Thanos is one of the greatest “Big Bads” in not just Marvel, but in comics in general. He’s a terrifyingly powerful entity that is capable of destroying galaxies and leaving a trail of horror in his waste.
Born on Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons, Thanos is a member of the Eternals, a race of divine, godlike beings.
Since debuting in Iron Man #55 all the way back in February of 1973, the Mad Titan has been a thorn in the side of many heroes including the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and his archenemy: Adam Warlock.
His most prominent period was during the Infinity Gauntlet saga in 1991, when he menaced the entire universe while clutching all six Infinity Gems. He exterminated half of the universe, turned Thor into glass, suffocated Cyclops, and turned Wolverine into rubber all in order to impress the Mistress Death.
We all know that Thanos is all set to be the main villain in the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War and couldn’t be more excited. After brief appearances in The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy, we are so close to seeing what Thanos brings to the table. Before that, let’s take a look at some lesser-known Thanos facts.
Here are the 15 Things About Thanos That Even Die-Hard Fans Don’t Know.
15 He Can Lift Thor's Hammer (But Not Because He's Worthy)
“Whoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” That’s what the inscription on Mjolnir reads. In actuality, there should be an asterisk that reads, “Unless they are wielding the Infinity Stones.”
Despite definitely being deemed “unworthy” to lift the enchanted weapon, Thanos could hold it if he also possessed the Infinity Gauntlet. With the abilities of the Power Gem, which grants its user supreme strength, and Reality Gem, that reshapes what is real and what isn’t, the Mad Titan would have no problem.
The only thing is, though, that he would have no use for it. Mjolnir may be an extremely powerful tool, but it pales in comparison to the combined power lying within his Gauntlet.
14 His Original Actor Was Always Meant To Be Recast
The first post-credit scene in The Avengers blew a lot of people’s minds. It was the first time the world had seen Thanos on the big screen. Although he didn’t say anything, his coy smirk told the viewer everything that they needed to know: Thanos was here.
For this brief scene, Thanos was played by the relatively unknown actor Damion Poitier. Poitier didn’t really have the credits that most stars in the MCU have. So, it’s not surprising that Marvel was always open to replacing him-- even back in 2012.
In an interview with MTV News, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios said, “I think we feel pretty free to recast. That was cast for literally that one shot. Depending on what the role requires from future movies, we'll go from there.”
Since then, Josh Brolin has taken up the Gauntlet and seems to be a perfect choice.
13 His Biggest Weakness Is... Insecurity
Thanos doesn’t have a kryptonite that harms him and his powers work just fine against the color yellow, but he does have one big weakness: insecurity.
Despite being the single most powerful creature in existence on more than one occasion, Thanos always loses. He’s killed millions upon millions, had heroes cower at his feet, and yet he always takes the “L.” How can that be?
It’s because deep down, Thanos doesn’t want to win. Every time he is about to clinch a victory, he gets in his head and let’s victory slip from his grasp. According to Adam Warlock, this stems from Thanos believing that he doesn’t deserve to be a supreme being. He gives himself the yips on a cosmic level.
12 He's A Darkseid Rip-Off
When Jim Starlin created Thanos, he took a whole lot of inspiration from his hero Jack Kirby. Kirby had left Marvel for DC and was doing some of the most innovative work of his career with the creation of the New Gods. To create Marvel’s own celestial baddie, they looked to DC’s ultimate villain: Darkseid.
It’s safe to say that the two share more than a passing resemblance. Thankfully, Starlin had the foresight to at least swap the skin tone from grey to purple. Thanos’ quest in life is eerily reminiscent of Darkseid’s. You see, Thanos is all about bringing death to the universe and Darkseid’s main goal is to find the Anti-Life Equation. They're two peas in a pod.
This is why it made total sense when DC and Marvel joined forces to create the Amalgam Universe, the two super-heavyweights combined to form Thanoseid.
