The conversation surrounding Marvel vs. DC will never end. There will always be fans in one corner over the other, and it's futile to assume that there will ever be some resolution. There's no denying that some days (and more often than not these days...), Marvel is on top of the food chain. And some times, DC gets its due. Nevertheless, one of the biggest questions to arise between the endless battle between Marvel and DC is, which comic book company has the better supervillain: Thanos (Marvel) or Darkseid (DC)? It is a mighty big decision that shouldn't be made lightly by fans.
Each character will have their own vocal supporters in this debate. We're not here to pick a side necessarily. Rather, we're going to weigh our options and see which character stands out the most, based on their lineage and their history on the page and screen. You're free to disagree, of course, but let's take this opportunity to look at the characters and see if we can determine which supervillain is stronger.
Making his debut on the page back in 1973, Thanos quickly became one of the most powerful and daunting supervillains in Marvel's storied history. A character known for his many battles with The Avengers, as well as his tussles with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four on different occasions, Thanos was certainly not in the game to make friends. Rather, he was always looking to settle scores and end lives. Indeed, the character was so attracted to death, Thanos literally formed a relationship with none other than Mistress Death, an obviously deeply morbid character.
Ever since he was created by Jim Starlin, Thanos has had a looming presence throughout the decades. He was celebrated for his intellect and idealism before he became a Mad Titan, before he used his powers for great evil and became a menace that our heroes must defeat. Over the years, Thanos was a worthy foe, but he wasn't someone who couldn't be defeated. It wasn't until The Infinity Gauntlet event, however, that Thanos became the ruthless, hard-fought villain many audience members are familiar with thanks to the newest Avengers movies we've seen.
From there, Thanos was one of the most powerful and destructive figures in Marvel's history, providing our characters with an opponent that couldn't be defeated through simple measures. It took a great many battles to defeat Thanos, but the character was often resurrected (ironically) by Death, his mistress, who allowed him to live and kill again, in a cycle often seen. As he is portrayed in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Thanos' fears of overpopulation and growing instability makes him believe the galaxy will evaporate its resources and soon suffer the consequences.
The goal for Thanos, therefore, is to gather up the Infinity Stones under his possession and wipe out half of the universe, producing a balance that he believes will restore justice. Like many great villains, it's logic that has a rationality at its base level, but it's very apparent that his grand plans are evil.
Created by Jack Kirby, Darkseid is widely considered one of the most power being in the galaxy, from a race known as New Gods. His ultimate goal is one of grave terror and widespread destruction. More specifically, he wants to conquer the universe, but he isn't simply satisfied with that. No, he also wants to eliminate all free will and sentient beings. So, it is safe to say that Darkseid is not someone you'd want to invite to your housewarming party.
Throughout his run in the comics, Darkseid has served primarily as a foe for Superman. Which makes a good deal of sense, since only a super-being like Superman would ultimately be capable of defending such a devastating opponent. But the character has also been an archenemy for the Justice League, quickly proving to be one of the toughest, most distinctive oppositions for the superhero group in their efforts to save and protect.
While Darksheid hasn't made his way onto the silver screen the same way Thanos has so memorably in the past two years, he'd certainly make a big impression if the transition ever came to be. His powers include, but aren't limited to, flight, super-strength, immorality, teleportation, telepathy, energy and matter manipulation, telekinesis, omega powers, genius-level tactician and super-speed, to only name a few. So, Darkseid is certainly one tough cookie to crack. But how does he compare to Thanos? That's the question, certainly. Because as we noted earlier, it wouldn't be an easy fight.
Thanos Vs. Darkseid
There will likely not be a day where these two titans go to combat outside of fan fiction. So, we'll never know for certain who would be victorious in this battle. Based on what we can glean from their respective material, however, we can come to some sort of conclusion. In terms of experience, though, Darkseid certainly outshines Thanos. The supervillain is believed to be anywhere near several hundred thousand to a billion years old, and he has shown few signs of slowing down over the years. And Darkseid certainly hasn't wasted those years, building up information on warmongering, sadism and other illicit activities that propel his wickedness. Darkseid is a supervillain who has conquered many and never found any time for sparing.
But there is something to be said about the pain that Thanos has withstood over the years. Though he has been defeated by many foes in the past, including Odin and Galactus, Thanos is not someone who sits down lightly. He licks his wounds and returns to the fight, always ready to do whatever is necessarily to enact his feelings of justice, revenge and purpose. It's hard to say how he would fare in a fight with Darkseid, but it's clear that he is not someone who will stay down for the count. Even if he is battled and badly bruised, there's good reason to believe that Thanos will stay resistant.
There is also something to be said about Thanos killing literally trillions of lifeforms in a single second with the Infinity Stones. With just one snap, he wiped out half of all living things, and that's certainly nothing to squeeze at. He is a character that, at his strongest, has absorbed incredible power, and his ability to wipe clean a whole swath of breathing creatures is a power in which Darkseid, for all his wicked deeds, cannot say he has done so thoroughly in his very vast life.
Nevertheless, Darkseid is a character with such vast technology, incredible powers and monumental capabilities that it's hard to believe that Thanos, for all his efforts, would be able to defeat Darkseid. Though he would certainly put up a great fight, Darkseid is a character who can transform and also adapt from his opponent in a way that Thanos simply cannot. His strength is undeniable, making Thanos look like a toothpick in comparison, and you can plainly see that Darkseid is a character with great armies and no real moral compass. Even Thanos has a bit of a heart, and that's something that's rarely found in Darkseid's immortal soul. Darkseid can also shoot Omega Beams out of his eyes and hands. That's certainly something that Thanos simply cannot do.
Even though Thanos was created after Darkseid, his character was reportedly not directly influenced by him. Nevertheless, there is certainly a great shadow of Darkseid in Thanos, but it's nothing compared to the overwhelming capabilities and powers that Darkseid possesses. He is a ruthless, incredibly powerful being who can and will destroy many living things whenever he is given an opportunity to do so. While Thanos is a character who (almost) defeated his own galaxy, Thanos would have a hard time standing toe-to-toe with Darkseid, though it would be an incredible fight that we'd love to see.
Do you agree with the idea that Thanos would be defeated by Darkseid. Let us know in the comment section which supervillain character you think would live to see another day and why?
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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