Five Things You May Not Know About Thanos

Thanos on Throne Maquette

 

Thanos. Arguably the biggest of the big bads in the Marvel Universe, and one of the few who has managed to accomplish their villainous goals on multiple occasions. Who else has gathered all of the Infinity Gems and then used them to murder half the galaxy in an instant?

While comic book fans have long known of the awesome power belonging to the Mad Titan, the fiendish foe has been quickly collecting a new group of fans from his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And why not? He’s big, he’s powerful, he’s purple… but there is a lot more to him than that!

Here are 5 things you may not have known about Marvel’s galactic heavy hitter.


Thanos made his debut in Iron Man #55 in 1973.

While many of the big Marvel characters we love debuted in the Silver Age of comics (1956 – 1970), Thanos was a bit of a late arrival. He first appeared in a 1973 Iron Man comic written and created by Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin.

The story involved the Mad Titan’s attempts to collect the Cosmic Cube in order to impress his love, Mistress Death. That storyline continued across quite a few other books, spanning the better part of a year, and ended with the villain defeated at the hands of the original Captain Marvel.


Thanos disappeared for almost a decade.

After his debut and a few longer storylines through the early to mid-70s, Thanos only made a few sporadic appearances toward the end of the decade. He was notably absent during the majority of the 1980s aside from flashbacks and a small roll in the Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel in 1982.

He did not reappear fully until 1990 with an appearance in Silver Surfer and the start of The Thanos Quest. This story led to the event that would forever change the foe’s standing in the pantheon of Marvel villains, The Infinity Gauntlet.


Thanos was a pacifist?

Born on Saturn’s moon, Titan, to the race known as the Eternals, Thanos’s frightening appearance set him apart from the rest of his people. Despite this, as a child he was a pacifist, preferring only to spend time with his brother, Starfox, and a few pets.

However, as he approached adolescence, he began to learn the ideals of nihilism and discovered there was a physical embodiment of death, known as Mistress Death. Soon he came to worship her, and it was this obsession that led him to murdering his family and millions of other Eternals.


Thanos hates Deadpool.

While Thanos only has eyes for Mistress Death, she, on the other hand, may have eyes for another. Everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth has come in contact with Mistress Death a number of times (basically every time he “almost” dies, which is quite a bit). Unsurprisingly, Deadpool has flirted with Death (literally) and the entity seems to reciprocate those flirtations.

Not happy with having another rooster in the hen house, Thanos has apparently cursed Deadpool with an eternal life so the merc can never truly remain with Mistress Death.


Thanos was defeated by Squirrel Girl.

Being the biggest, baddest villain around doesn’t mean Thanos hasn’t had his fair share of embarrassments. One, thankfully non-canon, story in the late 1970s had the Titan flying around New York in a helicopter (with his name written on the side) in search of the Cosmic Cube. His plan was foiled by Spider-Man and Hellcat, which led to the all-powerful villain being hand-cuffed and toted off to jail by the NYPD. However, one of his most notable defeats was at the hands of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

The short fight happened off panel, but in the presence of the cosmic being known as The Watcher, who declared that she did indeed defeat the one, true Thanos and not a clone or a robot duplicate. Still, the big guy shouldn’t feel too bad as he joins a veritable who’s who of characters that have met defeat at the spunky hero’s claws (Dr. Doom, Galactus, Wolverine, Deadpool, etc., etc.).


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