- I know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right...yet to fail nonetheless. It's frightening. Turns the legs to jelly. I ask you; to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now, it's here. Or should I say...I am.
- -- Thanos src
Thanos was just a normal individual of the race Titan that lived in the planet with the same name. His planet was once a vibrant world, full of life and natural resources. However, all the life in the planet eventually became the problem; Titan was suffering from overpopulation. Thanos suggested a extreme solution: genocide. He suggested to kill half of the population, but of a random dispassionate form, fair to both rich and poor alike. He was called a mad man and was spurned by his own people. Unfortunately, he was somewhat right. The planet eventually suffered from scarcity of natural resources and there wasn't enough to feed everyone. Because of this, the problem of overpopulation resolved itself, as the titan race was now extinct and the planet started to die slowly. Thanos managed to survived the extinction, and was now determined to wipe out half of all the life in the universe so that no one would pass his suffering ever again.
He became an intergalactic conqueror, going planet to planet to kill (approximately) half of the life living in it. At some point in time, he became the ruler of the other-dimensional Chitauri race. In one instance, he murdered Gamora's family in front of her, and subsequently took her in as his "adopted" daughter, along with Nebula. He provided modifications to both Gamora and Nebula and trained them as assassins. Gamora excelled in her training, while Nebula failed to live up to Thanos' standards. In a twisted attempt to make the two adopted sisters "equal," Thanos would tear a vital organ from Nebula and replace it with a cybernetic enhancement for every failure against Gamora.
He sought to find the Infinity Stones — ancient artifacts of immense power that would grant Nigh-Omnipotence. He made a deal with the Asgardian Loki through his intermediary, the Other. Loki was to acquire the Tesseract, one of the stones, in exchange for an army of Chitauri with which he could conquer Earth.
Using the power of the Tesseract, Loki opened a wormhole in the sky of New York City, from which Thanos deployed the army of Chitauri warriors whom the Asgardian commanded in an attack. But Loki's plans failed when both the he and the Chitauri were beaten back by the Avengers, who redirected a nuclear missile through the wormhole and into the Chitauri base.
When the Other reported on the defeat, announcing that humans were too "unruly" and to try to conquer them would be to "court death," Thanos only grinned with anticipation of things to come.
Ronan & the Orb
After the Kree Empire and the Xandarian signed a peace treaty, ending their long war, the Kree extremist Ronan the Accuser and his battalion defected from the Kree army and attacked numerous Xandarian outposts. Thanos and Ronan made a deal, where Ronan would deliver him the mysterious Orb of Morag — which, unbeknownst to Ronan, contained another Infinity Stone — and Thanos would in return destroy Sanctuary, where the Kree laid out his grievances against Gamora's betrayal and killed The Other for demanding he show Thanos respect. Ronan accused Thanos of failing to take the matter seriously, to which Thanos replied that Ronan was the only thing he didn't take seriously, lambasting him for alienating Gamora and deriding him for being a "pouty child". He reiterated that he would continue to honor their agreement so long as Ronan retrieved the orb, but threatened to "bathe the star-ways in [his] blood" if he failed once more.
Ronan, having acquired the Orb, discovered its contents and decided to use the stone to destroy Xandar himself, turning against Thanos and threatening to come for him once Xandar was destroyed. Nebula, recalling her contempt for Thanos due to the torture she had been subjected to by his hand as a child, sided with Ronan and betrayed Thanos as well. Ronan's betrayal, however, ultimately resulted in him being killed by the newly-assembled Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula's escape, and the stone being left in the custody of the Xandarian Nova Corps.
Following Ronan's defeat, Thanos declared that he would have to do it himself, and went to Nidavellir to force the dwarf blacksmith Eitri to make a gauntlet powerful enough to harness all six Infinity Stones. Once the gauntlet was complete, he killed all of the dwarves except for Eitri, instead taking his hands.
Thanos, alongside his Black Order, discovered that the Tesseract was once again in Loki's possession and confronted the Sakaaran supercruiser, the Statesman, which had been carrying Asgardian refugees who were travelling to Earth after the destruction of Asgard, with his spaceship Sanctuary II. The ensuing conflict between the two vessels resulted in many Asgardian casualties, and left Thor severely wounded. Loki attemptde to distract Thanos by surrendering the Tesseract in order to have the Hulk, who had been on board the supercruiser as well, surprise him. The fight was short-lived, however, as Thanos easily overcame the Hulk. Heimdall used black magic to send the Hulk back to Earth as a warning, which resulted in Thanos killing Heimdall. Loki attempted to trick Thanos into letting his guard down by offering to join his Black Order, but Thanos saw through his deception and snapped his neck, killing him as well. Having acquired what he came for, Thanos sent his Black Order to Earth to retrieve the Time and Mind Stones, destroyed the Statesman, and left for Knowhere to retrieve the Reality Stone.
