In the year 2008, Iron Man arrived in theaters across the globe, which signified the Big Bang of the Marvel universe. The superhero film opened up the cinematic universe that we’ve come to know and love. With Marvel being in its third phase, there’s a certain figure that has been lurking in the shadows of every Marvel film since the end of the first phase. That lurking figure happens to be the Dark Lord, or the Mad Titan himself, the mighty Thanos.
The purple-skinned villain made his debut in the post credits of the film The Avengers in 2012. Since then, he has made his prescience more well known in the cinematic universe. After seeing Thanos make more appearances in the films, we have to wonder, what’s there to know about Thanos? He’s mean, huge, powerful and he’s going to be an epic villain when Infinity War comes to theaters. Well, there’s a lot more to Thanos than what we know. In fact, without further delay, here are 15 things you didn’t know about the mighty Marvel villain named Thanos.
15 A Familiar Face
From his appearances in several films, like Guardians of the Galaxy and Age of Ultron, we've gotten a glimpse here and there of his terrifying and booming voice and persona. While we’ve gotten to know who Thanos is and how he thinks, not many people know the man behind Thanos. In fact, the actor who plays Thanos might be someone you already know.
The original actor for Thanos was actor and stuntman Damion Poitier, who could be seen playing the role of the villain in the post credits for The Avengers. Poitier has since been replaced by another actor who is better known, that actor being Josh Brolin. Brolin has been known for his roles in movies such as Gangster Squad, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Inherent Vice and his first acting role in the cult classic The Goonies. As of now, Brolin not only does the voice of Thanos, but he also does the motion capture for him too.
Brolin does a great job at making Thanos quite intimidating as well as keeping to himself, making the character appear as if the Mad Titan has other things on his mind... more sinister things.
14 A Thanos Christmas
This was very interesting to find while doing research on Thanos. Evidently, the Mad Titan, in order to ensure the sanity and reasoning skills of Gamora, his “daughter,” he tried to give her a normal childhood. What was considered normal for the future assassin? Having celebrated birthdays and Christmases every year.
That’s right! Thanos celebrated Christmas with his daughter. This strange act occurred in the holiday comic known as Yule Memory, which appears in the collection of comics known as the Marvel Holiday Special Vol. 1. It was released in 1993 and was written by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim while the comic was inked by Terry Austin. It’s just so strange to see someone like Thanos, a villain who killed half of the universe’s population, celebrating a joyous holiday such as Christmas.
I will say though, from reading a few panels of the Christmas comic, it warms my heart seeing a sinister villain such as Thanos being kind to an assassin like Gamora. Since it’s the holiday season, I recommend finding this comic to read.
13 He's In Love With Death... Literally!
When we think of romantic relationships in the Marvel universe, we think of relationships like Spider-Man and Mary Jane or Wolverine and Jean Grey. This is, by far, one of the most interesting relationships I have ever heard of. Thanos is literally in love with Death. How is that even possible?
In the Marvel universe, Death is a woman who has almost the same amount of power as Eternity, another character who happens to be one of the most powerful characters in the entire Marvel universe. Her existence is the prime reason why Thanos destroyed half of the universe's population.
Having fallen in love for her, Thanos wanted to impress the powerful being, which prompted him to search for the Infinity Stones for the Infinity Gauntlet, which would be his source for unimaginable power. I guess you could say that Death is a lady who has a desire for much more valuable things than jewelry.
12 He's A Rip-Off
If you’re a fan of Marvel or DC, you’ll know that there are several heroes and villains that are rip-offs of each other. For example, there’s Green Arrow and Hawkeye, Dr. Fate and Doctor Strange, heck, there’s Clayface and Sand Man, two characters who basically have the same powers. Although rip-offs are something to expect in Marvel, DC or any other comic company, there’s one that was unintentional that connects to our favorite purple baddy.
When Jim Starlin was given the chance to write an issue for an Iron Man comic, Starlin thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce some characters he had thought up, and Thanos was one of these characters. When we look at Thanos in regards to how he could pose as a rip-off to another character, we think of the DC villain Darkseid, who was created by Jack Kirby three years before Thanos’ birth.
Ironically enough, Starlin admitted that it was a rip-off, but not of Darkseid, rather another DC character known as Metron. I don’t know… Thanos is pretty identical to Darkseid, but I’ll take your word for it, Starlin.