11 His First Design Was Based On Another DC Character
Although the similarities to Darkseid are as clear as day, that wasn’t always going to be the case. When Jim Starlin originally had the idea for the Mad Titan, he was inspired by another Fourth World character: Metron.
Yep, the scrawny, non-threatening New God was what Starlin had in mind. It's a far cry from the hulking monster that comic book fans have grown to love. It’s doubtful that Thanos would have taken off had Starlin’s design got the go ahead.
Starlin credits his editor Roy Thomas for the drastic change. Upon seeing the Metron-esque design, Thomas said, "Beef him up! If you're going to steal one of the New Gods, at least rip off Darkseid, the really good one!”
Pretty much the only remaining influence from Metron is Thanos’ hovering throne.
10 He And Deadpool Have The Same Crush
Now for some good old-fashioned Marvel Comics romance. There’s one lady in the entire universe who both Thanos and Darkseid have tried to woo-- Mistress Death.
The entire reason why Thanos acquired the Infinity Gauntlet and went on his universe-wide killing spree was to impress Death. The total annihilation of all living things; who wouldn’t want a gift like that?
Maybe the musclebound jock isn’t her type, or maybe Death prefers someone who can make her laugh. That’s where the Merc with the Mouth comes in.
After a series of near-death experiences, Deadpool fell in love with the Mistress as well. He became smitten with her because almost dying made him feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanos, the big bully, wasn’t having that and cursed him with immortality. Poor Wade.
9 He Celebrates Christmas
The same Titan who wreaked havoc across the galaxies has a soft spot for the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, Thanos loves Christmas.
In a quick little story entitled, “Yule Memory”, Thanos gets ready for a walk right down memory lane and reflects on a Christmas past.
The deplorable villain shows that he is not all bad when he gives his “adopted daughter” (because he ended the lives of her parents) Gamora a doll. Not only that, but he even decorated a Christmas Tree for the special occasion.
Okay, so perhaps it's not exactly Christmas. In Thanos’ own words, it a “Pre-Christian Yule with shades of Modern Earth’s Christmas.” However, that's still close enough for us.
8 He Was Born Bad
We can’t blame Thanos for being one of the evilest beings the universe has ever seen. Like Lady Gaga, he was born that way. Right out of the womb, it was clear that there was something off about the baby Eternal.
Born with what is referred to as Deviant Syndrome, Thanos was hated by his race for looking like their enemies: the Deviants.
Aside from being cosmetically different (see his tough, purple hide and black eyes with glowing pupils), Deviant Syndrome also granted Thanos with a wide array of abilities.
His strength and speed far surpass normal Eternals and he also possesses energy manipulation, telepathy, and telekinesis. All of these traits are seen as evil by his race-- so much so that his mother tried to murder him.
Being ostracized for his perceived deformities are really what turned Thanos bad. If only someone would have given him a hug.
7 His Brother Is Even More Problematic
Thanos and Eros may be brothers, but they couldn’t be any more different. One of them is a vile, despicable being who constantly ruins the lives of those around him, while the other is Thanos.
Seriously, Eros, or Starfox (not to be confused with Fox McCloud), is one of the most problematic heroes in the Marvel Universe. Sure, he has a number of standard powers like super strength and fight, but he can also control the emotions of those around him. In fact, he routinely uses his abilities to lure women.
This lead to Foxy, a former Avenger, being put on trial for assault. It was even revealed that he used his abilities to “influence” She-Hulk, who rightfully beat the ever-loving stuffing out of him. The dude is a walking roofie and not much of a hero.
6 He's Shared Voice Actors With Wolverine And Winnie The Pooh
Since he’s one of the strongest villains around, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen Thanos on television a lot. He was one of the main antagonists on the short-lived Silver Surfer cartoon in the '90s where he was voiced by Gary Krawford.
More recently, the character has split his time on both Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy where Isaac C. Singleton Jr. provides his gravely growl.
In between these shows, there was the divisive Super Hero Squad Show. This show, which was designed for youngsters, saw the Mad Titan voiced by veteran actors Steven Blum and Jim Cummings.
