- 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 src
Thanos was one of the last sons of A'Lars, progenitor of the second colony of Eternals on Titan, and Sui-San, the last survivor of the original settlement of Eternals in this moon. He was born with purple, hide-like skin and a massive body due to his Deviant Syndrome. The very first time his mother laid her eyes on the baby, she was driven mad and tried to kill him.
Despite his unusual appearance and introvert nature, Thanos was well accepted by his peers. He was an mild-mannered intellectual that dreamed of becoming a scientist like his neglectful father. However, signs of his true nature started to creep up early on. For instance, he liked to draw dead animals despite vomiting at the prospect of performing a dissection. Thanos' life reached a tipping point when a mysterious girl convinced him to explore with his friends a dangerous cave to overcome his fear of killing. A cave-in separated Thanos from his friends for three days, during which he refused to even think of murdering the inoffensive creatures that lurked underground for sustenance. When he found his friends, they had been killed by the animals living in the caves. After Thanos returned to society, the same girl convinced him to go back to the cave and slaughter the critters in revenge.
The Birth of the Mad Titan
By the time he was a teenager, Thanos excelled academically and learned faster than he was taught. He began to vivisect creatures in secret in order to gain knowledge while searching for an answer to his abnormal genetic makeup. The girl that had helped him overcome his fear of killing became his confidante. Thanos' search for answers escalated into killing fellow Titanians, carrying out the first murders in the history of Titan. Despite declaring that his first two murders were going to be the last, Thanos eventually killed again, and found out that he enjoyed it. Thanos fell in love with his confidante, who enabled and further motivated and Thanos' actions, but she rejected his advances.
After murdering seventeen people in total, Thanos killed Sui-San in hopes of finding in her body the key to who he was, both spiritually and physically. He left Titan afterwards, swore off killing, and found a menial job with a pirate crew with whom he explored the cosmos. As years went by, Thanos became detached and unemotional. In many different planets, he would find a partner and mate with them in hopes to feel something again, to no avail. He always abandoned them and the babies they bore him. Thanos eventually came into conflict with his captain in the pirate crew due to his disinclination for murdering. In an act of complete instinct, Thanos slaughtered him, and subsequently seized control of his crew.
Thanos decided to embrace his murdering nature, and returned to Titan in secret. He was approached by his old confidante and tried to court her again. She demanded that Thanos proved he belonged only to her, so he embarked on a journey to kill all of his offspring, and razed every planet they stumbled upon for the sake of his love for death. Additionally, Thanos experimented on his own body, granting himself a variety of powers. Thanos' confidante became his companion, and eventually declared that for her to love Thanos, he would have to become a god, a supreme destroyer above all else. After Thanos discovered that none in his crew could see her, she revealed her true nature, that she was the physical manifestation of Death itself. Driven mad by this revelation, Thanos gave in to Death's promises of romance and used his fleet to ravage Titan. Once his armada bombared Titan, Thanos personally descended to murder the survivors. He was confronted by the elder A'Lars, who managed to make Thanos doubt whether Death was actually by his side or if he was simply demented. Thanos spared his father solely so he could watch his son defile the cosmos and prove his sanity. Death finally kissed Thanos, but he found her embrace to be cold. Without his thirst quenched, Thanos continued his journey of destruction.
As part of his pursuit for power, Thanos amassed a huge armada of battleships. Having kept the planet Earth under surveillance since it first exploded a nuclear weapon, Thanos learned of a power-object called the Cosmic Cube brought into existence by the subversive organization, Advanced Idea Mechanics. Thanos seized control of the reality-altering device and commanded it to give him control over the universe.
Transformed into a godlike wraith by the Cosmic Cube, Thanos battled the Avengers and the Kree Captain Marvel, the former of whom had already vanquished his armada. When Thanos carelessly discarded the Cube, believing falsely that he had drained it of all power, Mar-Vell struck the cube, willing it to restore the universe to what it had been. Robbed of power, Thanos reverted to mortal form in the center of the universe where his flagship Sanctuary II retrieved him under pre-programmed instructions. Revived, Thanos was dejected to discover that Death had abandoned him because of his failure.
Quest for the Soul Gems
Thanos soon formulated a plan to regain Death's affection: he would give to "her" more than any single living being had given "her," the annihilation of everything that lives. Through the minds and records of countless civilizations he searched, hoping to find the key to the power he sought. Eventually he learned of the Soul Gems, six power objects of unknown origin and vast power, and set about to acquire them. In short order he had obtained all of the Soul Gems except one: the jade jewel worn on the head of Adam Warlock.
Thanos feared to acquire Warlock's gem directly because it possessed the power to steal souls, and he feared to risk forfeiting his own. Observing him, Thanos learned that Warlock had diverged a temporal counterpart named the Magus, who was the head of a galaxy wide religious empire and would certainly oppose Thanos' schemes of stellar destruction were he to learn of them. Thanos thus planned to eliminate the Magus. Possessing the capacity for time travel, Thanos decided to set up certain factors in the time stream which, combined, might prove the Magus' undoing (he could have tried to thwart Warlock's life well before the critical time he would/wouldn't become the Magus, but he needed Warlock to remain the Soul Gem's possessor for simplicity's sake).