11 Thanos, The Father
After seeing the 2014 release of the film Guardians of the Galaxy, we know that Thanos has children; although they don’t exactly strike a resemblance to the Mad Titan. In the Marvel comics, Thanos is known for having several children, Gamora being one of the main ones, considering she’s Thanos’ favorite daughter and has most of the spotlight, but there are several other children who are unknown.
Even though Thanos has several other children besides Gamora, there is one that stands out from the rest… Thane. He is an Inhuman as well as the biological son of Thanos. Although he’s actually the son of the Mad Titan, there is some tension between father and son, considering Thanos had told him that he was planning on killing him. The two eventually fought in the comic known as Infinity, which takes place in the universe of Earth-616.
In the end, Thanos is a straight up terrible father. Might want to recommend Dr. Phil to our purple villain.
10 He Was Conceived In A Psychology Class
Sometimes, when we’re out and about sticking to our normal routines, an idea sparks from within our mind. Whether it be to invent something or to look into it, we have these moments when we’re doing the simplest things, like combing our hair or even riding a train or taxi to work. For Jim Starlin, the creation of Thanos occurred in his college psychology class.
During the young Starlin’s time inside his psychology class, he was studying the concept of death, also known by the Greek name Thanatos. From there, he came up with the idea of Thanos, a villain who happened to be obsessed with Death itself.
He then went on to infuse his character into an issue of the comic Iron Man. Since then, his character has become an important key figure in the Marvel universe. It’s interesting to see though how a character like Thanos came to be.
9 Squirrel Attack
If you were to tell me that one of the weirdest superheroes ever created took down one of the most powerful villains in the comic book universe, I’d tell you that you were nuts! Well, speaking of nuts, a certain squirrel-themed superhero did take down one of the most powerful villains— what?!
In the Marvel universe, a superhero named Squirrel Girl (created by Steve Ditko and Will Murray) took down the mighty Thanos. How in the hell did a squirrel-themed super do that? Well… nobody knows! In the holiday-themed comic, Days of X-Mas Past, it’s unexplained how exactly she defeated Thanos, but she did. If anything, it’s more a case for using your imagination. I like to think that Squirrel Girl defeated Thanos, a giant, brute villain, by using a crap-ton of squirrels. Yeah, I used 'crap-ton' to describe quantity, deal with it.
With Squirrel Girl being Thanos’ ultimate defeat, do you think she’ll make an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War?
8 The Thanos-copter
During Marvel’s early years, there were several strange creations that came about, such as The Asbestos Lady and Lockjaw the Giant Bulldog. Another example, which includes our famed purple foe, is the Thanos-copter. Excuse me? Yes! You heard right! Thanos had his very own helicopter!
In the comic book, Spidey Super Stories #39, you’ll find Thanos up to no good by trying to retrieve the cosmic cube, although he has a difficult time getting it with Hellcat and Spider-Man preventing him. Thanos in this story seems like a pretty normal villain, considering at the end of the story, he gets arrested and put into jail. The Thanos of today could’ve easily gotten the cosmic cube, let alone escaped jail. He’s a galactic being for god's sake!
It’s interesting seeing this though, considering someone who worked for Marvel at the time thought this was a good idea for someone who’s a being from space.
7 Deviant Syndrome
At this point, I honestly feel bad for Thanos. He can’t hook up with Death because she’s not that into him, his children hate him, he destroyed half the universe for nothing (because his girl-crush rejected him, keep up), Thanos just has a rough life in general. Well, there might be a reason as to why Thanos is the way he is.
When he was born, he had a disability known as Deviant Syndrome, which basically meant he would develop the appearance of Deviants, his people's enemy. The syndrome had caused Thanos to have hide-like skin and to have a massive body as he grew.
If you thought that was bad for someone to endure, it gets a lot worse. His own mother, Sui-San, when she discovered his condition, wanted to end his life, considering he had the appearance of a Deviant. Fortunately for Thanos, he lived and grew up, but you have to feel sorry for him for having such a rough youth.
6 Defeat Is Inevitable
Before I go on, let me ask you a quick question. If you were a powerful being who was so strong that you could do anything for anyone, but they didn’t appreciate anything you did for them, how would you feel? Ok, hold on to your answer...
With all the power he had, he only wanted to impress Death. He wiped out half of the universe and he even took on deities, but after everything he did, she still wasn’t impressed. Infuriated by this, he was blinded by love and rejection allowing his daughter, Nebula, to take the gauntlet away from him, ceasing his powers over the gauntlet.
