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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character

Thanos, a powerful Marvel Comics villain, literally worships Death. Thanos has sought on many occassion to show his devotion to Death by bringing about the deaths of countless individuals.

Thanos is also obsessed with nihilism, a philosophical system which could be said to be his religion along with his complementary worship of death.

Thanos has been at the heart of multiple overtly religious storylines, including the "Infinity Crusade" and the "Infinity War." Using the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has in the past literally obtained the power of a god and has been, briefly, the most powerful being in the universe (save, perhaps, God himself).

From: "Thanos" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanos; viewed 28 June 2007):

Thanos is a fictional character that appears in the Marvel Universe. Thanos is a Titanian Eternal, and is often referred to as the Mad Titan. The character's name is a derivation of Thanatos, the god of death in Greek mythology. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and first appeared in Iron Man vol. 1, #55.

Thanos was born on Titan, a moon of the planet Saturn. Due to a genetic quirk Thanos was born with the Deviant gene and as such resembles the Deviants - the Eternals' cousin race - more than his own people.

Although treated fairly by his race, Thanos was mindful of his appearance and becomes distant, only keeping company with his brother Eros. Thanos matured to adulthood, and via the use of bionics and mysticism augmented his abilities to easily become the most powerful of the Titanian-born Eternals.

Bitter at being an outsider, Thanos became fascinated with nihilism and then embarked on his quest to "please" death, and began by conducting a nuclear bombardment of Titan that killed millions of his race...

Many years later, Thanos began his plan to conquer the galaxy by building a base on Earth... It is at this time that Mistress Death - drawn by the level of Thanos' obsession and his now considerable power - manifest itself before Thanos, being an abstract entity and the personification of the universal concept of death. Thanos became determined to prove his "love" to Death for this sign of affection, and embarked on a quest to find the artifact the Cosmic Cube...

Thanos eventually located the Cube... Thanos used the Cube and willed it to allow him to be part of - and therefore in control of - everything...

Although Thanos was now omnipotent and easily defeated the heroes [who opposed him], he mades the mistake of discarding what he believed to be a now drained Cube. Captain Marvel shattered the Cube, which undid Thanos' wish. Thanos then discovered that Death abandoned him as result of this defeat...

Thanos journeyed into deep space and learned of the Universal Church of Truth, led by the being the Magus, a warped and future version of the hero Adam Warlock. Deciding that the Magus is a threat to his plans, and after finding the child Gamora - whose race has been exterminated by the Church - Thanos raised and trained her to assassinate the Magus.

Thanos also joined forces with Adam Warlock, who was unaware of the fact that the Magus was actually the Champion of Life and that Thanos was the Champion of Death. The two eventually battled, and Thanos feigned defeat to allow Adam Warlock time to manipulate the timeline and undo the Magus. It was during this alliance Thanos secretly siphoned off the energies of the Soul Gem that Warlock possessed, and after leaving Adam Warlock, Thanos embarked on his next quest to appease Death.

Thanos combined the energies from the Soul Gem with the energies of the other Infinity Gems to power a weapon that was capable of destroying a star. Thanos then planned to painstakingly snuff out every star in the universe as a gift to Death...

The cosmic entities Lord Order and Master Chaos intervened, and via a subconscious message drew Spider-Man and the Thing into a battle [between Thanos and a number of heroes]. Spider-Man freed the heroes, and then made contact with the Soul Gem, releasing the spirit of Adam Warlock, who then turned Thanos to stone.

Years later, the Silver Surfer witnessed the resurrection of Thanos by Mistress Death, who felt that Death needed a champion once again. A revived Thanos decided to collect the Infinity Gems, which he took from the In-Betweener and the Elders of the Universe. Thanos then combined the gems on his left glove to create the Infinity Gauntlet, which allowed him to exceed the power he once possessed with the Cosmic Cube.

Thanos honored Death by erasing half the population of the universe, and then went on to defeat the entire cosmic hierarchy (e.g., Galactus, the Celestials, Eternity) as Death watched. A group of Earth's superheroes almost defeated an overconfident Thanos, who then lost the Gauntlet to the space pirate Nebula, who claimed to be his granddaughter. Latecomer Adam Warlock took the Gauntlet from Nebula, and managed to restore everything altered by the Gauntlet...

Thanos reformed for a time, and was eventually given the Reality Gem by Adam Warlock to safeguard. At one point Thanos used the gem to resurrect the hero Captain Marvel, who died during the time that Thanos himself was dead. Thanos sought forgiveness for his past actions and claimed he wished to test the power of the gem. Captain Marvel, however, knowing of Thanos' self-doubts, guessed the truth and suspected that he has been resurrected to try and dissuade Thanos from his real goal: using the gem to make Mistress Death love him.

