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The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos 

Ranker Comics
Updated October 2, 2019 53 votes 18 voters 20 items

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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos
Photo: Marvel Comics
1
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.

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Infinity Crusade is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos
Photo:  Marvel Comics

Story Found In: The Infinity Crusade #1-6, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #18-22, and Warlock Chronicles #1-5​​​​​​ (1993)

Marvel's "Infinity Crusade" was a crossover event written by Jim Starlin with illustrations by Ron Lim, Ian Laughlin, Jack Morelli, and Al Milgrom back in 1993. It takes place soon after the "Infinity Gauntlet" where Adam Warlock uses the Gauntlet to expel his good and evil aspects of his personality to become a being of pure logic. This made him capable of using the Gauntlet without fear of destruction, but it had the side-effect of turning his good side into a new cosmic being, The Goddess.

She then embarks on a mission to gather Cosmic Cubes to create the Cosmic Egg, a powerful artifact capable of granting wishes. Ultimately, she proves to be more menace than anyone could have thought, and though she has Captain America and Spider-Man on her side, she stands in opposition to Thanos and Mephisto, which begs the question, could she really be the bad guy of the story?

Publisher: Marvel Comics

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Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use
3
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

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Thanos Returns is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Storylines That Feature Thanos
Photo: Marvel Comics
4
Thanos Returns

Story Found In: Thanos #1-6 (2016)

There's no arguing Thanos is one of the biggest bads in the Marvel Universe, but even he has a family. In the first six issues of his new 2016 eponymous series, Thanos must struggle with a reckoning with his family, and they are not happy with how the Mad Titan turned out!

The story follows Thanos as he explores the darker sides of the galaxy and his continued destruction of it. He's evil, he's unstoppable, but he's gunning for anyone who could possibly take him down! "Thanos Returns" features beautifully stylistic artwork by Mike Deodato with an awesome story written by Jeff Lemire.

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