We continue our series of comparisons between extremely strong comic book characters with an inter-company crossover between Marvel Comics and DC Comics. In today’s article, we are going to compare two cosmic super villains, both of which are considered to be among the strongest characters in their respective universes. On one side, it’s Thanos, the Mad Titan, and on the other, it’s Doomsday, the ultimate being of destruction. So, who’s stronger?
Thanos could kill Doomsday, but based on the latter’s comic book history – he could do it only once. Once resurrected, Doomsday would come back immune to Thanos’ killing method and would easily deal with the Mad Titan.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States.
Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics. Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows and video games. Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others.
DC Comics, for those of you that are not familiar with the story behind the comics, is a major American comic book publisher founded back in 1934. Along with Marcel Comics, it is the most popular comic book publisher in the United States. DC Comics is a major player in the comic book business and is the “home” of many famous comic book characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and many others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
Who is Thanos?
Thanos is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and made his debut in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973) and has since become one of the best-known villains in the Marvel universe, but also comic books in general. Although Starlin himself admitted he was inspired by DC Comics’ supervillain Darkseid, Thanos has gained popularity as a stand-alone character and a cornerstone of Marvel’s Multiverse.
Thanos was inspired by the Freudian concept of “Thanatos”, just like his brother, Eros, was inspired by the Freudian concept of the same name. He is the son of two Eternals, but also a carrier of the Deviants gene, which explains his physical experience. Believing him to be a danger to the universe, his mother wanted to kill him, but his father stopped her. As a child, he was a pacifist and would only play with his brother and their pets. Later on, he became fascinated with nihilism and the concept of death, eventually falling in love with Mistress Death, the embodiment of Death in the Marvel universe.
Soon after that, Thanos became a supervillain, initially a pirate, but soon had more grandiose plans. He was not satisfied with mere piracy; he wanted more. He wanted ultimate power, to rule over the whole universe and to become the most powerful being alive. This is why he wanted to collect the Infinity Stones, so he could shape reality according to his own will. A lot of his works are motivated by his love towards Mistress Death, for whom he has killed on several occasions. He is a very powerful cosmic entity and has fought practically every major superhero group in the Marvel universe, including the Avengers, the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos even fought an alternative version of himself, King Thanos, after the latter had killed everyone on the universe; King Thanos knew that it was only Thanos (i.e., a younger version of himself) that could kill him, which is why he used the Time Stone to bring him to the alternative future.
Thanos has appeared in a lot of derivative material, including TV shows, video games and the MCU, where he was the main villain of the first large narrative. He was played by Josh Brolin.
Who is Doomsday?
Doomsday is the name given by Booster Gold to a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, primarily as an antagonist of the superhero Superman. He was conceived during a brainstorming session of the Superman writing team in 1991 as a foe that would match Superman’s physical strength; one of the writers wrote down a remark for the need of a “doomsday for Superman”, and the rest of the team liked it so much that they decided to name the monster – Doomsday. He made his cameo debut in Superman: Man of Steel #17 (1992), with a full debut in #18.
The origin story of Doomsday is pretty bizarre. He was created by an alien named Bertron and was left on prehistoric Krypton to evolve, if possible. Namely, prehistoric Krypton was a harsh environment where only the strongest beings could survive (this was long before the humanoid Kryptonians evolved and lived on the planet). The alien infant was killed but also revived repeatedly, becoming stronger after each resurrection. Namely, Doomsday developed the ability to develop immunity to what had killed him, meaning that he could never die from the same cause twice. Combined with his extreme regenerative abilities, he was a powerful being even as an infant.
Doomsday was forced to endure the agony of death several thousand times, which eventually led him to hate all life. At one point, he became so powerful that he killed all life on Krypton and eventually located and killed his creator, Bertron. Doomsday eventually escaped and went on a killing spree across several planets, even facing a younger Darkseid, but the two didn’t engage in direct combat. He eventually crossed paths with the Green Lanterns, killing thousands before eventually being killed by a Guardian of the Universe, who sacrificed himself to kill the Kryptonian monstrosity. Doomsday didn’t actually die, but was send through a spatial tear and eventually ended up on the planet Calaton. He terrorised the planet for years, before its inhabitants created The Radiant, who killed Doomsday with one strong energy blast. But, as it usually is with Doomsday – he was not killed. He regenerated slowly, but he came back to life, now immune to the energy that killed him, just like every time before that.
