Drax the Destroyer is a Marvel Comics character created by Jim Starlin, first appearing in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (dated February 1973).
Before becoming the Destroyer, Drax was a human man named Arthur Douglas. Along with his wife and daughter, Douglas was killed by Thanos, thing his existence had been revealed to Terrans who'd seen him. (He would later learn that his daughter actually survived the accident and became the Avenger known as Moondragon.)
After his death, Douglas was resurrected into a stronger body (by the Titanian god Kronos) for the sole purpose of killing Thanos, newly christened as Drax the Destroyer.
For many years following, Drax remained a staple of the cosmic Marvel Universe, most notably appearing in The Infinity Gauntlet and Annihilation. Despite his death in the latter, Drax was then drafted to the new Guardians of the Galaxy in 2008, and has more or less remained a stalwart member of the team since then.
Drax has appeared often in other media, most notably within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Portrayed there by former WWE superstar Dave "Batista" Bautista, this version of the character is vastly simplified from his comic book counterpart. He made his debut in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, reprising the role in its 2017 sequel, and then again in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.
Drax appears in:
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017)
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2014)
- Marvel: Contest of Champions (2014)
- Disney Infinity (2015)
- Marvel Future Fight (2015)
- Marvel Puzzle Quest (added in 2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017), voiced by Brandon Paull Eells
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
Drax provides examples of:
- Badass Pacifist: In the new run, he apparently started to become a pacifist. However, whatever caused it was enough that when two eldritch abominations try to mindrape him, he turn the table by showing them something that made them flee in terror.
- Bald of Awesome: Arthur Douglas' hair was one of the things left out when he was brought back as Drax.
- The Berserker: Especially after his resurrection, he is prone to going into berserk furies in battle, which heightens his resemblance to The Incredible Hulk.
- The Big Guy: Shares this role with Groot, courtesy of his immense strength. During the 1990s, he was actually the guardian of the Power Gem for a time as part of the Infinity Watch.
- Came Back Wrong: When first introduced in the 1970s, Drax was fairly intelligent. However, during the early 1990s, Moondragon went evil and killed him with her Psychic Powers. When subsequently resurrected in the 1993 series "Warlock and the Infinity Watch", he still retained some degree of the brain damage inflicted by her lethal psychic attacks, which reduced him to a child-like, violent-tempered Dumb Muscle character.
- Character Check: During Guardians Infinity, Drax mostly still acts like his post-2012 idiot characterization, but momentarily stops the fighting and tells everyone to calm down, prompting Rocket to express amazement. Then Drax angrily yells "shut your hole" at him, and goes back to being an idiot.
- The Chosen One: He's the Avatar of Life, to serve as Thanos' position as Avatar of Death. He is compelled by the universe itself to kill Thanos.
- Combo Platter Powers: When first introduced in the 1970s, Drax's power set consisted of: Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Toughness (borderline Nigh-Invulnerable), Flight, Hand Blasts and Telepathy. Presently, he retains only the first three powers, all to a lesser degree than he had in his original body, but has picked up a low-grade Healing Factor and a heightened sense of smell.
- De-Power: Drax used to have all kinds of fancy powers. Now all he has is his knives and the fact that he won't give up. And that's all he needs.
- Determinator: During Annihilation, his drive to kill Thanos ramps up into overdrive. In order to accomplish it, Drax storms through the nigh-unstoppable Annihilation Wave, with nothing more than a pair of knives, and he still makes it to Thanos.
- Dual Wielding: A pair of big knives.
- Dumb Muscle: After his resurrection in the '90s, he was basically an overgrown child in a super-strong body. He briefly became a lot smarter when he spontaneously mutated into his current body, which is notably smaller than the one he had in the 90s, but then in the most recent series, he want back to being a dim-witted brute.
- Expy: For most of the 1990s and early 2000s, he was the The Incredible Hulk but IN SPACE. Later on, in his new body he's moved away from this.
- Facial Markings: Drax has some that are evocative of his ally, Gamora. At least in his previous body, they appeared to be make-up and therefore optional.
- Flying Brick: He was this before his current body, he had even a cape.
- Good Is Not Nice: Drax is the champion of Life, opposed to Thanos. He's also brusque, and perhaps too fond of violent and direct solutions, even before his resurrection as a brain-damaged monster.
- Hidden Depths: While he's quite fond of killing things with knives or his bare hands, he occasionally dabbles in philosophical or existential musings and retains his past life's fondness for playing jazz music.
- Hulk Speak: In the '90s, as a result of his brain damage.
- Implacable Man: If he wants to kill someone, he will kill them, and not even Galactus can stop him.
- It's Personal: Thanos killed Arthur Douglas and his wife just for witnessing him. It stopped being personal a long time ago, when Drax stopped seeing himself as Arthur Douglas.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maybe not gold, but a precious metal, definitely.
- Manchild: As a result of retaining psy-fried neurons when resurrected, Drax acted like a child in the body of a hulking superhuman during the 1990s. He began growing out of this eventually, but never did fully recover.
- The Mentor: Briefly served as one for Richard Rider in Annihilation, helping him keep a lid on all the Nova Force he had inside him, with the additional caveat that if Rich started going nuts, Drax would destroy him.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: He believes there are very few problems that cannot be solved by killing somebody. Or, when there may be Skrull infiltrators on Knowhere, by killing everybody.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: In his original incarnation, one of Drax's powers was Telepathy which he could use to track Thanos across vast distances. After his second reincarnation, Drax loses his telepathy but possessed the ability to either sense Thanos or other beings who have been in recent contact with Thanos, alongside a precognitive ability to sense when beings will be in contact with Thanos in the near future.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Destroyer.
- One-Man Army: He's called the Destroyer, and it shows. When chasing Thanos, he ploughed his way through the Annihilation Wave to reach him.
- Papa Wolf: Even if he is estranged from them, and emotionally distant when he is there, don't hurt Cammi or Moondragon.
- Red/Green Contrast: He has red tattoos on his green skin.
- Resurrective Immortality: But only as long as Thanos is alive. If Thanos is on this side of the great divide, then so is Drax. No ifs, ands, or buts. Once, when he had been dead for over six years, just the act of Thanos coming back to life was enough to wake Drax back up.
- Reverse Grip: Drax's preferred method of Dual Wielding.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It was basically his raison d'être until he finally managed to kill Thanos in Annihilation.
- The Stoic: This was his primary character trait during his original depiction in the 1970s.
- Super Senses: He can smell whether Thanos is alive or not.
- That Man Is Dead: Arthur Douglas was killed by Thanos years ago. Drax is actually surprised when an act of Mind Rape awakens what little was left of his former self.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: During The Thanos Imperative, thanks to a mix of Thanos' resurrection, and being in the Cancerverse. Since he's compelled to kill Thanos, and is the chosen avatar life, being in a place where life rules the roost starts overriding him, driving him into a berserk need to utterly kill Thanos, regardless of the situation.
- Touch Telepathy: It isn't used very often, but Drax has displayed this on occasion.
- Unexplained Recovery: Thanos killed him dead in The Thanos Imperative, leaving nothing behind, and come Avengers Assemble, he's back without a single comment. It took several years before an explanation was given, and that explanation was... he just came back to life. To be fair, he has a habit of doing that.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: In his most recent form.
- Was Once a Man: Before being revived by Chronos.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: His name is spelled with an X and in a fashion that puts the vocal emphasis on said X.