One of these factors was the rescuing of the infant Gamora, a female of the pacifistic Zen-Whoberis race that was slaughtered by the Magus' missionary troops. She would serve as Thanos' personal assassin. The second major factor would be Thanos' own direct alliance with Warlock against the Magus. Neither of these factors existed in the original time-line that led to the Magus' creation; thus, Thanos hoped to diverge a reality wherein Warlock never became the Magus. Thanos succeeded, and while in close proximity to Warlock, siphoned from his Soul Gem the energies he needed without Warlock's knowledge.
Thanos then constructed a single huge synthetic Soul Gem to hold the energies of the six. With it, he planned to extinguish the stars one by one. Gamora learned of his plan of destruction and tried to assassinate him, but Thanos slew her. Thanos also slew Warlock's comrade Pip the Troll. Warlock had by this time learned of Thanos' threat and traveled to Earth to enlist the aid of the Avengers and Captain Marvel. In battle aboard Thanos' starship Sanctuary II, Captain Marvell damaged Thanos' projector through which he transmitted the synthetic Soul Gem's energies into suns to cause them to go nova. Warlock faced Thanos in personal combat and was slain. The Avengers were taken captive by Thanos, but rescued by Spider-Man and the Thing. Spider-Man, influenced by the abstract entities Lord Chaos and Master Order, released Warlock's spirit from the Soul Gem Warlock had worn, and seething with cosmic power released through his physical death, Warlock grappled with Thanos and turned the mad Titan to immobile stone. Incapacitated, Thanos retained a fragment of his consciousness and was thus tortured by the fact that he who worshiped death would forever be denied it.
Thanos was resurrected by Death Death and he came into contact with Dynamo City shortly afterwards. He was made citizen of it and resided there for a while. Thanos met with the Silver Surfer shortly after his return and tried to sway the Sentinel of the Spaceways to his way of thinking, but failed. After toying with the Surfer for a time, Thanos faked his own death so that he could continue his plans without disturbances. He arranged for the death of Nebula's associate Geatar in his place, leaving behind a devastated body similar enough to his own that the Silver Surfer and the Eternals of Titan temporarily believed it was Thanos.
After his resurrection, in Death's realm, Thanos gazed into the Infinity Well and discovered the true powers of the Soul Gems, which he now dubbed the Infinity Gems. Since his previous defeat, these had been given to various Elder Beings. Using science and his unmatched cunning, Thanos was able to retrieve the green Soul Gem from the In-Betweener, the red Power Gem from the Champion, the orange Time Gem from the the Gardener, the purple Space Gem from The Runner, the yellow Reality Gem from the Collector and the blue Mind Gem from the Grandmaster. Putting all the Gems onto his massive glove, Thanos created the Infinity Gauntlet, giving him mastery of all that is.
Using the massive power now in his possession, Thanos toyed with the Silver Surfer for a time before allowing him to warn Earth's heroes of Thanos' coming. In order to appease death, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to remove half of the population of the universe, causing dire consequences with his actions. As the heroes assembled, Adam Warlock's soul escaped from the Soul Gem, along with Gamora and Pip the Troll, and possessed the bodies of three humans who had recently perished.
The collected heroes battled Thanos, aided by the Cosmic Entities Love, Hate, The Stranger, Epoch, Chaos, Order, and Galactus. But despite the assembled forces, Thanos was able to defeat all and imprison them. In the process, though, he overlooked his grand-niece Nebula who was able to wrest the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos' hand. Her first act was to undo all that had occurred, which inadvertently freed the heroes and the Cosmic Entities. The battle resumed, and in the end it was Adam Warlock who finally possessed the Gauntlet which ended the conflict.
After Thanos obtained and lost the Infinity Gauntlet, he was led to a period of introspection. Adam Warlock recognized that Thanos' efforts to obtain omnipotence had been thwarted not only by the intervention of superheroes but by Thanos' own self-doubt and anxiety. Believing the Titan to be capable of change - and wishing to keep Thanos where he could keep an eye on him - Warlock made Thanos a member of the Infinity Watch, giving him the Reality Gem, one of the Infinity Gems which Adam Warlock and the Watch now guarded.
