Thanos and Annihilus have both brought the entire Marvel Universe to a standstill, but one of these two villain absolutely crushed the other.
The Marvel Universe has never been short on impossibly powerful alien tyrants looking to impose their will on the rest of existence. Both Annihilus and Thanos have staked their own claims as the greatest threat in the Marvel Universe on more than one occasion.
Having been at the center of cosmic crossovers like Annihilation and The Infinity Gauntlet, both of these tyrants can bring the Marvel Universe to a stand-still. But now, we’re taking a closer look at which one of these tyrants is stronger and truly stands as the galaxy’s greatest conqueror.
How Strong is Thanos?
Thanos has come a long way in the years since he was first introduced in 1973’s Iron Man #55 by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich, though even then it was clear that Thanos commanded great power. The despot has all of the powers that come with his Deviant lineage, and he has long put them to terrible use. Apart from the infamous “Snap” which eradicated half of all life in the universe during 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet #1 by Jim Starlin and George Perez, Thanos has accomplished similarly shocking feats even without the aid of any cosmic artifacts.
In 2010’s Thanos Imperative #6 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Miguel Sepulved, the Mad Titan overcame the threats of the Cancerverse as an avatar of Death itself. Even today, Thanos is dispensing brutal deaths to the titular cast of Eternals by Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribic, though it doesn’t seem like any amount of revenge killing will ever make up for the lifetime of slights against him that the Mad Titan is seeking retribution for.
How Strong is Annihilus?
Annihilus debuted in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four Annual #6, which saw the titular heroes briefly fall into the Negative Zone ruler’s grasp. Empowered by the limitless energies of the Cosmic Control Rod, the insectoid villain is obsessed with extending his life and wiping out any threats to his continued livelihood, including all other living beings.
In 2006, Annihilus stepped out of the Negative Zone in a big way in Marvel’s Annihilation crossover event. Leading an endless army of alien insects called the Annihilation Wave, he was able to carve a devastating path of destruction through the Marvel Universe, even taking down Galactus and his Heralds.
Thanos vs. Annihilus: Who Wins?
In Annihilus’ constant quest to expand on his own natural and technological powers, Annihilus kidnapped the Hulk and imbued himself with the Hulk’s strength during 2015’s Thanos Vs. Hulk by Jim Starlin. In this new and improved form, Annihilus had his only real one-on-one battle with Thanos after an initial psychic attack.
When these two actually fought physically, Thanos was quick to prove just how capable he truly is. In 2015, Jim Starlin’s Thanos: The Infinity Relativity saw Thanos and Annihilus face off against one another in a tremendous display of strength that Annihilus himself could never quite gain the upper hand in. No matter how hard he struck back, Annihilus couldn’t keep Thanos down and eventually was very nearly forced to yield. Unfortunately for Thanos, Annihilus had the help of Mephisto in disguise to ultimately win the battle. But when Thanos returned from exile with the help of Adam Warlock, he was finally given the chance to literally crush Annihilus under his foot like he had wanted to for so long. No matter how mighty the Lord of the Negative Zone might be, he was always just a bug to Thanos.
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