- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Years
- 1.2 The Birth of the Mad Titan
- 1.3 Cosmic Cube
- 1.4 Soul Gems
- 1.5 Thanos Quest
- 1.6 Infinity Gauntlet
- 1.7 Infinity War
- 1.8 Infinity Crusade
- 1.9 Blood and Thunder
- 1.10 The Oracle
- 1.11 Cursed with Immortality
- 1.12 Quasimodo & Marlo Jones
- 1.13 Infinity Abyss
- 1.14 Samaritan
- 1.15 Annihilation
- 1.16 Cancerverse
- 1.17 The End of Death
- 1.18 Adam Warlock: The Living Tribunal
- 1.19 Infinity
- 1.20 Time Runs Out
- 1.21 Secret Wars
- 1.22 Love for Nothing
- 1.23 The God Quarry
- 1.24 Thanos Wins
- 1.25 The Final Gauntlet
- 1.26 Return
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Paraphernalia
- 5 Notes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 See Also
- 8 Links and References
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.
After that, the Cosmic Ghost Rider from an alternate future came to kill the baby, but when the Penance Stare didn't work on Thanos, the Rider decided to take the baby under his wing and change the future. The Rider tried to convince Galactus to help him raise the baby, but the cosmic being refused and instead wanted to kill the baby himself. With the Watcher bearing witness, the Rider vowed to raise the baby on his own, creating an alternate timeline where Thanos grew to become an interplanetary dictator. The Guardians of the Galaxy of said timeline tried to prevent their future by stopping Frank, but he, and eventually baby Thanos, killed them all. They were subsequently greeted by Thanos' future self, who sported the same clothes Frank used as the Punisher. He brought both of them to his future, showing Frank the authoritarian world he had built on his example, including a past version of himself living with his wife Maria. Realizing the consequences of his intervention in his life, Frank killed the future Thanos and returned his baby self to the past, erasing the alternate timeline. Death appeared before Frank to confirm that his actions had nonetheless instilled the baby Thanos with the bloodlust that would make him her agent.
Thanos grew up to have an introvert nature, but despite this and his unusual appearance, Thanos was well accepted by his peers. He was a 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 ever 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. At some point, Mephisto approached Thanos and convinced him to go to Earth and fight the Prehistoric Avengers. 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 bombarded 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.
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 timeline 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 Marvel 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 and 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.
In the Realm of Death, 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 the Elders of the Universe. 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 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, the souls of Adam Warlock, Gamora, and Pip the Troll escaped from the Soul Gem, and possessed the bodies of three humans who had recently perished.
The collected heroes battled Thanos, aided by the cosmic entities Mistress Love, Sire Hate, the Stranger, Epoch, Lord Chaos, Master Order, and Galactus. Despite their combined might, Thanos was able to defeat and imprison all of 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 Eternity (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 Eternity and Infinity, and the Infinity Gems were returned to their respective 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 the Realm of Death 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.
Quasimodo & Marlo Jones
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' uncharacteristic behavior and power levels in recent months. Thanos indicated that the "Thanos" who confronted Ka-Zar, Thor, and the Celestial Madonna had each actually been one of his Thanosi duplicates.
After defeating the Thanosi, Thanos decided to atone for the destruction of Rigel-3 caused by the Higher-Powered Thanosi defeated by Thor and agreed with Adam Warlock to aid a colony of Rigellians in evacuating their planet before Galactus could consume it. During the course of this mission, Thanos learned Galactus was collecting the Infinity Gems in an effort to end his unyielding hunger. Thanos later learned Galactus was being manipulated into releasing the Hunger, a multiversal entity capable of feeding on entire universes. Despite opposition from Thanos, Galactus unwittingly freed the entity, and when its intentions were revealed, the pair teamed-up to destroy it.
En route to the intergalactic prison known as the Kyln, Thanos met Death for the first time since his banishment from her realm. Death claimed to be worth wooing, but said Thanos had to offer her something other than death. At the Kyln, Thanos encountered the prisoners Peter Quill, who had retired from the role of Star-Lord, and Gladiator, a Strontian warrior of the Shi'ar Empire, as well as an evolved Cosmic Cube called Maker, who was rendered amnesiac and emotionally unstable by its choice to assume a humanoid female form. Thanos battled the Maker, causing its mind to shut down and leaving its power trapped within a comatose physical form. He then instructed the Kyln officers to keep the entity on life support indefinitely in order to prevent it from being reborn. The destruction freed Thanos and his fellow inmates, and he found himself accompanied by the chaos-mite Skreet in his plans to leave the remains of the prison. He discovered, however, that the destruction wrought by the battle with the Maker freed the last prisoner brought in by Peter Quill before giving up the title of Star-Lord: the Fallen One, the true first Herald of Galactus who had been held in a container deep in the Kyln. Thanos defeated the former Herald and placed him under complete mental control.
