Thanos is also known as “the Mad Titan,” because he is quite insane. The character has terrified the hearts and minds of Marvel Comics readers for years, and we finally got to see the Marvel Movie Universe version last year during Avengers: Infinity War. We met again earlier this year for Avengers: End Game where he was actually defeated. The comic book version of the Infinity War and End Game sagas are known as The Infinity Gauntlet, and that version of Thanos was a lot more ruthless. If you thought the disintegrations were bad, check this out: He turned Thor into a glass cube that he then shattered, he turned Wolverine’s Adamantium bones into rubber (Wolverine is sometimes an Avenger in the comics), suffocated Cyclops, caused Cloak to explode, the entire West Coast of the US and Japan were sunken into the ocean, and…you get the point. All of the above characters were eventually restored because Thanos was finally defeated in that storyline. However, the movie version took it a lot easier on us. So, who exactly is Thanos?
Thanos is one of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel Universe. The character was first introduced in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973). His backstory is that he was born on Saturn’s moon, Titan, the son of Eternals A’lars and Sui-San, and brother of Eros of Titan. He was born with the Deviant gene, which gave him a different appearance from other Eternals and also more power and intelligence. He was basically a mutant. His family was shocked by his appearance and his mother, driven by the belief that he would destroy the universe (which obviously wasn’t wrong), went mad and tried to kill him. However, A’lars stopped her.
Thanos went on to live his early years as a pacifist and had dreams of becoming a scientist, despite neglectful parents. However, signs of his true nature showed up every now and then. For example, he liked to draw dead animals. By the time he reached adolescence, he developed a fascination with destruction and death. He began worshiping and even fell in love with Mistress Death, the physical embodiment of death. That influence, who first appeared to him in the form of a little girl, led him to begin killing people, including his own mother, and animals, in search of the true meaning of his genetic makeup. As an adult, Thanos used his extreme intelligence to augment his physical strength and powers and became a pirate, sired several children, and swore off killing.
As the years went by, Thanos couldn’t suppress his true nature and returned to his home planet where he was once again visited by the embodiment of death. This time death was a woman and demanded that he prove that he loved her. He went on another murdering spree. This time, his mission was to kill all of his offspring. During this mission, Thanos realized that he was the only one who could see Mistress Death and this drove him even crazier (as if he wasn’t already nuts). Thanos has had encounters with most of the popular characters in the MCU during his adventures.
Thanos life revolved around impressing death and amassing as much power as he could in order to slaughter as many people as he could for the sake of his love. Eventually, he got a hold of all the soul gems and put together the Infinity Gauntlet (the glove), which gave him god-like powers. You get the point, right? He was eventually defeated by Nebula (who is his granddaughter in the comics). She manages to get a hold of the gauntlet and undo all of his destruction while a distraught Thanos retired to a quiet life as a farmer for a bit (this is the MCU so you know he returned to a life of evil at some point). So, in the comics, he really was just a psycho killer with no rational rhyme or reason other than his love for Death. In the film, Thanos was neither love struck for Death nor hell bent on destruction. His plan was based on his desire to “save” the universe. He felt that killing half of all life would benefit the universe since resources were being depleted. We obviously saw that that did not work out so well for him either in the end.
Call me a cynic, but Thanos’ plan in the movies was not entirely wrong. What if we could rid the world of racist, sexist, homophobic, egregiously violent people, and people who are generally counterproductive to a happy, thriving society with the snap? I mean, with a few tweaks and in the right person’s hands that plan could actually work. ‘Nuff said.
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