Who Defeated Thanos in the Comics?

Thanos the Mad Titan is one of Marvel’s best-known super villains and one of the publisher’s most popular villains ever. He is a constant threat to the heroes of Marvel’s fictional universe, and although he is a copy of Darkseid, he has managed to profile himself as a standalone character. Thanos has been the main villain in many narrative sagas and although the heroes usually do defeat him, that is mostly because they are the heroes and mainstream narratives have to have a happy ending. Still, there are instances where Thanos was rightfully and justly defeated, and I am going to talk about these situations in today’s articles. 

Thanos has been defeated multiple times in the comic books, and among the characters who have managed to defeat the Mad Titan are Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer, Ka-Zar, Thanos himself, Deadpool, Lockjaw the dog, Squirrel Girl, Star-Lord, Mar-Vell, and Thor. 

Today’s article is actually going to be a list. In it, I am going to tell you about the instances when Thanos was actually defeated in the comic books and about the characters that have defeated him. You are going to find out who did it, when they did it and, under which circumstances. I have prepared a fun list for you so relax and enjoy the read. 

Characters who have defeated Thanos in the comic books

1. Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock is one of Marvel’s most powerful characters and although the movie fans have not had the pleasure of meeting him yet, he has caused quite a stir in the comic books. During the Infinity Gauntlet saga, Adam Warlock is one of the last remaining heroes to face Thanos, who had by then become virtually unstoppable with the Infinity Gauntlet (all the six Infinity Gems included). Thanos defeated Earth’s heroes without much trouble but he could not defeat Adam Warlock. 

It’s not that Thanos wasn’t more powerful than Adam Warlock at the time, but Adam Warlock was just smarter as he managed to trick the Mad Titan into taking off the Infinity Gauntlet for long enough for it to be snatched from him. Without the Gauntlet, Thanos was still powerful but he was no match for Adam Warlock, who came out as the victor in this fight. 

See also  Can Cloak and Dagger Ever Touch in the Comics? The Weird Truth!

2. Drax

Everyone’s favorite Guardian of the Galaxy, Drax the Destroyed, was created specifically for the purpose of fighting and killing Thanos. These are his comic book origins, at least. Drax fought the Mad Titan on several occasions and although he was always very, very close to killing him, he would most often come up empty-handed. 

Still, on one occasion, Drax finally managed to get to Thanos. He first fought through his ranks before facing off with the Mad Titan himself. The battle was quite quick and brutal, as Drax punched a hole through Thanos’ chest and tore his heart out, effectively killing the mad tyrant. Thanos would end up being resurrected later but it was still an epic win for Drax and one of Thanos’ most brutal deaths in the comic books. 

3. Ka-Zar

This one was quite embarrassing for Thanos if you ask me, but still not the most embarrassing one! So, Thanos ends up in the Savage Land and meets Ka-Zar. Who? Ka-Zar! Ka-Zar is a native of Savage Land and he is… well, he is just a mere mortal, in fact. Ka-Zar is absolutely nothing special. He is just a regular guy that lives in the Savage Land and has absolutely no powers. Okay, he is quite strong but not stronger than your regular professional boxer, for example. He is, though, a great hand-to-hand combatant and that is what enabled him to defeat Thanos. 

Namely, when Thanos met Ka-Zar, the latter just started punching him, catching him completely off guard. Thanos was beaten up and the punches lasted until he fell into a pit of molten lava. He did not die, but he has been wondering how a regular Joe managed to beat him up ever since. So have I, honestly. 

4. Thanos

No, no, the title is actually not a typo, but rather a reference to the King Thanos storyline that came out a lot later than the 1980s, but is still important for this article. In this alternative reality story, Thanos decides to kill everyone in the universe and conquer it so he could finally get what he wanted – Lady Death’s love. 

He manages to defeat and kill practically everyone in Marvel’s universe, both heroes and supervillains, remaining the only being in existence (save for Hulk, who has been turned into his slave before eventually dying himself). At that moment, Thanos realizes that there remains only one being that he has not defeated – himself. He goes back into time and faces his past self, explaining that he had to kill his past self for Lady Death’s sake. 

