In many ways, we are living in the age of Thanos. Ever since the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan has become the single most feared villain in the entire Marvel Universe.
Think about it: in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was only the human race that faced an end to its existence. In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it was merely the entire planet Earth that faced the end of its days. When it comes to Thanos, though, one snap of his fingers wiped out half of all life in the universe. There's definitely a good reason to be scared of this guy, which doesn't exactly put us in the position of wanting to challenge this god-like monster. And yet, we must.
Like it or not, there are quite a few facts about Thanos that simply do not add up. This is supposed to be a guy who literally holds the power of the cosmos in the palm of his hand. One would expect some consistency from the Mad Titan, not to mention a resume basically free from any fatal flaws. Upon examination, however, we find the opposite is true: the holder of the Infinity Gauntlet is actually full of inconsistencies and plot holes. No need to be saddened by these realization, howevher, as maybe some of these flaws can be exploited by our heroes in Avengers 4. Tony Stark, take some notes!
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Thanos We All Choose To Ignore!
The earliest origins of the Thanos mythology happened in the comics, of course. His nickname of “The Mad Titan” comes from the fact that he was born in the super-advanced society living on Saturn’s moon, Titan. All of those people were not only superpowered and super-smart, but also peaceful and often served as heroes. Thanos' father was Mentor, and his brother was Starfox. Both fought alongside The Avengers many a time.
How did this black sheep appear in this flock? Apparently, he carried a recessive “deviant” gene which sort of made him a bad seed. Apparently, a planet of god-like good guys couldn’t do a thing about it. It doesn’t really add up, does it?
In the comics, Thanos’ motivations for wiping out half of all life in the universe are a little bit different than his supposedly more altruistic cinematic version. The Mad Titan was, in fact, a sort of zealot. The object of his religious fanaticism wasn’t a higher being of light, however, but Death herself.
Thanos literally was in love with the personification of life’s end. That whole "finger-snap away 50% of all life in the universe" thing was basically an engagement ring in his eyes-- not that she returned his regard. Oddly, however, Thanos also secured his godhood so he could have eternal life.
As if things could get more confusing about the comic book version of Thanos, the story of his childhood comes along to throw yet another wrench into the works. It seems that the young Thanos wasn’t always into mayhem and destruction. In fact, he started out his early years as a self-proclaimed pacifist.
Yep, there was once a more innocent Mad Titan who styled himself as the bringer of better things through patience, tolerance, and perhaps even love. What happened? Did he start experimenting with the afterlife in college? Maybe took a few philosophy courses arguing against the continuation of life? The common theory is that the Deviant gene kicked in sometime after puberty, but it's still an inconsistency.
The Avengers are a tough team, but they are obviously not tough enough to defeat a being who single-handedly controls the basic powers of our reality. Let’s get real – it’s pretty much like fighting against the almighty. The odds would not be good!
Did Thanos really need all six Infinity Stones to take on the Marvel Heroes? He acquired the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. That alone is stated to have the ability to wipe out entire civilizations in a single blast. In the very first act of Avengers: Infinity War, he beats the Asgardians back to collect the Space Stone, which allows him to travel anywhere in the universe instantly; total power, total mobility. This also should have been enough to defeat just about anybody!
Another one of the Mad Titan’s uncanny abilities is a knack for getting entire planetary races to fall lockstep behind him. In The Avengers, for example, he uses the Chitauri as his own personal army to subjugate Earth. In the comics, species after species backs his mad quest without question. Some may do this out of fear, but many are planets far more advanced than Earth – the one place he seems to be unable to tame.
Yes, we have some great superheroes on the front line defending our world, but some of these planets seem to have entire races of superpowered beings who just fall in line. Even mighty Xandar fell to Thanos, but not humble Earth? We keep looking at the math, but it doesn't add up.
Thanos is constantly acquiring more and more power. It’s not enough he has two or three Infinity Stones – he’s got to have them all. He wasn’t content just war-lording his way from planet to planet, he’s got to be able to snuff half of all life out in a snap. And yet, he keeps making choices which seem to be a check against his own power.