He accepted his defeat instead of fighting back, knowing that he had fallen and he didn’t want to get back up. Luckily for him, the Avengers and Adam Warlock stopped Nebula and took back the gauntlet.
Now, how similar is your response to Thanos'?
5 He's Related To An Avenger
A lot of us have siblings that we think are better than us. Unfortunately for Thanos, he had a brother that was basically perfect in every way. His brother was Eros, better known by his Avengers title, Starfox; he was fun-loving, carefree, a ladies' man... Then, unfortunately for Eros, things changed.
When Thanos killed their mother upon his attack on Titan, their home world, Eros matured and decided to fight alongside the survivors of Titan as well as the familiar group of heroes known as the Avengers. Fortunately, the Avengers and Eros defeated Thanos, which signified his first major defeat.
After this occurred, Eros became an official Avenger, staying with them for several months before leaving to go find his niece, Nebula, a familiar figure who made an appearance in the film Guardians of the Galaxy as the sister of Gamora.
4 He Gives People A Purpose
If you watched Guardians of the Galaxy,— by the way, spoiler alert coming ahead— then you know that Drax the Destroyer wanted to kill Ronan the Accuser out of revenge for his family’s death. In the end though, you find out, after Ronan dies, that he was a puppet this whole time and Thanos was actually the one who’s responsible for the death of Drax’s family members.
What many don't know is that Drax was created to stop Thanos.
In the comics, Drax used to be a man from Earth known as Arthur Douglas. When he and his family were driving out in the Mojave Desert, presumably on vacation, Thanos’ ship was surveilling the area. To keep hidden, the Mad Titan blew up Douglas’ car, thinking they saw the ship. While this happened, a being known as Mentor took Douglas’ astral form and placed it inside a humanoid figure made from the Earth. Once he did that, Mentor had granted the body powers that were enough to take on Thanos, thus creating Drax the Destroyer.
3 He Murdered Big Named Heroes
When you have the Infinity Gauntlet and ultimate power, there’s no doubt that you trump most of Marvel’s heroes in strength. Thanos may have killed billions of people, possibly trillions if he destroyed half of the universe, but the worst thing he could’ve done was personally murder a hero… oh wait, he did do that.
Thanos has murdered several big named heroes; heroes such as Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Scarlet Witch and Vision. That’s not the end of it though, because he has taken down incredibly powerful heroes such as Nova, Quasar and Cloak. When Drax the Destroyer’s family was killed and soon lived on through Drax, he was murdered too by Thanos.
Even though these heroes were murdered by Thanos, I don’t necessarily believe that they will die in the MCU as well, but you never truly know, considering the writers will sometimes go off the comic panel by panel. Just look at The Walking Dead... damn Negan and Glenn.
2 Thanos vs. The Gods
What happens when you find all the Infinity Stones and you put them into a gauntlet? You become as powerful as a god, that’s what happens! So, if Thanos is as powerful as a god with the gauntlet, what’s the next step for him? Well, he decided to take on powerful deities in the universe. I’m not talking about people as tough as the Avengers, I’m talking about real power.
Thanos, wanting to defeat the deities, decided to persuade two powerful beings to help him take down the planet-eater himself, Galactus. Successfully, Thanos won the battle and went on to fight other beings, like The Stranger, Eternity and plenty more. Believe it or not, Lord Chaos and Master Order were so intimidated by Thanos because of the gauntlet’s power that they manipulated the fate of the universe by creating the Avengers as well as Adam Warlock, who would become the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe.
Sounds like Thanos is really stirring the pot on this one.
1 He's The Ultimate Gamechanger To The MCU
If you haven’t picked up on how important Thanos is in the MCU, I’ll basically wrap this up for you.
Through all the Marvel films that have been released, from Iron Man to Doctor Strange, we’ve gotten a sense of the films building up to the blockbuster film Avengers: Infinity War. Once we get there though, what happens after that? I hate to say it, but we’ll lose some big named heroes.
You may be thinking to yourself, “No! I don’t want to lose Chris Evans as Captain or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man!” I know, I don’t want them to go either, they’re fantastic, but there’s a little saying I like to think about and it goes like this: all good things must come to an end eventually, but the next experience awaits. Even though we might lose some heroes in Infinity War, due to Thanos coming to the big screen, there’s hope afterwards.