Blum has famously voiced fellow Marvel character Wolverine in shows like Wolverine and the X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man. Cummings voiced other comic book characters like Shocker and Chameleon, but what’s most interesting is that he’s portrayed both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too, who are far cries from the murderous Thanos.
5 He'd Rather Be Farming
We’ve already established that Thanos’ main goal is to eradicate all living things from the face of the universe, but there’s one other hobby he has: farming.
After he seemingly died at the end of The Infinity Gauntlet, it turned out that he had been transported to another planet. He would be visited by Adam Warlock and Pip the Troll, who were more than a little shocked to see that Thanos had taken up a simpler life as a farmer.
The once all-powerful being planned on reflecting on his epic loss, opting to live a “quiet life.” Of course, in a Godfather Part III, “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” scenario, he would soon be entrusted with the Soul Gem, joining the Infinity Watch.
4 Squirrel Girl Took Him Down
Thanos has gone toe to toe with some of the most powerful beings in existence. In the past, he’s done battle with the likes of Silver Surfer and Galactus. He’s even squared off with Eternity itself. These will go down in history as some of the most epic wars ever waged.
There is one skirmish that Thanos definitely would like expunged from the record books. That would be his loss to Squirrel Girl. That’s right, the Great Lakes Avenger with the power to talk to squirrels defeated Thanos.
In 2005’s GLX-Mas Special #1 (man, Thanos really loves this holiday), with the help of her trusty nut-loving companion Tippy-Toe, S.G. soundly trounced the Mad Titan. Just to make sure there was no questioning its legitimacy, Uatu the Watcher was there to confirm it all.
3 His Father And Grandfather Wanted Him Dead
We all know Drax the Destroyer from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, who is played with deadpan perfection by Dave Bautista. In these movies, Drax is attempting to get revenge on Thanos for killing his family. In the comics, it goes even further.
Drax was a human known as Arthur Douglas who, along with his wife and daughter, was killed by the Mad Titan. Douglas would soon be resurrected by Thanos’ own father and grandfather, Mentor and Kronos.
Like the rest of their race, Mentor and Kronos hated Thanos from birth. They always had it out for him because of his Deviant Syndrome.
Drax was imbued with incredible strength and powers to do one thing: murder Thanos. Eventually, the Destroyer would complete his task when he ripped out Thanos’ heart.
2 He's Been A Good Guy
You know a reality-threatening problem is truly bad when you need Thanos’ help to put an end to it. That’s exactly what happened when Adam Warlock expelled the good and evil from his soul.
Warlock then divvied up the Infinity Gems with a group known as The Infinity Watch. Members of the sect included Warlock, Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Pip, and even Thanos. The Mad Titan being entrusted with the most powerful one: the Soul Gem.
Eventually, the Evil portion of Warlock’s soul, known as the Magus, had his sights set on getting his grubby little paws on the Infinity Gauntlet. This lead to the events of the Infinity War. Thanos and Warlock put their differences aside to defeat Adam’s dark counterpart.
They would have to team up again when the “good” part of Warlock, the Goddess, attempted to eliminate all sin from the universe.
1 His Gauntlet Is Missing Two Gems
The lead up to Avengers: Infinity War has been ten years of building up to something incredible and devastating. We’ve seen the majority of the Infinity Gems in the guise of things like the Tesseract, the Aether, and the Eye of Agamotto.
As a recent promotional video showed, Thanos already has his hands on four out of six stones. His gauntlet already contains the Power, Space, Reality, and Mind. All that he’s missing is Time and Soul.
Since last we saw, Vision was still in possession of the Mind Gem, though one would assume that Thanos is able to pry it from the android early on in Infinity War.
Once that’s taken care of, the Big Bad will be gunning for Dr. Strange’s amulet before rounding it off with the Soul Gem. Once he acquires the remaining rocks, Thanos’ reign of terror will finally begin.
Can you think of any other facts about Thanos that most fans don't know? Sound off in the comment section!