Thanos' starship base is one of the most powerful starships in the universe. Thanos has used a series of ships of the Sanctuary-class, though it's not know if each one is built after the loss of the previous one or if he always has several of these warships. The first ship, Sanctuary I, was used in battle against the Magus and his empire of the Universal Church of the Truth in another reality (Earth-7528). Severely damaged during the one-on-one battle between Thanos and the Magus, Sanctuary I ended up in the Prime Reality (along with Thanos and Gamora) after the explosive reshuffling of time caused when Warlock prevented his future self from becoming the Magus. Thanos was later seen to still be using a newly-rebuilt Sanctuary I.
During his subsequent attempt to commit total stellar genocide, Thanos used two almost-identical space arks. On one of them, Sanctuary II, he kept both the Stellar Projector ("Star-Burster") that could force stars to go nova and its power source, the synthetic Star-Gem he had created by siphoning off elements he needed from the Infinity Gems. Sanctuary II was the starship from which Thanos made a star a few hundred light-years away from Earth go nova and it was also the starship that Pip the Troll visited soon afterwards and had an unfortunate encounter with Thanos that ended with the Mad Titan destroying his mind. During his attempt to destroy Sol, Thanos used Sanctuary III as a decoy so that Earth's heroes would travel there to confront his minions and not notice that Sanctuary II was on the other side of the Sun about to destroy it. His initial attempt to destroy Sol was thwarted when Captain Mar-Vell destroyed the Stellar Projector and Iron Man shattered the Star-Gem but Thanos teleported back to Sanctuary III where he took command of his army and defeated the Avengers. When Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and the Thing arrived at the space ark, Thanos had his guardsmen defeat them and then boasted about his plan to use the Soul Gem he had acquired after killing Adam Warlock to power a second Stellar Projector to make the Sun go nova. Spider-Man managed to free the captive Avengers and was then guided to release Adam Warlock's soul from the Soul Gem. The resurrected Warlock transformed Thanos into stone and his now-leaderless army quickly surrendered. Thanos was left on the drifting starship, supposedly destined to spend infinity trapped within the petrified form of his own corruption.
The drifting space ark was encountered by Drax the Destroyer who found Thanos's body within it and swore to destroy whoever had robbed him of his purpose in life. Later, Captain Mar-Vell, Mentor and Eros travelled to the space ark to retrieve Thanos's body and found some Children of Thanos were there, awaiting his resurrection. Mentor swore he would destroy the ark but other matters took precedence.
Sanctuary II was next seen when the Vision sent Captain Marvel to investigate the starship which the Avengers had left drifting beyond the orbit of Pluto. During her time on the starship, it was hijacked by minions of the space pirate Nebula who planned to use it in her conquest of the Skrull Empire which had collapsed into civil war after the destruction of Tarnax IV by Galactus. Nebula was defeated by the combined forces of the Skrull general Zedrao, the Avengers, and Firelord. Sanctuary II was seemingly destroyed after Starfox (Eros) set its gravity stabilizers to overload but it was actually secretly teleported away intact by Quasimodo whose electronic essence had taken control of the ark.
Nebula somehow acquired Sanctuary III and a crew made up of many of Thanos's old minions but lost it when a newly-resurrected Thanos appeared on the bridge, denied her claim of being his granddaughter and set her on fire, thereby regaining control of the starship as the beginning of his plan to obtain all of the Infinity Gems. A vast armada of pirates, nihilists, mercenaries, religious zealots, psychotics, and malcontents assembled around Sanctuary III, flocking to his banner.
Sometime later, Quasimodo brought Sanctuary II to Earth as part of his scheme to steal the body of the Silver Surfer. Quasimodo had almost succeeded in defeating the Surfer and his ally Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) when Thanos showed up to reclaim his ship and swiftly expelled Quasimodo's consciousness into space.
Most recently, Thanos led his new armada, the Black Order, from the Sanctuary IV to raze the planet Earth during the Builders' War. The Avengers, with the assistance of forces from the Galactic Council, defeated Thanos and the Black Order.
- Propulsion: Sanctuary uses ionized plasma engines and is able to warp via either the subspace collapsar engine or thru the power of Thanos himself,
- Systems: The ship comes with AI, a holographic system that displays on the bridge a near-universal database (galactic history, technology, and civilizations) and a map of several 1000 nearby stars, and teleportation system that can send Thanos anywhere in the universe.
- Defensive: Sanctuary is outfitted with a force field that is so strong, it can withstand anything short of stellar energies and will also return the energy attack to the attackers.
- Weapons: Thanos has given the ship the ability to devastate planets via thermonuclear missiles or destroy stars via the "Star-Burster" ion cannon (which destabilizes a star, causing it to go supernova within hours).
- Transportation: The ship has a hanger that can carry 100s of spacecraft (which are usually piloted by drones) and can carry over 10,000 trained warriors.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
- Sanctuary (Vehicle)'s Appearances
- Sanctuary (Vehicle)'s Minor Appearances
- Media Sanctuary (Vehicle) Mentions
- Vehicle Gallery: Sanctuary (Vehicle)
- Images that include Sanctuary (Vehicle)
Links and References
- Marvel Vehicles: Owner's Workshop Manual #1
- Warlock #10
- Warlock #11
- Warlock #15
- Avengers Annual #7
- Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2
- Captain Marvel #58
- Marvel Graphic Novel #1
- Avengers #252
- Avengers #255-260
- Avengers #259
- Avengers #260
- Avengers #261
- Spider-Man Team-Up #2
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #38
- Silver Surfer Vol 3 #45
- Infinity #6