Thanos vs. Darkseid: Which Villain Is Stronger?

Thanos vs Darkseid: Who is the Ultimate Comic Book Villain?

Inspired by the recently released Snyder Cut, we decided to make another comparison, this time comparing two exceptionally powerful supervillains. Both of our characters are among the most feared entities in their respective comic book universes and this text promises to be a bombastic clash. Marvel’s Mad Titan, Thanos, is considered to be one of the strongest supervillains in the history of comic books and the list of his horrifying endeavors is truly fear-inducing. On the other hand, Darkseid is probably the most feared antagonist in DC Comics’ fictional universe and is equally frightening in his “achievements”. Who would win in a direct clash between Thanos and Darkseid? Keep reading to find out!

While fighting one of Darkseid’s avatars, Thanos would win with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet, but would lose without it without much doubt. Still, even with the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos would stand no chance against Darkseid’s true form, which is why we conclude that the ultimate winner here is – Darkseid!

Today’s article is going to be all about comparing the power levels of Thanos and Darkseid. You’re going to find out who Thanos and Darkseid are, as well as what their exact powers and abilities are. In the end, based on what we have presented earlier, we’re going to give our final verdict on who is stronger. It’s promising to be a fun story so keep reading until the end!

Why is Thanos so scary?

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. Thanos was born on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons as a member of the Eternals. He is the son of A’lars and Sui-San, two Eternals, but also a carrier of the Deviants gene, which explains his physical experience.

Believing him to be a threat to the universe, his mother wanted him killed, 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.

Not long after that, Thanos became a supervillain, initially a simple pirate, but soon had more megalomanic plans. He was not satisfied with mere piracy; he wanted more. Much more.

Thanos 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 actions are motivated by his love towards Mistress Death, in whose name 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.

Is Darkseid the most feared comic book villain?

Darkseid is a fictional character appearing in stories published by DC Comics. He was created by the legendary Jack Kirby and made his full debut in Forever People #1 (1971), after having had a cameo in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (1970).

Darkseid is a supervillain in the DC Universe and is usually depicted as the greatest supervillain in the whole franchise. He is one of the New Gods and the merciless ruler of the planet Apokolips. Darkseid’s chief plan is to erase every being with free will in the universe and then reshape the whole universe in accordance with his principles, which is why he often clashes with DC’s superheroes, including the Justice League.

Darkseid was born as Prince Uxas as the son of King Yuga Khan and Queen Heggra of Apokolips. He was the second in line for the throne of Apokolips, after his brother Drax (a.k.a. Infinity-Man). At one point, when Drax tried to claim the famous, yet powerful Omega Force, Uxas killed him and claimed the force himself as part of his plot to take over the planet. The Omega Force transformed Uxas into a rock-like creature, which is when he took the name Darkseid. Not long after these events, Darkseid had his mother poisoned and became the sole ruler of Apokolips.

His early reign is mostly remembered for the destructive and seemingly endless war with the neighbouring planet of New Genesis, where the good New Gods reside. Led by Darkseid’s brother Highfather, the gods of New Genesis fought Darkseid and wanted to stop his evil plans. The war was actually stopped through intense diplomatic efforts made by Darkseid’s son Scott Free (Mister Miracle) and Highfather’s son Orion; in truth, the two children were switched in early childhood, so Orion is in actuality Darkseid’s son, and Scott Free is Highfather’s son.

Darkseid is usually depicted as the biggest supervillain in DC’s Multiverse, although there are more powerful cosmic entities inhabiting the Multiverse. He turned Apokolips into a hell pit and made a plan to conquer the whole universe and submit every sentient being with free will to his own vision of a Darkseid-ruled universe. He traveled the universe, conquering and destroying planets and then terraforming them so that they resemble the hell pit he created on his home planet.

He played a role in several major DC Comics storylines, the most notable among them being Final Crisis and The Darkseid War. In Final Crisis, Darkseid is seemingly killed by Orion at the beginning of the story, but his life essence survived and traveled to Earth, where he took on a human form (“Boss Dark Side”) until returning to his original body.

Using the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid threatened the whole universe and was eventually confronted by the Justice League. He was shot and mortally wounded by Batman using a Radion bullet (the same one that killed Orion, since Radion is Darkseid’s Kryptonite) and finally “killed” by the combined effort of the two Flashes, Wonder Woman and Superman; Batman was hit by Darkseid’s Omega Beam and was sent back in time, finally returning after a long time traveling experience.

In The Darkseid War, Darkseid had to fight the Anti-Monitor, another evil cosmic entity from the DC Universe, and was eventually killed by him. This event had serious consequences for the evolution of future stories. In Scott Snyder’s Metal series, he appears as a baby.