Having grown tired of the same life cycles playing out their variations over and over, Thanos decided to help Annihilus with his war against the universe, curious to see how a radical shift in it would play out. After Annihilus took interest in the Power Cosmic, Thanos had Aegis and Tenebrous defeat Galactus so he could be turned into a weapon for the Annihilation Wave.
Due to Moondragon's revelation that Annihilus actually intended to destroy both their universe and the Negative Zone, Thanos decided to release Galactus via a fail-safe he had implanted in the machine where he was trapped. Before he could finish the process, however, Drax the Destroyer impaled him from behind with his bare hand, removing his heart from his chest. The spirit of Thanos and Death later watched as Galactus destroyed the Annihilation Wave and Nova killed Annihilus.
The Mad Titan's corpse was subsequently found by an insane Adam Warlock and placed in a regenerative cocoon of his. Thinking it was housing their messiah, the Magus, the Universal Church of Truth took the cocoon to their homeworld, Sacrosanct, where Thanos was ultimately awakened by Phyla-Vell. Resurrected in a mindless state, Thanos destroyed everything and everyone in his path until Star-Lord knocked him out with a broken Cosmic Cube. The Guardians of the Galaxy took him into custody soon afterwards. When Adam Magus detonated the Church converted worlds to open the dimensional rift known as the Fault further, Thanos managed to escape captivity and attacked the Guardians, but was soon subdued again. Due to his role as Death's avatar, the Guardians decided to take Thanos with them to the Cancerverse, a universe on the far side of the Fault where Death no longer existed, in order to stop its invasion of their reality.
Once there, Thanos and the Guardians came into contact with the Machine Resistance. They revealed that Death and her avatar were killed by Lord Mar-Vell, the Cancerverse's avatar of life, in a ritual called the Necropsy, which allowed the Many-Angled Ones to enter and corrupt their reality. As they tried to figure out a way to reverse the ritual, Drax succumbed to his predestined imperative and killed Thanos again, this time by disintegrating him. The Mad Titan was resurrected shortly after, leading to the realization that Death had used the regenerative cocoon of Adam Warlock to make his form indestructible, as she needed him alive to deliver true death to the Cancerverse. Drax attempted to destroy Thanos again, but ended up being destroyed by him instead. Because Drax was also an avatar of life, Mar-Vell sensed his death and sent the Revengers to capture Thanos, intending to sacrifice him in the Necropsy.
Escaping to the site of the Necropsy rite, Thanos feigned submission to Mar-Vell and let him perform the ritual, which summoned Death instead of killing her. She proceeded to kill Mar-Vell and the other immortal denizens of the Cancerverse. Thanos begged Death to take him with her, but was completely ignored. Enraged, Thanos blamed Star-Lord for his predicament and vowed to destroy their home universe for that. With the rest of the Guardians back home, Star-Lord joined forces with Nova to keep Thanos trapped in the Cancerverse while it collapsed. However, Death could not destroy the Cancerverse as expected because Cosmic Aspects of one reality don't apply in the others. A battle over control of the broken Cosmic Cube in Star-Lord's possession started, with the resurrected Drax and Revengers joining it at different points. In the end, it was Nova who managed to get the Cube. He used it to send Thanos, Star-Lord, and Drax back home.
When the Galactic Council declared Earth off-limits, Thanos powered a group of humans to do his bidding there. Called the Zodiac, the group's orders were to amass the vast array of cosmic-level weapons found on their planet. Despite the Avengers' interference, the Zodiac managed to collect a supposed Cosmic Cube for their master. Thanos used the Cube to kill the Elders of the Universe and then became one with it. He later killed the Avengers and the Guardians as well. Unaware that he had actually banished all of his recent victims to the Cancerverse, Thanos went to Earth in order to either destroy or gain control of it. With the Elders' help, the Avengers and the Guardians returned to Earth and deactivated the Cube, allowing them to take on Thanos without problem. They subsequently handed Thanos over to the Elders. Whether he escaped or was freed from his punishment, Thanos returned to Titan.
