Top 10 Thanos Superpowers Explained in Detail


Thanos – the main bad guy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one of the worst bad guys in the Marvel comics. He is definitely a BAMF, which I think means Bad-Ass-Melon-Farmer, but I could be wrong? What makes him such a BAMF? Let’s discuss!

10. He has an Army or Three

From inside Infinity, Volume 1 issue #5

Called the Black Order, Thanos has collected powerful beings for many years, and raised them as his own. They were collected and raised solely to form a powerful army. Some of his Black Order members include such names as Ebony Maw (a creature of the shadows with the powers of persuasion, powers strong enough that even Doctor Strange is in trouble), Proxima Midnight (a warrioress that wields a lance with sun-like powers, able to hold down even the likes of the Incredible Hulk), and the favored Corvus Glaive (husband to Proxima Midnight, and favored because of his ruthlessness and strategic skills). The Black Order once contained Gamora and Nebula as well, who we met in the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thanos also controls the Chitauri, whom we met in the first Avengers movie, and the Outriders (who answer to Corvus Glaive), genetically engineered parasitic creatures that look rather reminiscent of the Xenomorphs from the Alien movies.

9. He is an Eternal

The Eternals are a race of genetically modified humans. That might not sound that exciting, but they were well modified. By that I mean the end results are absolutely beautiful, powerful, angel-like beings that inhabit Saturn’s moon, Titan. They are almost immortal and have inborn superpowers. These powers are different for each Eternal, but in general, they are all incredibly… Awesome. I mean to use that word as the dictionary definition intends (awe-inspiring) as well as the more commonly used meaning (really, really cool).

Little Brother Eros, also known as Starfox.

Thanos is the first-born son of Sui-San, an Eternal from Titan, and Mentor, an Eternal from somewhere else (who is even more powerful than his lover). As first-born, he is supposed to inherit the kingdom on Titan, but that glory instead goes to his little (perfect) brother, Eros.  These two facts – his Eternal heritage, as well as his being shunned by his family for his looks – are the basis for basically everything Thanos is and does. Therefore, we continue with…

8. He’s a Blast!

From inside Thanos Quest, Issue #2

No, I mean literally. Part of his inbred powers include the ability to absorb energy through his skin (allegedly) and then project them back with concussive force. This ability is powerful enough to allow him to throw back magnetic energy, infrared, and more. So much more that his exact power in this regard is unknown.

He used his infrared eye beams to knock out the Hulk in the Infinity Finale Graphic Novel. It didn’t kill the Hulk, but it definitely dazed him. It is also fairly apparent that Thanos wasn’t *really* trying, since he underestimated the Hulk. If we wanted to, he could definitely do more damage.

7. He Just Can’t Die!

That’s not exactly true, for most of his life he can technically die. In fact, he tries to. He is obsessed with Lady Death and will stop at nothing to be with her. Then he pisses her off, and she banishes him from her realm, and from then on he is quite literally immortal.

Cover of Infinity, Volume 1 issue #1

He can withstand the cosmic energy the Silver Surfer throws at him, Thor and Odin barely scratch his skin, and even Galactus is barely able to touch him. He is even able to survive the screams of Black Bolt, whose sonic powers are enough to completely obliterate planets.

6. He Can Brawl

From inside Thanos Imperative, Volume 1 Issue #1

While the ability to kick butts isn’t technically a superpower, it probably should be. While being an Eternal grants Thanos some cool extra stuff, like super strength and super speed, that alone is kind of lame. He’s got to know how to use it, right?

Well, Thanos definitely does. It is his martial arts skills that eventually bring an end to his father, Mentor.  In a fit of rave, he punches clean through his father.

5. He is a Deviant

From Thanos Rising, Volume 1 Issue #1

The Deviants are kind of like cousins to the race of Eternals. They were also created from a human base, but instead of the beauty and grace, they look more like they just got punched in the face. They are deformed monsters. They live on Earth, mostly under the sea, and some say they are what inspired human stories of demons and devils. No two deviants are alike, but they are all grotesque.

So where do they fit into Thanos’s story? He was not born on Earth, and he was sired by a true Eternal. Somehow, in a similar way to how Mutants are not quite human, he was born not quite Eternal. Instead, he got blueish (impenetrable) skin and was so ugly at birth that his mother tried and failed to kill him.

His father attempted to love and raise him, despite his differences, but when his little brother Eros was born, the crown would bypass Thanos and be given to the “favorite son” instead. This, on top of being shunned by the rest of the Eternals his whole life, turned Thanos bitter. That bitterness grows daily, as does his power. Somehow, his Deviant genes made Thanos stronger than his kin from the get-go.

4. He knows Materiokinesis

From Thanos Rising #1

That’s just a big word for being able to manipulate matter at an atomic level. This is a cool trick because he can manipulate anything that has substance, or a physical form, in the universe. At will, he could turn a human into a pile of goo by moving and switching the atoms around that make up that human.

He has actually used this power to turn Skragg the Skrull into stone.

3. He Will Curse Your Mama!

From Inside Legendary Star-Lord, Volume 1 Issue #4

Okay, I doubt he cares enough to curse your mom. But that doesn’t mean he can’t. It’s not known exactly how powerful his sorcery is, especially when compared to the Great Doctor Strange. He has been known to use magic, though. Once, he got especially jealous of the attention Lady Death gave to Wade Wilson, also known as Deadpool. In a fit, he cursed Wade to everlasting life.

2. He Repels Death!

We have already kind of discussed his “immortality,” a side effect of being born to the Eternals. He was not born with true immortality, however. Yeah, he couldn’t age, or fall ill, but he could still be killed.

From Thanos Rising, Volume 1 Issue #5

After falling in lust with Lady Death, courting her for a while, and then thoroughly pissing her off… well, she got tired of seeing his face. She banished him from her realm. This resulted in Thanos pining over her even more, growing more and more obsessed with dying and returning to her side, but not being able to. No one is as petty as Death.

1. Infinity Gauntlet

What we’ve gone over so far makes Thanos one of the most powerful beings in existence. Then he gets his paws on the Infinity Gauntlet. The gauntlet itself is a gaudy gold accessory, but when it is filled with the six Infinity Stones… Hoo boy! I’ve explained the stones in depth before, so I’ll keep this a little shorter.

There are six stones. Those of us who watch Marvel’s Cinematic Universe have met most of the stones at least once. The Power Stone, which unleashes power strong enough to destroy pretty much anything. The Mind Stone, which is essentially what makes Vision run. The Space Stone, Loki’s favorite toy, which transports anyone anywhere. The Reality Stone, which Thor managed to wrestle from the clutches of a dark elf and distorts reality. The Time stone, which Doctor Strange uses to control time. Lastly, there is the Soul Stone, which we haven’t actually met, but controls life and death.

With the stones, Thanos’s powers are intensified beyond imagining. So much so that, for us MCU lovers, it takes 20 or more Avengers even to make Thanos blink twice.


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I am Ashlyn, Mother of Goblins, Queen of Snakeys and Puppies, Writer of Abundance, and Eater of All the Foods.
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