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Darkseid vs. Thanos: Who Would Win In A Supervillain Showdown?

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Darkseid and Thanos are among the most powerful supervillains from Marvel and DC Comics universes.
[Sources: Marvel and DC Comics]

Did you know that Thanos is the world’s most popular villain? Research shows he’s the number one villain in 66 countries!

While Thanos may be one of Marvel’s most dangerous comic book characters, DC’s supervillain Darkseid is just as terrifying.

The question is, in a death match of Darkseid vs Thanos, who would win?

Picture this — Thanos and his space-pirate fleet descend upon Darkseid’s dominion — the planet Apokolips. Darkseid doesn’t take invaders lightly and personally confronts Thanos for his impudent intrusion.

We’ll plunge into the deep analysis of their colossal clash and take a look at each villain’s strengths and weaknesses and how they stack up against each other.

But first – a little bit of backstory.

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Darkseid vs. Thanos: The Genesis And Story So Far

Screenshot of Thanos, the Mad Titan.
Thanos is merciless on his mission to bring stability to the universe.​ [Source: Marvel]

Born to the pacifists of Saturn’s moon — Titan, Thanos had a surprisingly typical childhood. However, from his adolescence onward, Thanos was led astray by Death incarnate and went on to slaughter innumerable life forms to gain her favor.

Thanos is driven by his obsession with the difficult task of uniting the six Infinity Gems, which allows for total control over an aspect of the universe.

In Infinity Gauntlet, the most well-known story featuring the Mad Titan, Thanos finally collects the Infinity Gems and combines them to form the eponymous weapon.

With his newfound control over the very fabric of the universe, Thanos proceeds to kill half of all sentient life in existence, including many of Earth’s heroes.

Having eliminated the vast majority of threats against him, Thanos confronts and captures the personifications of abstract concepts of the universe such as Love, Hate, Eternity and Galactus.

In his hubris, Thanos then abandons his physical form to become one with the universe, leaving his body unguarded.

This mistake allows his supposed descendant, Nebula, to take the Infinity Gauntlet off of his body, which she then uses to undo Thanos’ horrors.

Screenshot of Darkseid.
[Source: DC Comics]

Darkseid’s story is a bit different.

For a young Prince Uxas, being second in line for the Apokoliptian throne was one position too far. So, he slew his older brother and claimed the powerful Omega Force for himself. He also took the name Darkseid and sought to cement his rule by having the Queen — his own mother — poisoned.

Darkseid’s endgame plan was the discovery of the Anti-Life Equation, a formula that would make sentient beings realize that life had no meaning and thus cause them to lose their free will, making them easy to conquer.

In the DC mega-crossover event Final Crisis, Darkseid uses the Anti-Life Equation to break humanity’s will and takes over Earth with the aid of his followers in the Secret Society of Super Villains.

Systematically shattering any hope left on the planet and attaining the highest power he ever had, Darkseid appeared to have won the ultimate victory against Earth.

However, Batman sacrificed himself to shoot Darkseid with a radion bullet, weakening him enough for the remaining heroes of Earth to defeat Darkseid and free humankind from his thrall.

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DC Villains Vs. Marvel Villains — A Head-To-Head Comparison

To help us establish who would win in a potential Darkseid vs. Thanos clash, let’s look at the direct comparison between the two villains in crucial segments.

THANOS’ POWERS

Thanos has telepathy and telekinesis powers, but he doesn’t use them frequently. He also possesses superhuman strength and durability. In addition, Thanos is immortal because he was born as an Eternal, a god-like creature that is reborn immediately upon death. But no matter how desirable the power of immortality is, it can’t allow Thanos to harm others.

DARKSEID’S POWERS

Darkseid’s signature power are his scary Omega Beams. He fires these bio-electric energy optic beams from his eyes and targets them at whomever he pleases. The rays help him annihilate his targets, rule the world and travel vast distances across the galaxy. He can also lock them on his enemy for the whole eternity.

Winner: Darkseid

THANOS’ WEAPONS

Infinity Gauntlet is Thanos’ weapon that grants him unparalleled power. Image used in the Darkseid Vs. Thanos blog post.
[Source: Marvel Fandom]

Thanos’ signature weapon is the Infinity Gauntlet. This weapon is unlike any other in the Marvel Universe. The Infinity Gauntlet is shaped like a glove imbued with six Infinity Stones:

  • The Mind Stone: Allows Thanos to control the minds of others
  • The Power Stone: Gives Thanos immense energy strong enough to destroy an entire planet if needed
  • The Reality Stone: Allows Thanos to manipulate matter
  • The Time Stone: Allows Thanos to manipulate time
  • The Soul Stone: Empowers the user to control reality
  • The Space Stone: Enables the user to create portals and travel through universes

Imagine the power Thanos holds with the Infinity Gauntlet!

DARKSEID’S WEAPONS

Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation causes his victims to lose their brainpower. Image used in the Darkseid Vs. Thanos blog post.
[Source: DC Fandom]

Darkseid possesses the formula of the Anti-Life Equation. He can insert the formula into the minds of all sentient beings and cause them to lose brainpower. Darkseid can also use the formula to make his victims obey his commands and cater to his whims.

This equation is called Anti-Life because people who have no control over their minds are not really alive.