He keeps hiring incompetents like Loki and The Black Order. Thor almost takes the Mad Titan out with a single hammer throw, even though Thanos is already pretty much the most powerful being ever. What is it with this guy? Does he secretly want to lose?
When one possesses all six of the Infinity Stones, they have the unfettered ability to control reality, including intellectual capacities. This begs a question: is snapping half of the universe’s life out of existence the best plan this guy can come up with to solve the overpopulation problem? Even if we got a bunch of "lowly" human scientists to look at the issue, other solutions would arise.
This arbitrary mass destruction feels more like the small mind of an all-too-human dictator rather than somebody coming close to rising to “supreme being” status. Note to Thanos: next time you go for a big cosmic plan, get someone wiser than Hollywood writers to come up with it!
Love is known as the one emotion that can change lives, change hearts, and alter the course of history into a far more wonderful path. How does the bloodiest warlord of all time feel such an emotion? When attacking Gamora’s planet, his troops are busy wiping out half of the population. Then, he takes a shine to young Gamora and adopts her on the spot, loving her for the rest of her life – a life that he himself ultimately ends up taking.
How in the world can Thanos love this innocent girl and still live with himself after destroying not only her family, but half her race? This is just another contradiction that leaves us scratching our heads.
Imagine you finally get the thrill of your life; the fulfillment of your most sacred goals – and then you do a full 180 and walk away from the prize you’ve had your eyes on for so very long. That’s exactly what Thanos does in the comics.
Early in his story, the Mad Titan is not only defeated, he is dispatched with finality. Crossing over into the afterlife, he finally gets to hang with the one he loves. Still he doesn't find happiness and eventually comes back from the beyond to start up his shenanigans and try to impress her again.
Once Thanos executes his name in the original comics version of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, it turns out the grim reaper is less than impressed with the job he does. Heartbroken, he allows Warlock and other heroes to undo the damage he did. After all that happens, he decides to join the Infinity Watch, a team of superpowered cosmic heroes who protect reality from forces even more destructive than the Mad Titan himself. He even helps other heroes stop Tyrant, an old herald of Galactus.
How many times can this guy change his mind on something as far-reaching as the universal notions of good and evil? You may not want to ask, because his mood swings get worse from here.
Now that Thanos has switched to the side of good,everybody thought he was the most reformed supervillain of all time. Nope! After the whole Tyrant storyline, The Mad Titan is back up to his evil ways. In one storyline, he joins forces with one of Thor’s most powerful foes, Mangog, destroying an entire planet in the process-- sound familiar? Later, in the huge Annihilation crossover event, Thanos teams up with the destructive Annhiulus.
Eventually in that tale, he turns on the winged Negative Zone demon, in yet another turnabout. We could list more of this “god’s” back and forth moves between good and evil, but we mere mortals can’t take it anymore!
If there is any truth to the old saying, “we are our own worst enemies,” then perhaps Thanos offers the ultimate example to prove the adage. In the second volume of his eponymous comic book title, the Mad Titan takes a trip millions of years into the future to find that an older version of himself, named King Thanos, has taken over the universe and almost snuffed out not half – but almost all life in the universe.
The whole thing eventually makes the Thanos of the present so sick that he uses his power not only to defeat King Thanos, but to make sure his timeline never happens. Sounds like this “god” really has serious self-loathing issues!
Back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the godlike Thanos has some very peculiar vulnerabilities. In a pivotal scene, the Guardians of the Galaxy track the Mad Titan down to the Knowhere, as he's taking the Reality Stone from The Collector. There’s a moment where Drax, Gamora, Star-Lord, and Mantis are right on top of him, close enough to defeat him – by having snuck up on this supposedly god-like bad guy.
Only in the last moment when he’s taken the Reality Stone does he take control of the situation and quickly defeat the team. Sneak up on him? Really? Couldn’t the writers come up with some super-reason that such an unlikely scenario would make at least a little sense?
