Thanos is one of the most feared and destructive antagonists in comic book lore. First introduced in Iron Man #55 alongside Drax the Destroyer, Thanos dissed the title hero as a “primitive life form” and proclaimed his lofty ambitions of conquering Earth.
In subsequent comics, Thanos’ storyline was further developed-- the Mad Titan sought absolute power in the forms of the Cosmic Cube and the Infinity Gauntlet, taking out most of the Avengers and existence in his pursuits.
The character of Thanos is so complex, that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will split his story into two films. Besides Loki, no other Marvel villain has received this much respect on the big screen. Considering the depth of his character, the duo of installments is a necessity.
Despite his ambitions, Thanos has an unusual appearance, with his body deformed by his Eternal disease. Because of this, his physical structure has history, each part of him attributed to an explanation derived from his sordid past.
The character has been in existence since 1973, and 45 years later, the Mad Titan is still going strong, in both presence, physicality, and in his desire to rule all with his heightened powers.
Here are the 15 Crazy Secrets About Thanos And His Body.
15 He Withstood The Sonic Voice Of Black Bolt
Black Bolt’s quasi-sonic scream is one of the deadliest weapons in the Marvel Universe. The Inhuman is often ranked as one of the most powerful superheroes and is part of the Illumanati safeguarding the infinity gems.
When confronting Thanos in Infinity, the vocal onslaught of Black Bolt doesn’t destroy him, but instead activates a Terrigen bomb causing all those with Inhuman DNA inside them to terrigenesis.
The belief amongst the Inhumans is that terrigenesis reveals who you truly are.
After Black Bolt hollers at the Mad Titan, Thanos dusts himself off and starts brawling with the superhero, with just a little alien blood dripping from his scalp and nose.
At one point during the confrontation, he seizes the Inhuman ruler and withstands the hollering directly in his face, before pummeling him into the earth, tossing him around like a cotton plush rendition of Black Bolt hoisted around by a young Marvel fan.
14 His Heightened Ambition Makes Silver Surfer Cower
Formerly one of the coolest Marvel protagonists, nothing makes the previously ineffable Silver Surfer seem more pathetic than when Thanos shares the same comic book frame.
The herald of Galactus spends most of Infinity Gauntlet having a panic attack on a couch, while Doctor Strange tries to comfort him.
His doom and gloom is palpable throughout the mini-series, and he proves himself useless when Adam Warlock instructs him to seize the gauntlet off of Thanos’ fist.
Thanos is so ambitious with his plight that the Silver Surfer devolves into a whiny Debbie Downer when telling others of his nihilistic schemes.
In various solo comics, Thanos takes Norrin Radd’s electromagnetic energy blasts at point blank range and is unfazed. In Annihilation, Silver Surfer and his master Galactus are effortlessly imprisoned by Thanos -- the beginning of many struggles that the Devourer of Worlds has with the Mad Titan.
13 He Has Deviants Syndrome
Born in Titan within the underground city of the Eternals, Thanos was afflicted with Deviants Syndrome from birth, a genetic mutation that can cause Eternals to look like a purple Quasimodo.
The baby was so creepy looking that his appearance drove his mother mad.
Sui-San was imprisoned in an insane asylum, where Thanos would visit her with his ugly mug. The Syndrome caused Thanos to have hide-like skin and explained the bulky nature of his build.
Even more cruel was that Thanos’ brother Eros grew up to become a handsome superhero whose power produced pheromones that elicited pleasure synopses in the brains of anyone within 25-feet of him.
In fact, most of Thanos’ family is fairly attractive, with the villain getting his ugly skin deformed from the shade splattered by a comic book colorist who went crazy with a purple paint brush.
12 He Has Weak Genes
During his full violent mode while a young Mutant Titanian, he made his mother his 18th victim, eager to cut supposed meaning from her flesh.
Because of this, according to Thanos Rising, his future offspring looked nothing like him, and physically resembled their mothers. Thanos bred with more alien races than he knew existed and had many children -- an Oedipal replacement of his mom.
In Infinity, Thanos' offspring Thane ruffles some kids hair, and looks more like all the blonde Chris’ that pepper the MCU. Thane is the only son that sort of resembles his father after Black Bolt initiates terrigenesis, but not by much.
Granted, Thanos takes down most of his children later on to appease Death, but knowing where to find them without any physical resemblance to their father must have caused the Mad Titan a serious headache.
11 He Has A Powerful Finger Snap
Angered over Death’s dismissal of his familial violence, Thanos makes half of the folks on Earth disappear with a snap of his finger. His psychic emanations take out a quarter of the galaxy and deprive Galactus (Thanos' favorite bullying target) a couple of meals.