Eventually, Thanos detected a threat to the universe, as the embodiment of time itself was rendered catatonic. Tracking the source to the revived Magus, Thanos sought the help of Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch. Thanos and the Infinity Watch traveled to the realm of Death to learn the truth about the Magus and found that he was attempting to replace this reality's heroes (and indeed, all reality itself) with evil doppelgänger versions of his own. Returning to reality, Thanos and the Infinity Watch were attacked by an assemblage of doppelgängers before the true threat of the Magus could be revealed. Taking the fight to the Magus, Warlock reassembled the Infinity Gauntlet in order to match the combined might of the five Cosmic Cubes possessed by the Magus, although ultimately Magus would gain the Infinity Gauntlet for himself. During the battle, Thanos was pitted against his doppelgänger, who had become the Magus' most favored lackey, and in defeating it, gained insight into Magus' schemes. Confronting him, Thanos pointed out that Magus didn't, in fact, have the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet, as the Reality Gem was actually an elaborate fake. Rattled, the Magus was then thwarted by the embodiment's of Eternity and Infinity, and the Infinity Gems were restored to their owners. Thanos then returned to wandering the cosmos.
Some time later, Thanos and Warlock were trapped in the folds of a shifting reality, due to the appearance of the Goddess, which was Warlock's manifestation of his "good side" that had appropriated the power of the five Cosmic Cubes previously used by the Magus. Warlock eventually freed himself and Thanos. Thanos embarked on a mission to learn about the Goddess and determine what threat she posed to reality. The two were soon contacted by the demon Mephisto, and Thanos agreed to let Mephisto aid them in exchange for a Cosmic Cube of his own. Warlock had a plan of his own, and before bodily entering the Soul Gem, he gave it to Thanos. Thanos, in turn, assembled a contingency of reality's heroes in order to distract the Goddess. Thanos however seemingly failed, and the Goddess began to destroy the universe one star at a time. In reality the destruction was an illusion generated by Warlock, who had used the Cosmic Cubes to create a universe-wide mass-hallucination. Distracted, the Goddess was defeated by Thanos and the assemblage of Earth's heroes. Thanos destroyed the "Cosmic Egg" that held the cubes, for which act Warlock tried to paint the Titan a hero. Thanos even honored his bargain with Mephisto, giving him a Cosmic Cube, albeit one without power.
Later, when the thunder god Thor apparently went insane, Thanos was contacted by the Silver Surfer to stop the mad thunder god's rampage. Thanos succeeded where the Surfer, the Infinity Watch, Doctor Strange, and the other Asgardian gods could not. This led the assembled group to Asgard, where they came into conflict with Odin. Thanos battled Odin until the god learned the truth, revived Thor, and allowed Thanos and the heroes to leave Asgard with his and Thor's gratitude.
Soon after these events, Thanos became bored and decided to look for the vast storehouse of knowledge called the Oracle. To assist him, Thanos recruited several unwilling allies, which included the second Super-Skrull, Nitro, the Rhino, and the Titanium Man. After they accomplished his goals, Thanos stranded them.
After slaughtering the entire Ovin Mercenary Army just for something to do, Thanos used the Oracle to search for a worthy adversary. He believed he found one in Tyrant, first spawn of the world-devouring Galactus. With the help of the former Herald known as Terrax, he kidnapped Tyrant's arch-enemy and recent opponent, Ganymede. The hero Jack of Hearts, Ganymede's lover, recruited Genis-Vell to help free her. Ganymede, in the meantime, had joined Thanos and Terrax, in order to exact revenge on Tyrant. The trio battled Morg, Galactus' most deadly Herald and an unwilling lackey of Tyrant, who eventually escaped. The combined efforts of Jack of Hearts, Legacy, Ganymede and Terrax could not defeat Tyrant. Thanos, who briefly fled the scene in order to learn the truth about Tyrant's origins, returned to battle Tyrant himself (with the help of one of Tyrant's own "power orbs" which contained the energies siphoned from Morg), laying waste to a sizable portion of Tyrant's planet. Thanos emerged from the battle declaring that, since he had withstood the powerful Tyrant for a time and gained what he sought from him, further struggle was pointless (and admitted it would likely have resulted in his own destruction).
Cursed With Immortality
The Silver Surfer, later, sought out Thanos in order to discern Death's motives for plaguing him with images of death with the obvious intent on making him her new consort. Enraged, Thanos beat the Surfer to death and delivered his body to Death's realm himself. Believing Death to be unappreciative, Thanos revived the Surfer and sought to leave, further insulting Death who cursed the Titan with immortality, forever barring him from her embrace.
Others would continually come in and out of Thanos' life. Gamora returned to Thanos' side, forsaking her relationship with Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch. The computer intelligence known as Quasimodo took over Sanctuary II and used it to capture and torment the Silver Surfer and Spider-Man before being ousted by Thanos, who declared the two heroes now owed him a debt.
Thanos soon confronted Marlo Jones, the wife of Rick Jones, associate of the then-current Captain Marvel, Genis-Vell. Thanos revealed that Marlo had become the physical refuge for the embodiment of Death and as such, was the target of the death god known as the Walker. Convincing Thor to help them, Thanos, alongside Thor and Captain Marvel, was able to keep the Walker from killing Marlo. Ultimately, Death itself defeated the Walker.
During a reunion with his old allies/foes Adam Warlock and Gamora, Thanos revealed he had created a series of duplicates of himself, dubbed Thanosi. These duplicates were unstable in different ways, explaining Thanos's uncharacteristic behavior and power levels in recent months. Thanos indicated that the "Thanos" who recently confronted Ka-Zar, Thor, Captain Marvel, and the Celestial Madonna had each actually been one of his Thanosi duplicates.
