thanos has recently mysteriously appeared from the Cancerverse . Afterwards, he used the cosmic cube to seemingly destroy the In-Betweener and several Elders of the Universe. He was then found by the Avengers, seemingly merged with the Powerful artifact. However, the cube was taken from him, and he faced defeat at the hands of the Avengers and the Elders of the Universe. He is currently in the custody of the Elders of the Universe.
Born to the Eternals Mentor and Sui-San, Thanos was subject to the Deviant gene at birth. As a result, Thanos became like that of a 'mutant' of Titan (the sixth orbiting moon of Saturn) where he developed a purple, hide-like skin along with strength and other physical abilities far surpassing that of other Titans. This mutation also augmented the powers he inherently possessed as a descendant of the Eternals. Growing to become most powerful Titan, his skin would develop in fashion which allowed the Titan to not only absorb cosmic energy at an atomic level but then manipulate it into kinetic force by conscious choice.
Though never shunned by his family as a youth, Thanos was feared and shunned by his fellow Titans peers as a result of his unique qualities. His brother, Eros, was groomed from their childhood to eventually replace their father in the role of what constituted a leader among their people. Eros would throughout their youth be surrounded by loving friends and family whom much favored him over Thanos. Feeling the sting of such ostracism, Thanos would find solace and purpose in other venues. Though one fateful day in an all but forgotten subterranean temple, an enterprising young Thanos would find companionship in the form of Mistress Death. Decades would pass and their relationship grew and eventually blossomed into a dark and forbidden romance. Under Death's tutelage he grew even stronger and more powerful, well versed in the black arts which had long been forbidden on Titan. She taught him knowledge is power and that power is everything. With these revelations and maturity, rebellion against his father The Mentor and even Thanos' own ensuing exile were not far away. When his father discovered Thanos conducting forbidden experiments, he expelled Thanos from Titan though not without a heavy heart. But fueled by his hatred for this slight, Thanos would amass even more knowledge, skill and power via mysticism, meditation and bionics during his century long isolation. Having surpassed all the others Eternals in power and strength, Thanos decided to return to Titan to display this new found might. Yet Thanos would not come home with the intentions his Father had hoped for resulting from his punishment. Instead of atonement, Thanos attacked the planet with nuclear weaponry while orbiting Titan. However - Thanos had miscalculated Titan's defenses in his haste to sate his anger. This allowed some to escape the onslaught. However, only a handful of what was thousands survived the horror and as chance would have it neither Thanos' brother nor father were on Titan during the assault. To Thanos' regret his mother was not so fortunate as she was the one member of his family he might have spared. In the aftermath, Thanos left the remains of Titan and returned to space. Proving his devotion and worth to Death was all that mattered to the Titan with his home now crushed in his wake. During this time in the cosmos Thanos conquered and pillaged many worlds acquiring vast resources such as an assortment of followers, technology, weapons and space craft.
At this point Kronos, the father of Mentor ( Alars) and the earth based Eternals All Father Zuras, sought to act out of a sense of obligation for what Thanos had wrought and might yet further cause. Mentor pleaded with this cause to Kronos that they might prevent future tragedy. To that end, Kronos created Drax the Destroyer to ward away the ill which Kronos knew to be the future for The Mad Titan. Drax was formed as an avator for the Eternal - built out of the very cosmic power which made up the living Eternal. Into Drax, Kronos would imbue the singular mission of seeking out Thanos to stop his designs. Drax would become the cosmic force to act as a foil to Thanos. Setting out upon his task, Drax would meet The Mad Titan on a living planet distant from our own star system. The two mighty beings met in an incredibly violent physical confrontation. The clash rendered the landscape asunder and the planet was destroyed - with the two combatants alone to drift within the debris. However the planetary explosion would render Drax incapacitated, allowing the still conscious Thanos to easily capture the Destroyer. After having dispatched Drax in such a fashion, Thanos set about further plans for stepping stones in his growing empire. Taking an interest in Earth - Thanos sent his henchmen the Blood Brothers to survey and deal with a potential obstacles to his ambitions - one of which would become Iron Man. At this time in the cosmic prison Thanos left him - Drax awoke to the coming danger of Thanos' plans. He then would reach out telepathically - warning Iron Man of the danger nearing his planet and of the history the Titan had for violence. Yet the message was too late as the brothers apprehended Tony before receiving the distress call of Drax. The brothers would return Tony to Thanos staging grounds. During this time Tony drew upon an escape plan and ambushed the Brothers in an unsuspecting moment. Though able to catch the Brothers off guard - Thanos became aware of the scuffle and stepped in. Thanos would crush the metal gloves around Tony's hands under his heel while Tony lay prone from a singular Titan blow. However - Mentor had been monitoring events from Titan and fired a unknown energy that reached the Titan - simultaneously saving Tony and setting Drax free. Thanos wasted no time deploying the brothers as a distraction while he set the self destruct sequence and made his escape. After a fierce battle against the armored hordes of Thanos - the heroes then attacked the Titan himself. Yet to the heroes' dismay they in fact attacked a robot look alike, left to keep them occupied until the ensuing explosion which would allow for the Titan's full retreat. Recognizing the danger, Mentor was able to ward the heroes away before the explosion reached critical mass. In the aftermath, Thanos' fortress was destroyed, but his whereabouts were unknown.
