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Top 10 Characters Thanos Destroyed

VO: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Our MCU heroes weren’t the first characters to die at the hands of the Mad Titan. For this list, we’re looking at all the superheroes, villains, and cosmic beings that Thanos has killed in the comics. From fan favorites like Star-Lord and Adam Warlock, to Death herself, Thanos has murdered his way through an impressive number of Marvel figures. Which of these Thanos showdowns was YOUR favorite? Let us know in the comments!


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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Characters Thanos Has Destroyed

Our MCU heroes weren’t the first people to die at the hands of the Mad Titan. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Characters Thanos Has Destroyed.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the most notable characters to ever be killed or otherwise destroyed by Thanos. Please note, we’ll be drawing on character deaths and events from not only the core 616 reality but others as well.

#10: War Machine

During the events of Civil War II, which ran from June to December 2016, a group of heroes led by Captain Marvel began apprehending criminals for crimes they had yet to commit, based on the prophetic visions of an Inhuman named Ulysses. Unfortunately, when she leads her team in a pre-emptive strike on Thanos, the element of surprise doesn’t give them nearly as much of an edge as they had hoped. The Mad Titan delivers a crushing blow to War Machine, which ultimately proves fatal. Tony Stark, who had been against the whole thing, is understandably devastated by the loss of his friend, which adds fuel to the growing conflict between him and Danvers.

#9: Star-Lord

Thanos has threatened life throughout the multiverse on numerous occasions. During the events of 2010’s Thanos Imperative, Star-Lord and Nova wind up stuck in the Cancerverse with a vengeful Thanos, who is threatening to take out his anger on the universe at large. The story ends with them sacrificing their lives to keep him contained in the Cancerverse as it collapses in on itself - with all three seemingly perishing. In 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in to the Original Sin event, we finally got the full story, including confirmation that Thanos killed Star-Lord, though maybe not how you’d expect. As it turns out, they both killed each other, only to immediately come back due to the impossibility of death within the Cancerverse.

#8: Death

Thanos has had a decades-long infatuation with death, which is most often personified as a female figure. And that’s what makes this such a shocker. No matter how many times she’s spurned him or denied his affections, he almost always continues to dote upon her and seek her love. The key word there… is “almost”. In this “what if” alternate reality, the Earth-9997 version of Thanos has his eyes opened to Death’s manipulation over him by Mar-Vell. Up until this point, he has been an unwavering ally at her side but overwhelmed by rage and a sense of betrayal, he uses the Ultimate Nullifier to kill her. Understandably… the repercussions are pretty massive.

#7: Scarlet Witch

Finally, we come to a fatality from the pages of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. It might be the first, but it most certainly will not be our last. Not unlike in the film, our heroes join forces in an attempt to stop the Mad Titan. In the comics, however, the number of heroes is truly staggering; unfortunately, that just means more people for Thanos to maim and kill. For example, in this same issue, Thanos thwarts Wolverine’s attack by turning the mutant’s adamantium skeleton into “spongy rubber”, leaving him a puddle of hero. Moments later, facing a combined attack by Scarlet Witch and Cyclops, he easily turns the former’s hex back against her, effectively vaporizing her.

#6: Vision

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos doesn’t actually kill many heroes as he goes about collecting the stones - most of them only perish when the snap occurs. One of the few exceptions, of course, is Vision, who meets a grisly fate when Thanos caves in his forehead while ripping out the mind stone. While it was a painful scene to watch, it arguably could have been worse had they chosen to stick closer to the source material. In the pages of Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos savagely punches through Vision’s chest, retracting his hand in a clenched fist and ripping out wiring in the process as the android screams in agony. He basically guts him. Yeah… it’s brutal.

#5: Adam Warlock

This fan favorite Cosmic character has yet to make his debut in the MCU, but we know he’s coming eventually, and that when he does… it’s going to be a big deal. Adam Warlock is incredibly powerful in a way that really hasn’t been seen in the MCU to date - with the exception of Thanos himself. As such, at least in the comics, Adam Warlock is usually central to any conflict with Thanos, often serving as the one to tip the scales in favor of the heroes. In Avengers Annual #7 it was Thanos who got the last laugh for once. Shortly after Adam Warlock arrives on earth to warn the Avengers of Thanos’ return, the Mad Titan sends Warlock to meet his mistress… Death.

#4: King Thanos

In the multiverse of Marvel comics, it’s not uncommon for characters to square off against versions of themselves from alternate dimensions and timelines, as the Mad Titan did in 2018’s Thanos #18. The Earth-TRN666 version of the character is an aging King of nothing, having seemingly wiped out all known life in the name of Death. And so he summons a younger version of himself to battle, in hopes that young Thanos will send him to Mistress Death in a worthy manner. Of course, Thanos is nobody’s pawn. After defeating his future self, he refuses to kill King Thanos. Instead, he wipes him from existence by choosing to never become his future self - with whom he was thoroughly unimpressed.

#3: Annihilus

There’s been a lot of speculation as to who will become the MCU’s next big bad after Thanos, and Annihilus is among the names that come up most often. That alone should be enough to make you realize just how significant this kill is. The thing is, almighty ruler of the Negative Zone and a formidable foe to the Fantastic Four that he is, Annihilus is ultimately driven by one thing - a fear of death, or rather… an overwhelming need to extend his own lifespan. And that makes Thanos’ defeat of him all the more crushing - literally. Of course, it’s worth noting that Thanos didn’t do it alone. He destroyed the interdimensional tyrant only after Adam Warlock devolved him back to the form of a basic bug.

#2: Captain America

He might not be the most powerful character in the Marvel universe, but what Captain America lacks in godlike abilities, he more than makes up for in iconic status. He is a beacon of hope, a champion of all things good who refuses to back down or accept defeat. And that’s what makes this death so poignant. Not only is the Sentinel of Liberty beaten, but the moment is quick, brutal and utterly devoid of drama. He’s just the last one in a long line of heroes who Thanos dispatches of. You expect it to be an epic last stand, but Thanos hardly gives the action any thought whatsoever, quickly dispatching Cap with a backhand while focused on other things.

#1: The Cosmic Beings

Thanos might be a nearly insurmountable foe by earthly standards, but in the grand scheme of things, he usually doesn’t crack the top 10 most powerful characters in Marvel comics - at least not without the Infinity Gauntlet. There’s a whole tier of characters, like Galactus, Eon and Eternity who are in a class of their own. But in the pages of Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos manages to hold his own against their coordinated attack. He even replaces Eternity after defeating and imprisoning the rest of the Cosmic Beings. Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, this left his body vulnerable, allowing Nebula to snatch the Infinity Gauntlet for herself.

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