During the Annihilation Wave's attack on the universe Thanos joined forces with Annihilus. Many speculated as to why the Mad Titan would play the role of underling until he later explained to Moondragon that he had grown tired of the same life cycles playing out and was simply curious to see how a radical shift in the universe would play out. He was instrumental in capturing Galactus and using him to power the Wave's forces. Upon Moondragon's revelation that Annihilus' intentions were not conquest but for the universe wide extinction of both our universe and the Negative Zone, Thanos decided to release Galactus. Before he could finish the process, Drax The Destroyer punched through his chest, removing his heart. Just before Drax's arrival, Thanos saw Death, so it is assumed that he is really dead this time. The spirit of Thanos and Death later appeared and watched Nova after he killed Annihilus.
Thanos was resurrected and made unkillable by Death. Together with a few other heroes he travelled into the Cancerverse, a universe where Life had "won" and Death no longer existed; in order to fight the lord Mar-Vell, that universe's avatar of Life. He feigned submission to Mar-Vell who ran him through with his sword, believing it would kill him. However, this summoned Death who proceeded to kill Mar-Vell and all the other immortal denizens of the Cancerverse. Thanos begged her to take him with her, but she left him and he flew into a rage vowing to kill the Universe. Nova and Peter Quill attempted to hold him back long enough for the Cancerverse to collapse and destroy him, thus buying time for the other heroes to go back to their universe. They succeeded and Thanos was trapped in the collapsing Cancerverse.
Returning to the prime Universe through undisclosed means, Thanos next sought to gain control of Earth, an inter-galactically agreed-upon "off limits" territory. Running a gambit to amass the vast array of cosmic-level weapons found there, he reconstituted a new version of the Zodiac as his localized cats-paws, managing to collect a Cosmic Cube.
His machinations were inadvertently stumbled upon by an irregular assemblage of Avengers including the Hulk. The heroes' ranks were soon bolstered by the Guardians of the Galaxy, pursuing Thanos's activities through their own deep-space investigations, arriving at Thanos' base in the Badoon's homeland. After the heroes were left at the mercy of the the vacuum of space, Thanos activated the Cube. After Thanos defeated the Elders of the Universe, to impose his supremacy, he became one with the Cosmic Cube and killed the Avengers and the Guardians as well. But actually, they were sent to the Cancerverse along with the Elders. There, Tony Stark found that Thanos' weapon wasn't actually a Cosmic Cube and that it had defects. They bargained with the Collector, in exchange for a weapon capable of deactivating the "Cube" and return to Earth, the Avengers and the Guardians would let Thanos be defeated by the Elders. With the help of other members of the Avengers, Thanos was defeated and sent to punishment by the Elders.
The End of Death
Whether he escaped or was freed from his punishment, Thanos returned to Titan. The Mad Titan had once cursed Deadpool to never die in an effort to keep him away from his beloved Death. When Death was kidnapped by Eternity, causing an imbalance in the universe since nothing could die, Deadpool tracked down Thanos, believing him to be responsible. When Deadpool arrived on Thanos' ship to defeat him, Thanos rescinded his curse, turning Deadpool into the only mortal creature in the universe, then killed him.
However, upon realizing that Death would only speak to Wade, Thanos resurrected him in order to save her. When the pair managed to travel to Eternity's Realm and encounter him personally, Thanos attacked mercilessly, blaming Eternity for all of his life's ills. Wilson, realizing that this was what Death wanted all along, attacked Thanos and was possessed by the Uni-Power, giving Deadpool the powers of Captain Universe. Using those powers, Deadpool and Thanos fought on equal ground, but Deadpool's speech during the fight convinced Death of the validity of life's existence and caused Mistress Death to whisk Thanos away, for a later purpose and to return to her own, restoring mortality to the universe.
Thanos found new servants in the form the Black Order, and embarked on a new mission of galactic conquest, razing planets, demanding a tribute of the heads of youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, or the annihilation of its inhabitants. When the Avengers left Earth in order to fight the Builders, Thanos saw the opportunity to raze a defenseless Earth.
In reality, Thanos was using the demand for the tribute as a cover for his true objective, to kill his lost Inhuman-descendant son whose actual identity and location were unknown even to the Mad Titan, who knew only that he was an Inhuman. After the Inhumans denied the tribute to Corvus Glaive, Thanos personally visited the Inhuman king Black Bolt in Attilan, who faced Thanos alone in an evacuated Attilan which he proceeded to detonate with a sonic scream in an attempt to kill Thanos.
Black Bolt's attack destroyed Attilan in the process, but the Mad Titan emerged unscathed. Thanos soon noticed Black Bolt emerging from the rubble, who had detonated a Terrigen Bomb across Earth. Thanos fought Black Bolt demanding the location of his son, the Inhuman king refused to reveal the location, and Thanos finally knocked Black Bolt out in anger.
