In the run-up to Infinity War, Avengers and audiences alike are majorly concerned with the potential destruction that could be wrought if Thanos were to get his hands on the Infinity Stones - but how strong is Thanos without the Infinity Gauntlet in the first place? While the Gauntlet may make Thanos a threat to all existence, the “Thanos strength scale” was already off-the-charts long before he picked up any magical space rocks. Readers of Marvel Comics have seen enough matchups like Thanos vs. Hulk to know in the Marvel Universe, it’s always wise to bet on the Mad Titan.
A list of Thanos’s greatest feats reads like the most impressive resume any comic book character could ever put together. He’s taken on opponents like Thor, Odin, and Galactus, and he has come out the winner on each occasion. The real answer to the question of “Just how strong is Thanos, really?” is actually a rather simple one - stronger than pretty much everyone.
Thanos can dish out a lot of punishment, but he can also take it. The Mad Titan’s durability is off-the-charts, and there are very few forces in the Marvel Universe that can cause any damage to his body. The Phoenix Force, a cosmic entity commonly associated with Jean Grey of the X-Men and infamous for scouring entire planets, is one of the most impossible forces to resist in all the cosmos.
Somehow, Thanos withstands its fury on a number of occasions and with little apparent difficulty, including one memorable bout with his Phoenix-empowered son, Thane.
Although he never minds getting his hands dirty, Thanos doesn’t actually have to make physical contact with his opponents to utterly destroy them. Like many cosmic characters, Thanos is capable of manipulating and controlling his massive internal energies and projecting them out of his body as a concussive force.
These blasts can be further harnessed and enhanced by his “space-chair,” but that’s usually not necessary for Thanos. He uses his energy projection to knock out the likes of the Hulk, Thor, and even Galactus.
Galactus is the Devourer of Worlds, one of the most powerful entities in all of Marvel Comics. Although Galactus is older than the universe itself and eats planets for breakfast, Thanos still doesn’t look at him as much of a challenge. The two battle on a number of occasions, and Thanos usually takes the win or at least manages a draw. One potential future of the Marvel Universe features a climactic final battle between the two that ends with Thanos viciously decapitating Galactus.
Thanos also doesn’t hold much respect for Galactus’s mighty heralds or their vaunted “Power Cosmic,” as he beats the Silver Surfer to death on two separate occasions.
The Gods of Asgard were once considered the top of the Marvel food chain, but things have since changed. The entire pantheon offers little in the way of a challenge for Thanos, who has a long history of beating up Thor, the God of Thunder.
Thanos takes Thor’s worst - including lightning strikes and direct blows from Mjolnir - and comes back grinning each and every time. At one point, Thanos battles Thor’s father, Odin, to a standstill, and he gives every indication he would have won had their conflict continued.