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Under-Appreciated Heroes/Villains: In ‘Marvel: The End,’ #WeDefendThanos’ Sacrifice As Non-Canon

Thanos.
 

UNDER-APPRECIATED HEROES/VILLAINS

Writer(s)

Jim Starlin


Penciler(s)

Jim Starlin


Colorist(s)

Christie Scheele, Heroic Age Studios


Cover

Jim Starlin, Heroic Age Studios


Publisher

Marvel Comics


Publication Date

May, 2003

IN SUPERVILLAINS

#WEDEFENDTHANOS’ SACRIFICE AS NON-CANON

In Marvel Universe: The End (2003), Thanos gains the Heart of the Universe. Eventually, Thanos makes a sacrifice to save the Universe.

With the power source, Thanos effectively becomes omnipotent. Though the act is admirable, let’s list the reasons why the story is non-canon.

5. AKHENATEN

To begin, the first apparent reason is the changed history of pharaoh Akhenaten. Indeed, the basic elements of his story remain the same as Earth-616 continuity. Importantly, he was pharaoh in Egypt and was born in Thebes.

Then, he married Nefertiti. Outrageously, he stopped the polytheistic worship of Amun. Instead, he imposed the monotheistic religion of Aten. Due to his blasphemy, the gods of Egypt cursed him. After, his history diverged.

In 1334 B.C., while in the Valley of the Kings, he was taken by aliens known as the Celestial Order to be one of their chosen representatives. Initially unable to grasp his situation, Akhenaten was driven mad. Upon regaining his wits, Akhenaten was taught of the Heart of the Universe, a powerful cosmic artifact that would turn those who possessed it into a living god on par with the most powerful cosmic entities in the Marvel Universe. His mind danced with insanity for nearly 2000 years as he struggled to understand the scope of the astral revelations showed to him by the Order. He spent one century to master the Heart’s powers and two thousands years to earn the Order’s trust.

-Amenhotep IV (Earth-4321), Marvel Database

4. THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE

In the six-issue mini-series, Thanos seeks the Heart of the Universe in order to gain ultimate power. In fact, the Heart of the Universe grants its possessor true omnipotence and omniscience over the universe. After possessing the power source, Thanos defeated Akhenaten.

However, this powerful artifact does not exist in the mainstream Marvel Universe. In fact, it appears it can only act on a specific universe. Though, it allows Thanos to absorb all the cosmic entities even the Living Tribunal, the Marvel Multiversal Judge.

3. EARTH-4321

In question, the reality is Earth-4321. When Thanos gains true omnipotence, his senses are heightened to the astral level. Here, he sees all of Marvel Earth-4321’s history and realizes there is a fatal flaw.

Indeed, the continued resurrections of heroes after tragedies have fractured the astral fabric of the universe. For this reason, he laments the Almighty’s actions whom he has replaced.

2. THE ALMIGHTY ABANDONS THE UNIVERSE

In his awesome omniscience, Thanos realizes the One-Above-All has departed the Earth-4321 universe. And unable to repair the fatal flaw, he elects to act in true Thanos fashion: Destroy the universe.

When the heroes and the cosmic entities realize the Mad Titan’s move, they confront him. But, it is too late. True to form, Thanos absorbs the heroes, absorbs the cosmic entities, absorbs even Living Tribunal, and finally the Earth-4321 Universe.

1. THE EDITORIAL TEAM STATED THE STORY IS NON-CANON

In the mini-series, it appears Thanos has the last word. Though he sacrifices himself in the end in order to restore the universe.

Nevertheless, Marvel’s Executive Editor Tom Brevoort has stated that the mini-series is not part of mainstream continuity. Therefore, it is non-canon.

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FOR THANOS: HE SACRIFICED HIMSELF TO RESTORE THE UNIVERSE

At the end of the universe, only Thanos is left. Or so we think. In fact, Adam Warlock and Franklin Richards survived in a parallel dimension. Soon, Adam opens Thanos’ eyes to his foolhardy actions. When he realizes what must be done, Mistress Death appears to both.

For the first time, she speaks and congratulates the Mad Titan. With a final farewell, she kisses her lover then disappears into the nothingness. In order to set the universe aright, Thanos realizes he is the fatal flaw that must finally be extinguished. As he restores the universe, Thanos vanishes leaving no memory of his existence.

Thanos.
Thanos. Marvel Comics.

CHECK OUT THE STORY: #WeStandWithLukeCage’s Decision To Stay And Fight During Civil War

AGAINST THANOS: HE DESTROYED THE UNIVERSE

In Marvel Universe: The End (2003) #5, Thanos faces the Marvel Universe assembled. However, the assemblage of Marvel’s cosmic entities and heroes is no match for the Mad Titan.

In his omnipotence, Thanos absorbs the heroes, cosmic entities, including Infinity, Eternity, the Living Tribunal and the universe within himself. Nonetheless, Thanos finds himself in nothingness and grieves his actions.

In 'Marvel Universe: The End' (2003) #5, Thanos faces the Marvel Universe assembled.
In Marvel Universe: The End (2003) #5, Thanos faces the Marvel Universe assembled. Marvel Comics.

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LINKS

Marvel Universe: The End Vol 1 (2003) in Marvel Database.
Amenhotep IV (Earth-4321) in Marvel Database.
Marvel Universe: The End Vol 1 5 in Marvel Database.

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2 thoughts on “Under-Appreciated Heroes/Villains: In ‘Marvel: The End,’ #WeDefendThanos’ Sacrifice As Non-Canon

  1. […] the existence of the DC multiverse. At the same time, Thanos also experienced real victory in Marvel: The End. But since the story is non-canon, we cannot use it to compare both […]

  2. […] Marvel: The End is non-canon. At the same time, with the IG Thanos has successfully conquered the Marvel […]

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