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The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos

Updated October 2, 2019 248 votes 57 voters 2.7k views20 items

List RulesVote up the Thanos comic book story arcs every fan must read

Thanks to the massive success of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the world knows of the threat that is Thanos! While there are many people across the globe who know of Thanos now that he's been featured in two of the most successful movies of all time, there aren't as many folks who know him as well as those who've read the comics.

Thanos has been an ever-present thorn in most of the Marvel Universe's side since he first debuted back in The Invincible Iron Man #55, all the way back in 1973. Since that time, he has gone on to become one of the biggest bads in Marvel Comics history, and while you may think he's been limited to stories involving the Avengers, there's far more to Thanos than moviegoers realize. He's been featured in hundreds of comic books including single comic issues, vast storylines involving huge crossover events, story arcs, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and everything in-between.

Thanos' best stories depict many of the Marvel Universe's greatest adventures, and thanks to being the guy everyone wants to beat, he's fought nearly everyone. This list compiles his 20 greatest tales, ranked by the readers, so don't forget to look below and vote up your favorite Thanos' stories to see which one rises to the top of the list!

  • Photo: Marvel Comics

    Infinity Gauntlet

    Story Found In: The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (1991)

    "The Infinity Gauntlet" was the crossover event, which inspired much of the plot of Avengers: Infinity War, but the comic differs from the film in many ways. For one thing, it's everybody against the Mad Titan who snaps away half the universe, but in the comics, this includes the combined might of the Avengers, X-Men, New Warriors, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, and every possible person you can imagine.

    What happens to the Marvel Universe when half of all life is taken away, and how does Thanos stand up to the might of the Celestials, Galactus, Eternity, and all the rest of the cosmic beings? Find out in this amazing series written by Jim Starlin with illustrations by George Perez and Ron Lim.

      Is this a great story arc?
    • 2

      Thanos Quest

      Story Found In: Thanos Quest #1-2

      This is the origin story that tells the tale of how Thanos tracked down and obtained the Infinity Gems. His return and revival make him a formidable foe, but he manages to obtain the Gems through trickery and deceit, not outright power.

      The story is the precursor to the Infinity Gauntlet as it deals with his assemblage of the Gauntlet itself. After he collects the Gems from the Elders of the Universe, he's left with a decision to make now that he has more power than any other being in the Marvel Universe.

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      • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

        Infinity War

        Story Found In: Infinity War #1-6, Warlock and The Infinity Watch #7-10 and Marvel Comics Presents #108-111

        After Adam Warlock found his way out of the Soul Gem to help defeat Thanos in the "Infinity Gauntlet" crossover event, his evil half, Magus, wasn't far behind. With the Magus freed, and Adam Warlock on trial to expel his godhood for being unworthy, he manages to gather enough Cosmic Cubes to create an entirely new interdimensional realm of doppelgängers who mirror Earth's superheroes!

        It's up tot he heroes of the universe to stop Magus, but the evil half of Adam Warlock also has his sights set upon Thanos, the Mad Titan! How will Thanos stand against the might of a being more powerful than a god? What will happen as "The Infinity War" concludes and leads into the events of the "Infinity Crusade?"

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        • 4


          Story Found In: Infinity #1-6, New Avengers #7-12and Avengers #14-23 (2014)

          Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, must take the Avengers off-world in order to save it when the most ancient race in the universe marks Earth for destruction. With the World's Mightiest Heroes off the planet, Thanos sees the perfect opportunity to strike!

          He unleashes all of his might upon the planet in his ongoing desire to please Death with... death! Fortunately, the world isn't left defenseless, and there are more than a few superheroes still lingering upon the planet who can put up a fight. Some of those include the cabal known as the Illuminati, and they aren't about to let the Mad Titan destroy the world.

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