Winner: Thanos

THANOS’ ARMY

Thanos’ crimes have made him the most wanted vigilante in the Solar System. His misdeeds are carried out with the help of Sanctuary armada and personal forces called Outriders.

DARKSEID’S ELITE

On the other hand, Darkseid rules over one entire world — Apokolips. His resources are much greater. His army, Paradeamons, operate in massive cohorts and spread fear everywhere they go. Under Darkseid’s command are also such figures as general Steppenwolf, Big Barda and Kalibak, who are imposing in stature and strength.

Winner: Darkseid

THANOS’ STRENGTH

Hulk, Odin and Thor have all come to experience the sheer strength of Thanos, who is also prone to lifting things that weigh a lot and stopping any force that would be lethal for anyone but him. He possesses almost limitless superhuman strength.

DARKSEID’S STRENGTH

Even with the extent of Thanos’ strength, Darkseid’s strength surpasses it. Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Shazam are just some of the poor souls obliterated easily by his force.

Winner: Darkseid

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THANOS’ GREATEST SUCCESS

Ending life on a trillion-level genocide sounds terrifying and jaw-dropping because it is – and Thanos has done it. In fact, he made a stroll in a park of it. In the comic, he completed this feat with remarkable ease. He also destroyed half of all life, as well. Some guy, huh?

DARKSEID’S GREATEST SUCCESS

Darkseid has successfully ended several universes and acquired the Anti-Life Equation. However, are these truly marks of the Ultimate Feat? He has lost more conquest than he has won in his campaign against the Justice League, which is a serious blemish on the old CV.

Winner: Thanos

ENDURANCE

It’s not all about the physical strength, though. To be a supervillain, you need to withstand and endure the most painful and difficult of circumstances.

It’s hard to say who excels in this segment. Odin and Galactus have made Thanos lose on some occasions, yes, but Thanos also managed to walk away barely scathed after dueling with them.

Darkseid’s physiology is also on another level. It takes a tremendous amount of physical strength to stop him. Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman have all battled him, but he walked away unscathed.

Winner: A tie

EXPERIENCE

It is a general consensus that Thanos is around 1,000 years old, although there is no evidence to back this claim.

But guess what? This, again, is nothing compared to the time Darkseid has had on his hands. In essence a deity, Darkseid manifests himself to a “lesser” being through an avatar. This fact pinpoints his age anywhere between several hundred and millions of years old.

This ridiculous amount of time has surely given Darkseid a massive headstart on learning fight techniques, warmongering, estimating his opponents and every other important aspect of being a supervillain.

Winner: Darkseid

EQUIPMENT

Darkseid has the upper hand in adopting technological innovations — especially after his merger with Brainiac.

This led to the creation of numerous advanced tech goodies, like Agony Matrix, which supposedly causes pain one million times greater than what even Superman can endure. So we take it that this probably means it hurts somewhat.

Here’s another infamous analogy at Superman’s expense — Darkseid also has a blade that could carve his heart out. Thanos may enjoy the first-class galaxy travel experience with his floating chair, but Darkseid has Mother Boxes — sentient computers — to counter that.

Winner: Darkseid

Is Darkseid Stronger Than Thanos?

It’s quite evident from the score above that Darkseid is the clear winner. However, we’d like to add one final point that cements his triumph: he basically led to Thanos’ creation after making him the main warlord figure.

Thanos has achieved numerous admirable feats in his own right, but he just doesn’t stack up well against the God that is Darkseid.

The latter’s inherent qualities and strengths, sheer power, influence and ruthlessness make him a cut above Thanos and many other villains and supervillains.

If we take into account the fact that DC’s universe is packed with tougher competition than Marvel’s, we may conclude that if the two switched their environments, Darkseid would have an easy time competing with Marvel characters.

All hail the ruler of Apokolips!

Is The Clash Between These Two Villains Really A Proxy War Between DC And Marvel?

Darkseid and Thanos are the embodiment of two brands that rule the world, and whose creations span comic books, movies, TV shows and other media.

We are, of course, talking about DC and Marvel – and the Darkseid vs. Thanos battle may be taken as a metaphor for their own imaginary conflict.

Or perhaps, not imaginary?

Superhero connoisseurs everywhere are usually divided into those who prefer DC over Marvel and vice versa. The debate of who’s better is always a heated one.

Numerous DC/Marvel crossover episodes and comic books brought the two universes closer together. From Batman vs. Incredible Hulk to Superman vs., The Amazing Spiderman, there has been no shortage of direct duels or joint missions.

Both DC and Marvel have created a universe of characters that looks into archetypes and mythology to provide answers and guidance to humanity.

In their stories, the two have effectively grappled with questions such as “How do I lead effectively?” “What should I do in the position of power?” and “Is this the best I can do?”

Being supervillains, Darkseid and Thanos’s tales may not be posing those exact questions, but they are a worthy contribution to DC’s and Marvel’s pantheon of characters.

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Are Darkseid And Thanos The Ultimate 21st Century Comic Book Supervillains?

The reigning King of Apokolips may be able to defeat the challenger from Titan, but both Thanos and Darkseid stand as the undisputed leaders of the 21st-century supervillains and a blueprint for their successors to come.

Their force to be reckoned with comes from all sources: their inner strength to endure all that’s thrown at them, the physical power, mastery of space and time, the use of technology and legions of followers under their command.

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