The End of Death
Manipulated by Blackheart, Eternity trapped Death outside the universe, causing an imbalance in it since nothing could die anymore. Deadpool, who Thanos had once cursed to undeath in an effort to keep him away from his beloved Death, believed Thanos was to blame and attacked him onboard Sanctuary. Thanos consequently rescinded his curse, turning Deadpool into the only mortal creature in the universe, and killed him for the transgression. However, upon realizing Death would only speak to Deadpool, Thanos resurrected him so they both could save her.
Eventually, the pair managed to get out of the universe and encountered Eternity personally. Thanos attacked Eternity mercilessly, blaming him for all of his life's ills. Realizing this was what Death wanted all along, Deadpool attacked Thanos and was possessed by the Enigma Force, gaining the powers of Captain Universe. Using those powers, Deadpool fought Thanos on equal ground, but it was his speech during the fight that convinced Death of the validity of life's existence. Death therefore whisked Thanos away and returned to her domain, restoring mortality to the universe.
Adam Warlock: The Living Tribunal
Accompanied by a recently resurrected Adam Warlock, Thanos went on a quest to find a powerful artifact that would lead to a moment of great transfiguration in his universe. This event turned out to be simply a fusion of two universes: Earth-616 and Earth-19141. The result of this fusion was Earth-19141's Adam Warlock retroactively taking over the position of the now annihilated Earth-616's Adam Warlock. By studying the alternate Adam Warlock, Thanos discovered that his universe was turned into energy and merged into him, granting him infinite power. Unfortunately, Annihilus detected the alternate Adam Warlock's energy signature and invaded the Posiverse to capture him. Thanos tried to intervene and ended up being trapped in an empty space where nothing but him existed. With no other alternative, the Mad Titan killed himself.
Using the alternate Adam Warlock as a power source, Annihilus destroyed most of the universe by the time Thanos was brought back to life by Death. The Mad Titan rallied the survivors of Annihilus' onslaught to defeat him, but they were all killed. Barely surviving the battle himself, Thanos watched as the universe ceased to exist after Pip the Troll awakened the alternate Adam Warlock elsewhere. In the void, the alternate Adam Warlock used his powers to bring Thanos back and the Mad Titan proposed they search for the Above-All-Others, as the entity was the only one powerful enough to restore the universe. They struck a deal with the Above-All-Others and the universe was restored to a point before Annihilus' invasion, prompting the duo to do a preemptive strike that completely decimated the Annihilation Wave. After Annihilus had been dealt with, Thanos asked the alternate Adam Warlock to bring his Earth-616 counterpart back to life, to which he agreed. The alternate Adam Warlock then went on to fulfill his part of the deal with the Above-All-Others and became the new Living Tribunal.
When the Avengers left Earth in order to fight the Builders, Thanos took advantage of their absence to invade the planet with the reassembled Black Order. He dispatched them to find the Time Gem, which had disappeared after the Illuminati used the Infinity Gauntlet to prevent an incursion, and demanded a tribute from the Inhuman king Black Bolt, which was the heads of youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two. Thanos was using the tribute as a cover for his true objective: to kill his lost Inhuman-descendant son, whose actual identity and location were unknown to him. After Black Bolt denied the tribute to Corvus Glaive, Thanos went personally to Attilan only to find the Inhuman king alone, as the city had been completely evacuated. In an attempt to kill Thanos, Black Bolt attacked him with a sonic scream that activated a Terrigen Bomb and destroyed Attilan, but the Mad Titan survived. While Terrigen Mist spread across the globe, Thanos and Black Bolt emerged from the rubble and had a brief fight that ended with the Inhuman king unconscious.
After receiving intel from Proxima Midnight, who had in turn received it from Namor, that the Time Gem was in Wakanda, Thanos accompanied his armies there in order to collect the cosmic artifact. He ended up discovering 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 left with Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive while Supergiant prepared one of the Illuminati's bombs to destroy the planet once he had dealt with his progeny. In Orollan, Thanos finally met his son, Thane, and was about to kill him when he learned of the Avengers' return. When the Avengers arrived in Orollan to defeat Thanos, Ebony Maw double-crossed his master and freed Thane to let him fight his father. Thanos and Proxima, who was carrying her then deceased husband's glaive at the time, were trapped by Thane in an amber construct which left them in a state of "living death." The amber construct was later transported to Necropolis.
Because of a falling-out he had with the Illuminati for destroying an alternate world during an incursion, Namor freed Thanos, Proxima, and a resurrected Corvus to join his Cabal in order to destroy another colliding Earth, as the Illuminati were willing to let both universes die.