Darkseid has appeared in a lot of derivative material, do to him being one of the strongest villains in the DC Universe and one of the most popular. He has appeared in several animated movies (he played a key role in the DCAU movie franchise), several video games (most notably Injustice and the LEGO Batman series) and is set to appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, where he will be played and voiced by Ray Porter.

Comparing Thanos’ and Darseid’s powers

As we move forward, per our tradition, we are going to compare the powers and abilities of our two characters before we give our final verdict. These two characters are quite interesting so comparing their powers is certainly going to be a fun thing to do.

Thanos’ strengths and weaknesses

As far as Thanos is concerned, he 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. In that aspect, Thanos is a truly formidable foe, but he is not the strongest one around.

Finally, the thing that makes Thanos so powerful is the Deviants gene he has, but also his years of training and preparation. Thanos is a very determined and focused character. He has a goal and a mission, and his determination is such that he will not hesitate to do anything he deems necessary to fulfill his goals, no matter what the costs.

Darkseid’s strengths and weaknesses

Darkseid, on the other hand, is not just a god-like being, he is a god. One of the New Gods, to be precise. Although being humanoid, New Gods (something like the Eternals in Marvel’s universe, but a tad more powerful) are exceptionally powerful, with Darkseid being the most powerful among the group.

He has superhuman strength and stamina, and his regeneration skills, combined with his nigh invulnerability make him practically immortal; Darkseid has died on several occasions, but it was never permanent. He also gained the power of the Omega Force, which made him a lot stronger than before.

Thanks to the force, he can fire Omega Beams, beams of energy that can destroy matter in a second (although some cosmic entities like Doomsday or Superman are immune to it). He also has cosmic awareness, he can travel through dimensions and space (he can create Boomtubes at will, without the need for a Mother Box), he can alter his size and has psionic abilities (telekinesis, telepathy).

Thanks to the Omega Force, he can also resurrect the dead. If needed, he can also feed on the energy of Apokolips and other planets, much similar to Galactus.

Thanos vs. Darkseid: Who would win?

We have now reached the climax of our article – the clash between Thanos and Darkseid. By now, we already know that Thanos was inspired by Darkseid and that DC’s main villain is responsible for the birth of Marvel’s big baddie. We also know that both of them are very similar and that they have very similar powers, which makes this comparison one of the most difficult ones we’ve done so far.

When comparing these two, there are three different situations to consider. Two where Thanos fights one of Darkseid’s many avatars, with or without the Infinity Gauntlet, and one where Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet fights Darkseid’s still unseen true form. We are going to analyze each of these situations separately.

Thanos (with the Infinity Gauntlet) vs. Darkseid

Everyone knows by now that Thanos’ power levels become nigh-infinite when he has the Infinity Gauntlet with all six Stones with him. The Infinity Gauntlet is Thanos’ most powerful weapon and the powers it grants him are just amazing. He literally has reality-bending powers, which makes him practically invincible, although some earlier comics books have shown that he can be defeated.

Is Thanos a God, Demigod, or Titan and is He Immortal?

As far as Darkseid is concerned, the guy is pretty confident in his own powers and doesn’t really value weapons that much. Certainly, he has very powerful equipment, arguably even more powerful than Thanos (sans the Gauntlet), but he relies on his own, inherent powers, his strength, and his mind. His most powerful “weapon” is the Anti-Life Equation – which he almost never manages to obtain, though – but the Anti-Life Equation just “annuls” life, it doesn’t have such powers as the Gauntlet. The equation allows Darkseid to control everyone with more ease, but that’s pretty much it.

So, if Thanos, equipped with the Infinity Gauntlet, would face off against Darkseid – even if we gave him the Equation in this scenario – the ruler of Apokolips wouldn’t really stand much chance. Namely, Darkseid, as is usually portrayed in the comics, is very much a reality-based deity, not a supernatural being, which means that the Gauntlet’s powers would work on him, thus allowing Thanos the victory in this scenario.

Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation wouldn’t really be of much use here, both because Thanos could counter its effects with the Infinity Stones, and because Thanos seems to be immortal in the sense that (Lady) Death doesn’t really want him, despite his emotions towards her. This is why Thanos wins this scenario.

Thanos (without the Infinity Gauntlet) vs Darkseid

Non-enhanced, this is a fight that really tells us about the two villains and this is the scenario that you could use as a reference point, because it portrays who the two actually are, without additions and without any weapons. In this scenario, neither of them have any weapons, meaning that Thanos doesn’t have his Gauntlet and that Darkseid doesn’t have the Anti-Life Equation.

Now, in this scenario, we have to dissect their powers a bit more. What we know instantly is that they’re both equally durable in a fight, that they’re both capable of making this fight last very long. In terms of pure physical power, we’d have to say that Darkseid seems to be the stronger one.