After receiving intel from Proxima Midnight, who had in turn received it from Namor, that the Infinity Gems were in Wakanda, Thanos accompanied his armies to Wakanda in order to collect them. There, he discovered the secret hiding place of the Illuminati in the Necropolis, along with their stockpile of planet-destroying weapons and a prison housing Terrax, the Truly Enlightened and the Black Swan.
Given the whereabouts of his son by Ebony Maw, Thanos headed to Greenland, where his lieutenant had found and trapped Thane, Thanos' son. When the Avengers arrived in Greenland in order to defeat Thanos, Ebony Maw double-crossed Thanos and freed Thane to let him fight his father. Thanos and Proxima Midnight were trapped by Thane in an amber construct which left them in a state of "living death." Thanos and Proxima were later transported to Necropolis.
Thanos, Corvus (who had regenerated inside the amber prison), and Proxima were freed by Namor, who had had a falling out with the Illuminati for destroying an alternate world during an Incursion, and joined his Cabal in order to destroy another colliding Earth, as the Illuminati were willing to let both universes die.
Eight months after the formation of the Cabal, the Cabal had found some degree of legitimacy on Earth. The world stood by and allowed the Cabal to raze Wakanda, and claim the ruins as their base of operations. The Cabal continued to protect the universe by destroying colliding Earths, but Namor had grown weary and disgusted with the Cabal's habit of engaging in wholesale slaughter of the colliding Earth's population, as opposed to simply planting the bomb and leaving. Namor clashed with Thanos over leadership of the Cabal, but was no match for the Mad Titan.
Namor, now willing to turn himself in for his crimes, devised a plan with the Illuminati to destroy the Cabal. A new Incursion was on the horizon, one in which the incursive world had been ravaged by the Sidera Maris. Namor would lead the Cabal to said world, activate the anti-matter injector without their knowledge, and leave them to die with said Earth, preventing them from escaping with the use of an A.I.M. platform capable of creating an impenetrable barrier between the two colliding Earths. As the Cabal engaged the Sidera Maris in combat, Namor set his plan in motion. However, he was betrayed by Black Panther and Black Bolt, who pushed him off the platform into the soon-to-be-destroyed Earth.
As the Cabal approached the fallen Namor, who lied about his intentions, they discovered an unusual event was occurring. The Earth they were on was experiencing an incursion with two universes at the same time. Unable to return to Earth-616, the Cabal made their way to the second Incursion point, and escaped from the doomed planet into the third universe, the Ultimate Universe.
Thanos and the Cabal allied with Earth-1610's Reed Richards, known as the Maker. They eventually worked together in order to build a vessel capable of surviving the end of all of reality, a life raft created based on stolen designs from Earth-616's Richards.
When the final incursion drew near, the collision between Earth-616 and Earth-1610, the Cabal witnessed as Earth-1610's S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked the colliding Earth, under the false assumption destroying said planet would be enough to survive. In the end, the two Earths collided and the two universes perished. The Cabal and the Maker survived on board the life raft, and remained in suspended animation for eight years. The life raft made its way into Battleworld, a patchwork planet composed of the remnants of realities, built and controlled by the now-omnipotent Doctor Doom. After being freed from the vessel, the Cabal and the Maker drew the attention of Doom's police force, the Thor Corps. While they were confronting the army of Gods of Thunder, the survivors of Earth-616 soon joined the brawl, who had been recently freed from their own life raft by Doctor Strange, Doom's right hand and sheriff of Battleworld.
When Doom stepped in to confront the interlopers, Strange used his magic to teleport them away and scatter them throughout Battleworld, to save them from God Doom's wrath. Thanos was teleported to a dangerous domain known as the Deadlands, inhabited by super-powered zombies. As part of a plan to defy Doom, Thanos turned himself to the Hel-Rangers, the protectors of the Shield that separated the Deadlands from the rest of Battleworld, and managed to convince the living creature that made up the Shield, an alternate, giant-sized Ben Grimm to rebel against Doom.
Thanos decided to take advantage of a moment of civil unrest, when numerous enemies of Doom joined forces to attack his castle, and took control of the Annihilation Wave from the domain of New Xandar and marched forward to Doomstadt. God Emperor Doom confronted Thanos face to face, and after the Mad Titan's gloats of power, Doom killed him by reaching to his spine, swiftly removing it from the rest of his body.
Love for Nothing
Following the restoration of the Multiverse, Thanos was cast outside of it, leading him to find a new love in the form of the nothing that surrounded him there. When the Ultimates went to the outside to try to fix time, Galactus, now a lifebringer, rescued them before the pressure of the great, dark nothing could crush them. In his way back, Galactus opened a portal back into Eternity which Thanos used to return into the Multiverse, where he would prove his love for nothing.
