Who is more intimidating Thanos or Darkseid?
Written by: Max Powers
Big heroes require big threats, and there's no bigger heroes in their respective universes than the Justice League and the Avengers. And there's no bigger threat to either than Thanos and Darkseid - cosmic threats who seek to utterly change the galaxy as we know it, at the expense of, well, anyone but Darkseid or Thanos. As comic fans presented with comparisons between DC and Marvel, there's only one natural question to ask. Who's the more intimidating hombre? So let's get to it by evaluating the most important qualities a villain needs to possess.
There's a reason the Shocker isn't at the top of the list of Marvel villains, and it's not just because his superpower is static electricity. No one's going to respect - much less fear - a bad guy without ambitions. Darkseid was created by Jack Kirby, who fought right in the thick of World War II, as a pure manifestation of the evils of fascism. This is a guy who doesn't just want to rule the entire known galaxy. He wants to crush the wills of all living organisms so badly that hope no longer exists as a concept.
But we've got to give it to Thanos on the ambitions front as well. This is a man actively courting Death, as in the actual physical manifestation of Death. And we aren't even talking about the cute manic pixie dream girl Death from Sandman. Thanos wants to marry the gender-swapped version of the Grim Reaper from The Seventh Seal. The problem is, Death isn't all that into him, leaving Thanos looking like a try-hard.
Darkseid is Space Hitler (or Space Mussolini, or Space Stalin. Pick your poison). Thanos is the buff alien equivalent of the sad boy who always wears hoodies and loves My Chemical Romance. Point goes to Darkseid.
So what do these two dudes bring to the fight? For Thanos, it's the Infinity Gauntlet. Each gem in the gauntlet provides mastery of a fundamental aspect of the universe like time or space. The problem is, he spends about 90% of his time trying to gather the gems he needs to properly accessorize his glove. Darkseid rocks the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical proof that convinces everyone who hears it that life isn't worth living and slavery is preferable to freedom.
Thanos has to collect all the shiny dragonballs before he's more than a big guy with a heavy punch. Darkseid can show up at your college classroom, write a few lines on the chalkboard, and convince you that mindless obedience is a pretty cool deal. Point goes to Darkseid.
They say the clothes make the man, and that applies to intergalactic despots as much as it does ordinary schlubs like you and me. Thanos - with his cute little gold buccaneer boots, wild metal collar, and purple skin - looks like he belongs on a pirate-themed LSU football parade float. Meanwhile, Darkseid comes to the fight sporting a sleeveless top and bicycle shorts, like he's just stepped off the elliptical machine at the local LA Fitness. Darkseid gets a bonus for the variety of his wardrobe. While Thanos offers variations on his body armor perfectly fitted for action figure variations, Darkseid manages to pull off short shorts, a skirt, and some sort of belted leotard. I think we all wish we had that level of self-confidence.
While I respect Darkseid's fashion-forward approach, that's more admirable and less intimidating. Point goes to Thanos.
The best way to convince the world you're a certified badass is to advertise it, and there's no better visibility than appearing in a big summer blockbuster or five. And while Thanos most of his time sitting in a big comfy throne and glowering, Darkseid still hasn't shown his rocky face. The only one of the DC comics villains from Darkseid's family to show up his uncle Steppenwolf - sporting a truly horrendous CGI design straight from the Final Fantasy villain rejection pile. Point goes to Thanos.
If all you ever do is fail, who's ever going to be scared of you? Luckily, both have seen
some success. Darkseid has maybe been the most successful of DC Comics villains. He's managed to turn the galaxy into a sad slave state on multiple occasions, and typically he's only been stopped by some form of wonky time travel. Thanos is one of the few Marvel villains to have become a living god, after collecting all the Infinity Stones into the Gauntlet.
The catch is, Thanos got played like a chump. In a move anyone who's seen an episode of the Twilight Zone could guess, Thanos' godhood gives him too much power to effect things on a micro level, and his daughter ends up picking up the gauntlet herself, wishing him back to his sad, mopey, Death-pining existence. Point goes to Darkseid
So there we have it. In a tight 3-2 race, Darkseid takes the win.
Who do you think would win in a fight? Would Darkseid send Thanos to the Apokalyptian slave pits, would Thanos write Darkseid out of existence, or would they become the best of pals and team up to fight their respective foes? Let us know!
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Have you read our who is more insane the Joker or Green Goblin article?