He has consistently fought much stronger opponents than Thanos and the only ones who managed to do some serious harm are Superman and the Anti-Monitor, the former one of the strongest beings in the universe and the latter an entity that is as powerful as Darkseid himself. He did get beaten up (in his early days) by Doomsday, but that guy is so resilient that he would beat up Thanos as well.

In terms of special abilities and energy manipulation, Thanos has limited access to these powers without enhancements, while Darkseid is naturally able to use his deadly Omega Beams. And while they’re not 100% lethal for more powerful opponents, they still do a lot of damage. Thanos probably wouldn’t die from the Beam (at least not immediately), but Darkseid would be able to deal a lot of damage with them.

They are also pretty equal when it comes to speed, but unlike Thanos, Darkseid can change his appearance – including his size – which gives him yet another advantage in this scenario. This means that, when we add all of this up, that Darkseid would be able to defeat Thanos in a direct fight, without any enhancements on either side. The student hasn’t bested the master in this case, and we have Darkseid taking this one, making the comparison a tie for now.

Thanos (with the Infinity Gauntlet) vs Darkseid’s true form

And now for the ultimate clash, a clash that is going to determine which of these two powerful villains is the stronger one. We’re not pitting the characters’ two most powerful forms against each other as we’re comparing the powerful Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet against Darkseid’s true form, which we have already written about here on Fiction Horizon, and which is set to play a larger role in the upcoming Infinite Frontier imprint.

We won’t be repeating what we said about Thanos’ Gauntlet form, but we can focus a bit on Darkseid’s true form. Namely, as it turned out, Darkseid is an eternal, omnipresent threat that manifests itself through an infinite number of avatars on each Earth of the Multiverse (or, as it is called now, the Omniverse). Each of these avatars is, as we know, powerful, but they’re still just a figment of Darkseid’s true powers.

His true form has been foreshadowed in some earlier stories (you can read our article for more details), but it wasn’t until the Infinite Frontier imprint was announced that Darkseid’s true form appeared. The true Darkseid was actually imprisoned on Earth Omega, a hidden part of the Omniverse, from where he controlled his avatars. At one point, though, Darkseid manages to escape his prison and united with his avatars, thus finally embodying his true form.

What can Darkseid do in this true form? We have no clue (yet!), but we know that he is the most dangerous being ever to appear in the rich DC Comics history. Even while he was imprisoned, his true form was described as a power able to destroy the whole Multiverse, a truly menacing threat on a god-like level. Now that he has finally appeared, we have yet to see how much damage he can do, but there is absolutely no doubt that the whole Omniverse is facing destruction.

So, what can Thanos do against this form? Not much, really. The Infinity Stones are powerful and they can manipulate time, space, reality and whatnot, but Darkseid’s true form exists outside all of these elements. He is omnipresent as he seems to be a part of existence itself and cannot thus be controlled or defeated easily. We’ll have to see what the writers at DC think of, but as far as we know now – there is absolutely nothing Thanos could do with the Infinity Gauntlet that could harm Darkseid’s true form, as it seems that that form could destroy the whole Omniverse, something even Thanos is not capable of doing. This is why we have Darkseid winning this one.


With out three scenarios done, we can now declare the winner. In a direct, non-enhanced clash between Thanos and Darkseid, we have Darkseid winning it. He is more powerful and has a much richer array of powers without any enhancements. With the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos would be able to defeat Darkseid with relative ease, as the god of Apokolips isn’t really capable of resisting the Infinity Stones. But, even the Gauntlet would be of no use to Thanos in a face-off against Darkseid’s true form, a world-shattering power that would be able to defeat Thanos.

To sum it up, we have Darkseid taking two of the three scenarios and can thus declare that Darkseid is the ultimate winner of this clash of titans.

Who is smarter – Thanos vs Darkseid?

Now, as a dessert of sorts, we are going to tell you which of the two villains is smarter. This is also a difficult one to analyze, as both are extremely intelligent and are great tacticians, as was consistently proven in different comic book narratives. Still, what differentiates the two is that Darkseid is more focused and has more experience, which ultimately makes him “smarter”, if that is your preferred choice of word.

Darkseid is very single-minded. He knows what he wants and he will stop at nothing to get it. He has absolutely no empathy and most emotions are quite foreign to him. There is absolutely nothing and no one that he answers to and his only goal is to become the ultimate ruler of everything. He also has a lot of experience, as he has been pillaging planets for millennia, all in search for the Anti-Life Equation, the ultimate weapon which would grant him what he wants.

Thanos, on the other hand, as focused and experienced as he is, has one weakness – his love for Lady Death. Whatever he does, Thanos does to impress his love and that is also his weakness, as he loses focus from the more important goals. Darkseid doesn’t have any such weakness and that is why we think that he is smarter than Thanos.

And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. If you would like to see how Darkseid fared against Galactus, check our article. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!

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