Eight months after its formation, 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 Earths' 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, Earth-1610. 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.
During the final incursion, the Cabal witnessed as Earth-1610's S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked the colliding Earth-616 under the false assumption that 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 to 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, saving them from Doom's wrath. Thanos' destination was a dangerous domain called 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. Thanos decided to take advantage of a moment of civil unrest, when numerous enemies of Doom joined forces to attack his castle, to take control of New Xandar's Annihilation Wave and marched towards Doomstadt. Thanos confronted Doom 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. On his way back, Galactus opened a portal back into Eternity which Thanos used to return to the Multiverse, where he would prove his love for nothing.
Thanos used the wormhole known as the Great K'ythri to escape the Exo-Space and re-enter his home reality. Soon afterwards, Thanos assaulted the Sharra-IV, a Shi'ar space station whose 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 held 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 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 the Badoon 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.
The God Quarry
After bargaining his freedom with the corrupt Nova Corpsmen who were transporting him to the Kyln, Thanos reclaimed the Black Quadrant from Corvus Glaive, and sought his father's help to find a cure for the mysterious disease that was killing him. As A'Lars didn't want to cooperate, Thanos killed him. In his weakened state, he ended up apprehended by the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, and imprisoned in a galactic gulag. Days after escaping the gulag, a heavily injured Thanos returned to the Black Quadrant only to be met by Lady Death and a Phoenix Force-powered Thane. Figuring out Death had made him ill, Thanos warned Thane to not trust her before being banished to Titan, where he spent the next few days hunting Mugrats to survive. Champion, Eros, and Nebula eventually rescued him to have his help in saving the universe from Thane.
The group escorted Thanos to the God Quarry, a place at the far reaches of the universe where fallen gods went to die, so he could claim its power and use it to defeat Thane. Despite the warnings of the Coven (a trio of witches who lived there) that he could be trapped forever if he failed to pass the Quarry's trial, Thanos entered it anyway and experienced a life of heroics. Realizing that what he was experiencing wasn't real at all, Thanos fought his way out of the illusion and acquired the power he sought. With his newfound powers, Thanos went after Thane and attacked him. Their destructive battle ultimately led them back 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 she had broken him down to make him rebuild himself and be worthy of her love again. However, Thanos didn't want her love anymore, prompting 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 the Rider at the behest of his master, an older Thanos who reigned supreme over the universe. Thanos started a fight with King Thanos, 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, deeming his older self to be 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' throne room with the intention of killing him, since she was also on a 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' will and body were obtained by his brother Starfox and presented to attendees of a meeting aboard the Sanctuary. According to the will, Thanos would resurrect himself in the body of an unrevealed being. Despite being spurned by Thanos, Hela sought to resurrect him and directed the Black Order to steal Thanos' body. After retrieving the body, the Black Order condemned the meeting's attendees to be sucked into a rip in space. However, the Black Order were unable to find Thanos' head, which was needed to complete his resurrection.
A few of the meeting's attendees, including Starfox, were able to escape the space rip and formed the Dark Guardians to stop Thanos' resurrection. They believed that Thanos would come in the body of his adopted daughter Gamora and targeted her for execution. While the Dark Guardians went after Gamora, Hela sought Thanos' head. After confronting the Collector, she learned that Thanos' head was in the possession of Annihilus and was able to force Annihilus to hand over Thanos' head.
The Dark Guardians eventually captured Gamora after following her ex-lover Nova who went to warn her about their plot. Before Gamora could be executed, Hela arrived with the Black Order and took out the Dark Guardians. She then revealed that Thanos wasn't going to come back in Gamora's body but in Starfox's. Moments later, Thanos' consciousness took over Eros. After kissing Hela, Thanos left with her and the Black Order and traveled to Knowhere where his body was being kept. Thanos lamented that Starfox wouldn't survive the transference process before beginning to transfer his consciousness into his body.
During the transference process, the Guardians and remaining Dark Guardians attacked Knowhere. Gamora decided to stop the process by killing Starfox. However, this caused Thanos to be resurrected with a broken mind. Thanos was then hit by a missile that generated a black hole, which sucked up Thanos, Hela, and Knowhere while the Guardians and Dark Guardians managed to escape, seemingly killed Thanos in the process.