True to his beginnings,Thanos ever seeks out the mysteries to power for personal use or as a ward from enemies seeking retribution. Yet even the quest for power is dwarfed by endeavors or errant missions for Mistress Death in an attempt to curry her favor. Always Thanos seeks power - but it is forever wed to his quest to be found worthy as Death's cohort. He has succeeded on multiple occasions, but has been consistently defeated. Most often though, as in the case of the Cosmic Cube, The Infinity Gauntlet and lastly in the story told in Marvel: The End - it is a result of a deep psychological construct. In critical moments during these events, Thanos provides a window to his enemies into his subconscious which belies the belief that he does not deserve or even want the power he seeks. This has been most often presented by the personification of his foil - Adam Warlock - whom maintains a prescient link to Thanos through their extended contact within the Soul Gem.
Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and first appeared in Iron Man #55 (1973).
Major Story Arcs
The Cosmic Cube
Thanos began his conquest and decimation of the galaxy by attempting to overtake Earth. He was able to acquire the Cosmic Cube, an artifact that grants the user the ability to mold reality and grant any wish the possessor desires. Thanos created a starship and a massive alien army to do his bidding for him.
When at last he found it, Thanos used the Cosmic Cube to make himself a god. It took the combined forces of Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel, the Avengers and other heroes of Earth as well as the Resistance on Titan to thwart his plans. This was still not enough. Luckily, Thanos had discarded the Cube after wishing for his godhood, believing it now powerless. While Thanos battled Drax and Captain Marvel, Marvel destroyed the Cube, which in turn destroyed Thanos' wish and removed his godhood, sending him away defeated.
Magus and the Star Destroyer
He realized Adam Warlock's powerful doppelganger, the Magus, was a threat to his plans and aided Warlock in defeating him. It was during this alliance that Thanos was able to see the power of an Infinity Gem (Adam Warlock possessed the Soul Gem). He assisted Warlock in destroying the timeline which gave birth to the Magus. In this adventure Thanos had allied himself with Warlock and his two companions Pip the Troll and Gamora (who is Thanos' adoptive daughter).
Not long after this ordeal, Warlock and his companions become separated and Thanos becomes power hungry once more. Gamora learns of Thanos' plans and goes to warn Warlock but while en route is killed by Thanos' nemesis Drax the Destroyer. Around this time, Pip the Troll finds himself on Thanos' doorstep and, believing Thanos to still be an ally, boards his ship in the hopes of receiving Thanos' assistance in locating Warlock. Thanos seizes Pip and wipes his mind, leaving his near lifeless body for Warlock to find later on.
Thanos next attempt was not about control, but of death. He planned to destroy the entire universe. He obtained the Infinity Gems and combined them into a massive, synthetic gem. With this gem he created an ion laser projector and used it to destroy a star system. With this power he planned to destroy every star in the universe, one by one.
Warlock is too late to stop Thanos' power grab and he has to resort to calling in the Avengers and Captain Marvel to assist in stopping him. Their first attempt fails and Thanos kills Warlock and imprisons the Avengers. The Avengers are soon freed by reinforcements in the form of Spider-Man and the Thing, and while the Avengers battle Thanos' army of space pirates, Spider-Man frees Warlock's spirit from the Soul Gem and Warlock turns Thanos to stone before returning to Soul World. Thanos remains dead for some time, though while deceased his spirit is present during the death of Captain Mar-Vell to guide him into the afterlife.
Return from Death
After spending nearly two and a half decades out of the Marvel Universe from the end of Marvel Two-In-One Annual # 2 Thanos was returned to life by mistress Death herself. She claimed she sensed a unbalance in the universe. The cosmic divide between life and death was changing at a problematic rate.Who better then to serve as an avatar for her whims than the son of Titan. She would ultimately task out her knight-errant to right this matter. With that before him, Thanos would set out to destroy half of the existing universe. His quest to ultimately acquire the means to do so would be told in the two part series: The Thanos Quest. En route to this end, Thanos quickly makes a new mortal enemies, most notably in the Silver Surfer in whose series he would make his re-entry into the Marvel landscape.
Quick on the heels of Thanos' rebirth, Mentor and Chronos revive Drax the Destroyer as well to track and destroy him. This cosmic cycle involving the two mortal enemies would see play again in subsequent stories found in Annihilation - harking to the foundations for both characters in their first appearance in Iron Man.
Told in linear fashion but having occurred separately, Silver Surfer would battle Thanos shortly after his rebirth as the Titan sought out the means for acquiring the Infinity Gems. Surfer would then go on to seemingly defeat Thanos only to find it is in fact the body of Geatar, a loyal henchman of Nebula (Thanos' supposed granddaughter), guised in the Titan's attire. Thanos then allows himself to be thought dead for a time while he resumes his pursuit of the Infinity Gems.
The Thanos Quest & The Infinity Gauntlet
For the Dark Titan, Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet was the Holy Grail, the ultimate prize to be coveted above all else. Although he had possessed the gems before, he admitted to not knowing how to properly use them. It was Thanos who began calling the sol gems the Infinity Gems.