The West coast falls into the ocean, Asgard's rainbow bridge crumbles, and the Earth tilts away from its orbit around the sun.
The simplicity of Thanos' finger snapping action is an iconic part of the character. It is a brief gesture that results in anarchy.
“A snap of my finger would have handily dispatched Galactus,” said Thanos in his self-titled 12-issue series. Even in a recent Infinity War television spot, the Avengers' antagonist threatens to snap his finger and cause chaos to half of the world, an obvious homage to Infinity Gauntlet.
10 He Absorbs And Distributes Energy From Every Part Of His Body
Through his Deviants Syndrome and bettering his bod via science, Thanos can absorb energy.
Energy projection absorption allow beams of energy to shoot out of his hands and eyeballs -- notably taking out Quasar with his retinas during Infinity Gauntlet.
In fact, there really hasn’t been a place where Thanos hasn’t emitted some kind of cosmic blast, which may explain his status as an eligible bachelor in the galaxy.
Once again, Thanos defeats Galactus and turns him into a cosmic energy spewing super weapon in the events of Annihilation.
Energy manipulation also allows Thanos to merge with objects and heal the wounds of himself and others.
Teleportation is a neat trick that the Mad Titan performs to travel across vast distances and surprise his opposers. He is also impervious to cold, heat, radiation, and poisons.
9 He Can Clone Himself
Curious about the weaknesses of his foes, Thanos splits into avatars to explore the universe and find meaning through the introduction of the Thanosi.
By combining elements of sorcery and cloning, Thanos uses the DNA of super beings such as Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Galactus to become his trusted comrades. Unfortunately, they lack the intellectual fortitude of their maker and settle on destruction, akin to brain-dead Daleks.
Atlez -- a beer-bellied being -- busts into Thanos’ laboratory and modifies five clones to display the same heinous tendencies as their maker, prompting the murdering crew to end all life in the universe.
Because the Thanosi were considered too problematic, and their body count ranked in the hundreds of millions, Thanos and a group of Earth’s finest ended up destroying the failed lab experiments.
8 He Has The Ability To Weaponize Telepathy
Thanos dabbled in the dark arts before his father Mentor banished him from Titan in a last-ditch effort to rid his poison from the moon.
Telepathy is one of his greatest strengths. After all, Thanos was even able to control the Hulk, despite his resistance to mind meddling.
Utilizing kinetic force, Thanos often shows up in characters' minds or as a projection of himself, infuriating and manipulating his foes on numerous occasions. He even entered the thoughts of poor Galactus and she was forced to astrally battle him.
Thanos can also prevent psychic attacks, read minds, and has been regarded as mentally more powerful than Moondragon.
Notably, his telepathic abilities have defeated Drax the Destroyer and the Fallen Ones. He’s often traversed time and space to confront differing versions of himself, and after playing mind chess, will try to vanquish the past/present embodiment of himself.
He's also able to perform mind lobotomies too: poor Pip the Troll had his brains scrambled by Thanos in Avengers Annual #7.
7 He's Stronger Than The Cosmic Beings
During Infinity Gauntlet, Celestials start hurling planets at Thanos that he destroys. Chronos buries him within deep layers of time, like striving to drown an ocean.
Lord Order and Master Chaos combine to split his atoms asunder and dichotomize the Titan. Galactus, the Stranger, and Eon combine to become a force of energy, but Thanos literally punches the matter in the face.
Mistress Love and Sire Hate try to fill him with empathy, but he zaps them with the Infinity Gauntlet. Finally, he goes head to head with Eternity, and imprisons the being and briefly ascends to become the center of all reality.
Thanos usually considers himself a God because he directly challenges the creators of all matter. In fact, Thanos develops a rivalry with Galactus, and often outwits the harbinger of death to universes. However, both subconsciously regret their destructive tendencies.
6 He Has A Powerful Brain
Thanos actor Josh Brolin recently told EW that his character is “way more intelligent than anybody else in the movie, by far.”
As a practiced scientist like his father, Thanos garnered the highest grade in the history of the Eternal’s school. By age 15, he mapped the stars to countless galaxies, but found the answers that he sought in dissection in the hopes of unraveling hidden creation.
The Titan also practiced DNA splicing, space engineering, computer hacking and coding, and robot making. Using these skills, he was able to easily dupe Iron Man and Drax in Iron Man #55.
Thanos is notorious for experimenting on his own body, especially with harnessing energy for various usage.
