A group of superheroes is always stronger than an individual villain, right? Well, that is usually true, but sometimes a clash between a group and an individual villain does require more analysis, such as is the case in today’s article. Today, we are going to compare DC Comics’ Justice League to Marvel’s ultimate villain, Thanos, and see whether the DC’s group could defeat the Mad Titan.
Using their combined powers, the Justice League would be able to defeat Thanos, as they would outmatch him in every category. The Justice League has beaten enemies as strong or even stronger than Thanos, plus – if the Avengers, who are Marvel’s “version of the Justice League”, could do it, then the Justice League could also do it.
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.
Justice League – A story
The Justice League (also known, at times, as the Justice League of America) is a fictional superhero group appearing in stories published by DC Comics. It is the best-known superhero group from DC’s stories. The group debuted in 1960, in the comic book The Brave and the Bold #28, with author Gardner Fox being credited as its official creator.
The Justice League’s origins have varied throughout the years and there is no fixed origin story we could use. What is always the same is that they are a group of Earth-based superheroes from different locations who have decided to unite their powers to protect the Earth from different threats, both local and cosmic.
Membership in the group has also varied throughout the years, with the original roster consisting of Superman (Clark Kent), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Wonder Woman (Diana Prince), The Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Aquaman (Arthur Curry) and Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz). Later on, various other superheroes have been members of the group, including, but not limited to The Atom (Ray Palmer), Big Barda (Barda Free), Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Captain Marvel/Shazam (Billy Batson), Cyborg (Victor Stone), Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny), The Flash (Wally West), Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Green Lantern (John Stewart), Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Metamorpho (Rex Mason), Orion, Plastic Man (Eel O’Brian), Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), Power Girl (Kara Zor-L), Red Tornado, Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore), and Zatanna. In The New 52 reboot, Cyborg replaced the Martian Manhunter as one of the seven founding members.
As for their enemies, the Justice League has fought a plethora of different villains, with their most notable enemy being Darkseid, the ruthless ruler of Apokolips. Other recurring enemies are Brainiac, Lex Luthor and other members of the Legion of Doom, Reverse Flash, etc.
The Justice League has been present in a variety of different media, including animated TV shows, video games and a recent live-action movie, set within the DCEU.
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 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 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.
Justice League vs Thanos: Who would win?
Seeing how we’re dealing with a group, the comparison of powers of our today’s combatants is going to be a bit tricky. But we’re not going to analyze each individual member of the Justice League in full detail, but rather give you a broader overview of the powers the group has. Thanos is, of course, going to be analyzed individually.
As for the Justice League, its diversified membership makes it hard to even focus on some specific powers, but we have decided to focus on the core members from the New 52 iteration of the group. The main powerhouses of the group are Wonder Woman and Superman, who are known for their superhuman strength – although they have a lot of other abilities – and can fight against exceptionally strong fighters such as Darkseid or Doomsday.
Intelligence and technology are Batman’s and Cyborg’s strong points; these two can deduce practically anything, which is why they most often create the plans for the League. Flash’s forte is his speed and his connection to the Speed Force makes him an exceptionally formidable foe. Aquaman is a powerful fighter, but he becomes a very powerful opponent if there is a source of water near the battlefield. Finally, Green Lantern is in charge of energy manipulation and his Power Ring makes him an invaluable member of the League.
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.
So, who would win in a fight between the Justice League and Thanos? Well, the answer is relatively straightforward mostly due to different objective criteria like the sheer number of supeheroes involved with the Justice League and whatnot.
Thanos is undeniably powerful. He is a being of death and destruction, someone who won’t stop before anything if it means achieving his goal. He has, on several occasions, proven just how strong he is and there are only a few characters in the whole Marvel Universe who could win against him; there is even a version of Thanos (King Thanos) that managed to kill everyone in the universe, becoming the strongest character there is. And that is just Thanos without any enhancements. With the Infinity Gauntler, he becomes even more powerful and an even stronger opponent. So, can the potential conqueror of the universe defeat the Justice League? He could, theoretically, but he probably wouldn’t.
Why is that? Well, there are several quite obvious reasons for that. First of all, Thanos would be outnumbered in such a fight. And while that wouldn’t generally be an issue, the fact that the members of the Justice League are extremely powerful superheroes puts Thanos in a very bad position. Even if he could fend off Superman and Wonder Woman at the same time, there is no way he could counter Flash and Green Lantern at the same time, even without the direct intervention of Aquaman, Batman and Cyborg. The sheer speed and power that would hit Thanos at the same time would be enough to overpower him, even with the Infinity Gauntlet, since Flash would certainly be able to stop Thanos from using it with his speed, thereby allowing the others to remove it.
Another quite obvious reason is that Thanos wasn’t able to defeat the Avengers, which is a group that is very similar to the Justice League, if not weaker (we’ve already compared some members in our “Who Would Win” section, so do check those articles out). The Avengers, with their combined power, were able to defeat the Mad Titan in the main narrative continuity. Seeing how the Justice League is at least equally strong as the Avengers, they would also be able to defeat Thanos.
Finally, the Justice League would be able to defeat Thanos simply because they have fought and defeated similarly strong opponents before. The Justice League have fought the likes of Darkseid, Doomsday and Brainiac, all beings that are on a similar power level as Thanos, with Darkseid and Doomsday being ever stronger. So, if the Justice League have been able to defeat stronger foes than Thanos, they would be able to defeat him as well.
This is why we are certain that he Justice League would be able to defeat the Mad Titan, even without giving an in-depth comparison of their individual powers. These three objective/obvious reasons are, we think, enough to substantiate our answer and give you a proper explanation of the whole situation.
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!