With it came omnipotence: the absolute control of all aspects of time, space, power, reality, the mind, and the soul. The gaining of supreme might meant the beginning of a black nightmare for the entire universe. Now, on the edge of Armageddon and led by a mysterious Adam Warlock, Earth's superheroes joined in a desperate attempt to thwart this nihilistic god's insane plunge into galactic self-destruction. Should the heroes fail, the astral gods of the universe wait to step into the fray. But in such an awesome cosmic conflict will anyone prevail? Will anyone survive?
Each gem (Time, Space, Power, Soul, Mind, Reality) individually gives the user mastery over its dominion. Collectively, the wielder would possess the power to destroy and create universes and all beings in them. He crafted a scheme to collect the Infinity Gems from those who currently held them. Each owner of a gem was themselves an Elder of The Universe, a sole survivor of one of the first intelligent races since the Big Bang. Each had attained near immortality. The exception to this was the In-Betweener, who possessed the soul gem. In an awesome display of cunning, power, speed and manipulation he was able to gather the gems from the Elders of the Universe and place them on a gauntlet. This event was dubbed ' The Thanos Quest.'
Drax and the Silver Surfer together battle Thanos, who easily dispatches them; sticking them in Soul World where they encounter Warlock, Pip and Gamora and set into motion the events that will soon bring them back to life. Warlock helps the pair out of soul world. With the Infinity Gauntlet now his, Thanos announced his presence to the universe once more, recruited Mephisto as his servant and, in an attempt to impress and please his love, Lady Death, he wiped out half the life in the universe with a snap of his fingers. To further impress Death, Thanos kidnaps his brother Starfox and his barely alive so-called descendant Nebula and tortured them horrendously. This proved not to impress Death, and Thanos' anger creates a devastating shock-wave across the universe. So to simultaneously soothe his ego and show up Death, Thanos creates new life in his image, his new lover Terraxia.
At this point, Adam Warlock gathers a strike force of the remaining superheroes of earth (and Doctor Doom) to take Thanos on, though he keeps himself and the Silver Surfer in reserve while sending Captain America and the rest under Cap's command to their likely doom. Thanos massacres Warlock's forces but is so distracted by his efforts to impress Death that Warlock's true plan of having the Surfer swoop down and snatch the Infinity Gauntlet off Thanos' hand nearly works. Woken up to his folly, Thanos wises up just in time for the next strike force, consisting entirely of cosmic entities attacks. Even the Great Powers of the Universe ( Eternity and sister Infinity, Lord Chaos and Master Order, Galactus, etc.) were unable to subdue him. Thanos' power also surpassed Mistress Death, herself a supreme power of the universe, who turns on and attacks him at this stage.
It was not that combined efforts of the universe's heroes that led to Thanos' downfall, but his own hubris. Thanos once again uses his power to become one with the universe, leaving his physical form behind like he did while in control of the cosmic cube, and while he was insubstantial, Nebula grabbed the Gauntlet from him and reversed everything that he had done, killing Terraxia and returning the massacred heroes to life.
Warlock tells Thanos that because he was encased in the Soul Gem that he knows Thanos' secrets, dreams and personality better than anyone, including Thanos himself. He tells Thanos that although he seeks ultimate power he feels he does not deserve it. This is why after three chances at godlike powers he has failed. Subconsciously, Thanos always supplied the means for his own defeat. He agrees to help the heroes retrieve the gauntlet from Nebula. After a new scuffle against Nebula, the Gauntlet is claimed by Adam Warlock.
Thanos, defeated, fakes his death once more and briefly continues to serve Death. Realizing he can never please her, he secludes himself to rest, farm and meditate on an unnamed planet. His costume is used as a scarecrow and he becomes a simple farmer, although he still dabbles in the affairs of the universe. At some point not too long from here, the Living Tribunal rules that the Infinity Gems must not be allowed to work together anymore, so Warlock is obligated to disperse them. Warlock forms the Infinity Watch, keeping the soul gem to himself but giving the others away to those he trusts (Pip, Gamora, Moondragon, Drax, and a secret unseen final person who is later revealed to be Thanos). Warlock giving Thanos the reality gem (by all means the most dangerous of them all) is never shown.
Thanos has sensed a great energy in the universe and decides to leave his farm to investigate. He soon discovers the source - the Magus has returned and plans to rule the universe in his own evil way. Magus believes Thanos to be similar to himself, but after some time, Thanos has thought much and changed his priorities. He believes that neither of them are meant to possess such power. The Magus casts him from his dimension.
Thanos realizes he will acquire assistance in his efforts to stop Magus once again. He goes to Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch to form an alliance. They traveled to Death's realm and used the Infinity Well to learn how Magus came to be and what his plans were. They soon learned of the gathering of Earth's heroes. Thanos realized this was no coincidence and Magus must have planned all of the events thus far.
The Magus leads them all to a dimension nearby his own, in hopes of them battling. He as lead Earth's heroes to believe Thanos and Adam Warlock are behind everything. They battle but are interrupted by Galactus, and he uses a scan to read all of their thoughts. They soon realize they are on the same side. Warlock gathers the Infinity Gems together at Thanos' request to use the power to stop the Magus. However the gems lose their power when brought together, the doing of the Living Tribunal. The Magus then abducts Warlock.