Bruce Banner, who is regarded as one of the highest levels of intelligence on Earth, is dismissed by Thanos in Thanos vs. Hulk. Thanos belittles the scientist, stating: “Your reputation as a genius appears well deserved. Unhappily for you, that is solely by Earth standard.”
5 He Has Strong Skin & Bones
Thanos' body has been through all manner of abuse. He's withstood Thor's hammer to the face, swallowed punches by heroes head-on, and resisted matter hurled at him by the Cosmic Beings.
Following the decimation of his own world, he is approached by his devastated father Mentor and seizes his ashamed pop's weapon that was made solely for Thanos' destruction. He shoots himself with it, but nothing happens and his noggin isn't even singed by the laser blast.
The Deviants Syndrome responsible for his advanced bone structure allows the Mad Titan to be stronger than all of the Avengers.
It also allows him to be faster than Silver Surfer, who can move swifter than the speed of light.
The disease further enhanced his strengths and powers, making his skin just as tough -- Wolverine has stabbed him and Cyclops has tried to fry him with his laser visor, all to no avail.
4 He is Physically Suited For Farming
During Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos tricks everyone into thinking he blew himself up so that he could pursue his passion of becoming a farmer. Thanos attempts a couple gigs for a while: he dabbles with the pirate life and is briefly a God, but farming seems to be the pursuit that brings peace to his troubled mind.
Considering that an individual must have strength to do all that ploughing, planting, and harvesting, Thanos’ Deviant Syndrome provides him with the necessary skill-set to grow whatever alien crops he wants.
When Adam Warlock discovers the pacifistic hobby, he allows Thanos to erect scarecrows of himself and permits personal rumination on the villain's mistakes.
Perhaps even the Mad Titan needs some peace and quiet once in a while.
3 He Has Mental Issues Including An Inferiority Complex And Psychosis
Adam Warlock scolds Thanos in Infinity Gauntlet: “A man seeking ultimate power as soon as he attains it. Why? Because, deep in his soul, he knows he’s not worthy of it.”
Subconsciously, Thanos has supplied the means to his own defeat with each victory. He wants to rule until he actually does-- when he attains the height of power, he usually throws it away because of his inferiority complex.
In Thanos, the Mad Titan is portrayed as a reformed protagonist, claiming, “I acknowledged the desire to escape the destruction he plays in the universe” when referring to his observations of his own turmoil reflected within rival Galactus, Thanos' punching bag.
During Thanos Rising, Death admits that Thanos' psychosis allows him to see her. His pops Mentor uses science to prove to Thanos that Death isn’t around, but the Mad Titan claims only he can see her.
Though Thanos has a calculating mind, he lives at the mercy of his insane urges.
2 He Is A DC Rip-off
In a period where Marvel Comics was trying to expand their ranks, aspiring writer Jim Starlin was offered an opportunity to pen an Iron Man comic. After Jack Kirby’s work in New Gods, the Thanos creator decided to concoct a new character in his story arc heavily inspired by the Gods in the DC series.
However, in his first drawings, he took inspiration from Metron, including his chair. Marvel took a look at early concept art of Thanos mirroring Metron and wanted him beefed up. They told Starlin that if he needed to rip-off one of the New Gods ,it should be Darkseid -- the Justice League nemesis.
This isn’t the first time that Marvel has stolen from DC: Deadpool is a Deathstroke spoof, Black Cat is clearly Catwoman, and the X-Men took their concept from Doom Patrol.
The doppelgänger overlords of the universe inevitably merged in the Amalgam Comics, becoming Thanoseid and teaming with Doctor Doomsday to destroy everything.
1 He Secretly Has A Big Heart And A Soft Spot For Love
“All I ever wanted was someone to love and love me back,” Thanos said in Thanos Rising, before dissecting a victim. The brunt of Thanos' motives involve finding love in a lonely universe.
Most scenes find the brute repeatedly posturing to Death, who often spurns his deadly advances. The more he destroys, the more he believes that she will fall in love with him.
Incinerating planets to ash, he usually turns to his nihilistic muse and ponders when the monument of bodies will satisfy her craving. After awhile, he moves on from Death and finds solace in Emptiness.
Thanos attempts to make amends with his mother after she assaults him as a baby, but ends up attacking her.
Mentor and Cronos (Thanos’ father and grandfather respectively) also lack affection for the purple offspring, creating Drax to destroy their ghastly lineage. Drax eventually yanks out his heart in Annihilation, proving that Thanos does --in fact -- have one.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Thanos and his body? Sound off in the comments!