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Comparing characters’ powers is always interesting because such comparisons might reveal who the stronger is between characters who’ve not had the pleasure of facing each other or have done it only on several, rare occasions. Today, we are going to compare Apocalypse, a supervillain from the X-Men franchise, and Thanos, the Mad Titan, and one of Marvel’s ultimate supervillains. So, is Apocalypse stronger than Thanos?
Thanos would ultimately win in a fight between them. Thanos has a long history of fighting against the whole Marvel Universe and is always considered to be one of the strongest villains in the Marvel Universe, which is why we think he could beat even a very strong Apocalypse.
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.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
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 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.
Apocalypse and his powers
Apocalypse is a fictional character from the X-Men franchise, a large franchise within the fictional universe created by Marvel Comics. Apocalypse made his debut in 1986, first in a cameo appearance in X-Factor #5, before making a full appearance in X-Factor #6. Apocalypse was created by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice and was actually a chance villain, since the original idea was for his role in the X-Factor to be given to Daredevil’s villain Owl, but since the original writer of the series left after writing the first five issues, a new team was brought in and Apocalypse was created for narrative purposes, soon becoming a very popular X-Men villain.
En Sabah Nur, the mutant who would later be known as Apocalypse, was born in Ancient Egypt and is probably the first mutant in history to manifest his X-Genee. Due to him having gray skin and blue lips, he was shunned by his people and abandoned as a child. Saved by Baal of the Sandstormers, the child was named En Sabah Nur, which translates to as “The First One”.
Apocalypse had a really tough time in Ancient Egypt, even getting killed in one instance, only to be revived thanks to his mutant powers. He would later use this aspect to become more powerful after each resurrection. He is a very philosophical villain, developing a theory and strategy of mutant supremacy in a harsh world where humans look at mutants as enemies. He also thinks – and that is a reflection of his past experiences – that only the strongest and the fittest need to survive, which is why he doesn’t even care for those mutants whom he considers weak. His ultimate goal is to initiate a large war between the humans and the mutants, after which the mutants would rule over Earth with him as their supreme leader.
Due to his tragic history and dark character, Apocalypse has become a very important supervillain within the X-Men franchise and has appeared in a variety of derivative materials, such as TV shows, games and movies. In the latter, he was portrayed by Oscar Isaac.
Thanos vs Apocalypse: Who is stronger and who would win in a fight?
Now that we’ve introduced you to the two of them, let us see which one is stronger.
Both Apocalypse and Thanos are very powerful. Apocalypse is an Omega level mutant and one of the strongest mutants in existence, although he has been beaten by both the X-Men and Magneto on separate occasions. Thanos, on the other hand, is one of the most powerful beings in the whole universe, a cosmic warlord whose power is so vast he could beat almost anyone in the Marvel universe.
Some of Apocalypse’s powers include immortality, superhuman strength and intellect, superhuman durability, the ability to teleport, psionic manipulation (including telekinesis and telepathy), self-molecular manipulation (which allows him to change shapes and sizes, since he can manipulate his own body on a molecular level) and energy manipulation (he can draw energy from different sources and use it to increase his own power). On the other hand, Thanos is likewise 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. Thanos strength level is that of Class 100+, while Apocalypse’s changes, due to him being able to harvest external energy, which means that his strength level is quite often incalculable.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010), lists their powers as follows:
So, what can we conclude from this? As stated, both Apocalypse and Thanos are extremely powerful, but based on our comic book experiences and the official numbers above, Thanos would beat Apocalypse. Easily? That one’s not so clear. In regular conditions, certainly – Thanos is much stronger, but if we imagine a situation where Apocalypse draws an infinite amount of energy, he could prove a strong opponent for the Mad Titan. Still, Thanos has managed to kill the whole universe in the King Thanos storyline, while Apocalypse was regularly beaten by some nominally weaker heroes, something that would never happen to Thanos. This is why we think – and we think most people will agree with us – that Thanos is stronger than Apocalypse and would beat him in a direct 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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