In terms of sheer power, there are probably a few characters in the Marvel Universe that could stand up to Thanos.
These include Doctor Doom, Ninja, Magneto and possibly Galactus or Mr Sinister… Or any number of other cosmic entities with enough power to lay waste to entire planets. But when it comes to someone with a reasonably balanced mix of physical and mental abilities who can go toe-to-toe with most heroes, Thanos really stands out from the pack. A better comparison might be a more powerful version of Batman from DC Comics – sure, they’re both ruthless geniuses capable of building superweapons and wearing armour that’s just as imposing as their body mass, but Batman is limited by things like mortality and lacking any real superpowers.
Of course, the first thing one might think of when it comes to Marvel is Reed Richards… But he’s not really a physical match for Thanos, even without taking the power of the Infinity Gauntlet into account.
The Mad Titan has trained vigorously since his initial defeat at the hands of Adam Warlock during the original “Infinity Gauntlet” event and has accrued many powerful cosmic artefacts that would make him more than a match for Mr Fantastic.
On top of that, Thanos has tapped into an enhanced state by wielding all six Infinity Gems – which have been referred to as his powers on multiple occasions – so this actually makes him more dangerous than ever. Most people consider Galactus to be the single most powerful character in the Marvel Universe – and while Thanos can’t match him physically, he’s managed to challenge him by assembling an impressive collection of artefacts.
The combined might of all six Infinity Gems makes Thanos nearly omnipotent
– at least when it comes to raw power.
Thanos has no need for portals or flight when wielding this kind of energy, so Galactus’ abilities are largely nullified when faced with someone who can destroy entire planets in seconds. And considering how powerful Eternity is, this would logically place Thanos on a par with the cosmic entity… Not to mention that even Odin himself was almost bested by Thanos during “Avengers Disassembled”. Still not convinced? Just for fun, here’s Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet to trap Galactus in an unbreakable prison with no hope of escape or resurrection…
It doesn’t get much more overpowered than that. There are some pretty impressive will-powered characters out there – but they generally need to focus their energy on a consistent basis.
The hardest part would be trying to devise a means of containing Thanos long enough for this kind of magic to take effect. After that, it becomes an issue of whittling away at his life force until he dies. We all know how dangerous cosmic artefacts can be when wielded by someone who knows what they’re doing (see: Magus), so I’m sure even Darkseid wouldn’t want to tangle with Thanos if he had access to the Infinity Gauntlet.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how dangerous someone with an enhanced intellect can be, but it’s worth pointing out that the odds of even the combined might of Superman and Wonder Woman defeating Thanos are pretty low due to his genius-level intellect – especially considering that they’re not exactly combat experts who understand things like tactical leadership or martial arts.
Honestly, I think Thanos is probably the most powerful character in any comic company’s roster – and it really comes down to his intellect. Unlike most other characters such as Doomsday or Darkseid who rely on brute strength to win their battles, Thanos has trained himself to become a master strategist… And when you factor in his ability to wipe entire civilizations off the map with nothing but a thought (such as what happened during “Infinity Gauntlet”), that makes him one of the smartest and deadliest villains in fiction. If he ever decides that Earth is worth conquering, Superman will be taking orders from Lex Luthor sooner than we all realize.
And if you’re still not convinced about how dangerous Thanos is after reading this article, let me leave you with the following image.