Thanos used the wormhole know as the Great K'ythri to escape the Exo-Space and re-enter his universe. Soon afterwards, Thanos assaulted the Sharra-IV, a Shi'ar space station which purpose was to monitor the wormhole he came from, and interrogated its commander, M'korr about a supposed Cosmic Cube energy signature coming from Earth. Thanos invaded Earth in order to retrieve the supposed Cosmic Cube being hold at the Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Facility, but to his surprise, a group of superhumans led by Captain Marvel were already there waiting for him. In the ensuing battle against the heroes of Earth, Thanos killed War Machine before being taken down by a furious Captain Marvel. He was subsequently apprehended and imprisoned at the Triskelion.
Using his telepathic abilities, Thanos manipulated Conner Sims, who had also been imprisoned at the Triskelion, into exploding his cell, which caused a power outage in the facility that allowed Thanos to escape his cell. Thanos fought the Ultimates, but was eventually defeated by them, and imprisoned elsewhere.
Following his escape from custody during the bedlam of the superhero civil war, Thanos joined forces with Annihilus, the Queen of the Brood, and to take the Guardians of the Galaxy down and conquer Earth. Their plan, however, was thwarted by the Guardians themselves and Thanos, defeated, was apprehended by the Nova Corps.
After bargaining his freedom with the corrupt Nova Corpsmen who were transporting him to the Kyln, Thanos returned to the Black Quadrant to reclaim it from Corvus Glaive. After fighting his way through Corvus Glaive's Black Order, Thanos confronted his former servant and defeated him in battle, destroying his glaive in the process. Thanos then gave Corvus the choice to either kill himself or be killed by him in the last moments of his life. Fearing to suffer in Thanos' hands, Corvus used a piece of the broken blade of his glaive to end his own life.
At some point after escaping from the Nova Corps, Thanos discovered he was dying. This unexpected development forced him to seek the help of his father to find a cure, blackmailing A'Lars into helping him by menacing the lives of the inhabitants of Gilgrath. However, Thanos was told that he only had weeks to live while making a cure would take years due to his complex biology. After A'Lars admitted that he took responsibility for each murder Thanos committed, and that he hoped Thanos had died when he was born, a furious Thanos killed him.
In his weakened state, Thanos ended up apprehended by the Sh'iar Imperial Guard, and imprisoned in a galactic gulag where the most dangerous prisoners of the universe were housed. Thanos waited until Warden Daak went to his cell to gloat over his capture, thus letting his own guard down, to try to escape from it. As he left his cell, Thanos fought his way through the security guards to escape the gulag, which was about to explode due to the activation of its self-destruction protocol.
Days later, a heavily injured Thanos arrived on the Black Quadrant just to find the mercenaries who were once at his services dead and his fortifications leveled. Thanos was then confronted by those responsible for such actions: Lady Death and a Phoenix Force-powered Thane. Figuring out that Death had made him ill, Thanos warned Thane to not trust her, which proved to be in vain as Thane banished the Mad Titan to somewhere else.
Thanos found himself stranded on his homeworld of Titan. He spent the next few days hunting Mugrats among Titan's ruins to survive. He eventually encountered the scavengers Tiv and Biv. They confronted Thanos after he walked into what they claimed was their territory. Due to the villain's weakened state, neither Tiv nor Biv believed his claims of his identity, and proceeded to beat him up and steal his supplies. They were scared off by a flash of Champion's ship, and ran away. From Champion's ship came Champion, Eros, and Nebula who had come to Titan to request Thanos' help in saving the universe. They explained that the Phoenix Force had corrupted Thane, causing him to randomly destroy whole planets without regard. Thanos agreed to help them and directed them to the God Quarry, a place at the far reaches of the universe where Thanos believed he would find the power he needed to defeat his son.
After leaving Champion and Nebula behind on Nebula's ship, Thanos and Eros went into the black hole that led to the God Quarry and met the Coven, a trio of witches who fed on the souls of fallen gods. The Coven explained that in order for Thanos to claim the power within the God Quarry, he needed to pass a trial first. If he failed to pass the trial, he would be forever trapped in the God Quarry. Thanos was undeterred and went into the God Quarry, leading to his absorption into the God Quarry. Thanos was then forced to experience an illusion where he was a member of the Avengers and a celebrated hero of Earth. Eventually realizing, that what he was experiencing wasn't real at all, Thanos rejected being trapped in the illusion and fought his way out of it, acquiring the power he sought.
With his newfound powers, Thanos blasted Eros away and went after Thane, finding him attacking Champion and Nebula on an uncharted world nearby. Father and son then began fighting a battle so fierce that the very planet they were on was destroyed. As they fought among the ruins of the planet, both were sucked into the black hole that led to the God Quarry, where the Phoenix Force was stripped from Thane by the Coven. After condemning Thane to a life of misery trapped inside the God Quarry, Thanos was approached by Death who revealed that she had broken him down so he could rebuild himself and be worthy of her love again. However, Thanos didn't want her love anymore, which prompted the Coven to temporarily destroy her for entering their realm uninvited. Leaving Champion, Nebula, and Starfox behind at the God Quarry, Thanos reclaimed his throne at the Black Quadrant.
