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DC vs Marvel: Darkseid, The Boss vs My Boy Thanos!

Darkseid vs Thanos in 'DC Versus Marvel.'
 

DC VS MARVEL


DEATH BATTLE!

IN SUPERVILLAINS

THE TOP A-LIST VILLAINS AT DC AND MARVEL

Darkseid vs Thanos in 'DC Versus Marvel.'
Darkseid vs Thanos in DC Versus Marvel (1996).

In the mega-hit crossover DC Versus Marvel (1996), two powerful abstract entities named the Brothers threatened the existence of the DC and Marvel universes. Namely, in order to decide whose universe survives a contest of champions was decreed by the cosmic entities. In a series of battles, the heroes of both universes duked it out in outcomes decided by fan-vote. Largely, the battles were a popularity contest though they indeed were fun!

In some respect, one element that has not been appreciated enough is the off-panel confrontation between Darkseid and Thanos. So, let’s ask the obvious question: Who would win in a battle between Darkseid, The Boss vs My Boy Thanos?

Really, both are A-list villains in their respective universes. Namely, Thanos is well known for conquering the Infinity Gauntlet and bringing the Marvel universe to his heel. At the same time, Darkseid achieved virtual omnipotence in his millennial conquest of the Anti-Life Equation, which threatened 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 villains.

So, let’s compare Thanos with the IG to Darkseid with the ALE.

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Database Comics

FORMIDABILITY

Generally, formidability is the ability to compete, match and defeat a foe despite overwhelming odds. Usually, formidability indicates a warrior’s ability to defeat a stronger, more powerful and more resourceful enemy. For this reason, it is almost interchangeable with the Fighting Skills Level. For example, this explains why Batman is able to defeat Killer Croc or Bane who are in fact stronger or more powerful. Using tactics, training, technology, resources and intel, Batman is usually able to take on more powerful opponents.

Before we rank our two A-list villains, let’s list some rules.

  1. First, the superhero should be able to consistently defeat opponents above their strength class or power level.
  2. In terms of power level or fighting skills, they should have few or no weaknesses.
  3. Consistently, they should face quality opponents that are at least able to destroy a city.
  4. Finally, they should have fewer limitations in power, strength, ability or intelligence.

First, we will compare them in Strength Class, Intelligence, Preparation, Power and Leadership. Then, let’s rank Darkseid and Thanos in Formidability. To note, all scores are rated out of a 100.

1. STRENGTH CLASS

Generally, Darkseid is at least Stellar Level in Super Strength. Regularly, he takes on Superman-level foes and either matches or is below Superman in Super Strength. At the same time, Orion vs Darkseid showed what happens when the two strongest New Gods unleash their power all-out.

With the ALE, Darkseid is in a human body. Due to those limitations, he is still so powerful that we rated his Super Strength as Irrelevant. At the same time, Darkseid is subject to weakness exploitation with the Radion bullet. In Thanos’ case, his only weakness is mental.

On the other hand, Thanos is often stronger than the strongest warriors in the Earth-616 Universe. In Infinity, Thanos takes on the strongest heroes without the IG: Hulk, Hyperion, Thor.

With the IG, Thanos takes on the entire roster of Marvel’s heroes with just the Power Gem. Hence, he has access to Infinite Super Strength.

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

2. INTELLIGENCE

In the Intelligence department, Darkseid is among the most intelligent beings in the DC Universe. As a New God, he has access to the Mother Box, the Father Box, the Hellspores, and not to mention he rules the entire planet of Apokolips with its advanced tech, armies and defense systems. In addition, he regularly spies on New Genesis, intercepts its communications with the nigh-omniscient Source. In Death of The New Gods, Darkseid actually decyphers the language of the Source to claim the Soulfire. And of course, at the start of Final Crisis, he claimed the ALE.

Generally, Thanos is a super-genius. In some sense, Thanos is both a space conqueror and a cosmic being. With Sanctuary, his home ship and various other crafts, he can destroy entire planets. In an Adam Warlock story, Thanos threatened to destroy stars in order to win Death.

Though Thanos’ intelligence is cunning, it does not operate on Darkseid’s scale. Indeed, in Thanos: Redemption, the mad Titan was able to intercept Galactus’ files and figured out they had been tampered with. Of course, Galactus is an abstract on the level of Eternity. However, there is quite a difference of power and scale between the universal Eternity and the multiversal Source, which is the final frontier of the DCU.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

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3. PREPARATION

In terms of strategy and preparation, Darkseid does not compare favorably. In order to gain the IG, Thanos largely operated on his own by besting the Elders of the Universe and other champions in single combat or by outsmarting them. Though, it took Thanos a relative short amount of time after discovering the Soul Gems in Death‘s realm.

In comparison, it took Darkseid millennia in order to obtain the object of his desire, the destructive Anti-Life Equation. As a New God, he intervened in Earth’s history, guiding it and planning in order to investigate that secret. And he still failed. In the end, it took the Death of the New Gods and the destruction of the Fourth World by the Source. Only in Heaven was the God of Evil able to conquer his prize.

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

4. POWER

Really, the gap in power between both is striking. Let’s start with Thanos. With the IG, the Mad Titan has Infinite power and is nigh-omnipotent. To this end, he was able to beat Marvel’s heroes. At the same time, at full power, he was able to defeat the cosmic entities, including Eternity. What is striking, however, is the fact that Thanos was able to affect only one universe and even Living Tribunal, the multiversal Judge, was not involved.

On the other hand, Darkseid with the ALE threatened all reality. That is, he threatened the entirety of the DC multiverse, past, present and future. All the way to Heaven or the Hyperverse. More importantly, unlike Thanos’ power dependency with the Gauntlet, Darkseid only had to upload the ALE over the Internet and speak it. Horrifyingly, the Earths of the DC multiverse were being dragged to Hell, by sinking into a singularity. How nightmarish!

In the end, all that was left of reality, was the Watchtower floating in space, where Superman and company made their last stand against Darkseid and his forces, even Mandrakk.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

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5. LEADERSHIP

Unquestionably, Darkseid wins in the leadership department. In his case, you actually have to beat him and be more powerful. Only Darkseid has succeeded in opposing everyone against Superman at the end of Final Crisis. With the ALE, the infected are an extension of Darkseid’s will.

In Thanos’ case, hubris undermine his leadership. Notably, despite having attained supremacy in the Marvel universe, Thanos was still challenged by lesser beings. Though he triumphed over his obstacles. Ultimately, Thanos unconsciously knew he was not fit for omnipotence and supplied the means to lose the IG.

Definitely, Darkseid is the Boss!

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

FORMIDABILITY SCORES

Strength Class: Irrelevant 100%
Weaknesses: Rare Minerals or Elements 75%
Quality Opponents: Reality 100%
Limitations: Weakness Exploitation 83%

SCORE: 79

FORMIDABILITY:

WARRIOR

Strength Class: Infinite 100%
Weaknesses: Hubris 50%
Quality Opponents: God or Abstract 100%
Limitations: Power Dependency 92%

SCORE: 71

FORMIDABILITY:

METAHUMAN

VERDICT:

Darkseid with the ALE is an Abstract in the DC multiverse. Thanos with IG is the Supreme Being of the Marvel universe.

Darkseid wins.

And that’s our ranking! Don’t forget to leave comments if you liked the DC vs Marvel.


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REFERENCES

DC Versus Marvel in DC Database.
Database Comics

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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.

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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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REFERENCES

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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