The Guardians of the Galaxy arrived on Knowhere to find Thanos interrogating the Collector about the Reality Stone's whereabouts. When Thanos spotted them, the Guardians were forced to react, resulting in Gamora stabbing him in the throat and seemingly fatally wounding him; however, Thanos soon revealed that the entire interrogation had been an illusion created by the Reality Stone, as he had anticipated their arrival. Gamora begged Peter Quill to kill her to prevent Thanos from taking her, while Thanos taunted him for being unable to do it. When Quill attempted to go through with the mercy killing, Thanos altered reality so that his gun fired bubbles and left with Gamora anyway.
Thanos took Gamora back to the Sanctuary II and revealed that he had captured Nebula after a failed assassination attempt, and that he knew Gamora knew the whereabouts of the Soul Stone. Thanos used Nebula as a means to get the information out of Gamora, and she revealed that the Stone was on Vormir.
At Vormir, Gamora and Thanos met a stonekeeper who explained that the Soul Stone required a sacrifice of a loved one; a "soul for a soul." Gamora laughed, claiming that the universe had judged Thanos and denied him what he wanted, as he could never love anything, but Thanos turned to her revealing that he loved her, but could not give up the stone. Gamora tried to kill herself to prevent Thanos from making his sacrifice, but Thanos used the Reality Stone to destroy her blade. He then dragged Gamora to the edge of a cliff and tossed her over it, subsequently being rewarded with the Soul Stone.
Thanos then traveled to Titan, where he planned to meet his Black Order, but instead found Doctor Strange, who confirmed Thanos's suspicions that Ebony Maw had been killed. After a brief conversation, Thanos was attacked by Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Peter Quill, Drax, Mantis, and Nebula, who had escaped Thanos' ship earlier. The heroes bound Thanos and Mantis used her empathic powers to sedate him while Iron Man and Spider-Man attempted to remove the Infinity Gauntlet from his hand. The plan almost worked, but the reveal that Thanos had killed Gamora sent Quill into a fit of rage, striking Thanos and inadvertently releasing him from Mantis's control. The ensuing battle nearly resulted in the death of Iron Man, prompting Strange to offer the Time Stone to spare his life, which Thanos accepted.
Thanos transported himself to Wakanda, where his armies were battling the Avengers. After Thanos easily defeated those who stood in his way, the Scarlet Witch reluctantly used her powers to destroy the Mind Stone and Vision to prevent Thanos from completing the Gauntlet. Despite her efforts, Thanos merely used the Time Stone to rewind time and resurrect Vision, repairing the stone with him. Thanos then tore the stone from Vision's skull, killing him and completing the Gauntlet. With all six Infinity Stones, Thanos became all-powerful, but was briefly stopped by Thor, who wounded Thanos with his new weapon, Stormbreaker. Just as victory seemed to be within the heroes' grasp, Thanos remarked that Thor should have went for the head, and snapped his fingers. Thanos briefly found himself in another realm with a young Gamora, who asked what his achievement cost, to which he replied "everything". In the real world, an enraged and confused Thor asked Thanos what he had done. Thanos merely retreated with the Space Stone. As half of all beings began vanishing from existence; including White Wolf, Falcon, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Groot, Drax, Mantis, Peter Quill, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man; Thanos watched a sunset on a planet simply called "The Garden" and smiled warmly, his mission complete.
Ambush and Death
Some time after decimating half of all life in the universe, Thanos decided to use the Infinity Stones once again to destroy them, the effort nearly killing him in the process. Two days later, the Avengers were able to track Thanos down as a result of the energy surge released by the Gauntlet.
Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, Nebula, Rocket and War Machine traveled to The Garden and ambushed Thanos, cutting his arm off in the process in an attempt to prevent him from using the Stones. Upon noticing the Stones were missing from the gauntlet, the Avengers demanded to know where they were hidden. Thanos informed them that he had used the Stones to destroy the Stones, and that what he had done could never be undone. In a fit of rage, Thor decapitated Thanos, noting that this time he "went for the head" as Thanos suggested back in Wakanda.