After conquering the home planet of the Chitauri, Thanos was forcefully taken millions of years into the future by a Ghost Rider at the behest of his master, an older Thanos who reigned supreme over the universe. Thanos started a fight with King Thanos for thinking he was a pretender, but ceased his attacks once his older self confirmed his identity by speaking the name his mother was going to give him before going insane: Dione. King Thanos revealed that he had lost Death and needed his younger self's help to kill the one being whose death he believed would bring her back, the Fallen One. Though he didn't take his older self's words seriously as the Fallen One he knew wasn't a menace to him at all, Thanos soon found out his foe was a far more powerful version of Norrin Radd, whom he knew as the Silver Surfer.
The Twin Titans ultimately managed to claim the Fallen One's life in a vicious battle, prompting Death to return; however, there was something left to do: Thanos had to kill his future self so he could be with Death like everything else. Upon realizing that, Thanos attacked King Thanos and almost put an end to his life, but stopped for deeming his older self a weakling. Thanos then used his older self's broken Time Stone to return to the past, and set out to deny his future self of his existence.
When Thanos learned that the Infinity Gems had resurfaced and were being gathered again, he set out to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet and use it to break free from his destiny. However, before he could begin his search, Gamora infiltrated Thanos' throneroom with the intention to kill him, since she was also on the quest for the Infinity Stones. Thanos noticed her presence, but allowed her to strike him since he realized he could effectively erase his future if he died. Gamora impaled Thanos and then beheaded him. In his final seconds of consciousness, the Mad Titan relished on his ultimate victory against fate.
Thanos is extremely prideful, violent, malevolent and ruthless, to the point that he doesn't care about sacrificing innumerable planets and civilizations, even his own race, in order to praise Death and gain it's affection. Thanos also possesses an insatiable hunger for power, always seeking to obtain objects of incalculable power, such as the Cosmic Cubes or the Infinity Gems.
Despite his overall megalomaniac personality, Thanos doesn't wish to destroy everything, even willing to join forces with his enemies when he perceives a threat more dangerous than himself, as when he worked together with the Guardians in order to stop the invasion of the Cancerverse, or when he worked with Deadpool to release Death from Eternity's prison.
|Power Grid |
By far the strongest and most powerful Titanian Eternal, Thanos is a superhuman mutant whose massive, heavy-bodied form was born with the capacity to synthesize cosmic energy for certain personal uses. Thanos has increased his powers through bionic amplification, mystical enhancement, and as a result of being resurrected by Death itself.
He was deemed a Category 1 Life Ender by the Nova Corps, to have an "universal" threat level and to have been an one-time reality ender, and was seemingly a Cosmic-level threat, being sent by the Shi'ar Imperial Guard to the core cell of a galactic gulag.
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.
Superhuman Strength: Thanos possesses vast superhuman strength the full limits of which aren't known. Death has increased his strength beyond their original limits to levels rivaling or surpassing those of the physically strongest Eternals. He has proven capable of fighting Thor even when he had the Power Gem. His strength is so vast that he has been able to defeat the likes of the Silver Surfer, punch away an attacking Hulk, physically subduing with ease Beta Ray Bill and Ronan the Accuser (as well as casually breaking apart the latter's Universal Weapon) and, most impressively, wrestle with the mighty Tyrant, although only by being additionally empowered by an external power source. Thanos can also augment his strength with his cosmic energy when needed.
Superhuman Speed: Despite his massive muscular bulk, Thanos is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than the finest human athlete.
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", Thanos possessed an impressive degree of resistance to physical injury, even compared to other Eternals. After his resurrection, 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 nothing 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 has 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: Thanos, like all Eternals, 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 Annihilation event, 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.
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.
Energy Manipulation & 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 mental link to his techno-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 knocking down the likes of Thor and The Hulk. 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.
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 Moondragon and Mantis. He also drove one of the Priests of Pama insane with a gesture, made the Hulk attack his fellow Avengers, and forced Conner Sims (the Anti-Man) to destroy his surroundings.
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.
Curse Casting: Thanos seems to be at least partially skilled in magic, evidence being him cursing Deadpool to be unable to die.
Flight: After his fight with Star-Lord wielding the Mandalay Gem, Thanos was shown to fly self-propelled. Whether he recently acquired this ability or if he uses technical equipment for it hasn't been revealed yet.
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.
Super-Genius Intelligence: Thanos has a brilliant scientific mind rivaling the best in the Universe.
Skilled Unarmed Combatant: Although he typically avoids physical combat, 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. He is also a skilled swordsman, being able to overwhelm a Mjolnir-wielding Silver Surfer.
Robotic Drones: Thanos has designed several different types of robotic drones to serve his needs. These drones carry out many functions, including maintenance, manual labor, record-keeping, and security. These robots come in many shapes and sizes dependent on their purpose.