Thanos takes command against the wishes of Earth's heroes. He tells them that only he can save them now. He gets the Ultimate Nullifier from Galactus' Ship. He claims that he is not pure enough to use it and whoever does will be killed. He chooses Quasar to make the sacrifice to save the universe. He know fully understands Magus' plans and deceptions and adjusts to them. But Quasar hesitates and the Magus is able to obtain the Infinity Gauntlet when it is re-powered by Eternity and the Living Tribunal.
Thanos knows he must know make his move. Captain America does not trust him and tells him they are coming too. Thanos tricks them into fighting a battle with the doppelgangers as opposed to sending them on a suicide run. He plans to face the Magus on his own.
He finds his own doppelganger, who plans to turn on the Magus. They battle each other and the true Thanos is the victor, despite his doppelgangers power advantage. It is here that Thanos overcomes his own self doubt and is able to absorb his power and knowledge to finally become whole again since the events of the Infinity Gauntlet. He stands and fights the Magus and manages to distract him long enough for Adam Warlock to break free of the Magus' capture. Thanos had planned all along for the Magus to miss one important key - the Infinity Gauntlet had a fake Reality Gem, thus he was not omnipotent. Adam Warlock defeats the Magus but this puts him in a catatonic state.
Thanos parts ways with the Infinity Watch whose gems have been given back to them. Thanos is now a changed man, being instrumental in the defeat of Magus and saving the universe. At no point in time did Thanos attempt to take the power as his own. He returns to his farm and contemplates. He believes he is now able to handle the godly power he once could not, but does it truly want it anymore?
Thanos was once again on the side of good when the Magus good counterpart the Goddess threatened the universe. He was sought out by Adam Warlock this time, and Adam had a plan that put much trust in Thanos, who is revealed to be the final member of the Infinity Watch in possession of the Reality Gem. For information, they make a deal with Mephisto for important information regarding the Cosmic Cubes, and agree to give him just one of the cubes after the Goddess' defeat. Warlock entrusts Thanos with the Soul Gem so Warlock may travel back to the Soul World and speak with the Magus.
Meanwhile, Thanos enlists the help of the Silver Surfer and after that, the remaining heroes of Earth. He creates a distraction with the Surfer and brings out one of his older weapons created for the destruction of the universe that he calls the Dreadnaught 666. He hopes his plans to stop the Goddess succeed and gets all the pieces into place. But he remains unsure of who the victors will be.
He fires the Dreadnaught into the planet and manages to reach the Goddess, cocooned in her Cosmic Egg. With the Soul Gem and the help of Professor X he attempts to penetrate her defenses. He fails and she completes her goal, destroying the entire universe. But this was merely an illusion created by Adam Warlock. He reveals that the Cosmic Egg is not omnipotent and he, Thanos and Professor X attack the Goddess on the spiritual plane. Adam Warlock infuses himself with the Cosmic Egg and makes her vulnerable. Thanos traps her inside of the Soul Gem.
After her defeat, Thanos makes the molecular structure of the egg break down, destroying itself and the planet. He gives Mephisto his cosmic cube, but it does not have any power. He tells Mephisto that he should have specified a powered cube and that even devils should beware bargains with Thanos of Titan.
Minor Power Struggles
Thanos also becomes involved in the " Blood and Thunder" crossover wherein he proves that even a crazed Thor with the Power Gem is something he can handle. He squares off one-on-one against Odin himself, and, while he takes a mighty beating, Odin never quite manages to put him down for the count.
In a 3-issue arc in ' Secret Defenders' Thanos enlists a group of super villains ( Rhino, Titanium Man, Nitro, Geatar) to steal the Oracle of Ancient Knowledge, a storehouse of vast information.
Over the next few years, Thanos is involved in multiple lesser power grasps. He begins to seek challenges worthy of his effort, only to find hollow victories. He manages to break the defenses of the Oracle of Ancient Knowledge and learns of Tyrant and his recent return. Intrigued by this opponent, he seeks more knowledge so he may face him. He first seeks out Terrax for information and is able to form a partnership with him. This begins the Cosmic Powers event.
Together they kidnap Ganymede, for she has vast information on Tyrant, being one of his oldest foes. When she learns of Thanos' plan to destroy Tyrant she agrees to help. They arrive at Tyrant's Fortress and engage with Morg, who is controlled by Tyrant. After his defeat, Thanos slips away for his true goal and leaved the others to face Tyrant alone.
Thanos returns with Tyrant's containment device which he uses to store energies, in this case Morg's Power Cosmic. He battles with Tyrant one on one and proves that even someone at Galactus' level is not above the power of Thanos. After battling and being able to exchange blows with someone as powerful as Tyrant, Thanos is now satisfied that he has withstood such a battle and escapes with his prize, claiming himself the victor. At some point (described but never played out), Thanos teamed up with Baron Karza to destroy all subatomic realities, including the Microverse. The defenders of Homeworld, including the Micronauts, teamed up with the X-Men and stopped the sinister plan, but a massive release of energy caused all subatomic universes to fuse into a single universe.