His most famous storyline is “The Death of Superman”, where the Kryptonian monstrosity came to Earth. After defeating the whole Justice League in a matter of minutes, he engaged in a fight with Superman. He was the first supervillain to be a match for the Man of Steel in a physical confrontation and the cult series eventually lead to Superman and Doomsday killing each other. Thus, Doomsday became the first and so far only supervillain to kill Superman in combat. Of course, both of them survived the famous clash and Doomsday would play a role in future DC Comics stories.
He has appeared in several derivative material, mostly in animation (movies and TV shows), but also played a very important role – with a slightly different origin story – in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice within the former DCEU.
Is Thanos stronger than Doomsday?
Thanos has never fought Doomsday. Despite several inter-company crossovers, these two supervillains have never faced each other, although some Marvel Characters (Hulk, Thor) have done it. But still, the comparison of the two is not overly difficult as their very nature allows for it.
Let us see the powers they possess.
What can Thanos do? Thanos is a very powerful Eternal and has proven himself more powerful than most characters, even without external enhancements such as the Infinity Stones. He is immortal, has superhuman strength, speed and durability, he is practically invulnerable, can teleport and regenerate, he can manipulate matter, use telepathic abilities, manipulate energy and even fly; he also has superhuman intelligence. Doomsday, on the other hand, is a mindless beast whose only purpose in life is – destruction. But, where he lacks intelligence, he has strength. Doomsday is without a doubt one of the strongest beings in the DC Universe, comparable to the likes of Superman and Darkseid. In a physical confrontation, he is practically unbeatable. He has enormous strength, he is nearly invulnerable, has great leaping abilities (he cannot fly, but is not far from it) and can utilise a lot of the same powers as Superman. He is also extremely fast and on top of that, he has exceptional regenerative skills, meaning that he can recover from any form of harm if given enough time (he can even recover in hermetic conditions, underground, without the Sun, but it takes more time). And while Thanos has some physical limitations, Doomsday’s only weakness is entropy – he cannot adapt to that kind of environment and when he was sent to the end of time, he died along with the whole universe. Sans that, he is practically indestructible.
Unlike Marvel, DC Comics doesn’t have an official power scale, so we won’t be comparing their stats like we did with Marvel Characters.
So, who would win in a fight? Could Thanos really kill Doomsday, or would the Kryptonian monster destroy the Mad Titan?
Although their powers are comparable, the answer isn’t that straightforward. Namely – on one hand – Doomsday has fought and lost against Marvel heroes Hulk and Thor, both of who Thanos has defeated on several occasions. So, technically, Thanos could beat Doomsday? Well, that is true. Thanos certainly does possess enough strength to hold his own against Doomsday and he’s clearly more experienced and more intelligent, so he could technically overpower him. Especially if he were to be equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet, for example, or some other powerful weapon. In the latter case scenario, Thanos could even kill Doomsday, something he probably couldn’t do in a direct physical confrontation. So, where’s the catch?
Well, the catch is – Doomsday himself. The guy has literally died so many times that he’s practically immune to death, although he’s technically not immortal. Thanos would certainly not wear Doomsday down, because Doomsday could fight forever; that is his only goal in life. So, Thanos would have to kill him. But, since the only way to effectively kill Doomsday is to destroy everything, Thanos would have to destroy himself in order to destroy Doomsday. In any other case, if Thanos killed Doomsday, the Kryptonian monster would regenerate in due time and return to kill Thanos, and then would succeed. Why? He would be immune to the cause of his initial death. So, whatever Thanos would do, Doomsday would come back immune to that action. He might use the Infinity Stones to stop Doomsday from ever being created – that is certainly a possibility – but that would create chaos in the timelines of the Multiverse and is just really too hypothetical to actually consider.
So, yes, Thanos could beat and kill Doomsday, but only once. Doomsday would return, even stronger and angrier, and would mercilessly kill Thanos in their second fight.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!
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