The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos

List Rules
Vote 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!


  • Infinity Gauntlet
    Photo: Marvel Comics
    64 VOTES

    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.

    64 votes
  • 2
    26 VOTES

    Silver Surfer: Rebirth Of Thanos

    Story Found In: Silver Surfer (1987) #34-38, Thanos Quest #1-2 and material from Logan's Run #6

    Thanos has returned from the dead, and he's not the type of guy to take it easy after a resurrection! He's back on the quest to find and restore the Infinity Gauntlet, but that's not something the Silver Surfer, The Impossible Man, and Drax the Destroyer are willing to let happen.

    The Mad Titan's quest to gain power mirrors every time he's done so. He wishes to once more court Death, and to do it, he plans on taking the entirety of the living universe with him on a return trip to the land of the dead. Will this help him win the love of his life, the being known as Death?

    26 votes
  • 3
    41 VOTES

    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.

    41 votes
  • Infinity War
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    31 VOTES

    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?"

    • Publisher: Marvel Comics
    31 votes
  • 5
    19 VOTES


    Story Found In: Drax The Destroyer #1-4, Annihilation Prologue, Annihilation: Nova #1-4, Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1-4, Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1-4, Annihilation: Ronan #1-4, Annihilation #1-6, Annihilation: Heralds Of Galactus #1-2, and Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files (2006)

    Marvel's mega-crossover storyline from 2006 was titled "Annihilation," and it was a doozy! The story involves the oncoming wave of warships led by Annihilus, which is called the Annihilation Wave. It made its way into the Marvel Universe via "The Crunch," and it promises to destroy everything in its path!

    This means the entirety of the Marvel Universe must stand against the wave, putting everything they have into fighting it! Thanos takes part in the series by defeating the Beyonder (with the help of Star-Lord), he enslaves The Fallen One and does pretty much what he can to instill chaos wherever he goes. This series was compiled into a two-part trade paperback, which can be found on Amazon by visiting the link above.

    19 votes
  • 6
    25 VOTES


    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.

    25 votes