To Please Milady Death
Death soon set her sights on a new consort, one who was responsible for the deaths of billions - the Silver Surfer. He resisted her attempts to capture him and went to the only person he could think of that might be able to explain this: Thanos. Thanos agreed to help the Surfer but as soon as his back was turned, Thanos attacked and swiftly defeated the Surfer, beating him to near death.
He brought the Surfer to Death's realm and offered him as a gift to do with as she pleased. The catch: Thanos and his undying love was to be her consort. This angered Death and she refused him, which in turn angered Thanos. He set the Surfer free and they worked together to fight off Death's minions. Infuriated, Death tells Thanos that he is barred from her realm and shall never die and be by her side.
Furious, Thanos returns to his 'farm' hideaway and uses the reality gem that Warlock had entrusted him with for the first and only time. He planned to create a universe in which Lady Death was in love with him as much as he loved her. He brought Captain Marvel back to life to discuss his plan. In the end, Mar-Vell told him that it would be a dangerous move and that Thanos had not truly planned to create this universe anyway, or he would not have brought Mar-Vell there for advice. Thanos agrees and returns Mar-Vell back to the dead. Their spat was short lived as Thanos had to come to his love's side in order to protect her from another death god known as the Walker. She had 'cheated' on Thanos with him but then spurned him as she had Thanos so many times. Walker planned to kill her, so Thanos formed an alliance with Thor and Captain Marvel in order to defeat Walker. Meanwhile, Death hid in plain site inside of Marlo Jones.
Thanos led the Walker to Purgatory so Death would be safe from, well death. But Walker proved to be extremely powerful in this realm and used Rick Jones to torture Death, who had stronger human emotions in her host. What he didn't plan on was that she would attack him with those powerful human emotions. Death freed the souls inside of him to leave him in eternal agony.
When a meteor struck Thanos' compound, it released five Thanosi - experiments Thanos had made to test his enemies' abilities that were deemed failed experiments. They were made using genetic, cybernetic and mystic properties but were all deemed inefficient and dangerous. Thanos knew that this event was set into motion by someone, but couldn't conclude who since no one but himself knew of the experiments. While searching out answers, he fell into a trap and was nearly destroyed in a bomb resulting in a black hole.
Thanos returned home to regroup and recover and was soon met by his old ward Gamora. Following her was one of the Thanosi known as Armour, created to test Iron Man's abilities. Before it destroyed Gamora, Thanos intervened and destroyed him. In order to combat the remaining Thanosi, including one called the Omega with the DNA of Galactus and twice as powerful as the original, Thanos became allied with Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange, who were all already in battle with Thanos' creations.
Thanos had Moondragon link their minds so that they all knew the others experiences. With the information, Thanos learned that the being known as Altez was dying, and if he were to die then so would all of reality, which is exactly who the Thanosi were attempting to kill. Unable to defeat the incredibly powerful Omega, Thanos formed an elaborate plan to throw the Omega off balance with his allies followed by a hasty retreat. It was revealed that Thanos had selected the location of the battle on a particularly volatile and explosive type of planet. Thanos used an armada of remote controlled ships to detonate the planet Omega was on and the resulting explosion destroyed his most horrific creation.
Epiphany and Redemption
After some soul searching, Thanos realizes he has been a pawn of circumstance. Admitting that he had no reason to be so monstrous, he tried his hand at using his powers for good. His first act was to go to New Rigel-3, to try to reconcile with the Rigellians for destroying the original Rigel-3. After helping them with their technology, he was soon asked to help with a problem on one of their other colonized world. But they had a very big problem - Galactus.
After some investigation, Thanos learned that Galactus was being fooled and used by an outside source. Galactus had collected the Infinity Gems and made a device he believed would feed him forever. Despite Thanos' efforts, he was unable to stop Galactus from turning on the device. Doing so allowed a being known as The Hunger to enter their universe, and it planned to consume all of their reality. But even with the unknown, Thanos was prepared. With the help of Pip, Thanos orchestrated the defeat of the Hunger. Thanos was able to save all life itself from the entity.
After this, he would journey out as a pilgrim to the Kyln / Crunch, the mysterious and ancient prison colony at the far edge of the universe that would later factor into Annihilation, on a pilgrimage. It was here that Death appeared before him and finally spoke to him. Thanos claimed to no longer serve her and that he had given her so much with nothing in return. Death told Thanos that she requires more than just death and she had always loved him. Although he did not say anything back to her, this greatly pleased him. At the Kyln, Thanos would encounter Skreet and take her on as his companion, and he would go on to battle the imprisoned Kosmos, and to find and brainwash Galactus' first herald, The Fallen One, into doing his bidding.
Annihilus, ruler of the Negative Zone, has gathered his forces and has invaded the Positive Zone. His army have proven to be unstoppable, and resistance has been squelched at every turn. Terrifyingly and inexplicably, Thanos has offered his services to Annihilus to be one of his Generals. Thanos assisted Annihilus by helping to organize the capture of Galactus. With Galactus and the Silver Surfer in stasis, Thanos was able to develop technology to use Galactus to harvest cosmic energy to be stored and inevitably turning Galactus into a living weapon capable of destroying entire planets.