The first scene of Avengers: Infinity War is almost as impactful as the hugely emotional “finger snap” scene. Thanos shows up on the Asgardian refugee ship carrying the survivors of Thor: Ragnarok and just wipes up the floor with Loki, the Thunder God, and “the strongest one there is” himself – The Hulk. It’s pretty crazy seeing all these heavyweights knocked down like so many bowling pins.
In the midst of this devastating setback, a fallen Heimdall opens the Rainbow Bridge one last time and allows Hulk to escape back to Earth. However, Thanos has just taken the Space Stone from Loki. Couldn’t he just use it to create a wormhole and prevent Hulk’s escape?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Thanos is presented as a sort of cosmic-scale radical environmental activist. His whole plan to end half of all life is motivated by a need to control the dangerous overpopulation problem threatening to ruin this reality. In his mind this would cause so much pain, and he just has to prevent it.
If he’s so concerned with the pain of others, just what has been doing all these years: conquering planets, destroying countless lives, leaving throngs of sorrowful survivors to mourn? Doesn’t that cause a lot of pain, too? This seems to be a case of finding a disease for the cure. It makes us wonder if Thanos’ supposedly “beneficial” quest isn’t tinged with more than just a little sadism.
Thanos has many years on his quest to control the universe’s overpopulation problem. On the way, he has met all sorts of resistance, including from the Avengers. This is understandable, as it’s not like he had the power of a god from day one. He needed to collect Infinity Stones first.
However, before he had a single one in his possession, he seemed able to take on both Xandar and Ronin fairly easily. His quick takedown of The Collector - an Elder of the Universe - seems a little too simple. These are very powerful beings we are talking about – almost certainly more powerful than the Mad Titan. Yet they fall one after the other, seemingly with little resistance. Maybe he used the time stone to in the future to make a past self tougher than it was?
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos’ insanity is traced back to an original event which traumatized his brain so much that it drove him in his quest to cull half of all life in existence. It all started on his home planet of Titan. His race of people, so advanced that they themselves already had god-like qualities, suffered from the consequences of overpopulation. This is a strange choice.
These were people who had conquered interstellar travel. Were there no more planets to colonize? How about living in space ships? Perhaps create a pocket universe or even just shrink everybody? It seems very unlikely that such a superior species would come up so short on their problem-solving skills.
In the comics, Thanos has earned the nickname “The Mad Titan," and to be fair, he does seem pretty crazy. Besides all of his incredibly destructive impulses, this is a guy who basically started a cult in the service of the grim reaper.
Along the way, however, this “insane” warrior has actually acted with stunning brilliance. He accumulated power not just from natural metahuman abilities, but through his cunning and unmatched mind for military strategy. Someone who was truly insane would not be able to keep such a focused drive in any goal, much less the successful conquest of galaxies. Look to Earth’s worst madmen – in the end, they always lose under the weight of their unbalanced faculties.
It’s still hard to believe just how easily the Incredible Hulk was beaten down like a crying baby in the opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War. This is the same Hulk who beat the stuffing out of Loki in the first Avengers movie. Regardless, Thanos wiped the floor with ol’ Greenskin in nothing flat and it set the tone for a very grim movie.
Now fast forward a bit to the Battle on Titan. Here, Thanos has fully taken control of the Power Stone and the Space Stone, yet the depleted group of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Drax somehow are able to hold him at bay while Mantis and Doctor Strange worked his mind.
Even though it has already been established that Thanos is a great strategist – and make no mistake, he certainly is – there’s a series of weak planning by the opposition that seem to keep taking him by surprise. How is it, for example, that a handful of tired heroes take advantage of him on Titan? What about that whole Battle of Wakanda defense strategy? Could Thanos not figure out a way to short-circuit a Terran energy field? One would think he could have just blasted the whole site from space and pick up the Mind Stone from the rubble.
The idea that the genius intergalactic conqueror could keep getting outflanked by mere mortals is a bit much to swallow!
What other problems have you noticed with Thanos in Avengers? Let us know in the comments!