Over the years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us incredible villains, starting from Winter Soldier to Loki in the first Avengers. However, none of these villains was as impactful as Thanos. Hate him or love him. You can’t ignore his effect on the entire Avengers franchise.

We can say that Kang influenced Thanos's idea of conquering the Multiverse. He was formed as a variant of He Who Remains ( Nathaniel Richards). Kang eventually took over the Time Variance Authority after He Who Remains was murdered. After Loki returned from the Citadel at the End of Time, he went to the Time Variance Authority to warn them of the problem Kang will cause in the future.

Why Does Thanos Stand Out?

Not all villains are purely inherently evil. But, most villains are shown as insufferable characters with no hope of redemption. However, if most of us are put in a similar situation as these characters we often vilify, we just might make similar or worse choices.

Thanos, a god-like character in the Marvel cinematic universe, travels from one planet to another, destroying half of the population. Thanos believed that the world would be a better place with half of the population dead. In this way, he shared the belief of Thomas Malthus, Charles Darwin, and Alfred Wallace that planetary resources are limited.

Malthus warned that global famine would happen if the population continue to outgrow resources. Thanos's solution was to eliminate half of the people on every planet in the Universe. The Avengers rose to stop Thanos from carrying out this genocide.

This article will look at what makes Thanos stand out among all the other villains in the MCU franchise.

Daddy's girl

The first instalment of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie introduces Nebula and Gamora as the adopted daughters of Thanos. But in Infinity War, we got to see what kind of parent Thanos was. The film examined the relationship between Thanos and his daughters. Thanos was far from the cold-blooded being everyone else saw. He was a loving daddy to his favourite daughter Gamora. The love for the daughter was shown when forced to choose between the soul stone or Gamora. The indecision and sorrow within Thanos are laid bare for the viewers to see. Gamora was shocked to see Thanos care so much for her.

Grand plan

Dominate the world? Build a super-weapon that can blow up the planets? He is all in, regardless of the personal cost. Thanos pursues his dream despite overwhelming obstacles, including a massive personal sacrifice.

Thanos was different from other villains because he doesn't dedicate his task. He doesn’t waste time with inept henchmen or monologuing with the Avengers. He is purposeful in his mission to reduce the population of the planets.


Even when the incredible Hulk tried to beat him up Thanos, he never asked for help to save himself. Thanos roared back loudly, beating Hulk into the incognito mode he is in, to date. Furthermore, Thanos went ahead to defeat the entire MCU heroes without losing to them once. In this way, he was a better villain than others before him in the franchise.

For this reason, Thanos is the strongest Villain in MCU history - how many movies ended with the bad guy defeating the heroes? Indeed, we didn't see it for the Vulture, or the Red Skull, or Ultron.

Invokes Fear

One attribute of a great villain is the ability to scare your opponents into submission. Thanos is easily the most feared being in the Universe. His very name invokes fear and widespread chaos, among others.

Thanos in Avengers Infinity War
Scene of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

Surety of Purpose

Thanos is unlike other villains in his quest for power. He believes that universal genocide is not a crime but a necessity, and he can give the reasons behind his logic. In Infinity War, Thanos can be heard speaking to Gomorra, “Going to bed hungry, scrounging for scraps. Your planet was on the verge of extinction. I stopped that. Do you know what has happened since? The children born since the attacks have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies. It is a paradise.”

Thanos has only one goal, and that is to create a universe free from hunger and suffering. Most of us want this; however, we have different ideas of how to accomplish it. For Thanos, universal genocide was the only way. With such a mentality, Thanos stands out from Villains like Ultron that wanted to dominate the world for personal reasons.

Imperfect reasoning

Heroes and villains are not different from ordinary folks. However, they can make others see things their way and destroy those who don't. It is easy to see the error in Thanos's ideas, but he made his plans go through sheer determination.

In the Endgame movie, he realises that killing half of the Universe won't solve his problem. So he wants to recreate everything so he can start things from the beginning. Although heroes and villains are not perfect, only a few admit when they make a mistake. For this reason, Thanos stands out among the rest.

It took a universe to defeat him.

The threat posed by Thanos was too significant for the Avengers. So after the defeat in Infinity war by Thanos. A change in strategy was necessary to defeat Thanos. The sheer amount of heroes it took to defeat “the inevitable “ was not the best part.

The remarkable thing that made Thanos stand above other villains is he was a threat to the entire Universe. So fans were left wondering how any will survive after the Endgame.

Thanos was not like any character we have ever seen in comic books or movies. His charisma, ideology, method of leadership was peculiar. There are so many things to learn from him that it is hard not to like the character sometimes.

Try as you may, you can’t wipe out Thanos’ impact on the perception of villains in the marvel universe. It remains to be seen if we’ll get another villain like him.

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About The Author
Popoola Michael

Popoola Michael

Obafemi Awolowo University

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)