Moondragon (who was captured by Thanos) revealed to Thanos that Annihilus planned to use the Galactus weapon to destroy all life in both the positive and negative zones (and Annihilus' true feelings about Thanos), he decided to show Annihilus who he was dealing with by setting Galactus and his herald free (and quickly teleporting away as to avoid the wrath of Galactus). Thanos then revealed to Moondragon that his only reason for joining Annihilus' cause was to see how it would tip the scales, and that he had no real interest in Annihilus' goals. Thanos also revealed that he had built in a fail-safe configured to his own power level so that he and only he could rescue Galactus and the Surfer from their stasis. Before he was able to finish keying in the release sequence, he was killed by Drax the Destroyer with his heart being ripped out from behind. To this Thanos appeared to have more curiosity or annoyance for than fear or anger, and with his dying breath saw Death in the ship with him. Thanos appeared with Death in space to witness the final battle and death of Annihilus.
Adam Warlock came across Thanos' body. Warlock had long understood that Thanos was an important part in Warlock's existence, helping to contain and combat Adam's evil side - the Magus. He encased Thanos in a cocoon This cocoon was found by the Universal Church of Truth and they believed it to be Warlock, their messiah.
The Thanos Imperative
The Universal Church of Truth had long possessed a cocoon in which they believed Adam Warlock was inside. The cocoon recently hatched with the assistance of Phyla, the current Avatar of Death. Being tricked by Maelstrom into believing she was releasing Adam, Thanos is released to take his old position......and that meant taking it from Phyla.
Seemingly even more invincible than ever, Thanos destroys all life on Sacrosanct while the Magus and the Church officials flee. The Guardians of the Galaxy reunite to try to stop him, but he is far too powerful and has mental blocks too strong for even the combined efforts of Mantis, Moondragon and Cosmo. Starlord uses the Cosmic Cube to release the blocks, and Thanos claims that for bringing him back to life - everything will die. The telepaths are able to put him in a comatose state briefly and contain him on Knowhere.
When the Magus detonates several planets and opens the Fault further, releasing the horrible life of the Cancerverse into the universe, the Guardians soon realize that they need Thanos to help them. Since the Cancerverse has no death, they assume that Thanos, the Avatar of Death, may be able to change things in the Cancerverse. But upon their arrival, Thanos falls ill and weak, the lack of death seemingly harming him deeply.
Thanos finally began to focus and grew stronger by the moment. The evil Defenders of the Realm were frightened by his presence even though they had just proven to be unkillable after a fight with the Guardians. Their fear was for good reason - Thanos was able to bring death to them in their own universe, a place where they should be unable to die.
Vision later arrives and brings them to the planet Titan where the other sentient robots base their alliance against the consumption of their universe. While there, Thanos discovers that the Lord Mar-Vell of this universe survived the cancer that killed the Captain Marvel of his by performing a ritual that sacrificed the Avatar of Death and turned all the heroes into energy and absorbed it. This is the event that enabled Death's destruction, which became known as the Necropsy. Thanos believes that he is once again trying to accomplish this in his own Universe, which is why they need him, the Avatar of Death, to sacrifice. Unable to contain his hatred any longer, Drax then attacks Thanos and sticks a bomb onto him in an attempt to fulfill his life's purpose yet again.
Although nearly vaporized and reduced to a skeleton, Thanos began regenerating in an excruciatingly painful manner. He had been barred from Death's realm once again, forced to go through the punishment of life to protect his love from the inhabitants of the Cancerverse. Drax immediately attacked Thanos again, but after his agony and the realization that he was once again separated from Death, he destroyed Drax with a devastating attack.
The attack on Drax leads Lord Mar-Vell and his Revengers straight to Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy. They manage to defeat them for the time being with the help of the Scarlet Witch of the Cancerverse. Apparently Wanda had been part of the resistance the whole time, which is explained by Vision as he is lying near death on the ground. Thanos informs Wanda that he must reach the site of which the first Necropsy was performed. Wanda then teleports Thanos along with the Guardians to the site of the Necropsy Ritual. While Thanos begins to formulate a plan, Lord Mar-vell and the Revengers appear. Thanos goes head on with Mar-Vell instantly, proving to be far more than a match for him. But instead of killing him, Thanos releases him from his grasp. Thanos states that he wants Mar-vell to give him what he craves, which is death and the release of Oblivion. Thanos bows before him and says "I will give you everything you want in return...My undying Lord".
When Lord Mar-Vell begins the ceremonial sacrifice of Thanos, Death appears, but does not take Thanos. She would not be cheated again. Mar-Vell realizes that Thanos tricked him into letting Death into the Cancerverse. Her presence begins to kill the universe itself. Death kills Mar-Vell in one shot. Thanos wishes to return with his love to her realm, but she spurns him once again and leaves him to live. Angrier than ever and now a massive threat to the universe, Nova and Starlord remain to hold off Thanos long enough for the Cancerverse to collapse on him, apparently sacrificing themselves and taking Thanos with them.