See also  What Is the Power Pack's Comic Book Legacy?

The younger Thanos manages to defeat King Thanos and then return to his regular timeline, leaving King Thanos to die in desperation. 

5. Deadpool

Now, this one’s funny because Deadpool managed to defeat Thanos on several different levels. First, on a symbolical one as he is, without actually doing anything, the love of Lady Death’s… life? Well, you know what I mean. He beat him for Lady Death’s love and that is his first victory. 

His second victory came in the Killology series, where a completely mad Deadpool goes on a rampage and kills absolutely everyone in Marvel’s universe before eventually being defeated by a sane… okay, saner version of himself. Since he killed everyone, Thanos was also among the victims. 

Finally, when Deadpool was imbued with the Uni-Power, he became so powerful that he defeated all of Marvel’s major supervillains – Thanos included – with relative ease, becoming virtually unstoppable with such a vast amount of power. 

6. Lockjaw

The Pet Avengers are one of Marvel’s cutest superhero teams. They include Lockjaw the dog, Zabu the Sabertooth tiger, Falcon’s bird Redwing, and a frog/Thor creature named Throg. These guys actually faced Thanos on one occasion and it was Lockjaw who defeated and removed the Mad Titan from their dimension. 

Namely, the Pet Avengers managed to collect all the six Infinity Gems and then place them on Lockjaw’s collar. When Thanos arrived, Lockjaw shot a powerful blast of energy at him, effectively defeating him without much trouble. Subsequently, he used his teleportation powers to transport Thanos into a completely different dimension. 

I get that the dog had the Infinity Gems, but this is still an embarrassing chapter in Thanos’ rich history. 

Credit Marvel Comics

7. Squirrel Girl

This one is probably Thanos’ most embarrassing defeat. Namely, Squirrel Girl is a character that, for the most part, was a gimmick character and had no serious role in Marvel’s larger plans. She was there, she made people laugh and that was pretty much it as far as she was concerned. 

See also  What is the difference between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man ?

In the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series, the titular character manages to defeat many Marvel villains, Thanos included. The fight itself happened off-panel in the GLX-Mas Special issue, so we don’t actually know how it happened, but we do see a completely beaten Thanos on the ground, with Uatu the Watcher explaining that it was, indeed, the real Thanos. So, yeah, Squirrel Girl actually did defeat Thanos, and it was one of the most epic moments in Marvel’s history. 

8. Star-Lord

The same guy who messed up the Avengers’ plan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe managed to defeat Thanos in the comics with relative ease. Star-Lord, also known as Peter Quill, is no easy opponent and on one occasion, he managed to prove his strengths to none other than the Mad Titan himself. 

Namely, Star-Lord managed to get his hands on a Cosmic Cube, a very powerful weapon, which he used to face the Mad Titan. Although this wasn’t an embarrassing defeat for Thanos, as the Cosmic Cube is a truly powerful artifact, the fact that the Mad Titan stood absolutely no chance against the Cube’s blast and ended up in a coma is not something Thanos can be proud of. 

9. Mar-Vell

One of Thanos’s original enemies was the Kree soldier Mar-Vell, also known as the first Captain Marvel. Mar-Vell donned the costume long before Carol Danvers made it popular amongst the fandom. Unlike Thanos’ fight with Star-Lord, this one happened when the Mad Titan came into possession of the Cosmic Cube. 

Learning about the object’s nature, Mar-Vell focused all his powers on destroying the Cube, which ultimately left Thanos quite vulnerable, enabling Mar-Vell to defeat him. 

10. Thor

I am going to close this list off with Thor, the Asgardian God of Thunder. In this story arc, Thor ended up being imprisoned by Thanos. After escaping and defeating Mangog, Thanos’s henchman, Thor went to face Thanos. Using ancient Asgardian weaponry given to him by Odin, Thor managed to defeat Thanos with relative ease. 

P.S. There is a very old panel that shows the NYPD taking Thanos into custody after a battle, but I couldn’t locate the source, but one could also list the NYPD here!