Published April 25, 2019

10 Ways to Defeat Thanos

Just when Thanos thinks he has the advantage... he doesn't.

Have you tried Marvel Unlimited yet? It’s your all-access pass to over 25K Marvel comics, all available at your fingertips. Sign up now.


The Death-obsessed Titan Thanos might seem like he's always got the upper hand on his enemies -- often because that hand is inside the Infinity Gauntlet -- but the fact is that groups like the Avengers, Infinity Watch, and the Guardians of the Galaxy repeatedly find ways to stop his rampages.

Unfortunately, these solutions tend to come up after he's already done huge amounts of damage, usually only work once, and never seem to last. Still, the heroes of Earth and beyond always seem to figure out one way or another to stop Thanos, if only temporarily. Here are 10 methods that have worked in the past.


Thanos vs. Adam Warlock

In his earliest appearances, Thanos mixed it up with Iron Man, Captain Mar-Vell and the Avengers. All of that came to a head in AVENGERS ANNUAL #7 and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #2 when he took out the Earth's Mightiest Heroes and then contended with Spider-Man and Thing. He would have won had Spidey not freed Adam Warlock from the Soul Gem. In his rage, Warlock clutched Thanos and turned him into pure granite.

Simple Thievery

Thanos attacked in Infinity Gauntlet

The Mad Titan eventually regained his being and collected the Infinity Gems. With them altogether in INFINITY GAUNTLET, he snapped half of all life out of existence. After defeating most of Earth's heroes, he captured the Cosmic Entities and even became one with Eternity. Even with all of that power, though, he could not -- or did not -- stop the zombified Nebula from simply sliding the Gauntlet off of him, taking it for herself. She managed to restore all the lost lives, but could not hold the power herself and Adam Warlock took control of the Gauntlet before splitting up the gems and letting Thanos join the Infinity Watch.

Death by Drax

Thanos Death by Drax

Way back in his first appearance in IRON MAN #55, Drax revealed that Thanos' actions had killed Earthlings Arthur Douglas, his wife, and their daughter Heather. Thanos' father Mentor tied Arthur's spirit to a near-indestructible body, creating Drax the Destroyer. His sole purpose? Kill Thanos. He finally did exactly that in ANNIHILATION #4 by punching a hole through the Titan's back, grabbing his heart and forcing it out through his chest.

Trapped in the Cancerverse

Thanos Imperative

Brought back to life too soon by the Universal Church of Truth, Thanos went on a rampage. The Guardians of the Galaxy managed to capture him, but he said he would aid them in investigating the invading Cancerverse in THE THANOS IMPERATIVE. Thanos soon flipped on the heroes, but Star-Lord and Nova (Richard Rider) were far from surprised. After realizing they could not kill him in this strange reality, Star-Lord and Nova sent their fellow heroes back home before closing the portal and resigning themselves to a never-ending battle with the Mad Titan.

Gleaming the Cube

Avengers Assemble

Once again, Thanos managed to escape near-death. Back in his home reality, he used the Zodiac to acquire a man-made Cosmic Cube from Earth as seen in the first eight issues of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. However, the heroes figured out that the Cube was not so cosmic and soon separated it from him. The Avengers and Guardians beat him into submission and allowed the Elders of the Universe to take him away.


Thanos in Living Death
INFINITY (2013) #6

After murdering entire worlds just to find his Inhuman son Thane, Thanos thought he could easily take Earth next. The Avengers and other heroes valiantly fought against him and his Black Order. With only Thor standing against the Mad Titan, the villain seemed close to victory until his minion Ebony Maw convinced Thane to use his powers to turn pops into a living statue!


Doom kills Thanos
SECRET WARS (2015) #8

Thanos and his Cabal survived the destruction of the classic Marvel Universe and the Ultimate one leading into SECRET WARS. He opposed God Doom's control of Battleworld and worked concurrently with the heroes to end Victor's reign. When Thanos stood up to Doom and told him how he should have played god, the ruler of Battleworld ripped Thanos' spine from his body, killing him in the process.

Brave Ulysses

Thanos ambushed in Civil War II
CIVIL WAR II (2016) #1

After Galactus became the Lifebringer, he inadvertently worked his new magic on Thanos, bringing him back from beyond the veil. The Titan then attempted to stealthily steal a Cosmic Cube from Earth, but Captain Marvel and other heroes were waiting for him because of the supposedly future-seeing Inhuman Ulysses, an act that kicked off CIVIL WAR II. Though War Machine died and She-Hulk nearly joined him, the heroes managed to capture Thanos and imprison him in the Triskelion... for a while.

Brain Blast

Thanos vs Ultimates
ULTIMATES (2015) #11

It didn't take long for Anti-Man to free Thanos from his cell in ULTIMATES #7. As half the team fought the one-time wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet, Spectrum, Blue Marvel, and Black Panther worked quickly to build an Energy-Opaque Field projector that they fired into his brain to block his electrical synapses.


Thanos beheaded

When Thanos discovered that someone else had been collecting Infinity Gems, he decided he'd do the same. However, in INFINITY WARS PRIME #1 a mysterious figure whom we later discover has very close ties to Thanos, stabs him through the chest. After a few choice words from the Titan, his assailant lopped his head off and would go on to use it as proof of her intentions.



Captain America and Other Iconic Characters Join MARVEL x Swarovski Collection


Captain America and Other Iconic Characters Join MARVEL x Swarovski Collection

Thanos, Loki, Thor, Captain Marvel and more dazzle in this glittering collection of Marvel figurines!

MU Early Release Schedule for April 2024


Marvel's Biggest Series of the Year (So Far) Arrive Early on Marvel Unlimited

The first two issues of 'Fall of the House of X,' 'Ultimate Spider-Man,' 'Avengers Twilight,' and more will release early on Marvel Unlimited throughout April.

Thunderbolts Take Over New Season of 'MARVEL SNAP'


Thunderbolts Take Over New Season of 'MARVEL SNAP'

They're not villains, they're just misunderstood.

DEADPOOL #1 cover by Taurin Clarke


April 3's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Enter Deadpool's new era, join the X-Men's last stand against Orchis, and more in this week's comics!