Thanos appears as the main villain in the arc Avengers Assemble. Returning from the Cancerverse via means unknown, he seeks to conquer earth. Obtaining the cosmic cube and merging with it, he seemingly kills several members of the Elders of the Universe and the In-Betweener, before the defeating the Avengers. However, they find out that the Elders where not killed, but instead transported the Cancerverse. The Avengers and the Elders deactivate the cube, and together they defeat the Mad Titan. Thanos is then taken into custody by the Elders of the Universe.
Powers & Abilities
Being an Eternal, Thanos has superhuman strength, endurance, reflexes and agility. He is nearly invulnerable, able to endure extreme heat, cold, energies, radiation, and poisons. Due to his genetic heritage, Thanos is immune to aging and disease. Being one of Mentor's oldest children, Thanos' birth is estimated to the around 4000 B.C. Thanos could survive indefinitely without food or water even before Death "cursed" him with immortality.
His mind is invulnerable to most forms of psychic attacks. He has proven to be even more powerful than Moondragon and has even entered into the mind of Galactus and battled him astrally. He can project psionic blasts and travel to the astral plane, as well as read the minds of various individuals including, but not included to Gamora. His telepathic abilities has allowed him to defeat Drax using a Sync-Time-Warp attack, similar in nature to Darksied's Omega sanction. According to Thanos, the attack had been 100 percent fatal until Drax resisted it, but was incapcitated by it. He has also been able to lobotomize powerful individuals, such as the Fallen One with ease, and recently mind controlled the Hulk. This feat is made more impressive due to the fact that the Hulk has high resistance to telepathic attacks because of his anger.
Through meditation and certain mystical techniques, Thanos augmented his power in still other ways, enabling him to tap, transform, and direct vast quantities of cosmic energy for destructive force. He can emit blasts of plasma and cosmic energy of devastating power from his eyes and hands. A example of this was blasting a well fed Galactus with such force, he sent him flying out of his own ship and flying halfway across a planet- though Galactus didn't sustain injury. Thanos has also destroyed his son Rot, in a blast so powerful it made the universe scream. Thanos is also able to manipulate matter and other energies to his own purposes, such as in shields which are not tied to his technology. More interestingly, he was able to rearrange the Fallen One's brain on the atomic level to lobotomize and mind control him, as well as heal Moondragon of a supposedly fatal disease just by touching her.
Like other Eternals, Thanos has the natural ability to teleport, and can also do so through the use of technology. His use of Tech may be due to the fact that Eternals find the process uncomfortable and it drains their power temporarily. However, given Thanos' power and durability, he may use Tech to teleport out of habit, rather than necessity.
Thanos amplified his own abilities during his early life, prior to his published appearances. His physical attributes are considered exponentially superior to those of other Eternals. He is one of the strongest beings in the universe, being able to lift far in excess of 100 tons without any effort. He was able to simultaneously engage Thor, Thing, Professor Hulk and Hercules in hand-in-hand combat and hold his own. His earliest incarnation effortlessly defeated Drax the Destroyer and destroyed a planet in the process. He has even beaten the likes of the Silver surfer to the brink of death with a handful of blows.
Thanos possesses remarkable resilience and durability and has brushed off physical attacks from traditional powerhouses such as Thor and Drax. He was even able to trade blows with a maddened Thor in possession of the Power Gem, and was enjoying the fight, until he froze the Thunder God in a block of pure energy, using an experimental weapon. Perhaps what is even more impressive is Thanos' durability to Energy based attacks. He has taken a full power blast from the Silver Surfer without so much as flinching, and seemed unaffected by Odin's blasts until the latter called on his enchanted spear to amplify his power. Even after that, Thanos was not defeated, although Odin had the upper-hand in the battle. He has survived attacks from top tier abstracts, including Kosmos, Omega, and even Galactus, although with the latter two, this was done with the aid of his personal shields. He is even highly resistant to reality and matter manipulation as shown in his travels during the Thanos Quest.
Death resurrected Thanos and increased all of his abilities, giving him even greater resilience and energy manipulating abilities. He is currently one of the most powerful beings in all the universe. Thanos' powers have increased to an unknown level, but its a massive upgrade from his previous form. He has also become immortal, and has been shown to be able to regenerate from a skeleton.
Thanos was born with superhuman intelligence and has spent much of his life acquiring knowledge. While in the service of Death, he spent a great deal of time gazing into the Infinity Well and learning "secrets" of the galaxy. Aside from the Watchers, he is, perhaps, the most knowledgeable being in the known universe. Thanos' brilliance has allowed him to develop some of most advanced technology in the universe. His has allowed him to erect force fields. Galactus has drained himself in piercing them, while they were also able to take assualts from a Power Gem weilding Thor and Champion, at least briefly. They were even able to protect him from Omega, a being stated to be twice as powerful as Galactus.
Thanos has also trained Gamora, helping her to become one of the universe's most feared assassins. While Gamora's training predates meeting Thanos, she has been given numerous upgrades by him, and was trained by him to assassinate Adam Warlock.
