Anticipating the release of Marvel’s Eternals has inspired us to continue our series of comparisons including characters from the Eternals. We have already done several lists and individual articles, but this series is going to focus on some individual Eternals and their powers when compared to some other characters. In today’s article, the focus is going to be on two Eternals – Ikaris and Thanos – with the latter being a very special “brand” of Eternal. Who would win in a fight between the two? Keep reading to find out!
There is absolutely no way Ikaris could defeat Thanos, even if the latter would fight without the Infinity Gauntler. Thanos is simply more powerful than all the Eternals, save for Kronos, Ikaris included. In their one fight in the comics, Thanos ripped Ikaris’ head off; luckily it was a body double.
Our comparison is going to be divided into three sections. The first is going to bring an overview of the two characters, after which we are going to compare their powers, including their signature weapons. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two characters to determine which one would win in a direct clash.
Ikaris and his powers
Ikaris takes its name from a tragic accident that took place hundreds of years before his birth. While fighting deviants in ancient Greece, the Eternal, later known as Ikaris, met and married a human woman. The two fathered a son named Icarus, who loved to soar in the air with his father over the seas and mountains of Greece.
Once, the Eternal made his son a pair of mechanical wings so that he could fly alongside him. When his father disappeared while he was fighting the Deviants, the young Icarus tried to follow him using his mechanical wings. For too much inexperience in flight, the young Icarus hovered too high in the air, losing consciousness in the high atmosphere, falling towards his death. Thus, having found his dead son, the Eternal took his name, Ikaris, in remembrance.
Ikaris has the typical powers of all the Eternals: he does not age and if he were killed he would be reborn in Olympia in the reactivation room with the body already an adult and the memories intact; he is able to manipulate matter at the molecular level; he is able to levitate objects effortlessly (even a plane); he is almost invulnerable, given the presence of a continuous force field in contact with his skin; he is much stronger and more robust than a normal man and his healing ability is very fast.
The Eternal can also exercise weak mind control: in the fifth issue of Secret Invasion, for example, Ikaris convinces Hercules that he is the Forgotten Eternal. Ikaris is also endowed with powers that other Eternals do not have: he can emit energy beams from his eyes and fly at enormous speeds (other Eternals can only levitate).
Thanos and his powers
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 for 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 in 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.
Comparing the powers of Ikaris and Thanos
Our second section will contain a comparison of the two characters’ powers. It won’t be a direct comparison as much as a listing of their powers abilities, which is going to serve as a basis for our analysis in section three of our article. Now, let us begin.
Ikaris’ life force is augmented by cosmic energy and he has full mental control over his physical form and bodily processes, even when he is asleep or unconscious. As a result, he is virtually immortal, immune to disease and aging, and invulnerable to conventional forms of injury. If Ikaris were injured in any way, he could regenerate any injured or lost tissue.
Cosmic energy strengthens Ikaris’ metabolism so that he does not tire of any physical effort. He can withstand extreme temperatures through mental concentration. Ikaris can levitate himself by mentally manipulating the gravitons around him. He can also levitate other people and objects, even while they are already levitating.
Ikaris can fly through self-levitation at approximately 850 miles per hour, a speed that most other Eternals cannot match.
Ikaris has low-level psychic abilities, allowing him to scan the surface thoughts of any mindless adept than his own. He can mentally create illusions to disguise himself. Ikaris can also psionically manipulate atoms and molecules to transform the shape of an object. However, Ikaris is only a second-level adept on a scale of five levels (the fifth level being the highest) in this discipline.
He can rearrange molecules in the air to create a virtually impenetrable shield over himself. Ikaris can project cosmic energy in the form of rays from his eyes or rays and flashes from his hands. This cosmic energy, stored in specialized enclaves of cells in his body, can be used as force, heat, light, and possibly other forms of electromagnetic energy.
Ikaris can project a maximum concussive force of at least 260 pounds per square inch. He can project heat to a maximum temperature of at least 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt iron. It takes him about a minute to reach this maximum temperature.
Because Ikaris heat rays can vaporize solid objects, they are often called death rays. The maximum range for energy beams from him is approximately 200 feet. Ikaris is a fourth-level adept on a scale of five levels (the fifth level is the highest) in this discipline.
Expenditure of cosmic energy in this way continuously for several hours will temporarily deplete Ikaris’s physical strength, but not his resistance to injury, although it will temporarily increase his sensitivity to pain. He will quickly return to normal after that prolonged energy expenditure is over.
Ikaris can teleport psychically, but he prefers not to, as, like other Eternals, he finds the process of self-teleportation physically unpleasant. He can also teleport other people along with himself.
Thanos, on the other hand, is extremely powerful. He is an Eternal and has proven himself more powerful than most characters in the Marvel Universe, 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.
Before we continue, let us see how the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010) compares the two characters:
Ikaris vs Thanos: Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Let us continue.
We have already established that Thanos is the second most powerful Eternal, with Kronos being the only one who can defeat him without the Infinity Gauntlet. Now, Ikaris also ranks high on that list, but he is still much weaker than Thanos, as the power grid above suggests.
The two have very similar powers and abilities, but Thanos is a much better fighter. On top of that, his bloodlust is so big that he practically never quits a fight, even if he’s fighting a stronger enemy, such as Odin.
Now, Ikaris could certainly put up a fight against the Mad Titan and would certainly do some damage, but ultimately, he wouldn’t be able to defeat him. At one point, Thanos would take control of the fight and would win it with relative ease. If you think we’re wrong, just check out the next section, and with that, we end today’s comparison.
When did Ikaris fight Thanos?
Ikaris and Thanos actually did clash in the recent Eternals #2 (2021), written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Esad Ribic. In the new Eternals series, Ikaris fights Thanos as part of a larger plot and although the fight wasn’t overly long and was quite simple, it shows that we were right in our verdict of this comparison.
Ikaris started off strongly and he even managed to do some damage to Thanos. It seemed, for a brief moment, that Ikaris even had the upper hand. But, the fight was very short as Thanos soon gained the upper hand and took control of the battle. Ikaris stood absolutely no chance at that moment and… well, see for yourselves:
Yup, Thanos ended up ripping Ikaris’ head with his hand, simply killing the Eternal. Luckily for Ikaris, though, it was just a body double and Ikaris survived, but this showed us that Thanos would easily defeat his kin.
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