Thanos was eventually brought back to life by the Exclusion, the site where Eternals were resurrected, even though he wasn't supposed to be. He managed to enter the Eternal city of Olympia using a teleportation system Eternals of Earth use to move about the planet and apparently murdered his uncle, the Prime Eternal Zuras. He then teleported to the ruined Eternal city of Titanos. Ikaris and Sprite tracked Thanos to Titanis where he confronted the pair. Ikaris battled Thanos as they traveled through time via Titanos' warped position in time. When Ikaris was about to be killed by Thanos, Sprite created an illusion of Ikaris to distract Thanos while she and Ikaris escaped to Olympia to warn the other Eternals of Thanos' return.
- I am Thanos of Titan. I have conquered worlds. I have bent reality around my will. Men cower at the mere mention of my name. And now... now you have imprisoned me... mocked me... disrespected me. And here you stand, ready to take advantage to my condition. Ready to finish me. Well, if I am to fall, I will die showing you all that Thanos will not be disrespected. Thanos is still a conqueror. Thanos is still a warrior. Thanos is still a god. And you will either bow or be broken!
Thanos is extremely prideful, violent, deceptive, 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 its 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. However, Thanos often speaks in a sophisticated manner with a calm and collected demeanor, described by the Silver Surfer as professorial. Thanos has also shown an appreciation for farming and seeking knowledge.
Despite his overall megalomaniac personality, Thanos doesn't wish to destroy everything, even willing to join forces with heroes when he perceives a threat more dangerous than himself. He worked together with Adam Warlock to stop Magus and the Goddess, teamed-up with Thor and Genis-Vell to defeat Walker, teamed up with Adam Warlock, Gamora, Spider-Man and the Defenders to defeat the Thanosi clones, thwarted the Hunger entity with the help of Galactus, helped the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to stop the invasion of the Cancerverse, and worked with Deadpool to release Death from Eternity's prison. He also has a genuine respect for Mar-Vell and Adam Warlock. Thanos even helped Mar-Vell in his journey to the afterlife, and he once considered Adam his only friend.
Powers and Abilities
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.
Godlike 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 Thor 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, tango with the mighty Tyrant. He was also able to beat in melee fight the Hulk power-enhanced Annihilus. Thanos can also augment his strength with his cosmic energy when needed. Thanos was also able to lift the Galactus Engine and recover it from the depths of Ego the Living Planet, destroy a planet in a battle with Drax (in his first incarnation), he was even able to fight hand-to-hand with a Phoenix Force empowered Thane with amped with the God Quarry. Thanos punched Thane into the planet they were fighting above and destroyed it by charging through him..
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. He was able to dodge a Power Gem enhanced Champion of the Universe.
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.
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 now 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, survived being subjected to an artificial 2-light year wide black hole, and withstood being stabbed in the chest by Wolverine's Adamantium claws without exhibiting any discomfort.
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 is banned by Death itself from entering its realm, rendering him truly immortal. He is able to die but he will always return, no matter the severity of any injury.
Regenerative 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, such as a heart.
Energy Manipulation & Projection: 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 using 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 graze Galactus armor and blast the Devourer of Worlds off his feet and send him across the moon. By collaborating with the In-Betweener they together released the latter from his prison created by Master Order and Lord Chaos.
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 managed to shut down the Maker's mind, turned the Fallen One into his herald,  made the Hulk attack his fellow Avengers, and forced Conner Sims (the Anti-Man) to destroy his surroundings. Thanos also once attempted to destroy the mind of Drax the Destroyer with a powerful psychic attack called the Time-Mind Sync Warp, that plunges the victim's mind into a psychedelic dimension of insanity, causing death or incapacitation.
Matter Manipulation & Control: Thanos has demonstrated some ability to manipulate matter on the atomic level, similarly to Earthborn Eternals. On one occasion, he turned the Skrull Skragg, into stone. He also used his matter manipulation ability on Moondragon to purge the muscle controlling parasites implanted by Annihilus from her body.
Mystic Capabilities: Thanos is skilled in magic, as he has cursed Deadpool with immortality.
Flight: Thanos is acapable of flight after being empowered by the God Quarry.
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: 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.
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.
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.
Thanos has access to his own fleet of starships which have included:
- 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 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 on his early life.
- 380 appearance(s) of Thanos (Earth-616)
- 133 minor appearance(s) of Thanos (Earth-616)
- 252 mention(s) of Thanos (Earth-616)
- 582 image(s) of Thanos (Earth-616)
- 75 quotation(s) by or about Thanos (Earth-616)
- 9 item(s) used/owned by Thanos (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Thanos (Earth-616) at Wikipedia.org
- Thanos (Earth-616) on marveldirectory.com
- Thanos (Earth-616) on corvusonline.net