However, it seems that recently Thanos has been weakened to below levels shown in The Thanos Imperative. During the Avengers Assemble arc, he opted to have the Hulk fight the Avengers instead of doing it himself. He also was warped against his own wishes by a man made cosmic cube, and afterwards quickly defeated by a large group of Avengers, among which Groot and Captain America were able to hurt him. While this may be due to being weakened by the cosmic cube, it may be a more accurate representation of future versions of the character, or just inconsistent writing.
His name, Thanos, probably comes from θάνατος (thanatos), the Ancient Greek word for death.
- Height: 6'7"
- Weight: 985 lbs
- Eye Color: Red
- Hair Color: None
- Skin: Grey-purple
- Place of Birth: Eternal colony, Titan (moon of Saturn)
- Citizenship: Titan
- Education: Formal Titanian education
- Occupation: Knowledge seeker; destroyer conqueror, nihilist
- Known Relatives: Alars (Mentor, father), Eros (Starfox, brother), Sui-San (mother, deceased), Zuras (uncle, deceased), Cybele (aunt), Thena (cousin), Rot (offspring, deceased).
In the Earth X universe he was dead and in love with Death just as he was in the main universe. He wanted nothing to do with helping the people in the Realm of the Dead realize they were actually dead.
He was at Death's side all the way. When the revelation that Death was nothing Thanos took the Ultimate Nullifier that Marvel gave him and used it on Death killing her.
In the Universe X series, Marvel revealed death was not Thano's mother, his mother was a skrull. When Thanos now knows the truth, he killed death, himself.
In the Ultimate universe Thanos convinces Mr. Fantastic to create the Cosmic Cube.
In the Earth-2149 universe, Thanos is one of the super beings that becomes infected by the virus. He succumbs to the need for food after he is bitten by one of the cosmic zombies, who were on a quest to search for food. As they search for food, they meet Thanos the Mad Titan and attempt to eat him. Thanos, with his divine power, tries to defend himself. But because of the cosmic power that the zombies and gained, they were successful in biting him and not consuming him. Thanos then joins the zombies on their quest for food and aids the zombies. However, as they feast on newly acquired food, he has a dispute with the cosmic zombie Hulk for food, and they fight each other. Due to Hulk's immense strength, durability, and Power Cosmic, Thanos is easily defeated by Hulk and killed in the process.
Heart of the Infinite (Marvel Universe: The End)
When Thanos learns of an immensely powerful artifact called the Heart of the Universe (or Heart of the Infinite). He immediately sets off to find the object. This powerful device was able to bestow powers surpassing the Living Tribunal. Thanos discovers that the device is on board Akhenaten's ship and attempts to take it from him. Akhenaten uses his cosmic powers and easily defeats all of the gods. Thanos and a group of superhumans successfully earned the Cosmic Order's trust and gave them access to the device's energies. Thanos eventually steals the device and uses it to conquer the entire universe and tried to earn Death's heart. The cosmic gods eventually battled Thanos but were easily defeated because of the device's power. Thanos soon discovers that the universe was about to die and that there was nothing he could do about it. Adam Warlock appears and tells Thanos the only way to stop the universe from dying is to sacrifice Thanos's own life. Thanos accepts his sacrifice and prevented the universe from dying.
In Amalgam Comics, where characters from both Marvel and DC are fused together, Thanos is fused with Darkseid to become Thanoseid.
The Silver Surfer (1998)
A watered-down version of Thanos appeared in the short-lived Silver Surfer cartoon. He is in love with "Mistress Chaos" rather than Death, since the d-word was taboo on Saturday morning cartoons then. Bent on chaos and the defeat of Galactus, Thanos set his sights on the Silver Surfer.Thanos was voiced by Gary Krawford
In an attempt to learn Galactus' secrets from the Surfer, he had the living planet Ego try to capture the Surfer. When Thanos finally got to the Surfer, he entered his mind only to find a void. It was Thanos who destroyed the mental blocks set in the Surfer's head by Galactus and restored his memories of Zenn-La and Shalla Bal, thus causing the Surfer to rebel against his master.
Super Hero Squad (2009)
Thanos has made an appearance on the Super Hero Squad episode "If This Be My Thanos", but turned out to be a Skrull in disguise.
He will the main antagonist of Season 2 for The Super Hero Squad & he will be trying to take over the universe by gather all of the Infinity Gems & place them in his Infinity Gauntlet before the SHS can.
The Avengers (2012)
Loki makes a deal with the Other, a servant of Thanos, who bargains the assurance of the Tesseract in exchange for Thanos's army, the Chitauri, to help Loki invade Earth. Later on the Other is seen informing Thanos of Loki's failure as well as "to challenge them(Earth), is to court Death" to which Thanos smiles sadistically.
Thanos appeared in the Hasbro strategy game Heroscape in the special Marvel edition.
Thanos was the end boss in the arcade game Marvel Super Heroes (1995) by Capcom. This is true of the home console as well when it was available for Playstation and Sega Saturn. On the home consoles he was unlockable as a playable character.
Thanos was also the main villain in the Super Nintendo game Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (1996).
Thanos was also a selectable character in Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000). It became available on home consoles as well for Playstation 2, Xbox and Sega Dreamcast. It was released in the summer of 2009 for Playstation 3 and Xbox Live.