Thanos has access to his own fleet of starships which have included:
Stasis Rifle: An experimental weapon 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 Thunder-God Thor. The experimental version of this weapon carried charge enough for only one blast.
- Despite being an Eternal, the Deviant Syndrome he was born with makes him look more like a Deviant in appearance.
- Thanos' name comes from the Greek personification of Death Thanatos.
- All Titanians were initially shown being purple-skinned like Thanos in Iron Man #55. The idea of Thanos being different-looking from the rest of his people wasn't established until later on. The aforementioned issue was modified in reprints so only Thanos was skin-purple.
- Before going insane and naming her son Thanos, Sui-San planned to name him Dione; a fact she would reveal only to him on the day of her death.
- Thanos was born on a Wednesday.
- Thanos and his brother Eros call a truce once every year to meet and exchange gifts.
- Once a year, Thanos returns to the ruins of Titan to reminisce his early life.
- 402 Appearances of Thanos (Earth-616)
- 80 Minor Appearances of Thanos (Earth-616)
- Media Thanos (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 451 Images featuring Thanos (Earth-616)
- 74 Quotations by or about Thanos (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Thanos (Earth-616)
- Thanos (Earth-616) at Wikipedia.org
- Thanos (Earth-616) at marveldirectory.com
- Thanos (Earth-616) at corvusonline.net
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- ↑ Avengers: Celestial Quest #6
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Avengers Assemble Vol 2 #8
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Thanos Vol 2 #14
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ultimates Vol 2 #5
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Silver Surfer Vol 3 #40
- ↑ Captain Marvel #26
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #9; Nebula's entry
- ↑ All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #4; Eternals's entry
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #13: Marvel Legacy Primer Pages
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Thanos Rising #1
- ↑ Thanos Rising #2
- ↑ Thanos Rising #3
- ↑ Thanos Rising #4
- ↑ Thanos Rising #5
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Captain Marvel #33
- ↑ Warlock #9
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Warlock #10
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Avengers Annual #7
- ↑ Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #34
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #34-38
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Thanos Quest #1-2
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #44-50
- ↑ Infinity Gauntlet #1
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Infinity Gauntlet #3-6
- ↑ Behind-the-scenes in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2. Thanos revealed to possess the Reality Gem in Warlock Chronicles #1.
- ↑ Infinity Crusade #6
- ↑ Blood and Thunder
- ↑ Secret Defenders #12-14
- ↑ Cosmic Powers Unlimited #1
- ↑ Spider-Man Team-Up #2
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 4 #17
- ↑ Captain Marvel Vol 4 #18
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 Annihilation #4
- ↑ Annihilation #6
- ↑ Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1
- ↑ Thanos Imperative #6
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 Avengers Assemble Vol 2 #4
- ↑ Avengers Assemble Vol 2 #6
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #3
- ↑ 42.0 42.1 Deadpool vs. Thanos #1
- ↑ Deadpool vs. Thanos #4
- ↑ Infinity #1
- ↑ Infinity #2
- ↑ Infinity #3
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 Infinity #4
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #1
- ↑ Infinity #5
- ↑ 50.0 50.1 Infinity #6
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #23
- ↑ New Avengers Vol 3 #24
- ↑ Avengers World #21
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #40
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #41
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #44
- ↑ 57.0 57.1 Secret Wars #1
- ↑ Secret Wars #2
- ↑ Secret Wars #3
- ↑ Secret Wars #4
- ↑ Secret Wars #5
- ↑ Secret Wars #6
- ↑ Secret Wars #8
- ↑ Ultimates Vol 2 #7
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 Free Comic Book Day Vol 2016 #Civil War II
- ↑ Civil War II #1
- ↑ 67.0 67.1 Ultimates Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Ultimates Vol 2 #11
- ↑ Ultimates Vol 2 #12
- ↑ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 4 #17
- ↑ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 4 #19
- ↑ Guardians of the Galaxy #148
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #1
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #2
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #3
- ↑ 76.0 76.1 Thanos Vol 2 #5
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #6
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #7
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #8
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #9
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #11
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #12
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #13
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #15-16
- ↑ 86.0 86.1 Thanos Vol 2 #17
- ↑ Thanos Vol 2 #18
- ↑ Thanos Legacy #1
- ↑ Infinity Wars Prime #1
- ↑ Deadpool vs. Thanos #1-4
- ↑ Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files #1
- ↑ Thanos Quest #1
- ↑ Thanos vs. Hulk #2
- ↑ Silver Surfer Vol 3 #88
- ↑ Thanos: The Infinity Revelation #1
- ↑ Infinity Abyss #1
- ↑ Thanos Quest
- ↑ Legendary Star-Lord #4
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12
- ↑ Thanos #1
- ↑ Thanos Quest #2
- ↑ Thanos #7
- ↑ Deadpool #64
- ↑ Warlock #11
- ↑ Cronin, Brian (30 April 2018). Comic Legends: Was Thanos Always a Mutant?. CBR.com.
- ↑ Quasar #59
- ↑ Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #2
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12
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