Thanos confessed and at Captain Marvel's request allowed him to return to the afterlife. Thanos then assisted Adam Warlock and Earth's superheroes against first the Magus and later the Goddess - the evil and good personas of Warlock, who expunged them to become omnipotent when possessing the Infinity Gauntlet. Soon after helping to defeat the Goddess, Thanos battled the Thunder God Thor, who was driven insane during the war. After taking a beating from Thor - now empowered with the Power Gem - Thanos managed to imprison him and take Thor to Asgard, home of the Norse Gods. Once in Asgard Thanos battled Thor's father Odin, who eventually overpowered him...

Thanos later discovered via an oracle a new extraterrestrial threat - Tyrant, a failed creation of Galactus. Thanos allied himself with Galactus' former Herald Terrax, the hero Jack of Hearts, a second generation Captain Marvel and Ganymede, a warrior-priestess dedicated to destroying Tyrant. Together they attacked Tyrant's base, at which point Thanos abandoned the battle and tapped into Tyrant's computers to learn of his origin. Stealing an orb containing power drained from Galactus' Herald Morg by Tyrant, Thanos confronted the entity and dared Tyrant to stop him. The battle allowed Thanos' allies to escape and destroy much of Tyrant's base...

Thanos [later] sought the Chalice of Ruins, Map of All-Ending and Illumination Stone, which when united would enable the user to destroy the universe. Thanos enlisted the aid of the Asgardian monster Mangog and the traitor Tarakis, and stormed Asgard and ravaged entire worlds hunting for the artifacts. After several pursuits and bloody battles, the Thunder God Thor defeated Mangog while his ally Firelord defeated Tarakis. Just as Thanos united the items and realized his goal, Thor donned specially-made Asgardian armor which allowed him to match Thanos' new power levels and beat the Titan senseless, who appeared to have been humbled for good...

Ironically, Thanos later required the aid of Thor and Genis (Captain Marvel's son) against the death god Walker, who attempted to woo Mistress Death and then destroy the entity after being rejected. Thanos and the heroes were successful... Thanos then devised a plan to become the All-Father of a new race of Gods created by himself. Thanos, however, found himself opposed by the Avengers, former member Mantis and her son Quoi, who was apparently destined to be the Celestial Messiah. Thanos abandoned this plan after having to unite with Mistress Death to destroy the Rot, an aberration in deep space that is apparently their offspring...

Sometime later Thanos found and uses the artifact the Heart of the Universe to stop an alien pharaoh called Akhenaten who conquered Earth. The artifact made Thanos a part of everything, able to absorb the entire universe - even the cosmic entities Eternity, Infinity and the Living Tribunal. After literally ending the universe, Adam Warlock (who exists outside the space-time continuum) explained to Thanos that the constant resurrection of beings had caused an impurity in the old universe that only he could fix. Thanos then restarted the universe and sacrificed himself to fix the flaw... this apparently happened in an alternate reality, although there is no conclusive proof as to whether these events can be considered canon.

A repentant Thanos apparently survived and was accompanied by Adam Warlock to New Rigel-3, where Thanos used his power to atone for previous acts committed against the Rigelians...

Thanos recently aligned himself with the villain Annihilus, who was employing the Annihilation Wave to decimate the universe. Thanos did so because he was "curious to see how a radical tilt in the universal balance would play out."

...Annihilus desired the secret of the Power Cosmic and asked Thanos to study Galactus, but once Thanos learned of Annihilus' true goal (to use the Power Cosmic to destroy all life and remain the sole survivor) he decided to free Galactus.

Drax the Destroyer, however, appeared and killed Thanos before he could do so. During a climactic battle with Annihilus, the hero Nova was near death and saw Thanos - now standing with Mistress Death as her apparent consort - observing him.


From: "Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers: O Deadly Night" forum discussion, started 2 December 2003 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-6949.html; viewed 28 June 2007):

Noam Choseed
12-04-2003, 03:29 PM

Don't forget that wacky Thanos/Gamora Christmas story from an old Marvel holiday special. :cool::cool: :cool:

I should [make] clear... Thanos was in the 1993 edition of Marvel Holiday Special which also featured an Art Adams Cover and a Peter David Hulk Hanukkah story. :cool: [The "Hulk" story mentioned here is the classic Doc Samson story about Hanukkah.]

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