YMMV / Thanos


  • Base-Breaking Character: You either think he is a tragic figure or a selfish mass murderer. You either love him for being a villain that almost always has the last laugh or you call him a Villain Sue etc. He certainly is one of Marvel's most debated villains.
  • Broken Base: After seeing the badass decay that happened to Darkseid, which ultimately required his very own Cosmic Retcon event to undo, some see Starlin's monitoring and retconning of Thanos's poorer showings as a necessary evil to keep the same from happening to him. Others have no desire to see a Darkseid type villain in Marvel Comics.
    • The Thanos Rising miniseries. Many praised the re-imagining of the character, believing that the miniseries added depth and history to a stereotypical villain. Others view it as Canon Defilement with many Out-of-Character Moments for both Thanos and Death (one example is not only does Death speak to Thanos in the comics, she negs him constantly, something that Death never did in any of her other appearances with him and a fact that caused Thanos endless frustration), and events that contradict the history of the Thanos given by his creator Jim Starlin. Still others saw it as ambitious and needed, but the result was rushed, the character development and dialogue lackluster (Thanos is a Pinball Protagonist for much it) and the setting and events uninspired and unoriginal (some character are heard talking about the legends of the cosmic cube and Galactus was spotted in the 'Starlin' system). Regardless of opinion, most view the artwork as awesome
  • Can't Unhear It: Due to Guardians of the Galaxy, more people are reading Thanos' lines in Josh Brolin's voice.
  • Complete Monster: In Guardians of the Galaxy (2015), Thanos, the Mad Titan, is one of the Big Bads and a truly depraved monster. Already established as a truly wicked individual through his crime of torturously experimenting on a young girl named Gamora to turn her into his brainwashed weapon after butchering her entire race, Thanos uses her and his other "children," Nebula and Korath, to commit various atrocities across the cosmos, always subjecting them to horrific punishments should they fail him. Searching for the Cosmic Seed, an artifact of immense power, Thanos goes to any lengths to obtain it, leading assaults onto entire planets in his quest for the Seed. With a prideful nature matching his power, Thanos orders an entire space station annihilated just to prove his might, and is willing to kill his own soldiers in attempts on his enemies' lives. After torturing Peter Quill both physically and mentally for the location of the Cosmic Seed, Thanos arrives on Earth to steal the Seed, and immediately begins terraforming the planet with it, planning to use the Earth as a weapon to travel across the universe and destroy everything in his path as a show of his newfound power. Egomaniacal and psychopathic, Thanos is easily one of the worst villains any Marvel Animated series has to offer.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Frequently compared to Darkseid. His true counterpart was originally Metron, but Roy Thomas told Jim Starlin that if he was going to steal from the New Gods mythos, he may as well steal from the most interesting one, so he is a mixed Expy of the two characters. Starlin later created Mongul for DC comics, as a second-generation homage of his own character Thanos. And then he created Synnar as a third generation homage of that.
  • Creator's Pet: In issues written by Jim Starlin that primarily feature Thanos, he's always written so that he would almost never lose for real against anyone. It's either his own subconscious desire to lose or it was a clone. This tends to annoy fans of other characters or even fans of Thanos who felt it was getting too much.
  • Epileptic Trees: There have been several made of the fact that his chin looks similar to those of Skrulls. In an alternate universe it has been even revealed that his mother was one in disguise.
    • This actually has an in-universe explanation. The godlike aliens The Celestials went to various different planets and created on them two different strains of races, the ugly shapeshifting Deviants and The Beautiful Elite Physical God race called the Eternals (humans are a separate but related species predating both; mutants are an offshoot of separate Celestial experiments on humans). The Skrulls are descendants of alien Deviants while Thanos is a descendant of the Earth Eternals who was born with a mutation that makes him resemble the Deviants. Since his design is based on the unrelated DC character Darkseid, this is a marvellous case of Canon Welding.
  • Foe Yay/Ho Yay: One might often get this impression when he interacts with Adam Warlock.
    • His Infinity Revelation graphic novel has a scene where he fights Ronan and describes the pleasure he takes in beating the Kree hero to be almost orgasmic.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Much more Jerkass than Woobie, but his hopeless relationship with Death is nevertheless tragic.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Views differ between whether he qualifies due to being one of the smartest minds in the Marvel Universe, or if this is an mostly an Informed Attribute driven by MacGuffins, and Applied Phlebotinum, as well as Idiot Balls being given to all opposing characters.
  • Memetic Mutation: His history with Madame Death has led to the term "friendzoned by Death".
  • Moral Event Horizon: Cross this for the first time when he committed genocide on multiple planetary populations for sport, slept with the corpses of some of his female victims, murdered all of his mistresses and offspring, and slaughtered the paradise he was born in, including his own mother.
  • Never Live It Down: The Thanos Copter.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • Out-of-Character Moment/ Fanon Discontinuity: His appearance in Avengers Assemble is a notable example. Last he was seen he was raging out of control in the Cancerverse, he inexplicably shows up, steals a Cosmic Cube, fights the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, uses the Cube to humiliate the Elders of the Universe for some reason (including the In-Betweener who is an avatar of Chaos and Order, and the Stranger; neither of whom are Elders of the Universe yet are referred to as such), merges with the Cube to become a god, only to easily lose it and then gets arrested by said "Elders". Many fans mistook the miniseries as a tie-in to the Avengers film (since the team line-up is the same as the film's), and thought that was an alternative continuity. It doesn't help that the comic has Iron Man say "We barely know anything about Thanos," despite the Avengers fighting him on numerous occasions and having extensive files on him, and Iron Man was the very first superhero to battle him. Another thing was stating Thanos' goal was "He wants the Earth. He's always wanted the Earth." when in nearly every single prior encounter Thanos has ignored the Earth entirely.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: it is common that fans of the character think that nobody but Jim Starlin himself has ever done Thanos justice yet, despite his massive favoritism towards the character. Part of this reason stems from other writers ignoring or forgetting much of the Character Development Thanos as undergone over the years and writing him like how he acted during his first appearance where he stole artifacts to kill and conquer the universe, which was over 40 years ago.
  • Rooting for the Empire: He is one of the biggest mass-murderers in the Marvel Universe, yet Jim Starlin and many fans are incredibly enamoured with and defensive of the character.
  • Ugly Cute: Early in his childhood in the Thanos Rising arc.
  • Wangst: In contract to the Jerkass Woobie listing above, a lot of people who otherwise enjoy Thanos hate when writers try to play him as sympathetic. The character can be a badass villain, but he never does anything the least bit redeeming, so writers' attempts to make you feel sorry for him because he sabotages his own plans and can't get Death to fall in love with him fall pretty flat.

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