Five years later, the Avengers utilized the Quantum Realm in an attempt to travel throughout time and collect the Infinity Stones to undo the snap. During the journey, the Thanos of an alternate 2014 came to be aware of his counterpart's future and the Avengers plan, deciding to wipe out all of reality instead of just half. Against all the odds, however, the Avengers were still able to undo the decimation and defeat the alternate Thanos and his army with help from their revived allies.
Titan Physiology: Thanos is a Titan, and as a result, he possess extraordinary physical powers which are almost impossible to calculate. His physical power allows him to safely hold and wield the Infinity Stones.
- Superhuman Strength: He has tremendous amounts of bone and muscle power, which was seen to surpass the Hulk's extraordinary physical power and beat him into unconsciousness.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Despite his large size, he has incredible reflexes, being able to effortlessly dodge blows from the Hulk.
- Superhuman Durability: His physical constitution is extremely durable, being able to wield the power of all the Infinity Stones and physically touch them without any damage or injury. He could take on tremendous amounts of physical damage and still continue on with his mission.
Infinity Gauntlet: Upon being empowered by the completed Infinity Gauntlet, he gained supernatural dominion over reality and extremely potent supernatural powers.
- Near-Omnipotence: While gaining all six Infinity Stones, he has gained near-limitless levels of power with him controlling all aspects of existence.
- Power Manipulation: Thanos is able to unleash the Power Stone's destructive energy to charge objects with unstable explosive energy with just a single gesture, as he was able to easily detonate the damaged Statesman by the clutch of his fist. He was able to use his dominion over energy to create powerful energy blasts as well as generate powerful vortexes and blackholes. He has displayed the power to absorb and redirect outside energy. He once absorbed the explosives of Iron Man's missiles and redirected it into beams of fire via the Space Stone and Power Stone.
- Space Manipulation: Thanos was able to instantly transport himself and others to any planet in the universe by creating wormholes via the Space Stone. He is even capable of intangibility. Thanos has also displayed immeasurable telekinetic powers, being able to cause the Moon of Titan to shatter and rain down upon the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. He could stop Loki's dagger in close range as well as telekinetically summon Doctor Strange to him. He can also manipulate the terrain of the surrounding area. Can manipulate the Space Stone's energy reserves to manifest extremely powerful blue force-fields of energy
- Reality Manipulation: He used his dominion over reality to conjure up realistic physical illusions in order to project his memories or to trap his enemies. Thanos was capable of transforming Star-Lord's blasters and Gamora's blade into bubbles. He also transformed Drax into bricks and Mantis into strings, though these transformations were temporary.
- Time Manipulation: He was able to use his dominion over time to reverse the destruction of Vision and the Mind Stone.
- Soulworld Access: The Soul Stone contains a mysterious pocket dimension called the Soulworld that contains the soul of Gamora, as she is the one he sacrificed to obtain the Stone, and the dimension would pull Thanos to it.
- Death Inducement: Upon snapping his fingers, Thanos was able to kill half of the universe instantaneously, including the majority of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Master Manipulator: He is able to orchestrate wars and invasions all for the Infinity Stones, so as to gain dominion over time, space, thought and reality.
Master Combatant: Thanos is a master combatant with centuries' worth of experience, as he easily defeated an enraged Hulk in hand-to-hand fight.
- Space Throne
- Infinity Gauntlet
- Thanos is portrayed by Damion Poitier at the end of Marvel's The Avengers, and by Josh Brolin via voice and motion capture in Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
- Damion Poitier was credited as "Man #1" in Marvel's The Avengers, in order to keep the appearance of Thanos as a secret even if the full cast list was seen before the movie.
- This is the first character portrayed by Damion Poitier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the second being as one of Crossbones' mercenaries in Captain America: Civil War.
- Thanos was playable in the video game Fortnite Battle Royale in the limited time "Infinity Gauntlet" game mode to tie in with the release of Avengers: Infinity War.
- 18 Appearances of Thanos (Earth-199999)
- 3 Minor Appearances of Thanos (Earth-199999)
- Media Thanos (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 51 Images featuring Thanos (Earth-199999)
- 1 Quotations by or about Thanos (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Thanos (Earth-199999)
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